Recently, one of our hosts asked if we might leave a list of simple things to do in life that are beneficial to the environment – so I wrote this out, and Mark thought I should go ahead and put it here in case other moms might find it useful. I hope some may find it so.
(And, thank you, Donna, for the impetus!)
You will already be doing a lot of these, I am sure, but I will just list them anyway:
EASY THINGS THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE:
1.turn off faucets while brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc.
2.Take fewer or shorter showers when you can.
3.”Flush down only when brown,” lol.
4.If you do water lawn, only do so after sunset.
5. Never run water over paved surfaces if you can help it.
6. Eat less meat. 🙂
7. If your toilet is old and you are going to replace is, buy dual flush toilet! they’re cool!
8. replace regular showerheads with low-flow showerheads
1.turn off lights when not in use.
2.Unplug appliances when not is use (anything that goes on with a remote will pull energy even in the off position)
3. replace incandescent bulbs with CFL’s (compact flourescents) or, better yet, with LED’s! (by the way, if you are interested, there are a couple of sites where you can buy LED Xmas lights for no more than the old, energy sucking kind…let me know)
4. girls: Air dry hair sometimes or always 🙂
5. Air-dry clothes whenever possibile
6. Point-specific heating (You do this already!)
7. Consider reading a book instead of turning on the TV
1. Drive less
2. Ride bikes more often
3. Use things more than once – ie: jars, rubberbands, etc
4. Thrift stores!! and Repair/alter clothes
5. Consider paying a little extra to your electric company if they offer paying into renewable energy credits – we have been assured that this $ does indeed go into the production of new solar panels, windmills, etc.
6. Eat local and buy from your local small businesses. Avoid big chains whenever possible. Studies show that what you buy in the big box stores gets shipped all over the world, is not regulated in materials or labor, and causes $ to go out of the community never to return
7. Buy fruits/veggies in season
8. Consider buying a hybrid or otherwise very fuel efficient vehicle
9. If you don’t have the best insulation, use heavy draperies. You can open them during the day for some light and to let the sun in to warm the rooms, then close when the sun goes down to trap heat in and keep cold air out.
1. Go to Greendimes.com and let them help you cut your junk mail while planting trees at the same time…
2. Try online subscriptions to magazines (* i kind of avoid this option bc there are a few magazines that i really treasure arriving at my house and i read them cover to cover, like YES and the SUN)
3. Use chicobags! for your groceries, and for all shopping excursions…
4. Use cloth napkins, and handtowels at home.
5. Carry handkerchiefs and/or bandanas for away…
FOR YOUR HEALTH:
1. Avoid using plastic, particularly in conjunction with food, more particularly with liquids and most particularly when there is change in temp or flexing of materials. PYREX is best for storage. KLEAN KANTEEN for stainless steel water bottles.
2. Eat organic whenever possible, and/or local pesticide free (farmers will be honest with you if they use chemicals or not)
3. Avoid fish. Here are 2 weblinks: www.fish online.org/information/MCSPocket_Good_Fish_Guide.pdf or www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/walletcard.pdf
4. ORGANIC PRODUCE!!! http://www.grinningplanet.com/2006/update-2005-05-24/pesticides-in-food.htm
5. Buy milk that is produced without the use of bovine growth hormone (Organic is better, local dairy is best)
6. Buy eggs that are free range. (same with meat, if you have to eat meat)
7. Avoid parabens in any product that comes in contact with your skin – remember, your skin EATS, so don’t put anything on there that you wouldn’t put in your mouth!
8. Use cleaning supplies like your grandmother used 😉 (ie: vinegar, Borax, Baking Soda)
9. Don’t forget to stretch, take walks, get outside…
KEYS TO MAKING NO TRASH:
1. Carry cloth bandana
2. Carry nonbreakable glassware for storage (www.pyrexware.com)
3. chicobags!!! ( www.chicobag.com)
4. carry some kind of utensil (we like togoware)
5. pocket notebook
6. Don’t be afraid to tell whoever you’re about to order from that you are doing an experiment, and trying not to make any trash…
7. Buy fresh food instead of packaged whenever possible
8. Lush offers soaps that have no packaging, and you can find many others at local health food shops
9. Preserve is a company that will take back your toothbrush/razor, etc. and turn it into…something else…
DON’T BE SILENT
1. Write opinions to your newspaper
2. Write and call your legislators and let them know how you feel about how they’re voting
3. Here are some websites to help with that, to, who’s been voting on what: Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Working Group, World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife, www.saveourenvironment.org, www.care2.org, www.avaaz.org
4. Talk to your extended family, too, and friends. There are cool things to do sometimes through the Sierra Club that might be fun at the same time.
5. Write to any companies that have things you don’t like (ie: too much packaging, some nasty chemical you don’t want to be exposed to, etc.)
6. write us a note and say hi whenever you want to… and ask us any questions you may have…we will answer them if we can
Well, that is maybe more than what you were hoping for?
and maybe not even a complete list…
Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
The Secret Life of Stuff (by ?)