Global warming or "Climate Change," as the politicians call it, have become the buzz words of media as of late. Things are urgent now. Polar bears are losing habit, things are heating up, oceans rising, etc.
What I wonder is why didn't the media or politicians listen to the scientists thirty years ago? What would things have been like now if they had? I won't get into all the politics, reasons, how we've messed up the world. I think about the environment a lot and how the actions I take affect the environment. Someone else had a list of things they accomplished one day on their blog. For some reason I started thinking of a list of things we do to help the environment. Here is a list of what I try to do for the environment:
- recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum/cans, plastic bottles and bags
- carry own grocery bags to the grocery store (they are also a lot more sturdy than paper or plastic)
- I am starting to try to remember to bring my own bag into any other type of store
- reuse backs of paper
- try to walk Anna to and from school whenever possible (it's a little over a mile one way)
- try to do errands all at once or do several if they are all in the same area
- ride bikes (sometimes to work or do errands that don't require carrying lots of stuff)
- when we have remodeled, I try to find natural, sustainable products when possible (we have put in bamboo flooring, two different types of cork flooring, used clay plaster on walls, low/no VOC paint)
- we've bought some of our furniture used
- donate clothing and other items to charity
- I have been trying to buy most of my clothes at a consignment/thrift store. I have also gotten some of Anna's clothes at thrift stores
- try to turn lights off every time I leave the room. Actually, I try not to turn them on at all if there is enough natural light. Am trying to teach Anna to do the same.
- I make sure I have full loads of laundry when washing. This isn't too hard since I put it off so much there is always a full load. I use mostly the cold water cycle.
- I take my lunch to work. Then, I don't have to drive anywhere or use disposable containers. I use reusable containers for lunch when I can or reuse the produce bags from the grocery store.
- I sometimes wash out Ziploc bags to reuse again. I try not to use many to begin with.
- I turn off the water while brushing my teeth.
- I try to think of a new purpose for something when I don't need it for the original purpose. i.e. using old kitchen containers for dyeing fabrics.
- I try to use recycled items for art lessons as school when I can think of a project.
- I have saved old clothing to use in quilts and art
- I donate money to environmental groups
- I occaisonally send emails to my senators about environmental issues
- I sometimes buy organic food.
- We took out the grass in our front lawn and put more drought tolerant plants (looks much nicer and we enjoy it more)
- we put a filter on our faucet so we drink tap water, not bottled water
Now, I still do buy new things like art supplies and fabric, fly on airplanes, drive on old car that doesn't have great gas mileage. All these and more use resources. There are still many, many things we could do to have even less impact on our surroundings.
I found one man's blog who is really experimenting with living without impact. It is called No Impact Man.
It makes my list seem like peanuts. But every little bit helps.
By the way, the picture above is an Artist Trading Card I made a while ago.