Today is Earth Day, so I thought I’d share a few things I do (or try to do) on a regular basis to help protect our planet.
Walking to work. This is an easy one, considering how close I live to the office.
Living in a “green” apartment building (LEED certification pending). Seriously, the windows are so awesome, we didn’t have to turn the heat on once all winter! And we survived multiple heavy snowfalls, so that’s quite surprising.
Taking mostly public transportation. The metro is awesome. We pretty much only drive to run errands on the weekends. I never know what the price of gas is, because on average we get gas only once a month… if that.
Being a vegetarian. I didn’t choose to become a vegetarian for environmental reasons (the concept of eating animal flesh is just unappetizing to me), but I think that the environmental benefits are the single most compelling reason to consider becoming vegetarian. I encourage everyone to eat less meat (including chicken and fish)… even if everyone cut out just one meat dinner a week, it would make a huge difference.
Using cloth napkins and rags instead of paper towels. We still have paper towels and use them occasionally, but we cut our use of them WAY down over the past year by using cloth napkins with dinner and rags for cleaning.
Using eco-friendly cleaners. I’d say at least 2/3 of our cleaning supplies are eco-friendly (big fan of Method), but we could do better. I’m hoping to switch to all green cleaning products once we use up what we have, but I have to see if I can convince Adam of the same.
Eating organic. We don’t do this always (it can be pricey), but I eat a lot more organic food now than I did even two or three years ago.
Eating locally. We joined a CSA for this summer and are excited to eat almost entirely local produce. (I do love my bananas, and those just don’t grow around here.)
Reusable water bottles. I have one at home and one at work. When I am stuck without a reusable water bottle, I make sure to bring home any plastic one to…
RECYCLE! We are lucky that our county recycles a LOT and that it doesn’t have to be pre-sorted. This makes it so much easier to recycle. We don’t have room for a separate recycling bin, so every few weeks we bring home our groceries in paper bags, which we use as our recycling containers. We keep the paper bag under the kitchen sink and when it’s full, take it down to the big recycling bins our building provides.
Reusable bags. We try not to bring home any plastic bags from stores. I’m not as good at this when it’s something like shopping at the mall, so I need to work on that. We hardly ever bring home plastic bags from the grocery store or CVS, though, and when we do we make sure to recycle them. (We can actually put them in our recycling, but our local grocery store also has a bin to collect them.)
Use tupperware and similar containers to bring lunch to work. We rarely use ziploc bags (sandwiches get squashed in them, anyway). My biggest problem is remembering to bring in silverware! I need to work on that.
There are many, many more things that I can do to be more environmentally friendly, but that’s a start! What do you do to be “green”?
This past Sunday, we drove out to Silver Spring for the Earth Day 5K. We rarely drive to morning races (we’re lucky that so many start within walking distance of our place), so we had to get up extra early to get out there. We checked the weather before we left and it was 50 degrees, so I decided to wear my running capris, a tech tee, and a running jacket.
When we got to the race, it was cold. Adam checked the temperature on his phone and it said it was 40 degrees! Brr! Somehow we drove 9 miles and it got 10 degrees colder! We (along with a few dozen others) hung out in a parking garage until just before the race start.
Because we hadn’t gotten a ton of sleep the night before (we went to a late dinner with my mom and aunt, who were visiting), and we’d run a race just 38 hours before, we decided we weren’t going to push ourselves too hard. In fact, Adam actually ran with me! It’s been a long time since he’s done that. I kept telling him he could run ahead if he was getting bored with my slow pace, but he said he didn’t mind. So, he had an easy run… and I still managed to finish in 30:30, which was even faster than my race on Friday! After these last three races, I think I can safely say that my 5K pace is officially under a 10-minute mile.
Distance: 5K/3.1 miles
Next race: Fourth 5K Friday. I can’t believe we’re more than halfway done with them already! I am going to try not too push too hard, because we do have a 10 mile race on Sunday, but I think I can still do 10 minute pace without doing any damage for Sunday’s race.
It was humid, hot and sticky for the 5K race this Friday. The skies threatened rain, which I would have actually welcomed during the race to cool off, but didn’t start until after I’d finished. I’d had a bad week of training (or, more accurately, not training) and my legs felt heavy. I was hoping to (a) not walk, and (b) finish under 31:00 (10 minute pace). It was a bit of a struggle, but I managed to accomplish both of those goals.
My mom and my aunt were down for a visit this weekend, so they came out to the race to cheer us on. I think it was the first race either of them had ever been to. I’m sure the first photo they took of me (smiling and waving at the halfway point) looks a lot better than the second (struggling the last quarter mile to the finish, not even looking at the camera).
Distance: 5K/3.1 miles
Next race: Earth Day 5K.
I said after the last racethat I might be able to finish in 31:00 (10 minute mile pace) this time, and I knew it shouldn’t be too hard to do (I only had to drop 10 seconds off my total time). But then Friday came and it was super windy, and with an out and back course, you are running into the wind for about half of the race, so I figured I’d cut myself some slack if I didn’t break 31:00 for the 5K this time.
The race got off to a fast start. I finished the first mile in 9:07 and thought, “Eff, that is way too fast. I’m not even going to be able to run this whole race now without walking.”
I didn’t want to burn out, so I slowed down the pace a little bit, and got to the two mile marker at 18:54… closer to the 10 minute mile pace I was used to. I kept cruising along at that pace for the next half mile or so and then realized my legs were feeling good. Really good. Strong. Not at all tired. I picked up the pace a bit.
I got to the three mile marker at 28:40, and then busted it out to the finish line.
Oh. My. Lord.
I dropped a minute and a half off my 5K PR. I ran the race in 9:29 pace. And I felt good. Adam missed me running by him before the final turn, because I was ahead of where he thought I was. I finished the race, grabbed a bottle of water, then jogged up behind where he was standing on the sidelines and said, “Looking for me?”
Distance: 5K/3.1 miles
Next race: The third 5K Friday. Considering I already shattered my ultimate Friday 5K goal of going under 30 minutes, I am just going to have to try to better my time from last week.