Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 34339 times)

HappierAtHome

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I'm looking for ideas, inspiration and positive reinforcement as I work to reduce my impact on the environment and use of finite resources.

Of course, BIG things you've done to reduce your environmental impact will be welcome too :-)

If you would prefer to debate the merits of reducing your impact and lowering your use of finite resources, please start your own thread on that. This one is about sharing ideas and successes!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 01:31:55 AM »
To get us started, today I:

Used public transport to get to and from work (lower impact than driving, cheaper than driving and paying for parking, and more exercise built in at either end of the bus trip - triple win!!).

Sliced up a heap of veges and popped them into Tupperware containers that will keep them fresh in the fridge for much longer than otherwise, reducing food waste.

Used reusable containers to bring my own lunch to work - no glad wrap or other single-use products.

Did NOT use the heater at home this morning even though I was cold - we've been using it a bit too much and the last electricity bill was a bit of a shock.

nnls

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 01:47:07 AM »
posting to follow.

I havent been that good today though as I am at work, though I did manage to convince my office to turn the aircon off and just use the fan as it wasn't hot today

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 01:53:13 AM »
I did manage to convince my office to turn the aircon off and just use the fan as it wasn't hot today

That's fantastic!! My work will not turn off or adjust the aircon - it's all managed centrally by building management - but my at-home use of heating and cooling definitely needs work.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 04:18:41 AM »
I'm thinking of acquiring one of those little devices that 'staples' together documents without actually using staples. Does anyone here use one of those? I know staples are only a tiny bit of waste, but it's still waste.

NinetyFour

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 04:59:37 AM »
Walked to the grocery store instead of driving.  I actually wanted to buy more than what would fit in my backpack.  That just means I will need to make a second trip--on foot (or bike).

Thanks for starting this thread!
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deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 06:23:54 AM »
Where I live, they have (or had) several energy information things available:

The electricity companies replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs and halogens with LEDs  for free. I replaced all 31 halogens with LEDs back when LEDs were very expensive, and there was still (even then) a saving after a few years because of the lower electricity cost. They also replace shower heads with lower volume ones to save water, also for free. Both reduce your impact on the planet as well as reducing your electricity and water bills (note that hot water is both an electricity and a water consumer).

Libraries just about everywhere (at least in Australia and the US, probably elsewhere as well) have kill-a-watt meters or similar available for loan. You can use these to work out how much electricity your appliances use. Obviously, turning off appliances, so that they don't have even the pilot light (which uses quite a lot of electricity), when they are not being used, saves a lot of electricity.

My library system goes one step further than just having the kill-a-watt available. It has a kit, which includes a booklet that you keep, an instruction book, a compass, kill-a-watt, infrared detector, thermometer and I've forgotten what else. Use the thermometer, for example, to check your fridge and freezer temperature, and adjust them to appropriate boundaries (this saves electricity and keeps your food fresh for longer). The infrared detector is good at looking at where the gaps are. For instance, waving it across the ceiling (on a very hot or cold day) shows you where your insulation isn't as good as it could be. Waving it along the edges of windows, doors and where floors and walls meet, shows you where there are gaps that can be filled.

My local government (at two separate places I have lived) has a free (or nearly free) house inspection, with suggestions on what would give you the best bang for your buck. One suggestion was to put bubblewrap in the bottom of the skylight (it acts as a clear insulation).

Whenever you are about to purchase any appliance, look at the government appliance site to find out the energy efficiency of your new appliance. My new fridge (well, it's a few years old now) uses much less electricity than the old one.

When I replaced the globes, fixed some gaps in insulation, and put awnings on the windows (stops windows getting heated by the summer sun - I found we didn't need AC in summer apart from a couple of days) my electricity bill halved.

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 07:17:38 AM »
I won't be eating any animal products today:

Breakfast - A cup and a half of dried oats with banana.
Snack - Two apples and a pear.
Lunch - Chana Masala with Naan.
Snack - Medium sized raw beet and some watermelon.
Dinner - Roasted sweet potatoes and peppers covered in a spicy Thai peanut sauce with sesame seeds sprinkled on top of a bed of brown rice.
Snack - A couple tablespoons of peanut butter with a handful of chocolate chips.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2016, 09:18:03 AM »
I biked to work. Will be biking to the rock-climbing gym afterwards, then back home again.

