Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 38871 times)

Linda_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #250 on: April 12, 2017, 08:54:56 AM »
Went for a walk in the forest and walked from home. Didn't use any petrol at all today. Hung up the laundry indoor, because I don't trust the weather. For good reason as it is raining now.

starjay

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #251 on: April 12, 2017, 09:22:24 AM »
Today:

Fed the vege scraps and peelings to my new pets (the worms).

Used the worm wee on an apple tree that needed some extra nutrition.



"Worm wee" startled a laugh out of me. Thank you for that!

Today I ate food that I have stashed in my desk in stead of walking to the cafe next door and getting breakfast to go in a Styrofoam container.

frooglepoodle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #252 on: April 12, 2017, 09:59:46 AM »
I picked up this month's order of meat from a local-ish farm that follows environmentally and animal-friendly farming practices. Grass fed ground beef, whole chickens (laying hens rather than broilers), pastured ground pork for sausage, pork chops, and a ham roast for Easter dinner.

Making a batch of granola using bulk bin ingredients.

Bought produce without using plastic bags, except for the pre-packaged items like berries and grapes. I need to sew some muslin bags to use when I buy larger quantities of apples, potatoes, etc. to keep them from rolling off the scale at self checkout.

I've stopped buying prewashed and bagged greens and buying bunches of spinach and lettuce instead. It's not that much more effort to wash it myself.

I'm making an effort to be more mindful of food waste. In addition to the bag of veggie scraps in the freezer that I save for broth, I have a bag for asparagus ends to be boiled and blended for soup, bags of onion skins and avocado pits/skins for natural dyeing experiments, and a container in the refrigerator for odds and ends like strawberry tops, pineapple cores, and spinach stems to add to smoothies. I also save the whey from straining homemade yogurt and mix it 50/50 with whole milk as a substitute for buttermilk in baking.

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

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aetherie

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #253 on: April 12, 2017, 10:12:22 AM »
Posting to follow - some great inspiration in here!

Today I rode my bike to work, like (almost) every day.
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mies

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #254 on: April 12, 2017, 03:08:42 PM »
My wife has been out of town this week, so I have turned off the heat. We're at that weird time of year where it can be really cold in the morning, but then get up in to the 70's later in the day. I've just been sucking it up in the morning when it's cold and allowed the sun to warm up the house during the day.
Less is more.

Freshwater

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #255 on: April 12, 2017, 06:06:27 PM »
Got my quarterly gas bill - usage is a whopping 25% lower than the same time last year. Total bill is under $100 (fixed charges are ~$50). Yay us, except we didn't actually do anything different intentionally... We never use the gas heater at this time of year so we've somehow had 25% fewer or shorter hot showers. DH has put it down to him possibly exercising less often.

tyort1

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #256 on: April 13, 2017, 10:08:10 AM »
I like how most of the things done to reduce environmental impact also reduce costs in most cases.  Love the double benefit.
Frugalite in training.

deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #257 on: April 19, 2017, 07:23:32 AM »
I have been looking at a WW2 cookbook I got from my mother. It has pineapple squash that you make from the core and the skin of a pineapple. This has lead me down a rabbit hole. I am now making drinks and jam out of passionfruit skins (they do make good jam - I had a recipe for it in the past), and pineapple skins and cores.

stashgrower

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #258 on: April 19, 2017, 08:08:01 AM »
Little normal things. Garden herbs. Library. Public transport. Homemade lunch.


HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #260 on: April 22, 2017, 05:17:28 AM »
Had a full day course to attend today. We took public transport there and carpooled home.

Getting my supplies of hand-me-down cloth nappies organised for when they're needed in a month or so!

GetItRight

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #261 on: April 22, 2017, 04:05:14 PM »
Ah, Earth Day, one of my favorite holidays. I'm normally big into minimizing my impact, but not on a day socialists celebrate Gaia or whatever they worship these days. I fired up the whole fleet down to the mower and whacker and basked in the glory of 56 cylinders firing simultaneously for no other reason than my auditory and olfactory pleasure. After that got old I ran some errands in my normally reasonably efficient diesel pickup and rolled a bunch of coal. Tonight I'll be throwing the a few tires I need to dispose of in the fire pit. Tomorrow once the hypocritical tree hugging is over I'll return to minimizing my footprint.

