With electricity prices set to go berzerk this month in my area, and the price of gas rising faster than my anxious heart beat, I've decided it can't hurt to try to live a bit greener. Plus, I've been listening to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and it's prompted me to act a bit more gently and thoughtfully toward my community (and my environment). Hence, this week's Thirteen.
Thirteen Ways I'm Trying to Be Nicer to My Earth
1. Unplugging chargers and appliances when they're not being used. You wouldn't believe the energy chargers burn even when there's nothing hooked up to them. And anything plugged into the wall, whether it's turned on or not, is still using electricity.
2. Consolidating car trips. Planning out my errand running and doing it all at once rather than making multiple trips during the day or week cuts down on the gas I use and the pollution I put into the air.
3. Eating more local produce. I love the Farmer's Market and this time of year provides plenty of local fresh fruit and vegetable options. Buying from my local farmers saves energy normally used to transport wholesale, tasteless produce from across the country to my local chain grocery store. It also supports local, small farms and puts money back into my own community's economy. Plus, the people are really nice.
4. Using fewer paper towels. Instead of reaching for the disposable versions, dish towels are my new go-to for spills and the like.
5. Drinking my coffee and tea from a mug instead of those disposable hot cups at work. I must be saving tons of trees with just this tiny change.
6. Reusing plastic ziploc bags and avoiding using them whenever possible. It's amazing how many of these things I can go through when I'm not paying attention, and reusable storage containers work just as well in most cases.
7. Carrying reusable cloth bags to the grocery store, Wal-Mart and farmer's market. I'm also trying to reuse the plastic bags that I already have or taking them to the nearest store that has a bag-recycling drop-off, instead of just tossing them in the trash. Did you know those plastic grocery bags last centuries (1000 years?) in the landfills?
8. Gradually replacing the old, leaky, inefficient windows in my new house with triple-pane, super-delux, energy efficient ones. Turns out the new windows can save me almost 50% on my energy bills.
9. Freecycling. I found this website when I was looking for cheap options to decorate and furnish my new house. It's a great way to get rid of stuff you no longer use and find stuff you're looking for without buying more stuff that will eventually just end up in a landfill. If you're interested in reducing your consumption, this is a great place to start.
10. Saving money to replace my ancient appliances. My house has the original furnace (50+ years old) which, as you can imagine, isn't very energy efficient. I also have a very old stove, refrigerator and washing machine, and a not-quite-so-old clothes dryer. None of them are Energy Star approved.
11. Buying more organics. While I'm not ready to go completely organic, I'm investigating ways I can incorporate more organic products into my recipes and my budget.
12. Turning off the water while I brush my teeth and wash my face. This should save gallons of drinking water, as well as energy needed to heat it.
13. Taking shorter showers. I'm pretty quick in the shower, but I'm trying to shave off a few more minutes most days of the week.
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!