Yesterday, we went grocery shopping, and got the majority of things at two bulk stores (one for dry goods, the other for fruits and veggies). Advantage with bulk stores is that, especially for the dry goods one, there's far less packaging. I choose the size of the bag/container, fill it up, and just put a tie wrap around it for weighing. No more bags inside a box inside another box nonsense. They don't allow you to come in with your own containers yet (for cleanliness reasons), but I'm hoping for that day soon.
For fruits and veggies, I always prioritize buying products that come from Québec, then Canada, and if all else fails, the US. Wanted to buy some oranges, they came from Morocco, so I bought some Canadian prunes instead. Less transportation somewhere along the line, so I consider it a win even if it costs me a little bit more per kilo.

Brought my lunch in a reusable container as well.

stripey

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2016, 09:27:18 AM »
Today I made a breakfast with sauteed greens I found growing wild at the end of my run this morning (they were sow's thistle and wild lettuce). Probably organic, and food miles = 0.

Also, this winter I tried 'bubble glazing'* my windows to keep the place warmer for less energy input. Believe it or not, it was effective!

*Literally using bubble wrap on glass windows I don't mind seeing out of this part of the year.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 11:25:50 AM »
I won't be eating any animal products today:

Breakfast - A cup and a half of dried oats with banana.
Snack - Two apples and a pear.
Lunch - Chana Masala with Naan.
Snack - Medium sized raw beet and some watermelon.
Dinner - Roasted sweet potatoes and peppers covered in a spicy Thai peanut sauce with sesame seeds sprinkled on top of a bed of brown rice.
Snack - A couple tablespoons of peanut butter with a handful of chocolate chips.

Good one! Me neither. This is one that gets overlooked a lot, I think.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 06:09:20 PM »
'Bubble glazing' is a great idea! Does it work to keep the heat out in Summer, too? We have a few very drafty old windows which I want to get double-glazed eventually, but in the meantime, bubble glazing it is!

Last night we didn't use the heat, instead warming up a wheat bag to put in the bottom of the bed for cold little feet at bedtime. This morning I again did not turn on the heat, reminding myself I can snuggle under the covers drinking a hot cuppa until it's time to get up, and that when I do get up I can dress warmly.

Heating is on my mind because we have been using it far too much for the last month or two.

PMG

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 06:26:28 PM »
I need this thread!

On my walk this morning I picked up a plastic bag that was blowing in the street.  It is now lining my kitchen trash can.

I bulk cooked this evening, should be dinners for the rest of the week. I'll not have to use the stove or oven much at all. I also used all of the broccoli stem. Why throw out good food?

I used fans instead of AC.


deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 06:52:17 PM »
'Bubble glazing' is a great idea! Does it work to keep the heat out in Summer, too? We have a few very drafty old windows which I want to get double-glazed eventually, but in the meantime, bubble glazing it is!
Yes. And it can easily be free. Big pieces usually wrap things like sofas or fridges wen they come new, so you could just ask around for anyone who is getting a big item, or go to Harvey Norman or the like, ans ask if they are throwing any (used) out. That way you get pieces big enough to cover a whole window without joins.

But, if your windows are drafty you should investigate sealing the cracks first.

Freshwater

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2016, 07:07:19 PM »
I drive for a living. Today I made a really big effort to do 'green driving/ hypermiling' and at the end of my 2.5hr morning shift the km range (left in the tank) was higher than when I started. I'll see what happens tonight but I might get 50kms more on this tank.

Then, I put our veggie scraps into a raised bed that I am building in the lasagne method (green/brown waste til it's full then top with potting compost), so saved them from landfill and will reduce future food miles (hopefully!)

Lastly, I saved my teabag for another go! I do drink loose leaf tea often too which I guess is much better, no silly wrapping.