JLR

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #262 on: April 23, 2017, 04:48:30 AM »
This has lead me down a rabbit hole. I am now making drinks and jam out of passionfruit skins (they do make good jam - I had a recipe for it in the past), and pineapple skins and cores.

Sounds amazing, Deborah!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #263 on: April 23, 2017, 05:00:44 AM »
This has lead me down a rabbit hole. I am now making drinks and jam out of passionfruit skins (they do make good jam - I had a recipe for it in the past), and pineapple skins and cores.

Sounds amazing, Deborah!

+1

And it never would've occurred to me to make anything from those scraps!

Linda_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #264 on: April 23, 2017, 11:04:13 AM »
Today I ignored the car's satnav that wanted to send me the long way around towards home. It did so yesterday when I was driving towards a stayover place. For some reason it didn't want to send me through the city which was by far the shortest route. Now I turned on every choice of toll roads and rush hours traffic and eventually it worked.

Freshwater

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #265 on: April 23, 2017, 08:36:31 PM »
But if you have to deal with stop/start traffic through the city that could heavily increase your fuel use over a longer route. I will normally take a slightly longer route to avoid traffic lights, speed bumps etc. to avoid dropping gears.  Do you have a display that tells you your consumption?

nnls

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #266 on: April 27, 2017, 12:46:58 AM »
Not something I did, but saw this on facebook today which is a place reducing food waste

http://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2017/04/27/australias-first-rescued-food-supermarket-opens-today


nnls

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #268 on: April 28, 2017, 01:56:36 AM »
Another 'green' house story - a couple in their twenties who've built a straw bale house.

Seriously cool.




That straw bale house is pretty awesome

tyort1

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #269 on: April 28, 2017, 09:21:58 AM »
Another 'green' house story - a couple in their twenties who've built a straw bale house.
Seriously cool.
That straw bale house is pretty awesome

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll...
Frugalite in training.

aetherie

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #270 on: April 29, 2017, 04:50:33 AM »
Going to the People's Climate March today. I made my sign out of materials from our recycling bin, and I'll take the metro into DC.
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GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #271 on: April 30, 2017, 08:44:51 AM »
Another 'green' house story - a couple in their twenties who've built a straw bale house.
Seriously cool.
That straw bale house is pretty awesome

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll...

... Give up realizing that those straw bales add up to multiple tons of construction material.  :P

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #272 on: April 30, 2017, 12:33:58 PM »
Not something I did, but something I didn't do - we had tickets to a performance in the city today, and were planning to take the train.  Walked to the station, only to hear on the announcer that service is suspended due to a problem.  First thought was we would have to drive into the city instead, but then I remembered the show is running for another week, and called to see if it was possible to shift my tickets to a different performance next week.  The customer service desk was very helpful and got us tickets next weekend instead.  So we didn't drive an hour and a half round trip, plus paying for parking.

tyort1

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #273 on: April 30, 2017, 09:03:59 PM »
You know those paper bags you put your coffee in at the grocery store for bulk beans?  I saved my bags and re-used them today.
Frugalite in training.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #274 on: April 30, 2017, 09:20:09 PM »
Avoiding food waste by turning some just about to go bad avocados into guacamole. I can then freeze the guacamole, and use it when I want it.

Soaking beans to cook from dried. Uses fewer resources than the tinned beans.

Washing clothes and linens in cold water and line drying.

frooglepoodle

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You know those paper bags you put your coffee in at the grocery store for bulk beans?  I saved my bags and re-used them today.

Awesome idea, I'm going to do this tomorrow.

We just returned from a trip. The milk turned while we were away so I made pancakes for dinner. Unfortunately I'm not aware of a way to salvage spoiled chicken so that will need to be tossed (and DH reminded to freeze perishable leftovers before leaving town).

Staying with the inlaws for a few days made my crunchy heart sad. Bottled water, k-cups, paper towels, takeout.... gah!
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

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Chaplin

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Great thread! I missed it until now - I guess I don't check the AAM section often enough.

