It’s Blog Action Day. People all over the world are blogging about one topic today: the environment.
My question of the day is: What on Earth are you doing? Some people think that being more “crunchy” means that they have to change the way they live. You may have read in the past about me trying to give up paper tissues for my runny nose. This doesn’t mean YOU have to do something like that to have an impact. Here is a list of some simple things you can do:
- Try to make your trips out more efficient. Instead of making several trips all to the same place, plan out where you need to go, figuring the shortest route possible.
- Walk to places that are close!
- Install a water-saver on your shower head.
- Reuse materials. Example: instead of throwing out bags you might get your produce in, bring them back to the store next week.
- Obtain and use reusable bags for shopping, and not just when you get your groceries. If you don’t remember a bag, try to think if you really need a whole bag for your one item.
- Skip the bottled water.
- Hang your clothes out to dry when possible.
- Turn down your hot water heater by 10 degrees.
- Use a programmable thermastat, and try turning it down a couple of degrees cooler in winter/warmer in summer than you usually would.
- Rethink your purchases. Do you need something or just want it?
And for those that want to do a little more:
- Compost! All you need is a little spot outside to put grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps (sans meat & dairy). You can put coffee grounds, filters, tea bags and more in your compost pile, where it will actually decompose and become new soil, rather that sitting in a plastic garbage bag where it won’t decompose. I know there are options out there for apartment dwellers, too, I just don’t know as much about them. I am fortunate enough to have land available to be able to do this.
- Try growing some of your own food. Lettuce is an easy one, as are some herbs. Zucchini is relatively hard to kill, too, and doesn’t need much care.
- Make some of your clothes, or shop at thrift and consignment shops. Check out Wardrobe Refashion for ideas in this vein.
These are only a few small things. Some of the things we do in our family are so much a part of our daily lives that I’m probably forgetting to post them here. One change we continue to work on is the idea of consuming less. We have a smaller house by choice, and we are trying to get rid of “stuff” (mostly through donation) and to not buy as much. Teaching that to young children can be difficult when they are surrounded by the big message of “CONSUME” in our culture, but that too is a work in progress.
Please leave comments about things that you do to live a more green life. It can give me and others ideas!