I was thinking last night about our individual impact and googled where most emissions/ carbon footprint comes from (in Australia). Couldn't find a great data source (Census website Australians? lol) but one site said the worst sector is manufacturing, so if we all reduce, reuse, recycle then I imagine that would have the biggest impact. Second worst was households, and within that heating and cooling. In a way, that's good because there are well known fixes, but in a way I'm worried because if it's so easy, why don't we (as a nation) tackle it better. At least new builds have increasingly stringent requirements. My neighbour is building a new place and all the ground floor windows have to be double glazed, so there's something. It was weird that transport didn't come up as one of the worst offenders.

Eucalyptus

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2016, 11:06:04 PM »
This site has good resources on Environmental impact and how to reduce your impact. For fellow Australian's; note that we are the leaders of the pack in screwing up the planet (if everyone lived like us, 5.3 planets required).
http://www.overshootday.org/

Not today, but I'll post things to this thread from now on for those that are interested that I do. I'll also smatter some in that I've done in recent times. I'm an Environmental Scientist so while my work isn't focussed directly on the things that individuals can do, its interesting to me, and I usually apply a strong scientific rigour to what I choose to apply in my own life and share with others.

Tea bags vs loose tea
A few months ago I decided to look into the effect of using loose leaf in a tea pot vs individual tea bags.
Turns out, using a tea bag vs loose leaf is about 4g of carbon emissions extra per cup. Plus extra landfill, loss of biodiversity (eg cutting forests for paper, mining impacts), etc.
Pretty small, but, its not a hard choice to make. If everyone does these small improvements they add up to something big.
If you don't have a tea pot already, don't stress, its ok to buy one or two. I bought a cheap glass teapot that I probably use once every few weeks when I have visitors. Its glass, tiny amount of stainless steel. By weight, I worked out the C02 emissions...and I would pay that back within a few months by not using tea bags! If I'm careful this teapot will last me forever. A cheap second hand teapot of any material is probably a good eco investment.
I usually use these good quality filters though for individual cups of tea. Tiny amount of plastic, fine stainless steel mesh. It would take about a month of no tea bags for me to make up their C02 cost in manufacture. They'll NEVER break.

I reckon governments should ban tea bags and make using pots/small filters compulsory!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2016, 11:23:08 PM »
Eucalyptus - where do you get your tea strainers / do you have a specific product recommendation?

I found out recently that tea bags have plastic in them! Plastic has its place, but that place shouldn't be EVERYWHERE.

Abe

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2016, 11:41:53 PM »
Normal activities we do daily:
Used fans/open windows at night instead of AC.
Didn't eat meat for last week (about normal for our family)
Didn't buy anything other than food.
Bought produce from the 2nd hand grocery store instead of fruit wrapped in excess plastic (when did this start happening? The fruit will still taste the same even if it has a dent!!!)
Did drive instead of take mass transit, oops.

Freshwater

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2016, 12:19:27 AM »
Nice tea bag analysis Eucalyptus!

HaH, I recently spent about 3.95 or similar on a Benzer strainer and dish from some discount kitchen shop like Victoria's Basement. I'm very happy with it because it makes having a pot of tea feel a bit posh, a bit more ceremonial. There are lots of cheap teapots at similar shops with the inner metal compartments to hold the tea - I had one but it got broken and I decided the new teapot should set the leaves free! My dad is very happy with one of those in cup strainers for his disgusting tea that tastes like earthy feet and I've seen a lot of them about recently. I also have one of the ones that looks like a ball on the end of small tongs but when I clean it I always slip and fire bits everywhere.

Mrs. S

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2016, 04:28:09 AM »
Today I made a breakfast with sauteed greens I found growing wild at the end of my run this morning (they were sow's thistle and wild lettuce). Probably organic, and food miles = 0.

Also, this winter I tried 'bubble glazing'* my windows to keep the place warmer for less energy input. Believe it or not, it was effective!

*Literally using bubble wrap on glass windows I don't mind seeing out of this part of the year.

