Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What I do to be Environmentally Conscious

Inspired by Vanessa of Green As A Thistle.

I'm not at a point where I can make the commitment that she has, but I think that I'm already doing many things that help. I did read one that I think I will add though: Lose the plastic wrap.

  • Ride a bicycle for short errands that don't require carrying much. (a weeks groceries for 1 will fit into 2 large bicycle panniers).
  • Walk short errands to anything less than a mile away that require carrying much.
  • Biodegradable high efficiency laundry detergent
  • High efficiency front loading washing machine
  • Let it mellow when i remember and no guests are around
  • Environmentally friendly/less-chemicaled personal hygiene products
  • Shower only when necessary or on alternate days
  • Wear clothing more than once, or until it is dirty (except undergarments)
  • Environmentally friendly/natural cleaning products for hand washed dishes.
  • Baking soda and vinegar for most household cleaning chores.
  • Drive as fuel efficiently as practical (no hypermiling, but no gunning accelerations either, coast on hills if possible, turn engine off at long stops, etc.)
  • Recycle everything that the local municipal recycling collection allows. Plastics 1 & 2, cardboard, paperboard, paper, just about any paper really.
  • Use rags to clean up spills instead of paper towels.
  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper.
  • Reuse plastic baggies by washing them until they break down (gallon and quart zip top freezer bags)
  • Take cloth bags to the grocery store instead of getting plastic bags on every trip.
  • Purchase and use recycled paper products when possible (toilet paper, napkins, paper towels)
  • Purchase products in the largest container that will be used before the product goes bad or is otherwise unusable in order to reduce the amount of packaging being used.
  • Reuse lidded plastic containers that food comes in as storage containers for other products.

My goals:
  1. Reduce the amount of waste going to a landfill. Most weeks this amounts to less than a 13 gallon trash bag per week for my wife and I.
  2. Reduce the amount of material to be recycled, and recycle as much as practicable.
  3. Purchase products that have a reduced impact on the environment or come from renewable sources.
  4. Reuse anything that can be reused until it is no longer useful.
  5. Reduce traffic congestion and Green House Gas generated directly by me, or on my behalf.
  6. Be frugal while doing all of the above.