Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Years Resolution #1 - Trying to be more "green"

So my first New Years resolution was to do more for the environment. Nothing crazy but the little everyday things that I know I should be doing but I wasn't. Here's a list of how I'm being more environmentally conscious -

1. Using reusable bags at the grocery store. I need to be much better at this. I have the bags (four of them - two in each car) but I always forget to bring them in with me. I got to a point where I had our plastic bag organizer and another plastic bag stuff with plastic bags. So I took the over stuffed plastic bag with plastic bags to the recycle container at the grocery store and left the other ones at home because I do use them. I use them for the bathroom trash cans in our house so I will hold on to some for that use.

2. Recycle, recycle, recycle! Thankfully my recycling has become a lot easier since moving to Montgomery County, MD. We have one very large recycling bin and we can put all of our recycling in it - bottles, cans, newspapers, cardboard, etc. I'm trying to make a real effort to fill that recycling container each week. I put everything in there - junk mail, newspapers, boxes cut down from packages, empty plastic containers, etc. I will admit that I failed on recycling on Sunday during the Super Bowl. We have about 30 people at our house and well it was much easier to put everything in one trash bag. Shame on me...I know.

3. Create less waste. This is a tough one, a lot tougher than I thought it would be because well there is waste everywhere. Some of the things I have been doing to help this are using the recyclable bags, when bringing lunch to work I use my "lunch box" (future favorite thing) and about 98% of the food I bring to work comes in reusable Tupperware. I've also tried to eliminate drinking out of plastic water bottles. I have two reusable ones (Klean Kanteen and Camelbak) that I use all the time. I may need to get another one because I've started to leave them at peoples houses by accident.

4. Using energy efficient light bulbs. I finally convinced my husband that we should start using these. We only have two in use right now but after each light bulb goes out it is replaced with an energy efficient one.

5. Only do full loads of laundry. I used to be the type of person that would do laundry ALL the time. If I wanted to wear a shirt but it was dirty I would just wash that shirt. Not any more. Since it is just me and my husband I try and do laundry every 2-3 weeks as opposed to every week.

6. Using the eco-wash cycle on the dishwasher. When my husband and I bought a new dishwasher I saw that it had an "eco-wash" setting. I never really thought to use it because I really didn't think it was going to clean the dishes as well as the normal setting would. Well I tried it one day and it worked great. It air dries the dishes so it uses less energy. I normally run my dishwasher in the late evening (I always delay it to run at 3AM) so by the time I get up in the morning the dishes are clean and dry.

Any other suggestions for being "green"??? I think my next step might be composting. I hear it is easy but I just don't know.


Joy said...

These are great goals! I have thought about doing a No Waste Month and trying to limit all my waste to one trash can for an entire month. I also keep my grocery bags in my car. It took about a month to make it a habit, but now I automatically bring them with me into the store when I shop.

Chach said...

I'm so proud of you Xtina!! Being "green" has been the biggest change, but most rewarding, of working at Stonyfield. We don't even have trashcans which makes us first think to reduce, reuse, and then as a last resort, recycle. Just think, if everyone did the things in your post, how much waste we could eliminate!!

Anonymous said...

I used to forget my reusable bags all the time, too- I had bagnesia (a person's forgetfulness to grab their reusable bags) but then someone gave me this reminder kit as a gift- now I never forget anymore! www.bagnesia.com


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