That is an awesome idea. Double glazing or bubble glazing in this case is the best thing you can do to keep your energy requirements low apart from sealing the conditioned interiors.
On the note above- I have reduced my regular fresh food haul and now consciously work on avoiding and food wastage. I am also growing  sprouts and we should be growing few more fresh vegetables.
FI in India- {Royally Frugal}

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2016, 05:46:55 AM »
I'd be more inclined to tape a piece of saran wrap to the window frame rather than put up bubble wrap.  I suspect that the trapped air pocket would yield similar benefits, but you could still look out of your windows in the winter!

Rollin

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2016, 06:31:25 AM »
I'll ride my bike today to renew my plates for my vehicles (state plate offices). Somewhat of a contradiction, but it is a something. Will send two small trees to landscape yard recycling today (as opposed to the garbage). Will shower later today when the sun is out (solar hot water system).
I love being outside.

deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2016, 03:41:13 PM »
On the tea bag talk, my SO decided to use leaf tea many years ago, and bought an array of tea infusers - for examples see http://redleaftea.com.au/teaware/infusers.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjwoau9BRDMvsnv5MCh24UBEiQAKOqcfebOh_SOKoXO0IM6xAoYVhJwJbfndGn29rmaqXp7AmUaAlLt8P8HAQ - these replace the bag, and you just put some tea leaves into them and swish them around in your cup.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2016, 03:52:19 PM »
Since moving into our RV, we have reduced our environmental impact probably by 95%?

We now use about 40 gallons of water A WEEK.  I can't see any couple living in sticks and bricks that could claim that level.

We power our RV almost entirely off of the rooftop 1100 watt solar panels.  Our stove uses propane, but one five gallon tank filled with four gallons lasts us almost 2 months.  We even run a small air conditioner off of solar.  All lighting is LED.

We do use a laundromat every three or four weeks but I always go for the front loader which I think are more environmentally friendly?

NinetyFour

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2016, 05:51:27 PM »
Today, I:

* unplugged my modem and router when I left my house
* walked to a coffee shop to meet with a real estate friend
* brought my own coffee travel mug to the coffee shop
* walked to my workplace
* will walk back home
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deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2016, 12:17:42 AM »
Of course everyone hangs their clothes on the line rather than using a dryer.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2016, 02:26:31 AM »
What an inspiring idea for a thread!

* Composting: Watermelon rinds, corn cobs and eggshells went to the chickens; houseplant prunings, corn husks, pineapple skin and assorted gunk from the drain trap were added to the main compost pile.
* Water savings: Waited until corn-boil water cooled and then took it out to water a newly planted tree. Leftover drinking water went to houseplants.
* Transport: Took public bus on a 15-mile (24 km) round trip to a doctor's appointment, saving fuel and carbon emissions.
* Litter: Picked up a plastic water bottle I found rolling around the parking lot. Brought it home and will return with the rest of our recycling for $0.05 deposit refund.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 02:56:28 AM by jengod »
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

Eucalyptus

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2016, 02:46:41 AM »
my Teapot is a cheap discount store special. Although I know I'll break it at some point, as per what I said above, I'm not too fussed about it as it will have paid its dues.

My strainers are these ones:
http://www.finum.com/filters/permanent-filters/brewing-basket-m.html
A bit expensive (at least to get in Aus) but I feel like they are well worth it. I'll pay them back in a few years $ wise with the cost difference between tea bags and loose leaf :-)


FLBiker

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2016, 05:10:14 AM »
I'm thinking of acquiring one of those little devices that 'staples' together documents without actually using staples. Does anyone here use one of those? I know staples are only a tiny bit of waste, but it's still waste.

I got one of this as a gift.  Meh.  It's a pocket-sized ones (maybe the bigger ones are better) but I'd only use it for a couple of sheets.  I staple virtually nothing at home, though.

As for me: vegetarian, bike to work, cloth diaper, lunch in reusable containers - these are my main everyday things.  I also shop very little and, once DD is a bit older, like to grow vegetables.  With a baby, I'm just doing tomatoes and some perennials.

Great topic!

Roland of Gilead

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2016, 07:27:22 AM »
- Will not give birth to any children :)

That last one is the biggest thing anyone can do to massively reduce their carbon footprint.   A third rail to talk about in politics though.