I've been trying to chip away at this for years. As others have pointed out, reduced impact usually goes hand-in-hand with reduced expenses and stress.

Our greatest hits so far:

1. Ground down the electricity bill by improving a few things every year over ten years (sealed cracks in a stairwell when carpet was being replaced, LEDs, hang curtain across basement stair well during the winter, made windows seal better, upgraded a few appliances and hot water heater, programmable thermostats, etc.). Our electricity bill is still 20% lower despite 25% higher rates.

2. Cut my commute from 42km to 10km roundtrip a year ago, and am now trying a car-free month to prove that we can drop to one car, which I'm planning to do at the beginning of September.

3. Have my son convinced that walking, transit or biking are superior to driving.

4. Pushed my old company to keep investigating upgrading lighting, and it finally got done. It worked out to over $100,000/year in savings with less than a two-year payback. Convincing other people or organizations to make a change has huge leverage compared to personal changes.

5. Cut most beef and lamb from my diet for health and footprint reasons.

6. Trying to do all errands and social stuff by bike or public transit.

7. Drastically cut landfill contribution (sort and recycle beyond our city's requirements, compost, consume less in general).

Some tips I've picked up from this thread:

1. Get metal filter for Aeropress. It's among our smaller wastes, but if I can get rid of the paper filters and get better coffee, what's not to love about that?

2. Go beyond just using the kill-a-what from the library, but try an IR thermostat and other techniques.

Plans for the future:

1. Follow through on the plan to drop to one car.

2. When the one car needs replacement, it's EV or bust. I don't plan to ever buy another ICE vehicle.

3. Set up the fan on our gas fireplace to run automatically when the fireplace is on and shut off when the fireplace is off.

4. Try a winter without using the fireplace at all to see what happens to our electricity bill. Unless we change something else, I know it will be huge: this winter was unusually cold and the effect is very non-linear - once it gets below about -2C our electricity goes up quickly even with the gas fireplace.

5. We don't plan to live in this place forever, so when we do move, target a place that is or can be super-insulated and optimized in other ways.

6. Push our local city to continue and accelerate some of the good improvements they've been making. Maybe even try to become a City Councillor as a fun FIRE activity.

HappierAtHome

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Today we switched over the globes in a chandelier (don't ask) to LEDs.

Anatidae V

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We did our grocery shopping on foot today. We need something to carry them better, though, as my DH's arms were exhausted when we got home (I pushed DS in the pram). I may need to construct a more sturdy basket/ bag for under the pram, the current one is quite flimsy.

tomita

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1. we bought dry beans and dry chick peas to boil them
the chick peas turned ok, but the pinto beans were still crunchy..
2. line drying laundry
3. try to buy used as much as possible
4. refuse plastic bags when shopping
5. buy real food and prepare all from scratch
6. avoid purchasing food in containers, or in excessive packaging
7. rescue furniture put at the curb
8. sell unused stuff on CL / Kijiji


frooglepoodle

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Today's lunch was a smoothie that made use of a lot of food waste: I'd been saving spinach stems and strawberry tops in the freezer, and used whey (leftover from straining homemade yogurt) for the liquid.
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

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Linda_Norway

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Today's lunch was a smoothie that made use of a lot of food waste: I'd been saving spinach stems and strawberry tops in the freezer, and used whey (leftover from straining homemade yogurt) for the liquid.

?? I always eat spinach including the stems, at least if you mean the stems growing on the end of a leave.

frooglepoodle

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Today's lunch was a smoothie that made use of a lot of food waste: I'd been saving spinach stems and strawberry tops in the freezer, and used whey (leftover from straining homemade yogurt) for the liquid.

?? I always eat spinach including the stems, at least if you mean the stems growing on the end of a leave.

Yup, that's what I meant. I guess my mom has always done it that way, so I did too without thinking about it. She composts them, so no waste at least!
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

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HappierAtHome

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Today's small things - really just business as usual:
Gave food scraps to the worms.
Cooked from scratch, minimised food packaging.
Planted mint under a tap that leaks slightly while it's turned on, to make the most of that little bit of water.

