Sunday, April 22, 2012

119. rubber ducky, you're the one

It's Earth Day! Are you making any changes or have you made any changes in your life to help the earth?

Some of the good changes I've made:
  • I recycle whatever I can, though my area doesn't take a lot of items many other places do (yogurt cups, for one) so I try to avoid purchasing products in containers I know I can't recycle. Haven't found a good alternative to my soy milk cartons yet but I'm thinking about it.
  • I use a steel water bottle with no plastic parts - I have this one and love it. I use it for everything but hot drinks.
  • I bring my own reusable shopping and produce bags. I intend to make some cloth bags for smaller bulk items as well. I've been trying to find organic cloth, but so far, no luck locally. Looks like I'll have to order it. Until then, I reuse the plastic bags from prior trips.
  • I group my errands and try hard to avoid backtracking. Working at home goes a long way on conserving gas! 
  • While I still keep paper towels on hand, I have a basket of tea towels I use so they can be rewashed rather than tossed so a package of paper towels lasts a long time here.
  •  I shop for used items rather than new when possible... and try to make something work that I already have before I go out and buy something new.
  • As I declutter, I've mostly donated unwanted items so they can be used by someone else rather than tossing them where they'll end up in the landfill.
  • I don't own a tv, dvd player or game console anymore, but I do have two computers (mine and a laptop from my employer) and my iPad I use regularly. I have everything on power strips so I can turn them off when not in use. My personal computer only gets turned on about twice a week now - just for things I can't do on my iPad. I had a bad habit of leaving chargers plugged in when not in use so turning off the power strips works well for me. I just keep my alarm clock and the router (internet) plugged in all the time and use LED night lights. Since my microwave is a built-in, I can't unplug that unfortunately.
  • I try to group my baking together so I'm not repeatedly heating up the oven and use the toaster oven for small items. This works for me since I live alone and can easily bake just 1-2 days a week. =)
  • I use minimal cleaning products. Vinegar and baking soda do the majority of the work. I do still buy laundry and dish detergents, but I find the most eco-friendly ones I can and wait until I have a full load/sink to conserve both the cleaning products and water.
  • I use an old-style reel mower. No gas and a little more exercise for me, though I did buy one on clearance last year that's easier to push. Added bonus? No annoying, loud mower sound!
  • When weather permits, I walk the pup to the post office to get my mail rather than jumping in the car. Seriously, sometimes I wonder why I even have a car...

There are things I'd love to start doing too:
  • Composting! Or get worms for the job. I try hard to not waste food, but there are still scraps that need to be dealt with and I hate tossing them in the trash. Also, the kitty litter. It says it's flushable, but I just don't really trust that. In a perfect world, I'd have two compost bins - one for leaves and other veggie matter for garden soil and one for leaves and kitty litter and the resulting dirt could just go into the yard.
  • Get a smaller car (or no car) - I currently drive a Jeep Cherokee. The upside is, since I work from home, I don't put a lot of miles on it but it is far from fuel-efficient and much, much bigger than I need. It has been nice as I've done the bulk of my decluttering though - plenty of room to pack it all in for fewer trips to Goodwill. I've been thinking a lot about trading it in on something smaller, but have held off until I figure out where I'll be next. I'd really love to get to a point where I don't even need a car. I've done it before. I went about a year and a half with no car while living in Alaska. It wasn't so bad really even though public transport where I lived wasn't great.
  • Start making my own pet food. Right now, the kitties get a high-quality, grain-free canned food (cans are recycled of course) and the munchkin pup is on a high-quality, grain-free dry kibble. Neither are organic. Even though I'm vegan, I hate supporting factory farming with the way I feed my critters. I'm getting low on dog food so it seems like a really good time to start making that switch.
  • Build a tiny home! I so wish I had the cash to do this now. Someday though. Until then, I keep dreaming and designing my perfect tiny space. =)
I'm trying, but I'm definitely not where I'd like to be quite yet. As with the decluttering though, it's all a process and every positive change counts!

Today's items:
At one point, I had a shower curtain with rubber ducks... I have glass doors now. Someone decided that the ducks needed company and the devil duck, fish, whale and octopus came along. lol They're all headed to Goodwill. =)


  1. Wow! Very honorable & very extensive list of changes for the better! It's great to see folks trying to be good stewards to the environment.
    I'm mighty impressed and more than a little intrigued with your complete riddence of plastic containers & woulld love to hear more about how & what you now use in lieu of plastic especially for food leftover storage.

    1. Will do. I have something big for tomorrow, but I'll talk about the kitchen containers in a couple days. =)


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