Catbert

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2016, 08:39:52 AM »
Composting
Growing veggies and citrus fruit
Remodeling my kitchen but keeping the cabinets (painting rather than replacing)
Cloth grocery bags including product bags (simple sewing with muslim to make produce bags)
Re-using laundry water in the garden
solar energy

Eucalyptus

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2016, 08:39:47 PM »
Great article by George Monbiot
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/09/vegan-corrupt-food-system-meat-dairy

I've been trying to be vegetarian myself since 2006...but I've always struggled, usually as traveling/living with voracious meat eaters/rest of family can't comprehend even lowering meat consumption/lack of options usually when eating out/very few vegetarian friends (we are still in low numbers in Aus).

But now that I'm back living alone (have my daughter half time) I have a vegetarian house :-)

Don't get me wrong, I totally love eating meat, its delicious, but, I know I don't need to and its environmental effects are shocking (my PhD is on Rangeland Monitoring with Satellite imagery)-I 100% agree with what Monbiot says about "free range" being terrible for the environment).

I also agree with eating pest species where you can. Monbiot mainly talks about agricultural pests, but often those same pests are environmental pests with negative effects on ecosystems, also, many places have purely environmental pests too. Sometimes, some animals that are native, can become pests in high numbers...usually this is not their fault but rather because of human disruptions to ecosystems. Monbiot mentions Deer in the UK. In Australia, Kangaroos are massively overpopulated (with the Dingo fence and destruction of the Dingo-their only native predator on the ~bottom third of the continent, and, the provision of permanent water by farmers, their numbers boom). It makes huge sense to try and harvest their numbers and eat them.

The hardest bit for me is to try and become a full vegan. I like eggs, but I could work to avoid them (though they make a balanced protein diet easier and more convenient). The hardest bit for me is Dairy. I've avoided yoghurt the last few months successfully. Cheese is harder, I love cheese. I need to save it for special occasions. Milk is the TOUGHEST. I've always been a huge milk drinker. I need to find a suitable alternative that works not only in my breakfast oats (really its only about 30-40ml) which isn't too hard, but the harder challenge is an alternative for tea and coffee. I'm yet to find something that doesn't destroy the taste of tea and coffee for me. Also, the expense of alternatives is nuts.

Last year I managed 7 days of successful veganism, then relented due to the milk in tea/coffee.

deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2016, 02:54:26 AM »
I'm thinking of acquiring one of those little devices that 'staples' together documents without actually using staples. Does anyone here use one of those? I know staples are only a tiny bit of waste, but it's still waste.
They are great! I used them when I went to college, and really liked them. No taking the staple out and inserting another sheet. The $2 shop had the things in an interesting set of colours, wheich allowed me to use different colours for different purposes. I also still have them all, because when I had finished with one set of papers, they came off easily.

stripey

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2016, 09:43:19 AM »
Nut milk (and oat milk)** are rediculously simple to make if you have twelve hours and a blender. Google will be able to help you out with this one. Plus, less packaging!!!

If you find these acceptable alternatives to milk. Personally I have my tea and coffee black but that's how I grew up.

Eucalyptus

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2016, 08:15:25 AM »
Yeah I've tried almond, coconut, oat, soy. Oat wasn't too bad from memory but expensive.

Maybe I'll have to force myself to move to black tea and coffee... I do like them, I just like the milked versions more!

As for today:
daughter and I visited sister in law and kids. I drove pretty slow to maximise the mileage. Prob saved a litre of fuel.

stripey

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2016, 10:56:19 AM »
Yeah I've tried almond, coconut, oat, soy. Oat wasn't too bad from memory but expensive.

Maybe I'll have to force myself to move to black tea and coffee... I do like them, I just like the milked versions more!

Seriously try making a milk replacer from scratch, as it's really quite a straight-forward process. If you purchase the base ingredients from a bulk food store, then there is minimal/no packaging. Here are the first two links I found: https://www.thehealthychef.com/2015/05/make-the-perfect-dairy-free-milk/ http://treadingmyownpath.com/tag/nut-milk/

Thanks for the Earth Overshoot day.

