In homage to tomorrow’s Earth Day Indiana. Some of these I’m doing well, but most are aspirations for the future.
- Think of alternate transportation. Drive an alt fuel vehicle; look for a carpool; collate errands into one trip. For example, I always grocery-shop on my way home so that I don’t waste fuel on a separate trip.
- Think about what you eat. First: Is it overpackaged/overprocessed? Was it grown locally? Buy at farmer’s markets. Better yet, grow your own. Second: eat fast-food and quick food (I’m thinking of my work’s cafeteria as well as drive-throughs) less. Bring your own in a reusable container, especially beverages. Beverage containers are one of the worst offenders for waste. Make your own coffee in the morning instead of giving the coffee shop all your money, anyway.
- Think about what you toss. Can you recycle it? Try curbside if you’re too lazy to find a center (like I am). And if you think recycling is just a waste of energy in and of itself…
- Think about what you buy. How long will you use it? Is it an impulse that I don’t need at all? Can I buy a container that uses earth-friendly packaging?
- Think about containers. I use three canvas bags for my groceries each week to avoid using the petrochemical bags at the store. If I do need extra bags, I then reuse them at home for garbage or cat/bunny litter.
- Rethink your periodical intake. We used to receive 30 magazines monthly, then feel guilty about not reading them. We’e cut the list in half and now read the WSJ to replace almost all other news sources; the paper is reused as bunny litter liners/shredded litter.
- Be lazy with your lawncare. Less fertilizer = less mowing = fewer bags of grass to pitch.
- Turn down your HVAC use. Use shades to cut summer heat; open windows at night; use fans. In winter, put on a sweater and pile on the blankets! This tip saves money too.
- Become a vampire. OK, nobody does this as well as I, but… turn off some lights. Do you need to have every light used at all times? Do your cleaning/ironing activities while it’s still daylight (if possible), then read/use the computer with a small desklight.
- Stop killing things, if at all possible. Pesticides/herbicides have lots of negative effects. Keep your counters clean with water/low-impact cleaners to avoid bugs coming into your house. Weed the lawn by keeping the grass healthy and pulling weeds as needed.
I’m not perfect by any stretch. But I’m really trying to be conscientious. And for those who don’t care about being green: does it hurt anything if you try?