Bleed Green

If any of you read blogs written by anyone other than your friends, it’s likely you’ve run across a “green” post or two. Miles and I are trying to reduce our carbon footprint, save energy, and save money. You can, too!

Some things we/I currently do, or try to do:

  • Bring canvas/fabric bags to the grocery store. HyVee will take 25 cents off your bill if you use them! Hopefully we can end up like Ireland (I think) who *charges* 33 cents per plastic bag – then everyone would start bringing reusable bags! Even Walmart, who is definitely not considered green, has updated their plastic bag turntables to include one (yes, just one) fabric bag holder to make it easier for cashiers to bag.
  • Wash full loads only in the washing machine and dishwasher and wash clothes with cold water.
  • Use a Brita water filter for drinking water so we can bring water bottles to work, instead of buying bottled water.
  • Save unused napkins from restaurants and keep them at my desk for future use. Subway’s napkins are 100% recycled fiber with at least 60% post-consumer material with no chlorine and uses water-based ink.
  • Send in our empty ink cartridges in the recycle envelope provided by the manufacturer.
  • Get multiple uses out of the plastic bags we *do* still have bunched up in a pile in the closet.
  • Replacing normal light bulbs with CFL’s.
  • Replacing current cleaning products with non-toxic ones – as they run out.
  • Turn off air conditioning and heat while out of the apartment

Most of these things we don’t even realize are saving the environment (and our budgets), they just something we’ve always done that just come natural. Some of them require a little more effort.

Some things we/I don’t currently do:

  • Don’t rinse dirty dishes before loading into the dishwasher.
  • Have live plants inside or outside to improve air quality.
  • Eat lunch at work one day a week to save gas usage.
  • Drive at speeds that have the best gas mileage for my car.
  • Get serious about recycling pop bottles and cans and other household plastics/aluminum.
  • Recycling printer paper.
  • Purchase products for their recyclability, rather than price. (Look for numbers in the recycling triangle symbols, look for products that have little packaging or packaging that uses recycled materials.)
  • Asking for no receipt if given the option.
  • Setting thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter.
  • Unplugging items that aren’t in use – cell phone charger, computer, etc.
  • Use ceiling fans (none in our apartment).
  • Use shower heads that conserve water
  • Encourage employers and coworkers to print less (most-specifically, websites and emails).

These lists aren’t all-inclusive. It’s what I’ve come up with quick off the top of my head and with little research. Make a list of what *you’re* doing – use websites like this one to help get you started. I think you’ll be surprised by how much you already do without thinking about it. There’s always more we can do, so today I challenge you to pick a “green” new habit.

Earth thanks you.