Happy Earth Day, everyone! I hope you are reading this on an energy efficient computer monitor, in the light of natural sun or those funny looking twelve-dollar light bulbs!
It’s been about a year or so since I decided to start doing my part to take care of our planet. I started with many small and easy changes, because I am lazy by nature and I always attack problems from the easy and most convenient avenue. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
I replaced my garbage can with two matching containers, one for regular garbage and one for recyclables. (I know you just had a stroke because I hadn’t already done that, but we all have to start somewhere.) I thought I was a fair recycler before doing this, but this one step has made recycling so much easier for me. Before doing this, I would have to walk the recyclable item out into the garage, around the car and put it in the blue recycling bin. Which is why, on many occasions, I accidentally just threw the item into the regular garbage because I hate going into the garage with no shoes on and in the dark.
I have purchased cloth shopping bags that I keep with me at all times. I use them anytime I shop, and especially for grocery shopping. I’m not sure if grocery stores are on a mission to suffocate the planet, but have you noticed how they put about two things in every plastic bag? What gives, grocery stores? I can usually fit all of my groceries in my five reusable bags. I am looking forward to the day when the grocery checker doesn’t seem totally baffled when I say that I have my own bags.
I turn the water off while brushing my teeth, and you have no idea how hard that is for me. I love the sound of rushing water while scrubbing my molars.
I try to consolidate errands. When I get in the car to go somewhere, I try to think of anywhere else I might need to go while I’m on the way. Thankfully, Target is almost always on the way.
I have slowly been replacing our regular bulbs with energy efficient bulbs, even though they take a while to light up and give off a strange color. That’s how much I love my planet–I’m willing to appear ashen and gray just for her!
I wash all my laundry in cold, and I wear all of my jeans twice before throwing them in the hamper. If my butt looks big it’s just because the fabric is stretched out. I’m helping the planet, people!
OK, those were the easy ones. I’m ready to add some slightly more difficult changes to my life. For one thing, I have been noticing the recent information about water bottles and the crazy wastefulness of them. I usually have a nice stash of (flavored) water bottles in my fridge, and letting them go will be difficult, but I can probably do it. With the help of some processed snacks in heavy plastic packaging.
I also have decided that I will install a clothesline at my new home because it is a better way to dry our clothes. And also because I have a romantic fantasy about hanging white sheets on a clothesline in a healthy breeze while my dear husband shows up unexpectedly home from the war. (Or the university.)
I also have a commitment to local food. I am going to make a goal of patronizing local farmer’s markets. Is there a better way to spend a Saturday morning?
I am going to live on less. Even though Oprah told me to do it and she is a big fat hypocrite, I am going to do more with less. (And if I wasn’t moving across the country, I would also do more with Les, my sister.)
And finally, I am going to take the creative challenge of the second of the three Rs—reuse. Before disposing of anything, I am going to ask myself if it could be used for any other purpose. Why buy tupperware when a cool whip container can do the same thing? And why throw away Happy Meal toys when they can be launched over the fence to maim the neighbor’s chickens?