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What I do to reduce my environmental footprint...

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So, as my life marches forward and I think about my kids and what world they will have to adapt to when eventually the oil runs out, the oceans are overflowing with plastic, etc... I try to do things that are probably more symbolic on the individual level, but perhaps be meaningful if adopted culturally. I would like to hear what anyone else does.

 

1. I own a version of these:

 

https://www.rei.com/product/782238/sea-to-summit-alpha-utensil-set?cm_mmc=cse_PLA_GOOG-_-7822380015&CAWELAID=120217890000780412&lsft=cm_mmc:cse_PLA_GOOG

 

and carry them with me on my water jug at work. I nether buy water/drinks at the cafeteria, nor do I use plastic utensils. This has saved 1000's of pieces of plasticware from hitting the landfills. Bringing my own water jug keeps me from paying for water and using the plastic.

 

2. I carpool to soccer games whenever possible keeping another car off the road when we are all going to the same places.

 

3. I use Eneloop rechargeable batteries (they are incredible) and a high end charger that charges them slowly to maximize life.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-BK-3MCCA8BA-Pre-Charged-Rechargeable-Batteries/dp/B00JHKSN5I

 

Quite frankly, I would pass a law that every household own these instead of buying alkaline.

 

4. We recycle more material than we throw away. Our county has an awesome program, so that is easy for us. But our recycle bins fill faster than our garbage bins.

 

5. I refuse plastic bags whenever possible (and use reusable ones when grocery shopping). 

 

6. AC is set to about 80 in the summer. Heat is at 68 in the winter. Programmable thermostat runs a weekly program. 

 

I would love to see a society that carries their own drinking cup and utensils. So much single use waste that is unnecessary.

 

What do you do?

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I vary between using a real set of silverware at work and plastic, but I almost never only use the plastic stuff once. Wipe or wash it off quick and it'll do for awhile. I do re-usable bags at the store often, but I've been worse about it lately than before; I can only figure it's me being tired all the time. :) I recycle pretty rigorously. I very rarely buy water in a plastic bottle; I do for pop but that's a bad habit I'm hoping to kick.

Edited by MattPie

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I use a vapur water bottle that I fill halfway and freeze each night.  I fill it from time to time with water from the reverse osmosis filter system at work (which produces lukewarm water).  By the time the day ends, the ice has melted, but I've had ice cold water all day.

 

I bring breakfast, lunch, and snack in a backpack cooler chilled with reusable freezer packs.  Containers are reused until they break down.

 

I don't drive much.  About 5,000 miles per year.

 

And I don't have much that uses batteries.  The thermostat and smoke detectors are about it, and I don't know that switching to rechargeables would make much difference.

 

Other than that, I could be better.  I try to remember reusable bags for grocery shopping but often forget.  (At least I reuse the plastic ones, but ideally, I wouldn't even have them.)

 

I'm going to buy a set of those utensils you use--much better than plastic.  

 

Recycling is very difficult where I live.  Not nearly enough bins.  But I do try.

 

I am a sucker for a cold sleep climate, so my house is 68 winter and 70 summer.  I should work on that.

 

One thing I never know how to recycle is fabric.  Let's say I've got a dress shirt that is no longer wearable--by me or by anyone else.  The fabric is not absorbent, so it's useless as a cleaning cloth.  What should I do with it?

 

Any other ideas as to how I could be better?

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One thing I never know how to recycle is fabric.  Let's say I've got a dress shirt that is no longer wearable--by me or by anyone else.  The fabric is not absorbent, so it's useless as a cleaning cloth.  What should I do with it?

 

Tibetan blessing banners.

 

6826606-tibetan-buddhism-blessing-banner

We Bare Bears is my favorite cartoon on TV right now.

 

it's feckin' brilliant.

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Haha, 68 degrees? Last year my thermostat didn't get above 62.

 

Also, drying clothes on a rack whenever possible is a good habit I've gotten into, although that doesn't use oil specifically. Personally, I think clothes dryers are one of the most wasteful machines in our world, no matter how efficient the newest models are.

Edited by sodbuster

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I use a vapur water bottle that I fill halfway and freeze each night.  I fill it from time to time with water from the reverse osmosis filter system at work (which produces lukewarm water).  By the time the day ends, the ice has melted, but I've had ice cold water all day.

 

I bring breakfast, lunch, and snack in a backpack cooler chilled with reusable freezer packs.  Containers are reused until they break down.

 

I don't drive much.  About 5,000 miles per year.

 

And I don't have much that uses batteries.  The thermostat and smoke detectors are about it, and I don't know that switching to rechargeables would make much difference.

 

Other than that, I could be better.  I try to remember reusable bags for grocery shopping but often forget.  (At least I reuse the plastic ones, but ideally, I wouldn't even have them.)

 

I'm going to buy a set of those utensils you use--much better than plastic.  

 

Recycling is very difficult where I live.  Not nearly enough bins.  But I do try.

 

I am a sucker for a cold sleep climate, so my house is 68 winter and 70 summer.  I should work on that.

