Apr 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Today is Earth Day. Everyone, no matter how young or old, can do *something* to help reduce the carbon footprint. I make efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, and replensih whenever I can.

Here are the things I do on a regular basis:

• I use canvas bags for shopping, or carry my items out in my hands. You should see some of the looks I get from store clerks when I say, "You don't have to put that in a bag." LOL

• I've accumulated a lot of plastic shopping bags from before I started using canvas bags. I use those to line small trash cans rather than buy liners.

• As regular bulbs burn out, I've been replacing them with the energy efficient ones.

• I save gallon milk jugs and fill them with recycled water from the dehumidifier in the basement. I use it to water my indoor plants, and garden in the summer months.

• I wash my clothes (except whites) in cold water.

• I hang clothes outside during the warmer months.

• I recycle as much trash as I can. It's easy - We don't even have to sort it. It just goes into a bin and is transported to a facility where people do the sorting.

• I refurbish furniture and "stuff" to reuse.

• I open windows in the summer, rather than use air conditioning. I use A/C maybe 3-4 days all summer.

• I have and use a programmable thermostat for my furnace and A/C unit.

• I pay bills online which reduces paper consumption.

• I have employer direct deposit my checks which saves gas spent on trips to the bank.

• I shut off the water when brushing my teeth.

• I participate in giving and getting from local recycling organizations.

• I buy used when it makes sense.

• I shop at second-hand stores, consignment shops, and thrift stores.

• I print on both sides of paper (at work and at home) when it's for my use only.

• I use cloth rags to do household cleaning, and wash/reuse them over and over. This reduces the amount of paper towels used.

• I reuse envelopes and boxes to ship things all over the world.

What do you do???


Mel said...

Happy Earth Day Meari!
What a great list you've made of things to think about.

Jennifer said...

DH and I do many of the same things. Next time you're at Target, look for their fold up reusable bag. It folds up to the size of a large wallet, and I keep one in my purse for small purchases. VERY handy.

I also purchased a set of plastic tumblers in different colors for our guest bathroom. There's usually enough for everyone to have their own, so there's no need for disposable paper cups. Just pop them in the dishwasher and they're ready for the next guest.

I'd love to be able to hang our clothes outside - but we don't have a line up yet. Instead, I used the "more dry / less dry" setting on the dryer, and try to plan my laundry to dry loads one right after the other. Putting clothes in an already warm dryer speeds up the drying process.

Jennifer said...

I've also been on DH to start building some raised bed planters so I can recycle some of our organic kitchen trash - coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetable peels, egg shells, etc. My grandmother had several holes dug in her garden and would dump her kitchen garbage in them all year long, then have my grandfather till them into the garden soil. She grew the best vegetables ever and never used a drop of fertilizer.

Myrna said...

Happy Earth Day!, Meari!

That is a great list... we do most of the same things. Some of them I don't even think about anymore, it has just become a way of life.

As my grandmother used to say.. "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without!"

Rachel S said...

I'm sorta stuck. Our county doesn't have mandatory recycling. My biggest source of paper is solicitations from charities--I had literally 6 letters full of stuffers yesterday from charities. The solution is not to donate, but that doesn't seem to work too well. We switched out the bulbs, but our electric bill has not gone down a bit. But we do try to keep the windows open and AC off as long as possible.

Alberta said...

Great list Meari! I recycle as such as I can and am so excited to have curbside pickup for these things coming in the next few weeks. Once I get my bins set up, I think my houseold trash will be that much less! Thanks for your inspirations we all have to do our part to the best of our ability.

Chiloe said...

In Europe they don't give plastic anymore at the grocery stores. We bring ours. We recycle as well as much as we can and all my kids have been taught to rinse their mouth with a glass of water. We also stop the water when we shower to put soap on us.

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Dear Meari, I so applaud your commitment to our Earth. I'm a nut about keeping our planet clean and beautiful. I want my grandchildren and children to see and enjoy all I've been able to in my lifetime.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Hugs, Deb