Monday, July 16, 2007

Carbon footprint, nitrogen finger smear, boron chalk body outline

Here are ten things I'm doing to save the environment this summer.

And by "save," I mean "destroy less quickly."
  1. Bringing own bags to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Okay, I've only done this once so far. But it felt good! If I'm not doing this on a regular basis by the end of the summer you all have license to tease me relentlessly. Also: not using individual plastic bags for produce at Whole Foods. Who cares if the tomatoes touch the fennel bulbs or peppers or whatever?
  2. Buying wind power credits from Native Energy. The wind power doesn't come to you, of course; it goes to someone in a wind power-capable area who otherwise would have used conventional energy sources. So it's kind of like in the Civil War when you could avoid being in the Union army by finding someone else willing to take your place. Anyway, it only costs about $6 a month to theoretically negate all your fossil fuel consumption. Why not? Windmills are cool. Without them they couldn't have had that awesome helicopter chase through the wind farm in the beginning of Mission: Impossible 3.
  3. Balcony herb garden, courtesy of Rossanna. One step toward agricultural self-sufficiency! Mainly we're hoping to grow enough mint to power a summer's worth of mojitos.
  4. Trying really hard not to use the A/C in the car on normal trips (i.e., to/from work). I've managed to get 30-50 extra miles out of a tank this way, and I get more fresh air.
  5. Shutting everything off in the apartment that I'm not using. Kitchen light, DVD player, monitor, computer speakers, and so on and so on and so on. Using fewer lights also helps the apartment stay cooler.
  6. Turning off work computer at the end of the day. No, seriously. I used to just log off so I wouldn't have to wait as long to boot up in the morning. I suspect I'm not the only one.
  7. (Alexis came up with this one) Not using the apartment elevator to go up/down one floor.
  8. Driving less, walking more. I'm hoping to expand this to taking the bus to work at least 2 days a week, starting in August. Again, if I don't, please make fun of me.
  9. Buying less stuff. Clothes, consumer goods, random non-recyclable crap. Since Alexis moved in we've gotten rid of enough stuff to fill another apartment. None of it was stuff we remotely needed or wanted, yet most of it was stuff we (mostly I) bought within the last 5 years. Some things are worth having; some things aren't. I'm making a real effort to restrict my purchases to the first category.
  10. (Also learned from Alexis) Reusing paper instead of recycling it. You don't need a fresh sheet of paper to print a crossword when the back of an old one will do. I've expanded this practice to taking home non-sensitive papers from work and popping them in the printer, thus also saving me money and trips to OfficeMax.
So I'm hardly a model citizen when it comes to ecological awareness, but I'm trying to pull my weight here. Happy summer!


Myasorubka said...

Go eat a tree!

Anonymous said...

Great Ideas...I don't always eat green, but I try to live green.
Isn't it amazing how much stuff one person can gather in one place over one year...yikes.
I think everyone should try some backcountry camping for a while and they will quickly realize how much each person does NOT require to live a happy and comfortable life.
When you have to carry it it on your back, you realize how many of our personal items are really a priority.
It also requires one to plan ahead, especially when it comes to preparing meals...once you have to carry your trash with you, you begin to make better food much easier to eat fresh, clean food that doesn't come in packaging and fruit and veggie scraps become compost when tended to properly vs a festering mess in your pack.
Walking more, of course, and your body will love you for it too.
I have to become better at remembering to bring my grocery bags with me...I always forget to put them in my car.
Even if we all just try to incorporate one "green" practicce into our daily life, it makes a difference-every little bit counts.
Thanks for reminding me.
Oh, and if you see my post on CH, forgive me for being such a filthy meat eater, but I like the eay animals taste and the way they fuel my body.