Today, I:
- Made lunch using self-sown sweet potatoes and locally produced olive oil;
- Got to the bottom of my mending pile

mathjak107

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2016, 11:47:51 AM »
i bought one of those little smart cars . i threw it in the back of my hummer and drive around with it .

marty998

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2016, 03:50:26 PM »
i bought one of those little smart cars . i threw it in the back of my hummer and drive around with it .

God bless Americans :D

pbnj

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2016, 05:20:56 PM »
Did laundry did not use the dryer. 

ohsnap

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2016, 05:28:15 PM »
.... Milk is the TOUGHEST. I've always been a huge milk drinker. I need to find a suitable alternative that works not only in my breakfast oats (really its only about 30-40ml) which isn't too hard, but the harder challenge is an alternative for tea and coffee. I'm yet to find something that doesn't destroy the taste of tea and coffee for me. Also, the expense of alternatives is nuts.

Last year I managed 7 days of successful veganism, then relented due to the milk in tea/coffee.

Have you tried canned coconut cream in your coffee?  I've found it gives a similar level of creaminess as dairy half-and-half, and has very little flavor if you don't add too much.

LorettaLynn

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2016, 06:55:00 PM »
At first I thought NOTHING but I did walk to lunch and thrifting vice driving anywhere and I changed out one of the lightbulbs in my 3-light lamp to a cool LED because this lamp puts out a ton of heat and my apartment is hot enough as is. 

human

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2016, 08:14:24 PM »
I don't fly to ecuador every year that probably outweighs everything else on this thread.

Never understood how mmm can preach about the environmental benefits of being frugal yet fly to south america.

Don't get me wrong I was being facetious above when I said I don't fly anywhere. I've been to SA twice and new zealand.

If we were really concerned for the environment we wouldn't fly or eat meat. Stop kidding yourselves. I do try me best to use less electricity to save money but I don't kid myself about the environment when I eat meat or fly.

clarkai

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2016, 10:08:17 PM »
Today, I  biked around 5 miles one way to pick up almost fifty free books from goodwill for my classroom. I did ride the bus up the very steep hill on the way back.

I didn't eat any animal products, or processed foods. All food waste goes into the compost, to be used in the garden later. Some old papers were also composted.

No ac here, just windows and wise cooking choices.

Picked up some wanted items from a free pile, thus reducing waste.

Freshwater

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2016, 01:31:31 AM »
I don't fly to ecuador every year that probably outweighs everything else on this thread.

Never understood how mmm can preach about the environmental benefits of being frugal yet fly to south america.

Don't get me wrong I was being facetious above when I said I don't fly anywhere. I've been to SA twice and new zealand.

If we were really concerned for the environment we wouldn't fly or eat meat. Stop kidding yourselves. I do try me best to use less electricity to save money but I don't kid myself about the environment when I eat meat or fly.

I did an online calculator once and adding a flight did blow all other energy use out of the water. But then again, general consumption of manufactured goods wasn't included in that one.

It's definitely worth sharing daily baby steps and good practices that we can try, every little bit is better than doing nothing.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2016, 02:36:07 AM »
I don't fly to ecuador every year that probably outweighs everything else on this thread.

Never understood how mmm can preach about the environmental benefits of being frugal yet fly to south america.

Don't get me wrong I was being facetious above when I said I don't fly anywhere. I've been to SA twice and new zealand.

If we were really concerned for the environment we wouldn't fly or eat meat. Stop kidding yourselves. I do try me best to use less electricity to save money but I don't kid myself about the environment when I eat meat or fly.

I did an online calculator once and adding a flight did blow all other energy use out of the water. But then again, general consumption of manufactured goods wasn't included in that one.

It's definitely worth sharing daily baby steps and good practices that we can try, every little bit is better than doing nothing.

Absolutely. What's the alternative - do nothing because you can't do everything?

