I’ve always reused my shower water in order to flush the toilet. I have a shower/bath combo, so I simply plug the drain when I get in the shower and keep the water in there after I’m done. Throughout the day, whenever the toilet needs a flush (I still try to conserve my flushes), dip a large bucket in the bathtub and pour it in the toilet. Voila! Other uses for the leftover bath water include: rinsing my running clothes out in between washes.
By keeping an environmental blog that chronicles all my greening successess and failiures, I am inspired to meet my own goals of CO2 reduction. Seeing it all on “paper” is inspiring not only to me, but to others. Please see www.debgoesgreen.com for specifics
With a changing climate, water is becoming more and more of an issue. Our modern water systems also require vast amounts of energy to pump, process, distribute water and waste water, as well as heating water. We have created a new website that shows simple ways to markedly reduce your water usage. My household went from using a typical 2,000 gallons a month down to ten or so gallons a day! Please go to www.tengallonsaday.org and begin to reduce your IMPACT! Share with others, too. Simple, nearly free ways to help our planet!
I have always been a closet environmentalist. As time passes, that part of my life becomes more and more important to me. We do many things to be more environmentally friendly, like having a garden, recycling, shopping at farmer’s markets, as well as others. One thing has been bothering me, however, and I feel the need to speak out on it.
Like everyone else who cares about the environment, the idea that saving paper saves trees has been engrained in my conciousness. But I have been giving this a lot of thought recently, and I wonder how much good saving paper really does. I live in a relatively rural area, and I frequently drive by land that is owned by the local paper mill, and here is what I see. Yes, there have been days when I have driven by what used to be a pine forest which is now a barren field. And yes, I have mourned for the loss of those trees. But, a few months later when I drive past that very same land, what I see is new trees. The paper companies own the land, they cut down the trees, and then they plant new ones. And yes, those new ones will one day be cut down themselves, but think about what would happen if there were no demand for paper.
Since the paper companies own the land that the trees come from, if they do not have enough demand, they won’t need as much land. And what will happen to the land? They will sell it. Who will they sell it to? Probably a developer who wants to build a shopping mall or subdivision. So if we all reduce our consumption of paper, instead of cutting down trees and then planting new ones, the paper companies will cut down trees and then sell the land to someone who has no need or desire to plant new trees. And chances are where there was once a pine forest, we will find a parking lot.
Just something to think about. Yes I still cringe when I see large amounts of paper being thrown away. And no, I do not work for a paper company. I’m just saying this issue is not as black and white as many people think.
Since we had our daughter we view the world in a new light. We want to help make it the kind of world she deserves to grow up in. Here’s some of the stuff we’re doing:
*All used baby gear
*Making our own baby food – super easy and healthier
*Only organic food for baby
*Cloth diapers – love it and it’s easier than I thought
*Cloth wipes with homemade liquid solution – look this up, there are plenty of websites on how to do this.
*Glass bottles instead of plastic
*Lots of walks (for example, we walk to the grocery store instead of driving)
The next thing I am going to do is start drying her diapers outside instead of using the dryer. Eventually I would like to wash them in the sink instead of using the washing machine but I’m not there yet.
I want to be confident and proud when I explain to her the decisions and path we took as my husband and I grew together as parents.
Inspired by the documentary, we brainstormed how we will reduce our impact. We really liked the phased approach that was presented in the documentary, and have decided to change one habit a month. Every six months, we’ll brainstorm a new list. Here’s our most current list:
May: sell Scott’s 1999 Civic and get a scooter. (We didn’t expect this to be so much fun! Even though we still have one car, we usually choose to take the Vespa because it’s a nicer ride.)
June: consume only drinks that have not been stored in a plastic or aluminum container (this is proving tough for Scott, as he would go through a LOT of Dr. Pepper)
July: media – sell the TV, XBox, surround sound, and other related components. Consume content through kindle, online, or e-book (no more printed magazines or books)
August: start making and using home-made cleaning products
September: consume all local food (250 miles or less)
October: Bike or walk if the trip is less than 5 miles
November: Be conscious of how our appliances drain energy when we’re not using them. Unplug.
December: Expand local purchases to clothing, furniture, etc.
Thanks for being such an inspiration.
Last summer I worked at a local produce market here in Charlotte called Providence Produce. Basically there are three outdoor produce stands that sell ONLY locally-grown produce. I absolutely loved working there because I got the chance to be outdoors and I felt good about myself because I knew it was good for the environment. I never knew there were many foreign people where I live, but when I started working there I got to meet customers from around the world that never shopped in grocery stores in their home countries, and it made me realize that the United States really needs to get a move on. So if anyone is looking for a part-time job, look for local produce markets in your area because working there will greatly improve your conscience.
Other things i’ve been doing to reduce impact:
I never use paper plates and cups anymore, only ones that can be washed and used again.
I use rags for removing makeup, applying astringent and other things that i used to use toilet paper for, and it has greatly reduced the amount of “bathroom trash” i’ve produced.
I turn off my computer or laptop when i’m not using it, whereas before i would leave it on all day.
I NEVER leave lights on in a room, even when i’m just going to step out of the room for a second i still turn the light off. At night i’ve even started brushing my teeth in the dark because i don’t really need a light.
I’ve also been pressuring my mom to read No Impact Man, because i know she’ll start doing many of these things too.
When i get to college, whenever i go into one of the dining halls i’m going to bring my own plate, cup, and silverware instead of using the paper and plastic ones that i would be throwing away three times a day.
As Colin explained, sometimes doing something good balances our irreductible impact.We often do the “cans trip” as a short walk around the house (we live in a house in a 190.000 inhabitants city in France) with my daughter.We usually collect around thirty to fifhty cans in the streets during a 30 minutes walk, that we put in the right bean for them to be recycled.
I believe that as members of the Human Community we all need to do our part for it’s survival. My family doesn’t own a car. We take the subway everywhere. We shop for everything possible at the farmer’s market, and bring our own bags. We save our vegetable and fruit scraps in a container in the fridge, and then every few days take it to Riverside Park and bury it in a pile of leaves (natural composting!). Buying bulk food really reduces garbage, too. We eat vegetarian diets and only buy humane dairy (this is difficult, but farmer’s markets are a good bet). New York City has some of the cleanest water in the city (apparently it is test every 20 minutes to make sure of this). There is no reason to buy water here.
It is not easy to live an earth-friendly life in a consumerist country, but it is important to do so.
The TLC program taught me how to ease into a more earth friendly and nutritious lifestyle. This gentle approach to adding more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to our family’s life has change the way I see nature. I can now eat 75% from my back yard and hope to bee 100% in a few months. The extra energy from this lifestyle has allowed me to focus on growing “vegiceuticals and fruitceuticals” and my body is so clean and healthy now.