Earth Day…

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”?

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    2 Comments

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    2 responses to “Earth Day…

    1. Great post! I need to work on cleaners and paper towels. The problem is using cloth towels to clean, means I have to do something with those dirty towels to make sure they don’t get stinky and moldy (I do laundry only once a week to ensure that I do BIG loads and run the washer less often).
      I do want to switch to Method, we already use their hand soaps and I LOVE them.

    2. Sarah

      I do a lot of similar things, but I do eat fish occasionally and we use way more paper towels than I’d like. So that’s the next thing we’re cutting down on.
      I wash clothes in cold water and I use vinegar, baking soda, lemon, etc for cleaning everything. Except I do buy 7th generation dish soap and carpet cleaner. Ooooh and a special tjs biodegradeable dishwashing soap now that we have a dishwasher (which I put on short wash and turn off for the drying cycle!)
      As you can see I get excited about this stuff. I need help.
      The thing I feel most horrible about is shopping bags. I have reusable bags, but I just plain old need the shopping bags for doggy bags. We were buying the biodegradeable kind for awhile but budget-wise they had to be cut.
      Can someone explain what is so great about Method cleaning products? I looked at the ingredients awhile back and remember not being impressed. But maybe I’m remembering wrong.