Monday, May 12, 2008

Saving the World

There’s only so much I can do. In the past few years, I’ve gone from a new awareness of environmental issues to hyper-agony over my every move. Obsessions are not unusual for me, but this might be pushing the envelope. I’m not writing this list in order to boast my hippie-ness, but rather to note what I’m doing so far, in hopes seeing my efforts in print will console me for all that I can’t do. There's nothing unusual or particularly super-Earth about these things, but I'm always thinking that I could be doing more.

• Recycling. Even when there isn’t pick-up, I’ll drive it to wherever, drag it to work or school, etc.

• Realizing that even more than recycling, reUSING is more effective. Started saving all containers I foresee a use for: empty 32-ounce yogurt containers, empty glass salsa bottles (if I keep the ingredients tag on it I can try to make it on my own!), small lotion bottles, empty bodywash containers

• Buying and using rechargeable batteries (and charger) only

• Reading in bed with my flashlight (rechargeable batteries) instead of a lamp

• Using Earth-friendly cleaning supplies and laundry detergent

• Selling my car (this is the biggest lifestyle change I’ve made)

• Riding the bus

• Riding my bike instead of riding the bus when possible

• Taking the stairs instead of the elevator up ten flights to my apartment when I’m not lugging my bike

• Not plugging in my laptop overnight when my computer is “sleeping”

• Using “stickies” on my Mac instead of daily Post-It notes

• Going from using plastic bags to paper bags at the grocery

• Going from paper bags to using my duffel bag and backpack at the grocery

• Buy most things used (off my favorite site, Craigslist). Most recently: a coffeemaker and a bike. Shop consignment for clothes. Don’t add to the materials in the world…use materials that already exist.

• Air dry clothes in a sunny room with open windows instead of using tons of energy with a clothes dryer (this can often be the most non-energy-efficient appliance in a home!)

• Deciding to cancel my prescription, which gets shipped to me from Arizona every three months. Have been considering canceling it for several reasons, but the thought of gas/energy being used in shipment tipped the scale

• Try to buy local goods whenever possible

• Subscribe to for the latest environmental news updates

• Research “green” companies to invest in myself and encourage friends to invest in