HappierAtHome

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This is a great article about the plastic content of teabags and how to grow and prepare homemade teas. Now I need a lemon myrtle and a pineapple sage plant :D

deborah

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Pineapple sage is really easy to grow, but I had never found a use for it. It has pretty flowers too.

nick663

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Rode my bike to the bank instead of driving.  4 less miles of driving.

Linda_Norway

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Rode my bike to the bank instead of driving.  4 less miles of driving.

Good of you.
I had planned to go cycling today, but wasn't motivated seeing the really hard wind and some snow flakes flying around this morning. But tomorrow I will cycle. Even though it will be colder, there will be much less wind.


Freshwater

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Good one for reducing food waste: 16 Food Scraps You Can Regrow

I think I'll try the garlic. We've got a mini avo tree from a stone that might produce one day and have successfully regrown silverbeet, celery, lettuce and carrots sort of (tiny and stumpy). Things tend to come up in mini versions but they are definitely edible.

Linda_Norway

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Walked to work today, through the snow. Will walk back in the afternoon.

Poundwise

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Baking a ham in our solar oven.  It's actually a bit hotter right now than necessary-- 350 degrees but the recipe needs only 275. I know ham is not eco-friendly but... we like ham.

I'm also hoping to hang out a load of laundry in the sun. We seem to do 10 loads a week so using the dryer can take up a lot of resources.

Chaplin

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Car-free month is going well - no lapses and no trouble. I took the bus more in the first two weeks, but this week I did four days by bike and only one by bus.

urover

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We've been taking our own plastic bags to the supermarket the last few weeks now. Not just the outer  bags, but also the clear produce bags. We wash produce bags and re-use them until they tear or are used for garbage. We only brought one new (any type) bag in one month.

mustachepungoeshere

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Cold-washed and line-dried two loads of washing.

Took cloth bags to the supermarket.

Turned my dishwasher off after the rinse setting and opened it to air dry.

Linda_Norway

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Also hung up the laundry to dry yesterday.
We have eaten mushrooms from our garden. Short-travelled food.

mustachepungoeshere

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I'm looking into compost bins for my apartment balcony, and researching what can go in them. (We always had compost bins growing up, but still worth brushing up on). Quite excited at the possibility.

Linda_Norway

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I'm looking into compost bins for my apartment balcony, and researching what can go in them. (We always had compost bins growing up, but still worth brushing up on). Quite excited at the possibility.

We have a big bin in the garden and throw in the food-related garbage, including non-plastic tea bags and coffee filters. Also flowers from the house or from the garden. I do not throw in weeds that I remove from the garden, as I don't want to spread them back into the garden as earth. We don't throw in meat bones, as they will take a long time to disappear. Also fish (and shrimp!) remains  are better to not put in there, because is will smell for a long time.
You can add a bunch of worms to the mixture. My DH did that, as he uses them for fishing sometimes, as they seem to live well in the bin.
If the content gets too dry, you can add some water. If it is too wet, you could add some fine wood chips. It helps to hustle it around regularly. But generally our bin does a good job by itself and doesn't require a lot of work. I add vegetable stuff to it once or twice a week and hustle less than that and it is doing very well, generating a lot of heat.

Done today: walking to work. Forgot that I had an internal meeting that would start monday morning at 08:00 (stupid time). Luckily I wasn't the only one who forgot, so it is replaced to tomorrow 08:00, which means I don't have time to walk.

Freshwater

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I'm looking into compost bins for my apartment balcony, and researching what can go in them. (We always had compost bins growing up, but still worth brushing up on). Quite excited at the possibility.

On a balcony I'd go the worm farm or bokashi route to limit flies and smell and remove the need to balance greens and browns (if it's mainly kitchen waste you are disposing of). You could use a tumbler compost bin and add leaves or shredded paper, but I find it really hard in Sydney to get the balance and moisture right. But YMMV because I also forget about the tumbler for weeks on end.

Trifele

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Started using some simple hypermiling/better driving techniques, and am now getting 3 MPG more with the car.

Discovered a great new butcher shop and have a new source of local pasture-raised pork.