Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Defining Character: 10 Ways I am Going Green

Next Wednesday is Earth Day. I’m not a hippie or anything, but I do think it is important to be more environmentally conscious. In honor of Earth Day next week I am going to do 10 things in an attempt to “go green” this week:

1. Just say no to paper and plastic. I have been trying to accumulate a collection of reusable grocery bags. By next Wednesday I’ll complete this collection and vow to only use these bags. I’ll make sure I always have them in my car, so that I’ll never have to use a disposable bag at the store again.

2. Carry a water bottle. I have a water bottle I use at work everyday, but I plan to put one in my car as well. That way I will be less likely to purchase bottled water and maybe I will even put my coffee mug in my car to so I can use that at Starbucks instead of their paper cups. I do have 12 cup holders now, so why not take advantage of them?

3. Walk to the grocery store and gym. My grocery store and gym are probably less than a mile from my house and you know how many times I have walked there? Zero. I am going to walk to the grocery store and/or gym at least once this week and make a conscious effort to do this more in the future.

4. Cut down on mail. I hate the mail. 80% of what I get is junk. I already cut down on a lot of mail by doing online banking, but I would be ok with never getting any unsolicited mail ever again. I went to the Direct Marketing Association and registered so I can remove myself from some of these lists. I already removed myself from all credit card offers and I am going to monitor my mail for the next week so I can remove myself from other non-relevant mailing lists.

5. Spring Cleaning! I am in desperate need of a spring cleaning at my house. Saturday I am going to clean out my closets and donate my things instead of throwing them away.

6. Cut down on dog poop waste bags. I try to do this by only picking up multiple piles of poop 2-3 times/week, but this has back-fired on me. My neighbors contacted my homeowners association and complained about the poop because it wasn’t being picked up right away. I found this product called Flush Puppies that is a biodegradable bag you can use to pick up the poop and flush it. I ordered a sample pack to try it out.

7. Unplug my cell phone charger. I always leave my charger plugged in so I can easily just plug my phone in before bed. But while that charger is plugged in it is still drawing electricity. So I am going to unplug this when I am not using it and try to unplug other appliances when not in use as well.

8. Cut out beef this week. The world’s 1.5 billion cattle are estimated to produce up to 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than cars, airlines and all other forms of transportation combined. I can’t completely cut out the dairy because of my love for cheese, but I’ll try to cut down on that too.

9. Replace the light bulbs in my bathroom with compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs). I have 2 light bulbs burnt out on the vanity in my bathroom and I am going to replace them with CFLs. They probably won’t match the other 2 that aren’t burnt out yet, but that’s ok. No one really sees that bathroom but me anyway.

10. Change my air filters. I am really bad about this because my ceilings are really high and it isn’t easy to get to the vents. The last time I replaced these was when my heat went out this winter, so I’d say it’s time for some new ones!

What things have you done to “go green”?


Anonymous said...

I have a collection of totes I use for groceries as well. My problem is I usually forget they are in the car and go into the store without them. You might want to leave them in the front seat.

GinSpaghetti said...

Lovin the flushable poop bags. $14.99 for 60/month isn't a bad gig when you look at it as a monthly bill. BUT when compared to $3.99/100 and $7.99/250 that I get at PetEdge, umm... MAJOR difference! Let's see, Nola uses 3/day so it would be a little more than $14.99 for me. Although I LOVE the idea. Can't wait to hear how it goes. Oh please, please write a post on poop... HA!!

Carrie said...

I think this is great! I think I will do it myself. I unplug the lamps and alarm clock in our guest room when no one is staying over....same idea as the charge. I have also heard unplugging the coffee maker after you make coffee in the morning helps.

heidi said...

I love your ideas for going green! Since I always forget my reusable shopping bags, I just make sure that I use those plastic bags to line my small trash bins, pick up dog poo or take them back and drop them off at the store's recycling bin! You should get a bike with a cool basket to make those quick trips to the store! It's easier than carrying bags of groceries.

Cynthia said...

Love this post! We bought cloth napkins and stopped using paper. We also have started composting and growing our own food.

Single Girl said...

Oh I love your list.

I bought a bunch of reuseable bags, but I usually forget to bring them.

SIGG makes a good water bottle!