 

One thing I never know how to recycle is fabric.  Let's say I've got a dress shirt that is no longer wearable--by me or by anyone else.  The fabric is not absorbent, so it's useless as a cleaning cloth.  What should I do with it?

 

Any other ideas as to how I could be better?

 

This is my exact set:

 

http://www.amazon.com/TOAKS-Titanium-3-Piece-Cutlery-Set/dp/B0098FEUXQ

 

very happy with them.

 

I don't always remember the grocery bags either. Wegman's by us has great big signs in the parking lot asking if you remembered them. So simple. 

 

I get the battery thing if you don't have kids... But if you do. Holy crap. So many alkaline are thrown away when they have plenty of charge in them to run clocks, etc... I have a tester too that I used before I invested in the Eneloops.

Haha, 68 degrees? Last year my thermostat didn't get above 62.

 

Also, drying clothes on a rack whenever possible is a good habit I've gotten into, although that doesn't use oil specifically. Personally, I think clothes dryers are one of the most wasteful machines in our world, no matter how efficient the newest models are.

 

That's pretty brisk. We set it to 65 deg during the day while we work and then 68 in when we come home. If you're cold - that's what sweatshirts are for.

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Haha, 68 degrees? Last year my thermostat didn't get above 62.

 

Our home - squarely within the Great Lakes region - also runs standard throughout the winter at 62 or 63. If it gets really cold (and, really, windy), you may see a bump to 64. And if my in-laws are coming over, we jack it up to 68 and the kids all (quietly) complain that they're roasting. 

 

It's funny, actually. Our winter holiday photos for the last several years - when my in-laws are over - all involve our younger kids dressed in shorts and t-shirts.

 

Fwiw, we don't actually do this for environmental reasons, at least not as far as I'm aware. We do it because it's better for your health during the winter.

Edited by That Aud Smell

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We have a good recycling program here in Halifax and last year they went to clear garbage bags ... a good way to be careful what ends up in the land fill.

 

Our (the city) organics program is very good and many things go in there.

 

The changes last year took some getting used to, but we only put out one small clear bag of garbage every two weeks now.

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This is my exact set:

 

http://www.amazon.com/TOAKS-Titanium-3-Piece-Cutlery-Set/dp/B0098FEUXQ

 

very happy with them.

 

I don't always remember the grocery bags either. Wegman's by us has great big signs in the parking lot asking if you remembered them. So simple. 

 

I get the battery thing if you don't have kids... But if you do. Holy crap. So many alkaline are thrown away when they have plenty of charge in them to run clocks, etc... I have a tester too that I used before I invested in the Eneloops.

 

That's pretty brisk. We set it to 65 deg during the day while we work and then 68 in when we come home. If you're cold - that's what sweatshirts are for.

 

 

So what happens when you pull into Wegmans and see the great big signs?  Do you decide not to go shopping that day?

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So what happens when you pull into Wegmans and see the great big signs?  Do you decide not to go shopping that day?

 

My bags are always in the trunk of my car. When I'm done unloading in the house, I hang the empty ones on the door knob. I eventually take them out.

 

The problem is I shop mainly at Giant by my house and they have no such reminders. :(

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My bags are always in the trunk of my car. When I'm done unloading in the house, I hang the empty ones on the door knob. I eventually take them out.

 

The problem is I shop mainly at Giant by my house and they have no such reminders. :(

 

 

Ah I see.  My problem is not putting them back in the car.  Will use your doorknob method.

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I keep my tires properly inflated. I am fanatic about it, so that probably saves a fair bit of gas. I don't eat much meat (although I did have killer turkey burgers last night and today). I don't turn lights on unless absolutely necessary. My electric bill is about $20. I re-use and recycle plastic bags, but I think I heard that with oil being so cheap, the bags are basically worthless on the recycling market. On the downside, I drive too often when I could walk. And I fart liberally when outside.

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Cloth diapers.

 

 

I would, but my present system of toilet paper is working too well.  PA has a novel approach, though.

Edited by Eleven

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Burn my trash for heat, and the smokey smell

I too enjoy looking up at the stars at night. Too few people are burning their trash, making for a dull night sky.

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I would, but my present system of toilet paper is working too well.  PA has a novel approach, though.

I did. It didn't last. I am trying to use less TP though. Much less.

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So while on a family vacation last month, my father observed me cutting up one of those plastic six-pack holders and asked why.  He really didn't know!  

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I bought a Volkswagen Clean Dies.... oh....

:bag:

 

Edited by d4rksabre

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So while on a family vacation last month, my father observed me cutting up one of those plastic six-pack holders and asked why.  He really didn't know!  

He must not be a Simpsons fan.

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I too enjoy looking up at the stars at night. Too few people are burning their trash, making for a dull night sky.

That doesn't sound right, but I don't know enough about stars to dispute it. Edited by sodbuster

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What kind of public recycling programs do people have?

We have weekly curbside compost pick-up and unlimited recycling pick-up.

One can of garbage per two-week limit for us and we rarely need to fill it.

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