Okay, so I always bring re-usable bags to the grocery store, I turn the lights off when I leave a room and I drive a small car that gets pretty good gas mileage. I do what I can; but every once in a while I wonder if I could be doing more than just recycling my empties at the end of every week. I took some time to think about small changes I could make in my life that wouldn’t have a huge impact on me or the people around me, but would make some difference to the planet. Here are a few pledges that I’m committed to:
1. One small fork for the planet, one giant step for planet-kind. I am going to start carrying a fork in my purse. That way, at work, even when I’m locked out of the conference room (that has a kitchen where I keep my lunch) I have access to a reusable utensil and I don’t have to resort to plastic. That goes for all paper and plastic utensils: plates, knives, spoons… even sporks- remember those? I’m going to eat directly out of my Tupperware and only drink out of my nalgene. Bye Bye Plastic on the go!
2. My sleeve makes a perfectly good napkin… or I guess I could switch to cloth. I’ve been finding since my switch to veganism, there seems to be far less greasy left-overs on my face when I’m done with my meal. So although I hardly need a napkin at, that’s sort of difficult to explain to visitors… so- since I have all of these cloth ones waiting to be used from when we first moved into our apartment- I’m going to break them out. I’m also translating this to my bathroom etiquette. Where I will usually not think about breaking off far too long of a piece of paper towels after I wash my hands, or other bathroom paper products for that matter, I pledge to cut back drastically. One small sheet would do the trick… for almost anything…
3. I have to stop running the water when I brush my teeth. I ALWAYS do this, and I stop as soon as I realize I’m doing it- I just have to pay attention more and exercise some mindful behavior!
4. Filling in the cracks. It’s that time of year again and saving energy has to be key. Putting down draft stoppers will be a necessity this year- with oil prices through the roof- this little tip will prove to be helpful to my pocket and my planet.
5. Timed Dry. I have an older dryer in my apartment… it may even be classified as slightly dangerous when considering that I have to prop a mop up against the door so it stays closed and running. That being said, it runs really hot and for longer than it should. I am going to start only putting it on for 50 minutes instead of the max 70 minutes and checking on it at that point to see if the clothes are ready. I can always adjust the time for more (if necessary) but I’ve noticed that after a full 70 minute dry the clothes are piping hot- leading me to believe that they didn’t need to be in there for that long anyway.
You may be thinking, there has to be some things that she didn’t cover, things that involve transportation and more about recycling that she missed. Well, you’re in luck. I made my list, and then I hit the web to find out some more things that we can all do. And here’s the best part- most of the things on the list work two-fold. They work to save the planet AND they end up saving you money! Whether you’re into that saving for that vacation at the end of the year or hugging trees, this is something I think we can all get down with.
Wire & Twine have some pretty nifty ideas about how you can do your part to save the planet. Check the list out- most of these actions require no extra effort on your part, they’re just things you don’t think about.
While we’re on the subject… are you wondering about your Ecological Footprint? I found this tool to be very interesting when thinking about how much you use (it’s probably going to be different than what you think).