It's that old nugget: don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

RetiredAt63

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2016, 06:11:22 AM »
I don't know how it could be calculated, but every time we don't buy something or buy it used, we are cutting out the energy use and CO2 emissions that a new item would have used/produced during the manufacturing process.  So our MMM lifestyle is relatively low impact to start with. 
Today I will use a tiny amount of gas to buy farm eggs (chickens share a barn and yard with sheep so definitely free range).  Happy hens, healthy yummy eggs, happy me.
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/ontario's-own-camp-mustache-2017/ - MEET US THERE!

ck25

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2016, 08:23:05 AM »
- veganism
- bought into a home with solar panels, really great insulation, high efficiency appliances, and sustainable materials (e.g., concrete floors over carpet)
- slowly replacing CFLs with LEDs as they burn out
- convinced DH to raise the thermostat by 1 degree (from a super ridiculous 77 to slightly less ridiculous 78 - it's 105 outside regularly)
- finally looked into the sprinkler scheduling set by builders and figured out it is set for 70 minutes per week - reduced to 40 minutes per week

I need to start being proactive about all of the paper mail we are getting and calling to unsubscribe. I go through this routine at every move, but finally we are settled in a place where we will be for more than a year.

Does anyone have any experience using grey water residentially? I have a very small yard; we estimate our watering at around 3500 gallons per month.


katstache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2016, 09:59:15 AM »
I used a drying rack instead of drying 2 loads of wet clothes

human

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2016, 11:36:05 AM »
I don't fly to ecuador every year that probably outweighs everything else on this thread.

Never understood how mmm can preach about the environmental benefits of being frugal yet fly to south america.

Don't get me wrong I was being facetious above when I said I don't fly anywhere. I've been to SA twice and new zealand.

If we were really concerned for the environment we wouldn't fly or eat meat. Stop kidding yourselves. I do try me best to use less electricity to save money but I don't kid myself about the environment when I eat meat or fly.

I did an online calculator once and adding a flight did blow all other energy use out of the water. But then again, general consumption of manufactured goods wasn't included in that one.

It's definitely worth sharing daily baby steps and good practices that we can try, every little bit is better than doing nothing.

Absolutely. What's the alternative - do nothing because you can't do everything?

It's that old nugget: don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

My point is it's not what you do (or don't do) in a day, it's what you do in a lifetime. No meat for a day isn't helping anyone, if you get on a plane and fly to south america every year and eat meat 270 days a year you can't offset it. So if you do those things, then yes "doing nothing" as you say probably is just as good as the symbolism of not eating meat once a week and riding your bike to work.

ulrichw

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2016, 02:13:31 PM »
I don't fly to ecuador every year that probably outweighs everything else on this thread.

Never understood how mmm can preach about the environmental benefits of being frugal yet fly to south america.

Don't get me wrong I was being facetious above when I said I don't fly anywhere. I've been to SA twice and new zealand.

If we were really concerned for the environment we wouldn't fly or eat meat. Stop kidding yourselves. I do try me best to use less electricity to save money but I don't kid myself about the environment when I eat meat or fly.

I did an online calculator once and adding a flight did blow all other energy use out of the water. But then again, general consumption of manufactured goods wasn't included in that one.

It's definitely worth sharing daily baby steps and good practices that we can try, every little bit is better than doing nothing.

Absolutely. What's the alternative - do nothing because you can't do everything?

It's that old nugget: don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

My point is it's not what you do (or don't do) in a day, it's what you do in a lifetime. No meat for a day isn't helping anyone, if you get on a plane and fly to south america every year and eat meat 270 days a year you can't offset it. So if you do those things, then yes "doing nothing" as you say probably is just as good as the symbolism of not eating meat once a week and riding your bike to work.

I fall into the "every little bit counts" camp. Sure, cutting out meat once a week is a relatively small percentage reduction, but it's still a reduction.

The argument you can make is that it's counterproductive to make a small reduction, and then use that as an excuse to do other things that have a larger offsetting impact (e.g., "it's ok to take this plane trip, because I biked to work three times last year")

FWIW - my belief is that the biggest positive impact anybody can have on the environment is to have fewer kids: If you're really focused on saving the environment, you may be able to reduce your footprint by 70-80% - but if you don't have kids, your next generation's footprint will be reduced by 100%.