April 1, 2008

Going green

The other day, I had a new experience during my biweekly shopping trip. That’s right. A brand new experience. One that I’ve never, ever, ever had in my entire life. Pretty monumental, right? So what happened, you might wonder? Well….

I brought my own cloth shopping bags.

Crazy, I know.

And when I got to the check-out stand and the bag boy asked me, “Paper or plastic?” I so smoothly replied, “I actually brought my own bags. Can you fill these up?”

And for all of five minutes, I was that uber-trendy, eco-friendly California girl who buys only organic fruit and wears only organic cotton clothing and visits farmers markets every weekend and leaves only when her arms are overflowing with brilliantly colored flowers and vegetables.

And I have to admit, as I walked out with my cloth bags swung comfortably over my shoulders, I felt really, really cool.

Since then, I’ve been thinking: How else can I go green?

While I’d like to say I’ll start eating all organic food and taking three minute showers and unplugging all my appliances when I leave my apartment, I know those things are a little ambitious. I figure I should start small, incorporating simple yet significant changes into my everyday routine.

These are the ideas I’ve come up with so far:

Use cloth napkins.
Go car-less on the weekends and whenever possible. (Beach cruisers really are so much cooler anyway.)
Take advantage of the office recycle program and toss bottles and cans in the appropriate bin.
Bring real silverware to work for lunch instead of using the plastic stuff.
Pay bills online and choose not to receive a paper copy.

These are my initial ideas for ways that I can make little differences everyday. I’ll let you know if I think of more. In the meantime, what’re you guys doing to help out the planet? If you have any easy ideas for going green, feel free to pass them on!


Mr. Kale Iverson said...

I always have felt very guilty about the material pollution and waste I'm a part of.

I also try, more and more, to think about intellectual pollution. I think that doing stuff like the blog you have are good ways to counteract all the negative things we've done in the past.

You just never know how much of a difference being an example can be!

alisha said...

When I moved to Alaska, I decided to ban all paper products from my house (with the exception of TP). I use cloth napkins and love it! I do keep a roll of paper towels around just in case, but I am still on only my second roll of paper towels since moving to Alaska in July. Pretty good I think. I dont use paper plates either. I figure that you are going to have to wash dishes anyway(your glass, silver, pots, pans), so what's another plate or two. Again, I have some paper(actually foam, which is environmentally worse than paper) up on my frig, but I honestly cant remember the last time I've used them. I also take a real fork or spoon with my lunch each day. Unfortunately we dont really have a recycle program here or i'd be all over that, but I have implemented some other things.

Here are some other ideas that I have found to be pretty easy...
..catch the water that usually runs down the drain while you are waiting for your shower water to warm up (i use one of those plastic buckets that a gallon of ice cream comes in), then put the water in your empty washing machine and by the end of the week you'll have enough water for a half load or so..every minutes your shower runs in 2.5 gallons of water
..dont flush the toilet every time..each flush is about 2 gallons
..use the plastic containers that your food comes in as tupperware. containers from butter, whip cream, yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese work well
..hang your laundry to dry either around the house or from a clothes line. if you dont want to hang it all then just hang some pieces and put the rest in the dryer, but dont run the dryer until after two loads instead of one
..open blinds instead of turning on lights on sunny days
..if you boil veggies in water for dinner, let the water cool and then water your plants with it...saves water and your plants will love the extra nutrients

these are all things that I actually do, so i know they are not too difficult

Anonymous said...

i'm proud of you!

this is how i'm green:

-resist the urge to use a new styrofoam coffee cup everyday and i wash and re-use my stylish paisley-patterned mug.
-unplug all my appliances after i use them
-don't drive home for lunch, i just eat in and read instead
-don't drink bottled water. i drink from the faucet.
-use plastic/glass plates over paper plates at my apt.

i think i just might get a cloth shopping bag because you have inspired me!


breakfast in canada said...

Recycle everything (LA has the Big Blue Can--everything can be recycled: cans, paper, plastics, even plastic grocery bags!)

No paper cups or plates, no plastic forks. No bottled water--use filters like Brita.

Great idea about saving water for laundry alisha.

But we can't forget that the majority of waste and pollution come not from individuals like us, but from corporations. Too often the individual is held responsible for positive change. Maybe it's the "individualistic" spirit of America. But that mentality makes us blind to our reality. There are far greater polluters in the world than us and they must be held accountable.