Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Room for Improvement...

So, a few weeks ago I posted a list of ten things that I have started doing in the last few years to try to help the environment. At the time, I said that I would next post ten of the things that I hope to change to become even more helpful in this regard. Here is the list...

1. Stop bringing so much packaging home. I have curbed the whole plastic bag thing, and I reuse my bulk plastic bags, but there is still the pesky matter of the plastic, non-recyclable tofu packages and the potato bags and such. In Toronto, I knew of places where you could buy tofu from a big vat, but I know of no such place here, especially not in Langley. I could make my own, but have pretty much maxed out my cooking time budget. Anyway, I am committing to trying to vastly reduce how much packaging I bring home. I would love to eliminate it altogether. 

2. Gifts. I like buying presents for people, but I am thinking about starting to gift almost totally experiences and charitable donations. As my family tree and those of my friends branch out and out and out, the amount of waste my gift giving is creating is starting to get pretty gnarly. I am starting to enjoy gifting things like outings, lessons, tickets to events, massages and such because it creates a memory for the person that will likely long outlive any material present I may buy them, and it eliminates waste while stimulating the services, tourism and educational economies that tend to be a bit greener than their goods counterpart. 

3. Computer. It kind of scares me how many things I am "dependent" on my computer for. I'll catch myself booting up my computer to google a phone number that is sitting in the Yellow Pages under my sink. I will sit on the computer for hours sometimes reading things that I could as easily learn about in a book from the library. All of this takes power, and no small amount, judging by how often I have to recharge my Mac. I am going to try to really curb my use of the computer from now on.

4. Baths. Oh man, this one hurts. I probably take at least five baths a week. Hot, deep ones. It has always been a thing that has helped me stay sane under stress, it's gotten me through cold Ontario winters, breakups and bad colds. But, I need to pare it down. I am wanting to switch to all showers except for one bath a week. Baths take up WAY more water than showers do. Sniff.

5. Letter writing. They say that politicians take people a lot more seriously if they send a letter or a postcard than they do if a person sends an email or signs an e-petition. I am going to try to get in the habit of sending at least one original, hand written letter per month to an MP, MPP or cabinet minister, company owner, whathaveyou. It really makes a difference, and takes so little time to do. 

6. Yoga. I have noticed that when I do yoga regularly, like every day, that I become much more earth friendly in general. That simple act of connecting to the universal energy really stimulates my consciousness in the direction of the earth, and so I am hoping to really stick to an every day practice, even for twenty minutes, to try to keep those channels open.

7. Switching to all cloth diapering. I have actually just achieved this one! It was a bit scary to give up our naptime and bedtime paper diapers, because we worried he would notice the wetness more, but it is going great! We have not bought a single paper diaper for a month now, and all is well.

8. Local travel. I used to fly quite a lot back and forth across the country, but I am now committing to learning about all the fun regional things there are to do and see before booking a trip that is far away. I am looking into ways to green my touring, too (music related.)

9. I am reading almost all library books now, rather than buying them new. I am totally into supporting the book trade, but I know that there are enough serious book buyers out there that my reading only library books won't exactly cause the collapse of the book industry. Plus, I am a major word of mouth person who tells everyone I know when I love a book, so I support the authors that way!

10. I am looking into setting up a clothesline/drying rack thing so I can not use my dryer. I would say that the dryer is probably our biggest energy vice right now, and it is so unnecessary when I can dry my clothes outside or on a rack in the house. 

So, that's it. Those are my goals for the next little while...

What goals are you going after in the hopes of being more green?


No comments: