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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: HappierAtHome on August 09, 2016, 01:28:08 AM

Title: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 09, 2016, 01:28:08 AM
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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls 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
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: NinetyFour 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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stripey 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PMG 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.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Eucalyptus 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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Abe 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mrs. S 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv 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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Rollin 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).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Roland of Gilead 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?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: NinetyFour 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
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on August 11, 2016, 12:17:42 AM
Of course everyone hangs their clothes on the line rather than using a dryer.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Eucalyptus 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 :-)

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FLBiker 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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Roland of Gilead 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Catbert 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
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Eucalyptus 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stripey 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Eucalyptus 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stripey 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/ (https://www.thehealthychef.com/2015/05/make-the-perfect-dairy-free-milk/) http://treadingmyownpath.com/tag/nut-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
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mathjak107 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 .
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: marty998 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
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: pbnj on August 13, 2016, 05:20:56 PM
Did laundry did not use the dryer. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: ohsnap 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MoolahLula 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. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: human 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: clarkai 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: RetiredAt63 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: ck25 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.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: katstache on August 14, 2016, 09:59:15 AM
I used a drying rack instead of drying 2 loads of wet clothes
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: human 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: ulrichw 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%.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: human on August 14, 2016, 02:47:39 PM
It's just hard for me to imagine anyone thinks the small things matter if the sacred cows can't be slaughtered. It's like a mustachian saying I make my lunch every day so I can buy a new 100k mercedes every year, burn it dec 31st before buying the next one.

Overpopulation is definitely a problem, we may not necessarily be overpopulated in Canada but it seems the average family here can't have one kid without a new hydro dam peoject being created. The irony is India and China may be responsible for a lot of unregulated industrial pollution and untreated sewage. Per capita they use so much less energy.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 14, 2016, 06:35:08 PM
Back on topic.

Today's small wins:

Vegan breakfast and lunch, dinner likely to be vegetarian (I eat fish once or twice a week and meat maximum of twice a week. Other meals are mostly vegan with some vegetarian thrown in).

Using cloth pads instead of disposable paper-and-plastic menstrual products.

As usual, using non-disposable packaging for food.

As usual, using public transport and the power of Walking!! instead of driving to work.

Hang-drying my clothes, washing them only on cold wash.

Carefully using up fruit and veg that was close to going bad.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 14, 2016, 06:38:09 PM
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.

Not yet, but I've started looking into the local regulations for grey water in my city.

Do you collect rainwater from your roof already? That's something I want to look into soon.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 14, 2016, 06:41:08 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.

The 'cracks' are caused by the windows in question being 68 years old, so the inside bit of the window (glass in a wood frame, that swings in to close the window and out to open it) isn't completely flush with the window frame. If that description makes sense. I've had someone look at it already who said my options were to replace the window entirely or double-glaze it, but I'll seek out another opinion just in case.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Indio on August 14, 2016, 08:18:27 PM
Today, I installed swarm guards on the entranceway of 3 of bee hives that I noticed were making a lot of drone comb and were likely to swarm in a few days. By installing the guards, I prevented the colony from producing 1, 2 or more queens and then a cluster of bees flying off with her. I removed brood frames and made 2 smaller winter colonies with the queen cells so I wont need to buy bees from GA or CA to repopulate my bee hives in spring. That lowered my beekeeping carbon footprint.
From the backyard I harvested, 5 green banana peppers, 1 large acorn squash, 3 marketmore cucumbers, 2 bottle gourds (intended to be birdhouses next year), 25 tomatoes, 1/2lb of green beans and kale. Using seeds saved from spring planting, started more frisee and mesculun for Fall garden.
Fed 6 meat turkeys herbs and weeds from garden to fatten them rather than using commercial feed.
Read manual again for saltwater filtration system on pool and reduced the programming time. Pool water comes from rain barrels/cisterns.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: clarkai on August 14, 2016, 08:42:34 PM

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.

I use dish washing water and cooking water (from cooking legumes,  potatoes, and so forth) for watering my vegetables.  But that's a much smaller scale than what you're talking about.


On the small actions vs "sacred cows" thing, I believe that we become our habits. So if some one is in a place of skipping factory farmed for meat one meal per week, I'm going to encourage them, because that's them acting in a way out of their norm, which is obviously a result of questioning and thinking, and that can help people shift their habits over time, and start questioning bigger ticket items, such as air transportation.

I personally live a life as environmentally friendly as I can. I'm not reproducing  (I do want to foster in the future), I don't eat any animal products, I cook most everything from scratch, we avoid buying new, I ride my bike and the bus every where  (we don't own a car), we don't have a/c, I line dry our clothes when possible,  and the only time I can see us flying in the future is for a funeral. This list goes on, but the point is I've gotten here through a series of little steps (and a couple big ones). I have way more that I want to do, and hopefully will do in the future.


On another note, I really love how the environmentalist choice is usually the healthy and frugal choice as well.

Today's small steps were using pee to fertilize starts and convincing a friend to spend two hours biking to go swimming instead of twenty minutes of driving :p
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on August 14, 2016, 08:51:21 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.

The 'cracks' are caused by the windows in question being 68 years old, so the inside bit of the window (glass in a wood frame, that swings in to close the window and out to open it) isn't completely flush with the window frame. If that description makes sense. I've had someone look at it already who said my options were to replace the window entirely or double-glaze it, but I'll seek out another opinion just in case.
You can get rubber strips to attach to the window frame to get rid of the gaps (from Bunnings or elsewhere - see https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/building-hardware/door-window-gate-hardware/door-window-seals/window). I used them on my similarly aged house. They were not as satisfactory as they could have been because in places there was still a gap, and in other places they were a little too thick, but they did make a difference until I got the windows fixed (they all had been painted a million times, had some weathering where they hadn't been painted often enough (and of course the paint on top of the weathered paint made bumps). A bit of sanding and some wood filler improved the level no end, and only took a little work, except where the window frames were rotten.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stripey on August 14, 2016, 09:02:43 PM
+1

(As an aside, my father went the DIY double-glazing route as he had the time, means and inclination. His only complaint is that there's the smallest amount of condensation in between the panes but it only shows when the temperature is less than -5*C)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 14, 2016, 09:24:40 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.

The 'cracks' are caused by the windows in question being 68 years old, so the inside bit of the window (glass in a wood frame, that swings in to close the window and out to open it) isn't completely flush with the window frame. If that description makes sense. I've had someone look at it already who said my options were to replace the window entirely or double-glaze it, but I'll seek out another opinion just in case.

You can get rubber strips to attach to the window frame to get rid of the gaps (from Bunnings or elsewhere - see https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/building-hardware/door-window-gate-hardware/door-window-seals/window). I used them on my similarly aged house. They were not as satisfactory as they could have been because in places there was still a gap, and in other places they were a little too thick, but they did make a difference until I got the windows fixed (they all had been painted a million times, had some weathering where they hadn't been painted often enough (and of course the paint on top of the weathered paint made bumps). A bit of sanding and some wood filler improved the level no end, and only took a little work, except where the window frames were rotten.

Ooooh. Those look good. Can windows still be closed / open with those rubber strips on? I like being able to open the windows in summer when it's cool in the evenings.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on August 14, 2016, 10:42:14 PM
If you're interested in greywater and other slightly more intense than normal water-saving household water tech, I highly recommend Laura Allen's The Waterwise Home book. We have been to a couple of her seminars and she is terrific. We can't do greywater until we rip out our ugly concrete porch but she taught me a lot about other ways to save, how to daisy-chain rain barrels, et al.

* Line-dryed all the kids' swim stuff.

* Picked up 9 recyclable bottles and cans and will redeem for $0.45.

* Harvest a patch of purslane (http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/power-packed-purslane-zmaz05amzsel.aspx) growing on the sidewalk, will use for smoothies, salads, etc.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on August 14, 2016, 11:26:55 PM
HaH - we had great success using decent weight curtains in front of our old windows. All the casement ones are draughty, the sash windows aren't but have incredibly thin glass in from the 50s. We also used white electrical tape to seal up cracks in doors and windows that don't get opened in winter!

I have been told by a professional that simply replacing old paper thin glass with modern thicker glass will improve sound and heat insulation. There's also a special 'hush' glass, I imagine it's just nice and thick - we went in a room in a showroom encased by it and it seems legit! That means we could keep the original wooden frames where they aren't warped or draughty, saving time and resources. In Sydney all the installers think we are mad to consider double glazing and they are probably right.


I can't think of a single extra environmental thing I did today unfortunately! But I did line dry clothes, get organic veggies & charge my electricals with the solar panels :)

At the weekend I realised if I charge my hand held vac with the sun, it's bagless so a better alternative to the regular vac (we are slaves to pet hair). Also yesterday, I decided to try no-poo for my hair which I think will mean less chemicals but also less water use long term.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 14, 2016, 11:40:05 PM
HaH - we had great success using decent weight curtains in front of our old windows. All the casement ones are draughty, the sash windows aren't but have incredibly thin glass in from the 50s. We also used white electrical tape to seal up cracks in doors and windows that don't get opened in winter!

I have been told by a professional that simply replacing old paper thin glass with modern thicker glass will improve sound and heat insulation. There's also a special 'hush' glass, I imagine it's just nice and thick - we went in a room in a showroom encased by it and it seems legit! That means we could keep the original wooden frames where they aren't warped or draughty, saving time and resources. In Sydney all the installers think we are mad to consider double glazing and they are probably right.

We have heavy block-out curtains for the windows in question :-) so we've already done that step.

Electrical tape is a great idea! Thanks!

Why would you be mad to double glaze - does it not make that much more of a difference compared to replacing old windows with new single-pane windows?

I have to admit, I love the look of my 1948 leadlight windows, so double glazing appealed to me for the simple fact that you can apparently layer the beautiful original glass with the new stuff, i.e. keep the 'look' of the old ones while gaining the efficiency of new windows. Yes, I'm a sucker for my beautiful old house.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on August 14, 2016, 11:50:14 PM
The installers say in Sydney it just doesn't get cold enough :) They are right, it never drops to zero. Plus there are plenty of vents and so on in our double brick house so we can't really 'seal' it. To be honest, we've gone all out on the roof insulation and some floors are done and then in winter we block off most of the vents and it's comfortable and not icy getting up in the morning any more.

Are you thinking of going the secondary glazing panel across the back of the window or getting actual double glazed units put in the old frames? I don't think our old sash windows can accommodate double glazing unfortunately otherwise I would do it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 15, 2016, 12:02:13 AM
The installers say in Sydney it just doesn't get cold enough :) They are right, it never drops to zero. Plus there are plenty of vents and so on in our double brick house so we can't really 'seal' it. To be honest, we've gone all out on the roof insulation and some floors are done and then in winter we block off most of the vents and it's comfortable and not icy getting up in the morning any more.

Are you thinking of going the secondary glazing panel across the back of the window or getting actual double glazed units put in the old frames? I don't think our old sash windows can accommodate double glazing unfortunately otherwise I would do it.

Doesn't double glazing also keep the house cooler in summer? We get hot winds hitting our house in summer which I would expect 'better' windows to lessen the impact of... I would love the rooms with problematic windows to stay warmer in winter but also cooler in summer.

Honestly I need to investigate the options before I really know, but my Dad (former owner-builder) was talking about possibly having new frames put in with the beautiful old panes inserted into the frames at the front and new, thicker glass at the back. Which sounded like what I want, but I have no idea how expensive that would be. I have no idea how much replacing a window costs even aside from the double glazing, use of original glass etc add-ons!

Thanks for being so generous in sharing your knowledge. It's great to be able to pick someone's brain.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 15, 2016, 12:47:35 AM
The Internet tells me that double glazing does as much for heat reduction as for cold. So that's good. While my house is surprisingly cold, summer is definitely the bigger issue in Perth.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on August 15, 2016, 01:14:08 AM
'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.

The 'cracks' are caused by the windows in question being 68 years old, so the inside bit of the window (glass in a wood frame, that swings in to close the window and out to open it) isn't completely flush with the window frame. If that description makes sense. I've had someone look at it already who said my options were to replace the window entirely or double-glaze it, but I'll seek out another opinion just in case.

You can get rubber strips to attach to the window frame to get rid of the gaps (from Bunnings or elsewhere - see https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/building-hardware/door-window-gate-hardware/door-window-seals/window). I used them on my similarly aged house. They were not as satisfactory as they could have been because in places there was still a gap, and in other places they were a little too thick, but they did make a difference until I got the windows fixed (they all had been painted a million times, had some weathering where they hadn't been painted often enough (and of course the paint on top of the weathered paint made bumps). A bit of sanding and some wood filler improved the level no end, and only took a little work, except where the window frames were rotten.

Ooooh. Those look good. Can windows still be closed / open with those rubber strips on? I like being able to open the windows in summer when it's cool in the evenings.
They CAN but it depends on how much thickness they add and how much of a gap there is.

Double glazing reduces heat loss in winter to 49% of the original, whereas it only reduces heat gain in summer to 90% of the original - so there is a little to be gained in summer but a lot in winter. This is why most energy efficient housing inspections don't recommend double glazing in their top 10 recommendations. It is much more efficient to have exterior awnings to shade windows and reduce heat gain (they reduce heat gain to 15 - 25% of original).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 15, 2016, 06:31:39 PM
Double glazing reduces heat loss in winter to 49% of the original, whereas it only reduces heat gain in summer to 90% of the original - so there is a little to be gained in summer but a lot in winter. This is why most energy efficient housing inspections don't recommend double glazing in their top 10 recommendations. It is much more efficient to have exterior awnings to shade windows and reduce heat gain (they reduce heat gain to 15 - 25% of original).

Thanks Deborah! You know so much about this stuff.

When I was looking into double glazing some companies are claiming a much greater reduction of heat gain than your figures (for example: http://www.duoglass.com.au/why-double-glaze/thermal-comfort (http://www.duoglass.com.au/why-double-glaze/thermal-comfort)) - so I wonder if there is some variance between companies / technologies or whether the double glazing technology has improved in recent years? Certainly the example given on that page, of it being 30 degrees outside and 24 inside, would make a huge difference to my life.

I inspected my problematic windows with your advice re: awnings in mind. They both sit close under the roofline (20cm between top of window and bottom of roof) with decent eaves that do shade them much of the time. So they effectively already have awnings! However the windows themselves are definitely letting heat in - in summer you can stand near those windows and feel hot air coming through (even when they're shut). These windows face north-west and hot wind hits the house from that direction in the late afternoon and evenings. So I think a system that seals those windows effectively (whether double glazing or new single-pane windows - and definitely bubble glazing in the meantime!) will make a big difference in summer as well as winter.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Eucalyptus on August 15, 2016, 07:15:07 PM
Double glazing reduces heat loss in winter to 49% of the original, whereas it only reduces heat gain in summer to 90% of the original - so there is a little to be gained in summer but a lot in winter. This is why most energy efficient housing inspections don't recommend double glazing in their top 10 recommendations. It is much more efficient to have exterior awnings to shade windows and reduce heat gain (they reduce heat gain to 15 - 25% of original).

Thanks Deborah! You know so much about this stuff.

When I was looking into double glazing some companies are claiming a much greater reduction of heat gain than your figures (for example: http://www.duoglass.com.au/why-double-glaze/thermal-comfort (http://www.duoglass.com.au/why-double-glaze/thermal-comfort)) - so I wonder if there is some variance between companies / technologies or whether the double glazing technology has improved in recent years? Certainly the example given on that page, of it being 30 degrees outside and 24 inside, would make a huge difference to my life.

I inspected my problematic windows with your advice re: awnings in mind. They both sit close under the roofline (20cm between top of window and bottom of roof) with decent eaves that do shade them much of the time. So they effectively already have awnings! However the windows themselves are definitely letting heat in - in summer you can stand near those windows and feel hot air coming through (even when they're shut). These windows face north-west and hot wind hits the house from that direction in the late afternoon and evenings. So I think a system that seals those windows effectively (whether double glazing or new single-pane windows - and definitely bubble glazing in the meantime!) will make a big difference in summer as well as winter.

The effectiveness, usefulness, and cost breakdown of double glazed windows will depend greatly on your climate. In places with cold winters (regular temps below freezing) they make a lot more sense. In more temperate climates, less sense.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on August 15, 2016, 08:40:26 PM
Double glazing reduces heat loss in winter to 49% of the original, whereas it only reduces heat gain in summer to 90% of the original - so there is a little to be gained in summer but a lot in winter. This is why most energy efficient housing inspections don't recommend double glazing in their top 10 recommendations. It is much more efficient to have exterior awnings to shade windows and reduce heat gain (they reduce heat gain to 15 - 25% of original).

Thanks Deborah! You know so much about this stuff.

When I was looking into double glazing some companies are claiming a much greater reduction of heat gain than your figures (for example: http://www.duoglass.com.au/why-double-glaze/thermal-comfort (http://www.duoglass.com.au/why-double-glaze/thermal-comfort)) - so I wonder if there is some variance between companies / technologies or whether the double glazing technology has improved in recent years? Certainly the example given on that page, of it being 30 degrees outside and 24 inside, would make a huge difference to my life.

I inspected my problematic windows with your advice re: awnings in mind. They both sit close under the roofline (20cm between top of window and bottom of roof) with decent eaves that do shade them much of the time. So they effectively already have awnings! However the windows themselves are definitely letting heat in - in summer you can stand near those windows and feel hot air coming through (even when they're shut). These windows face north-west and hot wind hits the house from that direction in the late afternoon and evenings. So I think a system that seals those windows effectively (whether double glazing or new single-pane windows - and definitely bubble glazing in the meantime!) will make a big difference in summer as well as winter.
OK, they have a number of glazing options. From http://www.duoglass.com.au/showcase/faq "by using our most technologically advanced glass - help keep the inside of your double glazed window and therefore your home at 25 degrees". I was quoting double glazing. This changes if you have tinting or reflective glass or various coatings. These by themselves give you quite a reduction in summer heat, but the benefits come from the coating rather than the double glazing. There are now a number of places that add film to windows, and they are much cheaper than double glazing.

If your windows are more than 20 degrees west of north (may be slightly different for Perth - this is for Melbourne), they are probably west as far as sun is concerned, and you probably get the really hot late afternoon sun directly on at least some of the glass, turning the window into a big heater. Awnings, shutters or a shade sticking out of the west side (like an eave, only on the wall and vertical rather than horizontal) prevent the sun shining directly onto the glass. You can experiment by putting a sheet over the window on the outside one afternoon. Awnings would have the added advantage that they would reduce the amount of wind hitting the window.

I have the same problem with my house, as the walls are all about 45 degrees from the main points of the compass. This makes even awnings a bit tricky as the early sun and the late afternoon sun still shine onto them. But I was amazed at the difference awnings made when I installed them, so I am an acknowledged awning bigot!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 15, 2016, 11:49:42 PM
From http://www.duoglass.com.au/showcase/faq "by using our most technologically advanced glass - help keep the inside of your double glazed window and therefore your home at 25 degrees". I was quoting double glazing. This changes if you have tinting or reflective glass or various coatings. These by themselves give you quite a reduction in summer heat, but the benefits come from the coating rather than the double glazing. There are now a number of places that add film to windows, and they are much cheaper than double glazing.

If your windows are more than 20 degrees west of north (may be slightly different for Perth - this is for Melbourne), they are probably west as far as sun is concerned, and you probably get the really hot late afternoon sun directly on at least some of the glass, turning the window into a big heater. Awnings, shutters or a shade sticking out of the west side (like an eave, only on the wall and vertical rather than horizontal) prevent the sun shining directly onto the glass. You can experiment by putting a sheet over the window on the outside one afternoon. Awnings would have the added advantage that they would reduce the amount of wind hitting the window.

I have the same problem with my house, as the walls are all about 45 degrees from the main points of the compass. This makes even awnings a bit tricky as the early sun and the late afternoon sun still shine onto them. But I was amazed at the difference awnings made when I installed them, so I am an acknowledged awning bigot!

I think I understand it better now. Thanks. I was comparing double-glazing+coating to just double glazing. You're saying that in this scenario the double glazing would reduce heat loss in winter, and the coating would be what reduced heat gain in summer. Both seem like very good things to me!

I've looked into window tinting / coating before for a different window, one which is well-sealed but gets a lot of sun. I'll investigate that again.

The problem windows at the front of the house are indeed more than 20 degrees west of north.

Do you have any vertical awnings on your windows? If yes, would you be happy to share photos? I've been looking online but haven't found what you're describing. Even retractable outdoor blinds over the windows in question would make a huge difference, I think.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 21, 2016, 02:17:06 AM
Anyone do anything special to reduce their impact this weekend?

I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but did maintain my good habits (line drying, saving water to use on the garden, minimising driving). I put some effort in to my garden today: if I can grow food that will be a win on so many fronts! And in the meantime it's a very low impact hobby.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls on August 21, 2016, 02:26:57 AM
I have been mainly eating vegetarian meals at work, its hard to go vegan as they don't really have those options, and most of the vegans/ vegetarians at work just supply their own food, I have also been using reusable containers instead of the plastic disposable ones work supplies for packing my lunch. Small things, but every little bit helps
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MoonLiteNite on August 21, 2016, 02:35:51 AM
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.

Not yet, but I've started looking into the local regulations for grey water in my city.

Do you collect rainwater from your roof already? That's something I want to look into soon.

When i was a kid my family used the washer's dirty water to water the lawn. The amount of soap that was used was very little, and didn't cause any problems with local plants/grass
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stripey on August 21, 2016, 04:16:37 AM
Making odd meals out of the fridge contents so that when I go interstate for a couple of days there shouldn't be any additional food wastage!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Melody on August 21, 2016, 04:33:29 AM
Researched buying a soda stream (because i feel bad about all the soda water bottles our household goes through).

Sent from my SM-G900K using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 21, 2016, 07:02:20 PM
Researched buying a soda stream (because i feel bad about all the soda water bottles our household goes through).

You've seen the FrugalWoods hack for sodastreams, right? They did some weird welding thing to use a giant bottle of CO2, or something (I know nothing about how sodastreams work).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Melody on August 25, 2016, 04:47:23 PM
Researched buying a soda stream (because i feel bad about all the soda water bottles our household goes through).

You've seen the FrugalWoods hack for sodastreams, right? They did some weird welding thing to use a giant bottle of CO2, or something (I know nothing about how sodastreams work).
The soda stream costs $84 to set up (machine plus 3 bottles) and $19 to refill the canister thereafter. (Each canister makes 60L of soda water.) So we would have to drink about 120L for the payback period (so for our household about 1 year). We still decided to do it because of environmental reasons  (lots of plastic bottles not having to be transported or recycled) and convenience  (bottles are heavy and we both like to shop by walking or bike). After the initial year $19 per 60L ispretty good.

Likewise after reading this thread we bought some who gives a crap. If anyone reading this (new customer) wants $10 off use code doinggoodlookinggood

Sent from my SM-G900K using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on August 25, 2016, 05:03:49 PM
Our toilet rolls arrived two days ago, v pleased with the quality. I ordered 48 for the best value and now we have a toilet roll storage problem! I have made an art installation in the spare room, at least the wrappers are pretty.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 05, 2016, 07:04:49 PM
Our toilet rolls arrived two days ago, v pleased with the quality. I ordered 48 for the best value and now we have a toilet roll storage problem! I have made an art installation in the spare room, at least the wrappers are pretty.

Are you still finding them, uh, enjoyable? I really like WGAC. Almost time for another order. As a side-benefit, I love not having to buy TP for months at a time.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 05, 2016, 07:30:06 PM
Housing thermal efficiency update: shade blinds for the deck have been ordered and will hopefully be installed in about a month. My passive solar house enthusiast father* looked at the way the sun hits the deck and the French doors to the deck in the afternoon on the weekend and confirmed that the blinds should make a significant difference to how warm the adjacent rooms get through Summer.

My local window tinting place sent me samples of their laminates which I have blu-tacked to a window to consider. I don't much like reflective tinting anyway, but seeing it in situ has confirmed that it is not the option for me. I think I will get the enerlogic instead. I'm wondering whether it's worth getting an East-facing window tinted; I will be getting the North and West windows tinted for sure.

The other part of my big housing efficiency push is to replace ancient single-pane windows with new double-glazed windows. I've had quotes from two companies, but their quotes annoyingly don't include U value, SGHC, or other technical details that I need to pin down to be sure I'm comparing like-for-like. Following up on that is a job for later in the week.

Smaller things: I'm right in the middle of replacing ornamental deciduous trees with evergreen fruit trees, both to get better bang for buck for the water and other inputs (may as well get fruit out of the garden, right?) and to improve the micro-climate with year-round lush greenery. Also, my hideously energy inefficient washing machine that has been on its last legs for a few years now will soon be replaced with a much more efficient new-to-me model free, courtesy of a sibling's laundry renovation. It won't be the MOST energy or water efficient model ever, but it will be a LOT better than what I'm currently using.

*Pro tip: if your dad is the kind of person who talks about wanting to build a straw bale house, and you as a young adult decide you want to improve the thermal efficiency of your home, your dad will be very happy AND you will get great advice from him.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Eucalyptus on September 05, 2016, 07:42:41 PM
Our toilet rolls arrived two days ago, v pleased with the quality. I ordered 48 for the best value and now we have a toilet roll storage problem! I have made an art installation in the spare room, at least the wrappers are pretty.

Are you still finding them, uh, enjoyable? I really like WGAC. Almost time for another order. As a side-benefit, I love not having to buy TP for months at a time.

I saw Who Gives A Crap for the first time the other day. I'm a strong believer in water and sanitation charities for bang for buck. I've seen both issues first hand throughout sub saharan africa, and the difference just a good waterpump makes to a village and especially to the women and children in it. The flow on effects are huge, it really is Step 1 in solving the problems of the worlds' poorest (after getting them away from immediate life threatening danger like war zones).

I thought it was a pretty interesting charity model! Last year I donated a few hundred to WaterAid. I wonder which is more efficient though; buying cheap 100% recycled environmentally friendly toilet paper locally in bulk, and then donating the difference to WGAC to a charity like WaterAid (who also do sanitation and toilets, eg in Burkina Faso). I want  to do some calculations as to which results in more $ going to charity. For those who have the motivation and gumption to donate anyway (and a Moustachian budgeter), it might be more efficient to use the first suggestion, though I can totally see how the WGAC model could work for SpendyPants.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 05, 2016, 07:46:24 PM
I saw Who Gives A Crap for the first time the other day. I'm a strong believer in water and sanitation charities for bang for buck. I've seen both issues first hand throughout sub saharan africa, and the difference just a good waterpump makes to a village and especially to the women and children in it. The flow on effects are huge, it really is Step 1 in solving the problems of the worlds' poorest (after getting them away from immediate life threatening danger like war zones).

I thought it was a pretty interesting charity model! Last year I donated a few hundred to WaterAid. I wonder which is more efficient though; buying cheap 100% recycled environmentally friendly toilet paper locally in bulk, and then donating the difference to WGAC to a charity like WaterAid (who also do sanitation and toilets, eg in Burkina Faso). I want  to do some calculations as to which results in more $ going to charity. For those who have the motivation and gumption to donate anyway (and a Moustachian budgeter), it might be more efficient to use the first suggestion, though I can totally see how the WGAC model could work for SpendyPants.

I couldn't find cheap recycled TP locally, so it's a no-brainer for me. Spend the same as I would anyway, but know that it's better for the environment than my other options = win-win.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on September 06, 2016, 01:07:26 AM
Our toilet rolls arrived two days ago, v pleased with the quality. I ordered 48 for the best value and now we have a toilet roll storage problem! I have made an art installation in the spare room, at least the wrappers are pretty.

Are you still finding them, uh, enjoyable? I really like WGAC. Almost time for another order. As a side-benefit, I love not having to buy TP for months at a time.

Yes. I give them a double thumbs up.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stripey on September 13, 2016, 04:15:35 AM
I've been using WGAC for about eighteen months now (and I still have their Chistmas-edition rolls on the shelf). The box of double rolls works out to be $1/double roll. I have no complaints (although I would prefer a locally made option).

Can't comment on their tissues or paper towelling because I don't use either of these items (although I do keep a single box of tissues in case visitors ask for one).

As I tend to do most of my grocery shopping by bicycle or bus, the door delivery option is fantabulous for my situation too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 18, 2016, 08:09:28 PM
Convinced Mr Happier that individual serves of raw meat don't need to be put in ziplock bags to be frozen - instead they can be put into Tupperware style containers, thus reducing our consumption of single use plastic. Yay!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on September 19, 2016, 06:27:49 AM
I burn a lot of fuel, drive a big truck, travel a lot, have a large home and buildings, eat out a lot, drink bottled water, and am guilty of being a pretty normal consumer, however my hobby, passion and lifes work of the last 26 years has been a really cool, large scale environmental project.   We purchased a 100 acre row crop grain farm (where we live) which had been farmed hard for many years, corn & beans to bare dirt after harvest and have been converting it into riparian wildlife habitat.   Have eliminated farming, planted over 40,000 trees, 60-70 acres of native prairie grasses, built two large ponds, planted food plots for wildlife, done selective logging and timber stand improvements in forested areas, cleaned up old farm junk, improved springs and water sources, etc., etc.    Have also purchased two smaller adjoining properties to enlarge the footprint and do more of the same.   

We do maintain an energy efficient home and buildings, raise a garden, eat wild game, burn wood for supplemental heat, recycle, try to minimize landfill input, do not litter or pollute, etc.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on September 19, 2016, 08:02:12 AM
Woke up feeling like shit, no fever, but still sick. Put on my big girl pants and biked to work anyway instead of taking the car. Was wheezing the whole way with my mouth open because I couldn't breathe through my nose, but at least I had the wind at my back.

Brought lunch in a glass container too, because of course.

It's 10 am and I'm already looking forward to bedtime tonight.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on September 19, 2016, 10:35:41 AM
I burn a lot of fuel, drive a big truck, travel a lot, have a large home and buildings, eat out a lot, drink bottled water, and am guilty of being a pretty normal consumer, however my hobby, passion and lifes work of the last 26 years has been a really cool, large scale environmental project.   We purchased a 100 acre row crop grain farm (where we live) which had been farmed hard for many years, corn & beans to bare dirt after harvest and have been converting it into riparian wildlife habitat.   Have eliminated farming, planted over 40,000 trees, 60-70 acres of native prairie grasses, built two large ponds, planted food plots for wildlife, done selective logging and timber stand improvements in forested areas, cleaned up old farm junk, improved springs and water sources, etc., etc.    Have also purchased two smaller adjoining properties to enlarge the footprint and do more of the same.   

We do maintain an energy efficient home and buildings, raise a garden, eat wild game, burn wood for supplemental heat, recycle, try to minimize landfill input, do not litter or pollute, etc.

AWESOME. Can you share more about your projecct? Do you have a website or a blog? Who are your influences--I've been reading a lot of John Seymour books and permaculture texts lately and it all sounds like it's in the same wheelhouse, but curious what inspires you?

Our environmental stuff:
* Participated in the coastal cleanup day this weekend with the Cub Scouts, collecting several buckets of trash from the banks of the local creek, keeping it from becoming part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch come winter rains.
* Send my kids to school with totally reusable lunch kits, no disposables packaging.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on September 19, 2016, 10:52:24 AM
AWESOME. Can you share more about your projecct? Do you have a website or a blog? Who are your influences--I've been reading a lot of John Seymour books and permaculture texts lately and it all sounds like it's in the same wheelhouse, but curious what inspires you?

No website or blog, but did have an article about my project in The Izaak Walton league monthly magazine several years ago.
I'm just an avid hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman who is lucky enough to have some discretionary income to spend on this passion.   In addition to what I've self funded, there are numerous federal programs you can enroll land in for habitat improvement.   Some pays and annual fee to the landowner, some reduces your tax base, and some share the cost of plantings.  I've gotten to know folks at my local soil office and utilized these programs when they made sense.
I guess the real motivation was seeing the wood lots, swamps and habitat that we enjoyed loafing around in as kids being gradually stripped, leveled and planted with crops.  Felt like if my family and friends were going to have local recreation land, then I better take care of and improve what we have.   These days I enjoy the habitat work nearly as much as the recreation.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: clarkai on September 19, 2016, 06:15:24 PM
Today I:

+ Rode my bike to school.
+ Prepared a legume-based lunch.
+ Used up the last of some greens that were about to go, and composted the rest.

Tonight I'll:

+ Start chickpeas in the slow cooker for lunch tomorrow.
+ Prep breakfast tonight so that it's super quick tomorrow.
+ Go to bed early, thus saving light- I'm super exhausted today.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Jack on September 21, 2016, 01:46:22 PM
On another note, I really love how the environmentalist choice is usually the healthy and frugal choice as well.

That's not a coincidence. Once you account for all externalities, "most sustainable" and "cheapest" become synonymous.

Why would you be mad to double glaze - does it not make that much more of a difference compared to replacing old windows with new single-pane windows?

I have to admit, I love the look of my 1948 leadlight windows, so double glazing appealed to me for the simple fact that you can apparently layer the beautiful original glass with the new stuff, i.e. keep the 'look' of the old ones while gaining the efficiency of new windows. Yes, I'm a sucker for my beautiful old house.

Considering total lifecycle costs, double-pane windows can be less sustainable than keeping the existing windows. (Double-pane vs. single-pane when you're insisting on replacement windows regardless is a different question.) An important component of this issue is the fact that old windows were made with old-growth wood that lasts forever (with proper maintenance) whereas new double-pane windows have rubber seals and things that will tend to fail sooner rather than later (years or decades, not centuries).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Brokenreign on September 21, 2016, 02:24:59 PM
Fun topic!

Today I:
- Will not consume animal products
- Will tend my garden and harvest basil to make pesto, chard and bok choy for stir fry, and see if any squash are ready
- Will eat leftovers out of recycled take-out containers
- Will not give birth to any children :)

I was going to quip that I used a condom today but you beat me to the punch. Also it would be disingenuous to claim sex on a Wednesday. Kudo to you sir/ma'am/gender neutral descriptor.

Most of the food I ate today was stuff that was going to be thrown away at the office.

Continued my multi-week streak of no driving and no meat.

Stared at my tiny phone screen instead of my power-hungry work desktop screen, for the environment of course.

I don't really concern myself with the environment but being frugal, hating driving and not procreating seems to have positive results in the end.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 27, 2016, 08:16:31 PM
Today I'm planting some of the fruit trees and plants I bought yesterday; in the short term buying fruit trees is 'consumption' but in the long term they will provide food for us and shelter for animals. If I'm going to 'spend' water on my garden anyway, I'd like it to be productive.

I'll also be sowing seeds for flowers to attract and feed bees and other beneficial insects.

Breakfast and lunch are both vegan today.

Why would you be mad to double glaze - does it not make that much more of a difference compared to replacing old windows with new single-pane windows?

I have to admit, I love the look of my 1948 leadlight windows, so double glazing appealed to me for the simple fact that you can apparently layer the beautiful original glass with the new stuff, i.e. keep the 'look' of the old ones while gaining the efficiency of new windows. Yes, I'm a sucker for my beautiful old house.

Considering total lifecycle costs, double-pane windows can be less sustainable than keeping the existing windows. (Double-pane vs. single-pane when you're insisting on replacement windows regardless is a different question.) An important component of this issue is the fact that old windows were made with old-growth wood that lasts forever (with proper maintenance) whereas new double-pane windows have rubber seals and things that will tend to fail sooner rather than later (years or decades, not centuries).

Didn't realise I hadn't commented further on double glazing since this comment. We do need to replace the original windows (boo) if we're going to get anything approaching decent thermal efficiency. Given we're replacing anyway, I've done heaps of research and we're going ahead with double glazed windows.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Sandia on September 27, 2016, 10:41:43 PM
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.

Not yet, but I've started looking into the local regulations for grey water in my city.

Do you collect rainwater from your roof already? That's something I want to look into soon.

When i was a kid my family used the washer's dirty water to water the lawn. The amount of soap that was used was very little, and didn't cause any problems with local plants/grass

We toss the washing machine outlet hose out the window into a garden. So far, so good. To be on the safe side, we buy washing powder that claims to be environmentally friendly, and use half or less the recommended amount (clothes are just as clean).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 27, 2016, 10:52:24 PM
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.

Not yet, but I've started looking into the local regulations for grey water in my city.

Do you collect rainwater from your roof already? That's something I want to look into soon.

When i was a kid my family used the washer's dirty water to water the lawn. The amount of soap that was used was very little, and didn't cause any problems with local plants/grass

We toss the washing machine outlet hose out the window into a garden. So far, so good. To be on the safe side, we buy washing powder that claims to be environmentally friendly, and use half or less the recommended amount (clothes are just as clean).

I don't use laundry detergent at all after someone whose husband worked in a lab creating detergents told me that they don't actually do anything (it's the agitation and water that does the actual cleaning). I'm not sure it's strictly true, but my clothes are just as clean now as when we used detergent.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Sandia on September 27, 2016, 11:08:30 PM
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.

Not yet, but I've started looking into the local regulations for grey water in my city.

Do you collect rainwater from your roof already? That's something I want to look into soon.

When i was a kid my family used the washer's dirty water to water the lawn. The amount of soap that was used was very little, and didn't cause any problems with local plants/grass

We toss the washing machine outlet hose out the window into a garden. So far, so good. To be on the safe side, we buy washing powder that claims to be environmentally friendly, and use half or less the recommended amount (clothes are just as clean).

I don't use laundry detergent at all after someone whose husband worked in a lab creating detergents told me that they don't actually do anything (it's the agitation and water that does the actual cleaning). I'm not sure it's strictly true, but my clothes are just as clean now as when we used detergent.

GASP I don't know why I never thought to ditch the laundry soap completely. Thanks Happier! Do you know if this works for hankerchiefs? They are by far the dirtiest thing we wash (they even get their own separate load).
I'll have to keep the soap around for the housemates, but cutting out my own consumption would be grand.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 27, 2016, 11:21:07 PM
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.

Not yet, but I've started looking into the local regulations for grey water in my city.

Do you collect rainwater from your roof already? That's something I want to look into soon.

When i was a kid my family used the washer's dirty water to water the lawn. The amount of soap that was used was very little, and didn't cause any problems with local plants/grass

We toss the washing machine outlet hose out the window into a garden. So far, so good. To be on the safe side, we buy washing powder that claims to be environmentally friendly, and use half or less the recommended amount (clothes are just as clean).

I don't use laundry detergent at all after someone whose husband worked in a lab creating detergents told me that they don't actually do anything (it's the agitation and water that does the actual cleaning). I'm not sure it's strictly true, but my clothes are just as clean now as when we used detergent.

GASP I don't know why I never thought to ditch the laundry soap completely. Thanks Happier! Do you know if this works for hankerchiefs? They are by far the dirtiest thing we wash (they even get their own separate load).
I'll have to keep the soap around for the housemates, but cutting out my own consumption would be grand.

I don't know for a fact that it would work for hankies, but why not give it a go and see? Worst that could happen is that you'd have to run a load again.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on September 28, 2016, 05:04:53 AM
How does being vegetarian reduce environmental impact?
Vegetables require oxygen and nutrients to grow, same as animals fish & fowl.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on September 28, 2016, 06:15:09 AM
This weekend I participated in planting ~30 trees and shrubs to create a riparian buffer near a stream in my community. I've gone several times to remove invasive knotweed as well. We're working on reducing erosion and mowed area.

Also, I barely ever use gasoline since our one car is a PHEV. We didn't drive a huge amount to begin with, but we've probably saved 70 gallons of gasoline since June.

Haven't used any climate control in the past two weeks, either, except the occasional fan on.

ETA: I've also been drinking leftover coffee from the event for the past several days rather than making my own, since I knew Starbucks would have to throw it away. (They donated it.)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 28, 2016, 05:21:16 PM
How does being vegetarian reduce environmental impact?
Vegetables require oxygen and nutrients to grow, same as animals fish & fowl.

While it's certainly possible to sabotage vegetarian/vegan food so that it's less environmentally friendly (eating 2000 calories of cucumber or lettuce that was flown across the country is a pretty big impact), it's generally a smaller environmental footprint to eat fewer animal products.  Most farmed meat requires that plant material be grown and shipped to location, then yields less per calorie from the meat than what was put into the animal via feed for example.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 28, 2016, 06:46:22 PM
How does being vegetarian reduce environmental impact?
Vegetables require oxygen and nutrients to grow, same as animals fish & fowl.

If you're interested in this, definitely start googling as I'm sure you'll find heaps of interesting information and viewpoints.

But in short: meat 'costs' more (in environmental terms) to produce per calorie than plant based foods do.

I'm not vegetarian / vegan, but there's good logic behind reducing meat and dairy consumption to reduce your footprint.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on September 29, 2016, 07:24:20 AM
One of the most serious environmental problems we have in the US currently is the draining of Lake Mead due to vegetable production water needs in southern Cal.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 29, 2016, 05:34:35 PM
One of the most serious environmental problems we have in the US currently is the draining of Lake Mead due to vegetable production water needs in southern Cal.

If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.  (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/embedded-water/ (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/embedded-water/)).  There are a few plant food items that have higher water requirements than animals grown for meat, but on the whole eating vegetables is less wasteful from a water perspective.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on September 29, 2016, 07:35:04 PM
I guerilla-gardened (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_gardening) a little this week: planted a pomegranate seedling in an oddball strip near our house that gets some accidental water but that no one really maintains. If it survives (hard to say), in about five years it should be producing fruit that anyone in the neighborhood can harvest and enjoy.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 29, 2016, 08:10:43 PM
Will walk (rather than drive) to a sibling's house this weekend to drop off some plant seeds.

Another sibling is giving me a second-hand washing machine, which means I won't be buying a new one*.

*Yep, lots of people buy second-hand appliances, but I've been looking and looking and had no luck, and at some point you just really need to be able to wash your clothes properly right?

I guerilla-gardened (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_gardening) a little this week: planted a pomegranate seedling in an oddball strip near our house that gets some accidental water but that no one really maintains. If it survives (hard to say), in about five years it should be producing fruit that anyone in the neighborhood can harvest and enjoy.

This is very cool. One of my siblings used to scatter flower seeds in vacant lots as a teenager :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on September 30, 2016, 05:25:17 AM
If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.

Water consumption varies as they grow, but on average hogs consume about 2 gal of water per day.   It takes 24 weeks to get them to 250# butcher weight, or (168) days, meaning they have consumed 336 gallons of water birth to butcher.   A 250# hog will yield approx. 145# of meat, so that works out to 2.3 gallon of water per pound of meat.   Even if I'm wrong by 50 or 100%, Your math is still way off.

You also have to look at food in terms of fuel for your body.   It takes a heck of a lot more pounds of vegetable to generate the same calories and fuel that meat gives your body.   Another comment.  Not all meat eaters eat store bought, factory farmed meat.   The majority of our red meat comes from venison, and we also eat quite a bit of fish that I catch.   This is a very low cost, renewable resource that doesn't damage the planet in any way that I'm aware of.

I'm not convinced that a vegan diet has any true positive environmental impact other than between your ears.   
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on September 30, 2016, 06:05:19 AM
If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.

Water consumption varies as they grow, but on average hogs consume about 2 gal of water per day.   It takes 24 weeks to get them to 250# butcher weight, or (168) days, meaning they have consumed 336 gallons of water birth to butcher.   A 250# hog will yield approx. 145# of meat, so that works out to 2.3 gallon of water per pound of meat.   Even if I'm wrong by 50 or 100%, Your math is still way off.

What about the water that is used to grow the pigs' food? Add that in. Even if they eat scraps and forage it's still relevant.

They way I look at the point people above are trying to make about meat consumption and the environment is that if everyone consumed at levels in the western world it wouldn't be sustainable. If everyone wanted to eat venison and catch fish it wouldn't be sustainable either. Hence the need for the western world to just slow down a bit on consumption or more and more forests will be cleared for grazing for example. I've heard some people eat meat at every meal.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 30, 2016, 06:05:55 AM
If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.

Water consumption varies as they grow, but on average hogs consume about 2 gal of water per day.   It takes 24 weeks to get them to 250# butcher weight, or (168) days, meaning they have consumed 336 gallons of water birth to butcher.   A 250# hog will yield approx. 145# of meat, so that works out to 2.3 gallon of water per pound of meat.   Even if I'm wrong by 50 or 100%, Your math is still way off.

You've forgotten to account for the water used by the feed given to the animals.  Pig eat a lot of food, and the food that they eat requires water to be produced.  You've also forgotten the large amounts of water used during processing of the animals, water used for cooling, and washing.  Try adding in that amount to your calculations to fix them.  (It's not my math.  It's from the National Geographic link that I posted, and they use numbers provided from the Water Foundation Network.  If you want an alternate view point, you can look at this study commissioned by the pork farmers of the US: http://www.pork.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/11-133-matlock-uofark.pdf (http://www.pork.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/11-133-matlock-uofark.pdf) which breaks down the specifics of water usage in farming.  There appears to be a lot of room for improvement in the future based on that report.)


You also have to look at food in terms of fuel for your body.   It takes a heck of a lot more pounds of vegetable to generate the same calories and fuel that meat gives your body.   Another comment.  Not all meat eaters eat store bought, factory farmed meat.   The majority of our red meat comes from venison, and we also eat quite a bit of fish that I catch.   This is a very low cost, renewable resource that doesn't damage the planet in any way that I'm aware of.

Absolutely, if you're eating low calorie vegetables and completely avoiding higher calorie grains and fruit you'll require many more pounds of vegetable product to fuel your body.  That's not a very common scenario but something to be aware of.  If you're eating a large amount of soybeans, barley, potato, wheat, and similar you'll be getting a very large amount of calories in an environmentally efficient manner.

There doesn't exist enough wild game to feed all the people in the US.  Very few people can live only off of meat that they hunt/fish.  When referring to meat consumption, usually it's assumed that we're talking about average meat consumption - which is factory farmed.


I'm not convinced that a vegan diet has any true positive environmental impact other than between your ears.

It's certainly possible to choose an environmentally damaging vegan diet.  As a general rule of thumb they're usually less environmentally damaging than a high in animal product diet, but it's always important to look at total costs of the food you eat and make informed choices.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on September 30, 2016, 06:45:25 AM
Good discussion.   In truth, you can be low impact or high impact regardless of your diet choice.

Same as livestock's food requires water, soil does not just magically produce food every year.  Growing plants requires fertilizer input, lime, tillage, fuel, equipment, weed control, etc., etc. to maintain production, all of which require resources and cost $$.

No fact here, just a personal observation ..... The all veggie diet will require a lot more toilet paper too, meaning you are killing more trees :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 30, 2016, 08:05:02 AM
Good discussion.   In truth, you can be low impact or high impact regardless of your diet choice.

Sure.

On the whole though, a diet heavy in animal products tends to be worse for the environment (and a significant amount of evidence shows that it's less healthy for you).  The lowest impact plant based diet will be less impact to the Earth than the lowest impact omnivorous diet.  If you ignore this in your argument you're not being balanced or fair in your argument.

Proper soil management and crop rotation can radically reduce the need to add manufactured chemicals to the soil.

Quote
No fact here, just a personal observation ..... The all veggie diet will require a lot more toilet paper too, meaning you are killing more trees :)

There's nothing forcing you to wipe paper on your ass to clean it.  Many better alternatives exist, from reusable cloth wipes to getting a bidet.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: rupanama on September 30, 2016, 08:37:08 AM
1. Biked to work
2. Eat vegetarian
3. Use a toilet with quart jars of water in it to reduce flush volume
4. Use only LED or CFL lights at home.
5. Keep the thermostat lower (62-65 deg. F. in the winter).
6. Use a smaller refrigerator -- going from a 22 cu.ft. fridge to a 15 cu.ft. fridge cuts the electricity usage by quite a bit, although I forget the numbers exactly.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on September 30, 2016, 08:40:39 AM
On the whole though, a diet heavy in animal products tends to be worse for the environment (and a significant amount of evidence shows that it's less healthy for you).  The lowest impact plant based diet will be less impact to the Earth than the lowest impact omnivorous diet. 

That's your story and you're sticking with it, I get it.

Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

I won't take the TP discussion any further, that was just for fun.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 30, 2016, 09:44:45 AM
Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

That may well be true.  Your average consumer of animal products is going to be doing even worse than that.

Look, I'm not really militant about this sort of thing.  I do believe that you follow a healthy diet with a reduced environmental impact while eating animal products - it's how I try to live.  You appear to be arguing that animal products are no more environmentally damaging than plant products, which contradicts nearly everything I've ever read.  If you have any studies or evidence that supports your belief that the average vegan diet has the same environmental impact as the average omnivorous diet, I'd be interested to see them.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Jack on September 30, 2016, 03:00:34 PM
Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

That may well be true.  Your average consumer of animal products is going to be doing even worse than that.

Look, I'm not really militant about this sort of thing.  I do believe that you follow a healthy diet with a reduced environmental impact while eating animal products - it's how I try to live.  You appear to be arguing that animal products are no more environmentally damaging than plant products, which contradicts nearly everything I've ever read.  If you have any studies or evidence that supports your belief that the average vegan diet has the same environmental impact as the average omnivorous diet, I'd be interested to see them.

Are there hypocritical vegetarians? Of course. Does that excuse false equivalences by non-vegetarians? Absolutely not. On average, meat tends to be less eco-friendly than vegetables.

But it's not that simple. For example, north Georgia is the chicken capital of the world. That means, for me, chicken is likely to be a lot more eco-friendly than, say, lamb (most of which is shipped from Australia or New Zealand) -- and by that I mean the margin is even wider for me than it is for people elsewhere. Similarly, peanuts from south Georgia are a lot more eco-friendly, for me, than almonds from California. Are almonds from California more eco-friendly (on a per-calorie basis) for me than relatively-local chicken? Probably, but it's uncertain enough that I'd have to do research to answer it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 06, 2016, 06:56:33 PM
Visiting someone for dinner tonight and we'll be walking there and back. No need to burn fossil fuels when someone's only walking distance from our house!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on October 07, 2016, 05:56:29 AM
I got 170 MPGe on a 10-mile trip yesterday. I'm pretty sure that's a personal best, and way better than the EPA rating for my car.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mm1970 on October 07, 2016, 01:18:50 PM
Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

That may well be true.  Your average consumer of animal products is going to be doing even worse than that.

Look, I'm not really militant about this sort of thing.  I do believe that you follow a healthy diet with a reduced environmental impact while eating animal products - it's how I try to live.  You appear to be arguing that animal products are no more environmentally damaging than plant products, which contradicts nearly everything I've ever read.  If you have any studies or evidence that supports your belief that the average vegan diet has the same environmental impact as the average omnivorous diet, I'd be interested to see them.

Are there hypocritical vegetarians? Of course. Does that excuse false equivalences by non-vegetarians? Absolutely not. On average, meat tends to be less eco-friendly than vegetables.

But it's not that simple. For example, north Georgia is the chicken capital of the world. That means, for me, chicken is likely to be a lot more eco-friendly than, say, lamb (most of which is shipped from Australia or New Zealand) -- and by that I mean the margin is even wider for me than it is for people elsewhere. Similarly, peanuts from south Georgia are a lot more eco-friendly, for me, than almonds from California. Are almonds from California more eco-friendly (on a per-calorie basis) for me than relatively-local chicken? Probably, but it's uncertain enough that I'd have to do research to answer it.
This is a very interesting discussion.  I think about this a lot.

I've got friends who are environmentalists... posting things about not letting helium balloons go, worrying about the Pacific Garbage patch, always using reusable bottles.  They buy local and free-range meat.  But they eat a lot of it (mostly paleo).  They drive large vehicles, and take a lot of vacations in their large vehicles.  They also like to shop and go through a lot of clothing...they donate it, but my own opinion is that most of that stuff just gets thrown in the trash.  "Refuse" before "recycle".

Anyway, this week I rode my bike 2x.  I brought my lunch from home.  I didn't cook much on the weekend, so lots of my food was vegetarian this week.  For my son's baseball game, I took a bottle of water and lunch from home, so no snack bag trash.

Every time I empty a bag of *something* (beans, rice, bread, whatever), I think about "is there a better way" (like Zero Waste Home).  But: I don't have a ton of free time.  At one point, our local city told us that they wanted us to put plastic bags in our recycle bins.  That was great, because it was easier than taking them to grocery stores.  Now the grocery stores don't even collect plastic bags, because we've outlawed them.   But within the last year, the city doesn't WANT the bags because they clog up the recycling process/ machines.

So...what to do?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on October 07, 2016, 10:29:46 PM
Use cloth bags. Our area has banned stores using plastic bags. You have to bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on October 07, 2016, 10:47:41 PM
Use cloth bags. Our area has banned stores using plastic bags. You have to bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket.

But what about the food wrapping plastic bags? We return these to the supermarket and the company that collects makes play equipment or something. Maybe the poster above could contact the company that was doing the collections and find another pick up  point?

Other options are making your own bread and buying from bulk stores where you can use paper or your own containers. Bring your own small bags for produce maybe. We've been collecting all our plastic as a sort of audit and all the bags and wrappers seem avoidable  if we were to make everything from scratch. Milk bottles are a problem for us, I wish we could get it delivered in glass bottles.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stripey on October 08, 2016, 10:02:55 AM
Looks like I'm spoiled for choice without knowing it as there are two brands of milk in glass at my local IGA (I'm in Perth). As well as cream in glass jars too. However nobody I know locally will re-use the bottles. Olive oil is another story though- there are a couple of local vendors where I can take the cleaned bottle back for a re-fill.

I can also get bread from some local supermarkets in paper, or can ask to use my own bag at a bakery. I did have a go at sourdough bread for a while but decided I didn't eat enough bread to be bothered to Feed the Damn Starter. I used to make bread in my undergraduate years quite a lot, because it was cheap and money was super-tight the first couple of years.

The local butcher looked at me very strangely when I asked him to fill up my own re-useable glass container with mince instead of using a plastic bag, but they've been quite good about that and other things. It took a little bit of courage to ask though.

As for bags for produce (e.g. loose potatoes or spinach), I use small net bags with a drawstring- a mixture of commercially available ones (Onya Bags have a range in Australia) and some DIY ones from leftover scraps of netting from a camping project (they came up really well).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: obstinate on October 08, 2016, 03:44:32 PM
I have started to flip off all the power trees except the Wifi. At this point my monthly usage should be at or below 200 kWh. I will also be moving closer to family soon to reduce the length of flights I need to make. Currently in Silicon Valley, will move to NYC -- this will also allow getting rid of cars.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: obstinate on October 08, 2016, 03:47:54 PM
I also intend to begin buying high quality offsets this year. The company I work for offsets its carbon emissions and allows employees to participate in their offsetting scheme. This is not shitty tree-growing offsets. This is real stuff, like animal manure methane capture, landfill methane capture, and abandoned mine gas capture. I am in the market for a good carbon calculator to calculate my total footprint. If anyone knows of a good one, please post it here.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on October 14, 2016, 06:53:38 PM
My gardener didn't come this week (which is weird and not like him and if he doesn't reappear when he is next due back I will definitely call and make sure he's OK), so I went to the garage, got out the push-reel lawn mower I bought at an estate sale earlier this year and mowed my own damn lawn! No gas, no electricity, extra exertion for me, grasscycling in place builds soil and above all, it was kind of fun!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MoonLiteNite on October 15, 2016, 01:47:56 AM
I held in a fart, less methane in the air!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 16, 2016, 03:28:42 PM
My gardener didn't come this week (which is weird and not like him and if he doesn't reappear when he is next due back I will definitely call and make sure he's OK), so I went to the garage, got out the push-reel lawn mower I bought at an estate sale earlier this year and mowed my own damn lawn! No gas, no electricity, extra exertion for me, grasscycling in place builds soil and above all, it was kind of fun!

You have a gardener?  :P
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: kpd905 on October 16, 2016, 03:51:22 PM
I just switched our electricity to the renewable energy option (WE Energies in WI), which will add about 2 cents per kw.  I turned the water heater down a bit and adjusted our thermostat to try to cut gas costs and maybe break even.

This means about 70% of my electricity will come from wind instead of 53% coal in the normal plan. 

I decided to make the switch when I was reading a pretty cool article about Elon Musk and Tesla: http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/how-tesla-will-change-your-life.html
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on October 16, 2016, 04:50:05 PM
Our latest gas bill says our usage is 20% less than this time last year (aussie winter). We only use gas for hot water and a single space heater, and our loft insulation was already in by this time last year so I think the big decrease is a result of underfloor insulation and blocking gaps & drafts. I don't think we used the gas heater any less (probably more) but it must not have been working as hard.  Or maybe we skipped a whole lot of showers :P
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on October 16, 2016, 10:17:55 PM
My gardener didn't come this week (which is weird and not like him and if he doesn't reappear when he is next due back I will definitely call and make sure he's OK), so I went to the garage, got out the push-reel lawn mower I bought at an estate sale earlier this year and mowed my own damn lawn! No gas, no electricity, extra exertion for me, grasscycling in place builds soil and above all, it was kind of fun!

You have a gardener?  :P

Yup. $60 a month and for the time being, worth every penny.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: syednaeemul on October 16, 2016, 11:02:12 PM
I remember seeing a campaign called Meatless Mondays, was it on Oprah?

Though this week I've failed at MM, I'm starting something else if anyone wants to join (maybe a gauntlet perhaps?) - Water-only Wednesdays! Intermittent fasting is supposed to bring great health benefits, and add to that having water only to flush away toxins, and this may just become a winner.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 16, 2016, 11:31:31 PM
I've heard of Meatfree Mondays being a Paul McCartney thing, but it could be Oprah as well!

Count me out on fasting, but I'm sure if you started a gauntlet there'd be plenty of people interested :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: cincystache on October 17, 2016, 09:50:09 AM
Recently moved closer to my job and started biking to work every day. I also drop off my recycling on my way to the office on my bike. (we don't have curbside pickup in my town). Next step is to get rid of one of our two cars.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 28, 2016, 03:36:31 AM
This week I've done a bit of work in the garden to keep switching over from ornamental plants to edibles.putting the water and fertiliser to good use!

Sister has shared some great research on in-ground worm farms and bokashi bins, so I think I know what my next obsession will be ;-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Half-Borg on November 02, 2016, 01:56:43 PM
I'm on a business trip. Found two guys from the same company who are going on a business trip to my home town tomorrow.
So we carpool. One car instead of two going 300 km.

It's not saving any of us money because we're all getting reimbursed from corporate anyway.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aoptic on November 02, 2016, 02:38:51 PM
One of the most serious environmental problems we have in the US currently is the draining of Lake Mead due to vegetable production water needs in southern Cal.
Honestly, Farming of any kind in a desert is a problem... The issue in S.Cali and S. Nevada (*cough* Vegas) is they made desert into a  Psuedo-arable land by shipping water from all over the place to 2 places that are by all definitions deserts talk about causing environmental issues. The irony is all those tree huggers that live in S.Cali are the reason we have so many  issues in the West... Laws don't seem to be helping them...
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aoptic on November 02, 2016, 02:57:49 PM
1. Biked to work
2. Eat vegetarian
3. Use a toilet with quart jars of water in it to reduce flush volume
4. Use only LED or CFL lights at home.
5. Keep the thermostat lower (62-65 deg. F. in the winter).
6. Use a smaller refrigerator -- going from a 22 cu.ft. fridge to a 15 cu.ft. fridge cuts the electricity usage by quite a bit, although I forget the numbers exactly.

Add a few as well
4 + Do it smart use sensors to turn off and/or turn on lights in the house
5 + Use smart vents and thermostats to automatically find points of the house to heat or call (look at ecobee)
6 + Smart fridge or unplugg frig at night (if you dont want to pay for it) or get a green extension cord that puts your refrigerator on a timer by turning off in the middle of the night or when you set it look at this article from the UK (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1283447/Smart-fridges-turn-save-power.html)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aoptic on November 02, 2016, 03:17:55 PM
I just switched our electricity to the renewable energy option (WE Energies in WI), which will add about 2 cents per kw.  I turned the water heater down a bit and adjusted our thermostat to try to cut gas costs and maybe break even.

This means about 70% of my electricity will come from wind instead of 53% coal in the normal plan. 

I decided to make the switch when I was reading a pretty cool article about Elon Musk and Tesla: http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/how-tesla-will-change-your-life.html

Thanks for the link this was awesome!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 02, 2016, 07:25:16 PM
Yesterday, not today: double-glazed windows were finally installed to replace the beautiful but useless original windows at the front of the house. And ooooh my are they making a difference already! The noise reduction was also lovely overnight, if less environmentally crucial. Months of research and quotes have paid off.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: socalteacher on November 02, 2016, 09:18:09 PM
1. Dual pane windows
2. Solar panels
3. Catch shower water in a bucket for watering plants or flushing toilets
4. I am vegan and wife is 80% vegan
5. Live 2 miles from work (still drive as kids come with me to work)
6. LED bulbs
7. Low water yard
8.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 04, 2016, 06:28:10 AM
The thermal efficiency measures we've made to the house are working! Can confirm that we now do not need air con on when the temp gets into the early 30s (celsius). Waiting to see how it goes tomorrow at 37 degrees. Note: I have an autoimmune disease that affects my temperature regulation, so just toughing it out when the weather gets hot isn't one of my options. Luckily, modifying my house to minimise my need for heating and cooling IS an option :-)

It's now hot and dry enough that I have to actually water my plants. I'm collecting water from a dripping tap and from the shower to use on the garden. It's a small thing for sure, but every bit counts!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Half-Borg on November 04, 2016, 01:31:10 PM
I don't know about Australia, but here in Germany it's not really worth it to save water. And this is said by a eco-vegan magazine.
Delivering water to your house takes almost no energy.

What you have to watch is what you do with the water. Running clean water from the tap to the drain is no problem. Putting lots of detergents in IS a problem. Heating water is also a huge energy drain, which you should watch.

Not that I'm saying you should waste water for no reason.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on November 04, 2016, 01:59:18 PM
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on November 04, 2016, 09:14:04 PM
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on November 04, 2016, 09:38:57 PM
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
When I visited LA I was appalled at the profligacy of water usage there. It really stunned me, as we keep on being told we have similar climates. Sprinklers in gardens! Huge patches of public lawn being sprinklered! Toilets that use obscene amounts of water each flush (every toilet in Australia for the last 20 years or so has had to be dual flush, and now use 3 litres for a normal flush and 4.5 litres for a heavy flush, as against the US standard of 13 litres)! Of course, these are just things that we get drummed into us. You guys probably come over here and are amazed about different forms of profligate water usage.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on November 04, 2016, 10:34:04 PM
I ditched a bunch of old paper, this reducing our potential need to upgrade size of house in the future.

I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 04, 2016, 10:57:36 PM
I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.

It's 34 outside now and we haven't put on the air con yet. Keeping an eye on how far we can push it :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on November 04, 2016, 11:45:05 PM
- Clothes hung out to dry on the washing line.
- Clothes washed in cold water (we do use detergent though - we find that collars of shirts and tops get revolting after a few months if we don't use detergent)
- Walked to the shops
- Today's breakfast, lunch and dinner will be vegetarian (we're not vegetarian but often eat vegetarian or vegan food)
- Bought a never-been-used spice rack from a fundraiser fete. I've been looking for ages for a solution to our somewhat chaotic spice and herbs situation in the pantry and was super happy to have found this spice rack :D
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 05, 2016, 04:59:50 AM
I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.

It's 34 outside now and we haven't put on the air con yet. Keeping an eye on how far we can push it :-)

Ended up needing the air con for an hour (5-6pm). Not bad!

Back down to 25 degrees tomorrow, so won't need any heating or cooling again until the next hot day.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on November 05, 2016, 05:12:45 AM
I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.

It's 34 outside now and we haven't put on the air con yet. Keeping an eye on how far we can push it :-)

Ended up needing the air con for an hour (5-6pm). Not bad!

Back down to 25 degrees tomorrow, so won't need any heating or cooling again until the next hot day.
We used it for 3 hours. Pretty good, and mostly because I insisted on a walk at 4pm. Looking forward to the milder weather tomorrow!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on November 05, 2016, 12:23:34 PM
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
When I visited LA I was appalled at the profligacy of water usage there. It really stunned me, as we keep on being told we have similar climates. Sprinklers in gardens! Huge patches of public lawn being sprinklered! Toilets that use obscene amounts of water each flush (every toilet in Australia for the last 20 years or so has had to be dual flush, and now use 3 litres for a normal flush and 4.5 litres for a heavy flush, as against the US standard of 13 litres)! Of course, these are just things that we get drummed into us. You guys probably come over here and are amazed about different forms of profligate water usage.

Yes, we have a long way to go. I think it's because the country overall has sufficient water, the desert areas have been settled largely by people who assumed they could transplant their East Coast planting and watering practices. But it's completely unsustainable. People are trying to change things but it's slow going.

Our major local, the Los Angeles Times actually has a designated reporter for the "drought" beat. Local environmentalists are working on expanding the use of "rain gardens," rain barrels and other water sequestration practices. We are only allowed to water outside on two designated days of the week, etc. It's not enforced in any meaningful way and people are ambivalent about the changes, so...we'll get there.

FWIW, I love your Australian garden/food/ecology writer Jackie French and steal lots of ideas from similar Australian ecological thinkers, especially the permaculturalists.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on November 05, 2016, 04:37:02 PM
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
When I visited LA I was appalled at the profligacy of water usage there. It really stunned me, as we keep on being told we have similar climates. Sprinklers in gardens! Huge patches of public lawn being sprinklered! Toilets that use obscene amounts of water each flush (every toilet in Australia for the last 20 years or so has had to be dual flush, and now use 3 litres for a normal flush and 4.5 litres for a heavy flush, as against the US standard of 13 litres)! Of course, these are just things that we get drummed into us. You guys probably come over here and are amazed about different forms of profligate water usage.

Yes, we have a long way to go. I think it's because the country overall has sufficient water, the desert areas have been settled largely by people who assumed they could transplant their East Coast planting and watering practices. But it's completely unsustainable. People are trying to change things but it's slow going.

Our major local, the Los Angeles Times actually has a designated reporter for the "drought" beat. Local environmentalists are working on expanding the use of "rain gardens," rain barrels and other water sequestration practices. We are only allowed to water outside on two designated days of the week, etc. It's not enforced in any meaningful way and people are ambivalent about the changes, so...we'll get there.

FWIW, I love your Australian garden/food/ecology writer Jackie French and steal lots of ideas from similar Australian ecological thinkers, especially the permaculturalists.
How interesting! I guess in Australia the whole country doesn't have enough water, so we don't have to worry about re-education. I know Jackie French, but not as an ecology writer! She's written some fantastic children's and young adult books.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on November 05, 2016, 08:09:37 PM
I've started to recycle my soft plastics and reduced our garbage to 1/2 of a plastic shopping bag per month for 2 people.

I started commuting with someone else and cut my costs in half and do better for the environment.

The majority of my grocery trips are now by bike.  I have a bike trailer and I do it MMM style...getting harder in the driving rain now in the PNW.

I've modified my diet to include more beans, although I still eat meat.  This is done to save $ but has an added benefit of being more environmentally friendly.

Trying to organize caravans for the kids sports events which are incredibly taxing on my car and the environment.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on November 05, 2016, 10:57:54 PM
Jackie French lives near here ... and has a garden... which is in the open garden scheme... and writes a lot of gardening articles.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Rollin on November 14, 2016, 03:29:41 PM
No meat = #1 reduction.
No driving = #2.

You may want to watch Conspiracy. Also, read How Not to Die.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: The Guru on November 14, 2016, 05:12:24 PM
Biked to work today, as did my wife. Granted we could/ should do it more, but...we're old lol.

After I got home, I took a look at our nearly Closed for the Season garden and harvested enough broccoli for dinner.

This past weekend we walked to the DQ for dessert*- 3 mile round trip- and I salvaged a complete and decent condition bike from someone's trash.**

* As a Mustachian I guess we should have made do at home but Mrs. Guru really needed to get out of the house. We had a coupon for the sundae (3 bucks and change) which we split; the exercise, time together and sugar did wonders.

** I need ANOTHER bike like I need a third row of teeth, but it looked usable and I couldn't bear to see it shitcanned. Will probably put air in the tires, ride it once and then donate it to the local bike co-op.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on November 14, 2016, 08:12:24 PM
We've been cloth-diapering third kid and it's much easier than I thought it would be. (I'm a SAHM and have a washer and clothesline.) The water use is higher, but we're saving the manufacturing impact and landfill impact of disposables.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 15, 2016, 06:53:50 PM
My garden has started producing FOOD! Very little to start with, but hey, a handle of blueberries from my yard is a handful of nutrients and deliciousness that didn't have to travel in a truck or get wrapped in plastic.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Julard on December 05, 2016, 01:07:13 AM
I switched my electricity account to 100% renewables.   

And planted a street tree (in quiet defiance of local laws!)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls on January 07, 2017, 01:56:09 AM
I havent eaten meat since Sunday night, my goal is to reduce my consumption of meat and animal products. At the end of last year I read two books which inspired me to cut down for two different reasons. One was about the environmental impact of societies increased meat consumption and the other was about the health issues of eating meat, and too much in general.

I am not going to go full vegan or vegetarian, just be more mindful of what I am eating and trying to make healthier choices that are a bit more sustainable.

The two books were

Full Planet, empty plates: the new geopolitics of food scarcity - Lester Brown http://www.bookdepository.com/Full-Planet-Empty-Plates-Lester-R-Brown/9780393344158?ref=grid-view (http://www.bookdepository.com/Full-Planet-Empty-Plates-Lester-R-Brown/9780393344158?ref=grid-view) and Eat Less live long - Jason S Bennett
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 18, 2017, 08:12:45 PM
I am not going to go full vegan or vegetarian, just be more mindful of what I am eating and trying to make healthier choices that are a bit more sustainable.

This is what I've been trying to do. Following a discussion on someone's journal, I've also been thinking more about which foods are and aren't sustainable to produce in Australia, whether I should be modifying my diet accordingly, and how I can produce more of my food in my own backyard.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 18, 2017, 08:24:04 PM
Today:

Vegan breakfast (frozen raspberries with homemade nutty, seedy granola), vegan lunch (homemade vege curry), probably a vegetarian dinner (leftover homemade pizza).

Using public transport and shank's pony for my transport.

Using captured grey water to water my potted fruits and veges.

Discussing with my brother which householdy / DIY type things we only need one of between our two households, to reduce consumption. We live in the same suburb and get along well, so I foresee this working out well for both of us. First item on the list: a tall ladder.

Recently:

Picking up items from my local Buy Nothing group, including a few which would've ended up in landfill.

Listing items on Buy Nothing that others will want. Reduced consumption is always a good thing.

Gratefully accepting hand me down clothes from friends for our soon-to-be-baby. Much less wasteful than buying new: I can't believe the sheer volumes of clothes we buy and discard as a society.

Harvesting strawberries and basil from my garden; planning the next stage of my very slow garden makeover to increase my fruit and vege production.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on January 18, 2017, 08:44:02 PM
Over the past few weeks, I've tried to put up the courtyard umbrella to reduce the heat that gets into the house. We've still needed to turn on the air conditioner, but not for as long as we would've needed otherwise.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on January 18, 2017, 09:04:10 PM
Over the past few weeks, I've tried to put up the courtyard umbrella to reduce the heat that gets into the house. We've still needed to turn on the air conditioner, but not for as long as we would've needed otherwise.

Please send your heat to Canada.  My heating bill $147 for an abnormally cold month!

I didn't eat any meat today and I am working to cut my consumption further. 

I'm in the process of expanding recycling at my workplace.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 18, 2017, 10:16:17 PM
Over the past few weeks, I've tried to put up the courtyard umbrella to reduce the heat that gets into the house. We've still needed to turn on the air conditioner, but not for as long as we would've needed otherwise.

That's a good point! We've been using our outdoor blinds to minimise the heat in our 'big room'; they really do make a huge difference. We've run the air con far less this summer than last, and that's with me being pregnant and home more.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 01, 2017, 06:47:45 PM
My local council now mulches garden waste thrown out by households as part of our regular rubbish collection, and then provides it as FREE mulch for residents :D this is awesome!

Not a small thing I'm doing, but definitely a move in the right direction for sustainability in my local area.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 01, 2017, 07:52:34 PM
My local council now mulches garden waste thrown out by households as part of our regular rubbish collection, and then provides it as FREE mulch for residents :D this is awesome!

Not a small thing I'm doing, but definitely a move in the right direction for sustainability in my local area.

Ours takes it, mulches it and then sells it back to us...hmmm. Luckily we have our own mulcher. It's really handy when you have palms and only one green bin - one leaf unshredded fills the thing!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on February 01, 2017, 09:26:06 PM
My local council now mulches garden waste thrown out by households as part of our regular rubbish collection, and then provides it as FREE mulch for residents :D this is awesome!

Not a small thing I'm doing, but definitely a move in the right direction for sustainability in my local area.

Ours takes it, mulches it and then sells it back to us...hmmm. Luckily we have our own mulcher. It's really handy when you have palms and only one green bin - one leaf unshredded fills the thing!
I recently read the instructions for my bin on the council website/ annual pamphlet. It reads as though we are supposed to put food scraps and green stuff in the green topped bin, recyclables in the yellow topped bin, and.... Then there's nowhere for generic "waste"? I need to investigate this further and look at easy sorting requirements for us.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 01, 2017, 10:07:48 PM
My local council now mulches garden waste thrown out by households as part of our regular rubbish collection, and then provides it as FREE mulch for residents :D this is awesome!

Not a small thing I'm doing, but definitely a move in the right direction for sustainability in my local area.

Ours takes it, mulches it and then sells it back to us...hmmm. Luckily we have our own mulcher. It's really handy when you have palms and only one green bin - one leaf unshredded fills the thing!
I recently read the instructions for my bin on the council website/ annual pamphlet. It reads as though we are supposed to put food scraps and green stuff in the green topped bin, recyclables in the yellow topped bin, and.... Then there's nowhere for generic "waste"? I need to investigate this further and look at easy sorting requirements for us.

Well now I want my own mulcher...

I really want my local council to start composting via a separate bin. We're about to elect a new mayor, maybe I should contact the candidate who seems more on board with green initiatives and suggest it to her...
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on February 04, 2017, 04:55:41 PM
I'm cooking by covering the dry pasta with cold water, then boiling (rather than bring the water to a boil first.) This works fine with everything except for quick cooking pastas such as angel hair and acini di pepe.  Saves time, too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 04, 2017, 05:04:01 PM
So far this Summer we've used 40% as much electricity as we did last Summer. WTF, but in a good way! I didn't realise that our thermal efficiency measures were making THAT much difference.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on February 05, 2017, 12:56:34 PM
Just finished putting up next years supply of firewood.  Will provide a lot of cheap heat in the house and barn next winter.  All grown right here on the property and would just rot away if we didn't use it.  Pretty much an unlimited supply available.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 06, 2017, 07:20:29 PM
Skipped my regular watering day yesterday because it's forecast to rain over the next few days. All my potted plants are positioned to catch the rain... well, except for the ones that can easily drown from too much rain.

Just finished putting up next years supply of firewood.  Will provide a lot of cheap heat in the house and barn next winter.  All grown right here on the property and would just rot away if we didn't use it.  Pretty much an unlimited supply available.

Woodfires are so lovely, too! Nothing like the smell of a woodfire.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stashgrower on February 06, 2017, 08:17:01 PM
Haven't read the whole thread, but jumping in.

Yesterday:

Cycled to an appointment.

Used the rain water buckets on the pot plants and lawn to a) water them, b) empty the buckets in preparation for catching more water (rain forecast).

Plant-based lunch and dinner were from unsprayed food grown <100 km away, and I will return all packaging for reuse.

Flushed after every second or third pee.

Climate control via windows. No a/c or fan all summer.

Composted.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 06, 2017, 08:39:13 PM
Plant-based lunch and dinner were from unsprayed food grown <100 km away, and I will return all packaging for reuse.

This is cool! Is it bought food, or a gifting/bartering system with a friend or relative?

I'm hoping to get a gifting/bartering system going with my brother when he moves house... he's talking about getting chickens if he has enough space. I would *so* love to sponsor his chickens and get eggs in return. And we've talked before about organising complementary fruit trees and vege patches to maximise what we can share.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on February 06, 2017, 09:13:47 PM
Ha, ha if it's yellow let it mellow. 

I'm learning how to cook some vegan meals with the help of Oh She Glows.

http://ohsheglows.com/

Fixed two bikes thus far and just bought myself a used road bike which will allow me to bike a lot for entertainment. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on February 06, 2017, 09:48:23 PM
Stopped using paper cups for 'to go' coffee.  Just bring my aluminum travel mug with me and use it all the time instead.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stashgrower on February 07, 2017, 01:32:51 AM
Happier - It's both and from the farmers market.

PM me if you are interested in chickens, I have a lead.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on February 07, 2017, 03:35:21 AM
I just swapped out all the old CFL and incandescent bulbs in my house for LED bulbs where possible. It's crazy thinking that one incandescent bulb in a room was using more power than all the LED bulbs in one room combined.

To help keep the CFL's out of the trash, I replaced all the incandescent bulbs I had outside my house and in the garage with the CFL's I had in the house. Those lights  are barely used compared to our interior lights. We'll still save a lot of electricity. As those burn out, I will switch them out for LED bulbs.

Annoyingly, I still have one place I have to use an incandescent bulb. Our garage door opener has a deep light socket that will only take incandescent bulbs. All the LED and CFL bulbs I have are too fat once you get past the threads. They can't be screwed in deep enough. I'm looking for a bulb extender that will work in the opener's light enclosure.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mezzie on February 07, 2017, 06:13:24 AM
I put Milkweed seeds in the fridge to prepare them for planting in a couple weeks. Soon I'll have a nice little habitat for endangered Monarchs making their annual trek to Mexico.

I'm just about ready to drop some money on a fancy vermicompost/garden system for vegetable & herbgrowing/food waste recycling. I'm doing the last bit of research today to ensure I'm getting the best deal.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: BTH7117 on February 07, 2017, 07:28:46 AM
Sunday, I walked to the grocery store (~.5 miles) even though I like the further away grocery store better.
Yesterday, I left work a little early and walked home (2.5 miles) instead of taking the subway and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine.
Today, I brought workout clothes to work so I can run home.

Mustachian preaches the best thing you can do for the environment is consume less.  I remind myself of that often when I am tempted to get rid of our 11 year old CR-V to replace with a hybrid.  We only drive ~10,000 miles per year so the environmental impact of producing a vehicle would probably be greater than the fuel efficiency savings.

Great tips on turning off things like modems/routers when leaving the house.  I will try that in the future.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on February 08, 2017, 04:42:45 AM
I've browsed this thread a few times, but reducing my environmental impact is a big motivator for living a frugal/low waste lifestyle so I'm joining in! Even my husband (who was always pretty darn frugal but had never really been exposed to environmental ideas, gah!) admitted to me recently that he was thinking about it and he was much happier with the decisions we are making now.

We are really lucky to have some great options for sustainably raised meat nearby - one farm is a touch more expensive and ~30 miles away, and one is ~200 miles away so I will have to wait until their local buying club starts up again in the spring. I bought a chicken from the local producer at the farmer's market this weekend, roasted it, and used the carcass with saved veggie scraps to make the most divine broth.

Yesterday I took my son on a walk to the post office to mail a package instead of driving.

Stopped using paper cups for 'to go' coffee.  Just bring my aluminum travel mug with me and use it all the time instead.

This is a habit I am working on changing as well!

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on February 08, 2017, 10:25:55 PM
One other coffee related thing I am doing.  I used to buy coffee beans at the grocery store and put them in the little brown paper bag that the store provides, then toss the bag in the recycle when I finished the coffee beans off. 

Now I save the bags & reuse them at the store.  Not only does it cut down on my waste, but the store gives me a 'bring your own bag' credit of $.02!!  Haha that's so awesome.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on February 10, 2017, 02:10:26 AM
So far this Summer we've used 40% as much electricity as we did last Summer. WTF, but in a good way! I didn't realise that our thermal efficiency measures were making THAT much difference.
Yes, it really is amazing that you can spend very little to get that kind of efficiency (however, I think I remember you putting in double glazing, which would have cost a bit).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mezzie on February 10, 2017, 07:45:17 AM
I made some stock from the bones of a chicken I cooked a few days ago. Turns out that was perfectly timed to coincide with my current illness. Now I'm drinking mugs of homemade stock instead of buying plastic containers of neon cold & flu medicine to get through this bout. A win for the environment and my health, I'm sure.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: SaveSpendGiveALittle on February 11, 2017, 10:30:15 AM
I am all for if its yellow let it mellow . That's my rule of thumb at home. It drives me crazy when at work, folks walk up and flush before using the urinal, then also afterwards.

I only shower on days that I have gone to the gym.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on February 11, 2017, 11:19:54 AM
Set up a carpool for another kid activity.  Everybody seems really glad when I ask, but why am I always first to initiate? Is everyone so shy? Or just so careless with their time that they will happily lose hours driving around and around?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on February 11, 2017, 11:33:54 AM
I am all for if its yellow let it mellow . That's my rule of thumb at home.

Our beagle would not appreciate your addition to her water dish.  Or maybe she would.  Beagles are weird.  Either way, this is a non-starter in our house.  :P
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 19, 2017, 10:21:13 PM
So far this Summer we've used 40% as much electricity as we did last Summer. WTF, but in a good way! I didn't realise that our thermal efficiency measures were making THAT much difference.
Yes, it really is amazing that you can spend very little to get that kind of efficiency (however, I think I remember you putting in double glazing, which would have cost a bit).

You're correct - double glazing was $4.2k for two windows, and we spent $5k on outdoor blinds which have made a huge difference to how much light and heat hits the large room at the back of the house with glass walls / doors. It was so, so worth it :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 19, 2017, 10:34:03 PM
Mostly normal / boring things today:

Taking public transport and walking instead of driving.

Reducing food waste by planning meals around what's in the house already, and what needs to be eaten soonest.

Eating vegetarian today, like most days.

Watering my garden with 'warming up water' from the shower.

Pulling weeds rather than spraying them with poison.

Slightly more exciting things:

Getting organised to start my first worm farm! I'm starting with an in-ground farm, because that's meant to be easiest and I'd rather not bite off more than I can chew.

Researching bokashi bins.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 20, 2017, 02:57:44 AM
I have an inground bokashi bin - basically the same as a inground worm farm (it IS actually an inground worm farm from bunnings) but the waste gets a sprinkle of bokashi and then a layer of dirt each time you add it to make it anerobic I guess. It needs a sprinkle of water I think too but we've had so much rain recently I'm sure that's enough. I haven't really been caring for it very well but the contents seem to have shrunk down so must be working.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MoolahLula on February 20, 2017, 10:23:08 AM
Haven't driven since Friday.  Have curtains and windows open to let in the nice unseasonable temps.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 04, 2017, 10:03:56 PM
I have an inground bokashi bin - basically the same as a inground worm farm (it IS actually an inground worm farm from bunnings) but the waste gets a sprinkle of bokashi and then a layer of dirt each time you add it to make it anerobic I guess. It needs a sprinkle of water I think too but we've had so much rain recently I'm sure that's enough. I haven't really been caring for it very well but the contents seem to have shrunk down so must be working.

I've heard really great things about the in-ground bokashi bins! My sister uses one for dog poo and swears by it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 04, 2017, 10:05:48 PM
Ordered seeds, nuts and spices in bulk to minimise packaging.

Used reusable shopping bags and fabric produce bags.

Froze smaller portions of basil pesto to preserve basil from the garden.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on March 04, 2017, 10:18:46 PM
Walked around the local lake to the park with my daughter rather than drive somewhere for a play day.  I love how frugality and environmentalism overlap so much with MMM.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on March 05, 2017, 04:45:31 AM
Bought a number of staple foods in bulk from the store that lets you bring your own containers. Unfortunately it does cost a bit more as it's all organic for items I typically buy conventionally, but not enough to make a big impact to the bottom line.

Bought veggies without packaging them in plastic bags since I haven't made the time to sew cloth produce bags yet. My new goal is to stop buying bags of washed spinach and buy the bunches instead (which does have a cost savings, yay!) Used cloth bags to cart everything home.

DH wanted to go out for coffee yesterday morning. We took our travel mugs and saved $.10 each in the process.

We took a long walk with our toddler and saw the nesting pair of bald eagles that live in the neighborhood. He is too young to appreciate them, but it was magnificent.

Dinner used just one pound of ground beef and a load of veggies to make about 6 servings (and we are hearty eaters, so the recipe may be more like 8 servings for more typical appetites.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 05, 2017, 10:29:40 PM
Today I was walking locally and saw vast piles of stuff on the side of the road for Council's twice annual clean up day. They were not big, not large, they were VAST. Amongst it all I spotted, one perfect IKEA poang chair, 2 ride on kids toys, 8 white plastic garden chairs (and old guy from over the road snaffled 4 of the nicest, good for him!), a front door, garden pavers etc etc etc. Some of the stuff was genuinely broken rubbish, old sofas and the like, stained mattresses that no-one would want, but I felt physically unwell at all this waste.

One of the things I've thought about doing in retirement is setting up some sort of not for profit organisation to collect useable things from these clean up days (I think they are specific to Australia??) and make efforts to rehome them via a website and FB groups, freecycle etc. I could start in our garage and then possibly rent a warehouse space if necessary.

So... today I sent an enquiry to Council asking them whether it is legal to recover stuff from the side of the road on clean up days. I have heard anecdotally that it is not allowed (because it belongs to Council or some such blah). THIS STUFF (except metal which is recycled) GOES TO LANDFILL!! So anyway, I'm checking the situation. If it's not permitted, that will be my first task, to change that.

Wish me luck!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on March 05, 2017, 10:44:32 PM
We don't have clean up day. And our tip has a recycle place attached to it, so the first thing you do is identify what you are getting rid of, and it probably goes to the recycle first.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 05, 2017, 10:48:42 PM
We don't have clean up day. And our tip has a recycle place attached to it, so the first thing you do is identify what you are getting rid of, and it probably goes to the recycle first.

We have to pay to take anything to the tip now, excl. recyclables of the paper/plastic bottle variety so it's all getting dumped on the street, sometimes randomly!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on March 05, 2017, 11:00:57 PM
Our clean up days rarely result in anything except ACTUAL rubbish left on the side of the verge. The pickers go around the week or two before to grab anything they want or can re-sell (we picked up a nice bench for outside that way), and then the broken scraps that are left is what the council ends up picking up. I've yet to hear that we weren't allowed to do that! Maybe your pickers are less efficient or your council has different rules.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 06, 2017, 12:54:54 AM
Joining this thread, because it will give me inspiration to find a small thing to contribute with every day.

Every day:
- Warming up last degrees of the house with firewood from our own garden. We central heating in the living room is on 18 degrees C. Any additional warmth is created by wood in a modern, closed wood stove.
- Our relatively new washing machine has large capacity. I tend to wait until I have enough clothes to wash before I wash.
- I run the dishwasher every other day, if possible. I don't run it half full.
- When washing my hair in the shower, I wet it first. Then I turn off the shower and soap in my hair in the time that I need. Then I turn the shower back on an remove the shampoo. In the past I let the shower run all the time.
- After a sports activity, we hang the sports clothes to dry in the bathroom. When used on Saturday, many of the clothes can be used again on Sunday for the next activity. If we didn't do a very sweaty activity, I tend to smell the clothes after they dried, to check whether they all need to be washed or whether they can be reused during the next sporty activity.

Last weekend:
- Went cross country skiing on foot, not by car. Got some extra training that way, as I had about 10km transport in total.
- I didn't wash my hair after training. It still looked acceptable, so I can postpone a day or 2.
- Didn't shower this morning. I washed myself with a cloth.


Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on March 06, 2017, 04:01:12 PM
I just received an e-mail from a blog that I like about this subject. He is closing it down because he didn't get much interest, so you only have a short time to look at it. It is British, but the stuff in it is universal.

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on March 06, 2017, 04:32:25 PM
I just received an e-mail from a blog that I like about this subject. He is closing it down because he didn't get much interest, so you only have a short time to look at it. It is British, but the stuff in it is universal.

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/

Thank you for sharing this, it looks very informative! How disappointing that more people aren't interested in these things.

Today I made an effort to reduce our food waste by adding some random extra veggies and some corn tortillas that had broken apart to my enchilada soup for dinner. I also made a batch of yogurt using milk that came in a glass bottle that I will return to the store.

This weekend we were given a number of large Mason jars for canning and shopping from bulk bins.

Does anyone else often find themselves conflicted between saving money and making purchasing decisions that align with their values (be it environmental or otherwise)? They often line up (buying secondhand, and just buying less overall), but I increasingly find myself opting to spend more for a values-aligned purchase like purchasing pastured meat and grass-fed dairy and just eating less of it, buying the clothes I do buy new from companies that make a point of manufacturing high quality goods in an ethical and/or environmentally friendly manner, and so on.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GreenQueen on March 06, 2017, 04:47:22 PM
Started elimination communication with our 4-month-old. Using lots less cloth diapers so less laundry.

Also waiting 2 days to do laundry in case it goes above freezing and we can hang wash outside on the clothesline.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 06, 2017, 06:11:14 PM
Does anyone else often find themselves conflicted between saving money and making purchasing decisions that align with their values (be it environmental or otherwise)? They often line up (buying secondhand, and just buying less overall), but I increasingly find myself opting to spend more for a values-aligned purchase like purchasing pastured meat and grass-fed dairy and just eating less of it, buying the clothes I do buy new from companies that make a point of manufacturing high quality goods in an ethical and/or environmentally friendly manner, and so on.

Yes. All the freakin' time, if I'm being honest.

As you say, much of the time these values line up. But much of the time they don't. For a long time I focused more on the saving money side of the equation, so now I'm trying to swing more towards spending that bit extra and having it be the 'right' choice.

Realistically, my lifestyle is always going to be a compromise between mainstream consumer culture and the 'green' values I hold dear, so part of this journey is learning the balance.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 07, 2017, 01:34:49 AM
When I visit my family around Christmas, we often fly instead of driving and taking a ferry. Flying is a lot cheaper and only costs a few hours, while driving and ferry takes about 24 hours. In matters of environment, the car is a better alternative than the plane. If I remember correctly, you can drive a car for a whole year for the CO2 production that one flight with a plane causes. So saving money and time is not always best for the environment. It often is when it comes to other things.

Last visit, we drove. I think I didn't make any private trip by plane in 2016. I probably made some short flights for work, though.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on March 07, 2017, 04:01:43 AM
When I visit my family around Christmas, we often fly instead of driving and taking a ferry. Flying is a lot cheaper and only costs a few hours, while driving and ferry takes about 24 hours. In matters of environment, the car is a better alternative than the plane. If I remember correctly, you can drive a car for a whole year for the CO2 production that one flight with a plane causes. So saving money and time is not always best for the environment. It often is when it comes to other things.

Last visit, we drove. I think I didn't make any private trip by plane in 2016. I probably made some short flights for work, though.

I think I've heard that same statistic before. We typically fly across the country twice a year to visit family. Unfortunately it's so far it would be impractical to drive unless we made the cross-country road trip part of the vacation.

Does anyone else often find themselves conflicted between saving money and making purchasing decisions that align with their values (be it environmental or otherwise)? They often line up (buying secondhand, and just buying less overall), but I increasingly find myself opting to spend more for a values-aligned purchase like purchasing pastured meat and grass-fed dairy and just eating less of it, buying the clothes I do buy new from companies that make a point of manufacturing high quality goods in an ethical and/or environmentally friendly manner, and so on.

Yes. All the freakin' time, if I'm being honest.

As you say, much of the time these values line up. But much of the time they don't. For a long time I focused more on the saving money side of the equation, so now I'm trying to swing more towards spending that bit extra and having it be the 'right' choice.

Realistically, my lifestyle is always going to be a compromise between mainstream consumer culture and the 'green' values I hold dear, so part of this journey is learning the balance.

I'm glad it's not just me. I find that I'm unwilling to be so extreme in my adherence to values that our life is noticeably different from those around us to a casual observer. I don't want to stick out too much, and I don't want my son to be "that weird kid with the hippy mom". But I think it's important to be willing to talk about them if it comes up in conversation so others are exposed to the ideas in small doses and maybe start making changes themselves. My husband has come a long way since we met. He was never a huge consumer and was conscious about small things like recycling and electricity use, but had never thought to question that there was more to it than that.

HaH, I'm going to start reading through your journal and will post when I'm caught up!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 13, 2017, 01:35:05 AM
I think I've made my mind up to trial using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner when my current bottles run out (probably less than a month away...). Scary!!

Also, a forum member told me all about how great soapnuts are and sent me a link to the best place to buy them, so it might be time to experiment with those for my laundry.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 13, 2017, 02:17:29 AM
I think I've made my mind up to trial using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner when my current bottles run out (probably less than a month away...). Scary!!
<...>

I tried this when my favorite shampoo was no longer for sale in my country. I found it a bit cumbersome, making a paste of dry baking soda in my hand with just enough water, while not flowing it all away. It was not so easy to spread over my hair. I didn't repeat the experiment. Bought a bottle of the cheapest shampoo instead, which worked better than the soda and later I bought my 8 bottles of my favorite abroad when I was there anyway.

There is a point in not washing your hair too often, but leave it at 1,5 - 2 times a week. Then it will not turn fat so fast.

What I learned from one of the no-poo blogs is what to do when you go swimming in a pool with chlorine water. Soak your hair wet with normal water before swimming and wear a rubber swimming cap. Afterwards your hair will not stink of chlorine and you don't need to wash it with shampoo. This works very well for me. Earlier I had trouble with that the chlorine smell didn't disappear even after washing with shampoo.

But try out the soda for yourself. It's not scary.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 13, 2017, 02:34:40 AM
I think I've made my mind up to trial using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner when my current bottles run out (probably less than a month away...). Scary!!
<...>

I tried this when my favorite shampoo was no longer for sale in my country. I found it a bit cumbersome, making a paste of dry baking soda in my hand with just enough water, while not flowing it all away. It was not so easy to spread over my hair. I didn't repeat the experiment. Bought a bottle of the cheapest shampoo instead, which worked better than the soda and later I bought my 8 bottles of my favorite abroad when I was there anyway.

There is a point in not washing your hair too often, but leave it at 1,5 - 2 times a week. Then it will not turn fat so fast.

What I learned from one of the no-poo blogs is what to do when you go swimming in a pool with chlorine water. Soak your hair wet with normal water before swimming and wear a rubber swimming cap. Afterwards your hair will not stink of chlorine and you don't need to wash it with shampoo. This works very well for me. Earlier I had trouble with that the chlorine smell didn't disappear even after washing with shampoo.

But try out the soda for yourself. It's not scary.

One of my local mustachian friends dilutes the bicarb soda in water and keeps it in an old shampoo bottle, so that each time she wants to use it she can just shake the bottle and then squirt some out onto her hair like a very runny version of normal shampoo. So I think that's what I'm going to try first :-)

That pool tip is interesting, thanks!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 13, 2017, 02:39:18 AM
The no poo method gave me awful dandruff and my hair never got past the ultra-greasy stage. But I went from that to using the tiniest amount of Organic Care shampoo ($2.50 on special at Coles!) just to take the grease away but not enough to make a lather. So now a bottle could last a year so at least it's an improvement. I went back to using conditioner as my hair is super knotty and whenever I got caught in the rain I smelt of vinegar! I put the vinegar into a spray bottle for easy application. It really does work as a conditioner tho, it's bizarre!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on March 13, 2017, 05:04:43 AM
I have never washed my hair more than twice a week, even way back before it was mainstream. I use fancy pants Deva Curl hair products, including their no-poo cleansing cream. I should give the baking soda and vinegar technique a shot. I only go through about a bottle per year of the no-poo, but that may be one more plastic bottle I can avoid using. I'm planning to test out flax seed gel soon too!

I sewed my toddler some clothes this weekend, cutting down one of my too-small tshirts to fit him and picking apart the seams of a pair of DH's sweatpants to use as material for a tiny pair. I was able to cut the material of the sweats so that I can make a larger pair for next year out of the remainder. Since reading the article (No One Wants Your Old Clothes (http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/no-one-wants-your-old-clothes/ar-AAim8tF?li=BBnb7Kz) I am trying to make better use of our unwanted things.

I took the large Mason jars we were given grocery shopping last week and stocked up on dry goods from the bulk bins. I wish the store that lets you bring your own containers had more available in bulk; I'd love to be able to get crackers, dried fruit, etc. without packaging as well.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: I'm a red panda on March 13, 2017, 07:25:46 AM
Not MY environmental impact, but others.... despite being 38 weeks pregnant, I volunteered at a girl scout event teaching 4th and 5th graders about energy conservation, including how to do home energy audits and some low hanging fruit habits to change.   That was one exhausting day!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MMMaybe on March 13, 2017, 10:48:15 AM
I think I've made my mind up to trial using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner when my current bottles run out (probably less than a month away...). Scary!!

I'm using one of those Lush shampoo bars (no packaging!) and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. It works pretty well. I put a couple of drops of Argan oil on my wet hair and it helps keep it smooth.

The shampoo bars last ages.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: I'm a red panda on March 13, 2017, 11:06:48 AM
I think I've made my mind up to trial using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner when my current bottles run out (probably less than a month away...). Scary!!

I'm using one of those Lush shampoo bars (no packaging!) and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. It works pretty well. I put a couple of drops of Argan oil on my wet hair and it helps keep it smooth.

The shampoo bars last ages.

You should check out some providers that make more natural shampoo products- Lush still uses a lot of the chemicals (SLS) that are in typical shampoos.  I LOVE Chagrin Valley and Praireland Herbs shampoo bars.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 13, 2017, 07:14:54 PM
The no poo method gave me awful dandruff and my hair never got past the ultra-greasy stage.

This is what I'm afraid of! Too many horror stories.

You should check out some providers that make more natural shampoo products- Lush still uses a lot of the chemicals (SLS) that are in typical shampoos.  I LOVE Chagrin Valley and Praireland Herbs shampoo bars.

It's also (supposedly - I haven't done it) very easy to make your own shampoo bars.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 13, 2017, 07:19:42 PM
Today I'm cooking beans bought dried in bulk, rather than using tinned beans.

And arranging my meals around what needs to be eaten first from the fridge, to avoid food waste.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: akzidenz on March 13, 2017, 10:16:20 PM
This is a great thread. Posting so I can stay apprised of updates. I didn't do anything particularly special today, but my general practices are: use public transport or walk as much as possible; reduce my meat consumption; take efficient and brief showers; line dry my laundry. (Machine drying is also quietly destructive on clothing, so this keeps my things nicer for longer.)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 14, 2017, 01:32:58 AM
The laundry was almost dry when the washing machine was finished. It was mostly sports clothes. So I hung it over a rack in the bathroom which is heated all day with floor heating. I left the door on a small gap for ventilation, rather than switching on the electric ventilator and left it there overnight. Apart from 3 things made of cotton, every was dry the next morning. I will certainly do this more often.

This week we will get very high temperatures. I am thinking of also washing the bed sheets and even drying them outside, as they are too big for the bathroom. Keep in mind that this is Norway and we still have lots of snow outside. This will be an all time early outside drying. Usually I wait until May for haging outside.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on March 14, 2017, 01:35:55 AM
I think I've made my mind up to trial using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner when my current bottles run out (probably less than a month away...). Scary!!

I'm using one of those Lush shampoo bars (no packaging!) and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. It works pretty well. I put a couple of drops of Argan oil on my wet hair and it helps keep it smooth.

The shampoo bars last ages.

You should check out some providers that make more natural shampoo products- Lush still uses a lot of the chemicals (SLS) that are in typical shampoos.  I LOVE Chagrin Valley and Praireland Herbs shampoo bars.
I have recently trialled shampoo and conditioner bars from Ethique (New Zealand company) and liked them a lot. They also do solid deodorant, which I've found works for me. I'm considering it little steps towards what HappierAtHome's said: theoretically, might be able to make my own at some point!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 14, 2017, 01:47:07 AM
I have also eaten vegetarian 2 days in a row. And I am normally an omnivorous.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on March 14, 2017, 07:52:02 AM
Signed up for a 100% renewable energy electricity plan today. Not much more expensive and now when my car runs in EV mode, which is almost always, it won't be fossil fuel removed by one step. (That's still better than running an ICE though in nearly all locations.)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: I'm a red panda on March 14, 2017, 08:07:33 AM

It's also (supposedly - I haven't done it) very easy to make your own shampoo bars.

I made soap once and it was "easy" but I found it very expensive to source any decent oils in small quantities (and I still had like years of soap...).  I expect shampoo would be similar.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MMMaybe on March 14, 2017, 10:50:39 AM

You should check out some providers that make more natural shampoo products- Lush still uses a lot of the chemicals (SLS) that are in typical shampoos.  I LOVE Chagrin Valley and Praireland Herbs shampoo bars.

I know Lush aren't great and I hate walking into their stores because of the excessive fragrance. But I did try another more natural shampoo bar and it was terrible! I have terrible problems with "normal" shampoos because they cause my scalp to itch so I am always open to new options.

But once I am finished my current Lush bar, I will try another company in the UK that is more natural.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on March 14, 2017, 11:09:15 AM
I really like African Black Soap.  I have super sensitive skin and it's one of the few commonly available options that doesn't make me itch all over.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 16, 2017, 11:42:54 PM
I wrote down on my shopping list that I need oily stain remover, and Vanish to whiten my yellowing sheets.

Then I thought about it for a minute, googled natural alternatives, and now I have a plan for what to try first BEFORE buying products.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls on March 30, 2017, 01:09:51 AM
not something I have done, but I read about this on facebook and thought I would share

https://makewealthhistory.org/2017/03/22/the-worlds-first-mall-for-recycled-goods/ (https://makewealthhistory.org/2017/03/22/the-worlds-first-mall-for-recycled-goods/)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 30, 2017, 01:24:08 AM
Walk to work today. Yesterday I drove to work and walked home. Saving a whole day of petrol. On Monday I walked back and forth.

Bringing leftover portion of dinner for lunch at work.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 30, 2017, 01:28:17 AM
not something I have done, but I read about this on facebook and thought I would share

https://makewealthhistory.org/2017/03/22/the-worlds-first-mall-for-recycled-goods/ (https://makewealthhistory.org/2017/03/22/the-worlds-first-mall-for-recycled-goods/)

This is a fantastic concept. Because especially when used goods are repaired and cleaned they are way more attractive to buy then when you would pick them up at the communal recycle center.
Pity that Eskilstuna is a too far away from me to visit. I hope more communities will follow.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FLBiker on March 30, 2017, 08:15:57 AM
I'm interested in any good natural shampoo recommendations.  My hair is oily - it's short, but still very noticeable if I don't wash it every day.  I've had pretty lousy luck with natural shampoos (like WF's everyday 365), too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on March 30, 2017, 05:40:02 PM
After my daughter took her bath, I scooped up the bathwater in a bucket (not really that dirty as she bathes almost daily) and used it to mop the floor.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 30, 2017, 07:00:01 PM
Article about a very cool sustainable house (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-28/ecohouse-built-out-of-cereal-crop-by-wa-farming-family/8380846)

I'm interested in any good natural shampoo recommendations.  My hair is oily - it's short, but still very noticeable if I don't wash it every day.  I've had pretty lousy luck with natural shampoos (like WF's everyday 365), too.

I haven't tried any alternatives to commercial shampoo yet, but I'm interested to see what people recommend!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on March 30, 2017, 07:13:06 PM
Article about a very cool sustainable house (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-28/ecohouse-built-out-of-cereal-crop-by-wa-farming-family/8380846)

I'm interested in any good natural shampoo recommendations.  My hair is oily - it's short, but still very noticeable if I don't wash it every day.  I've had pretty lousy luck with natural shampoos (like WF's everyday 365), too.

I haven't tried any alternatives to commercial shampoo yet, but I'm interested to see what people recommend!
This is the website for the one I mentioned upthread:
https://ethiquebeauty.com

Someone with more cred than me can probably tell if it's as environmentally good as they claim, but it has certainly kept my hair nice. I bought the dry/normal sampler pack in mid-january, and I'm only just running out now (2+ months later).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls on March 30, 2017, 07:30:53 PM
I'm interested in any good natural shampoo recommendations.  My hair is oily - it's short, but still very noticeable if I don't wash it every day.  I've had pretty lousy luck with natural shampoos (like WF's everyday 365), too.

www.good.is/articles/lather-up-a-natural-diy-shampoo-for-oily-hair (http://www.good.is/articles/lather-up-a-natural-diy-shampoo-for-oily-hair)
my cousin had some success with this recipe, but it did nothing for my hair, infact I think it made it worse.

I buy one, but I cant remember what its called, I really like it though, I will try to google it and find it for you
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls on March 30, 2017, 07:35:13 PM
Article about a very cool sustainable house (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-28/ecohouse-built-out-of-cereal-crop-by-wa-farming-family/8380846)

I'm interested in any good natural shampoo recommendations.  My hair is oily - it's short, but still very noticeable if I don't wash it every day.  I've had pretty lousy luck with natural shampoos (like WF's everyday 365), too.

I haven't tried any alternatives to commercial shampoo yet, but I'm interested to see what people recommend!

this is the one I use https://www.desertessence.com/hair-care (https://www.desertessence.com/hair-care)

HappierAtHome I get it from the health food shop opposite coles at the Galleria, but you might be able to find it closer to home
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: NinjaSalad on March 30, 2017, 08:05:52 PM
I went to work! I'm an Environmental Scientist - does that count?

My dogs finished a bag of food today so I reused the bag as a trash bag. We are vegetarians and vermicompost or compost our food scraps, paper and cardboard so it will take about 2 weeks before it's full enough to go to the curb.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 31, 2017, 01:11:46 AM
I noticed an article in the paper today where 75 US majors are saying they will not implement Trumps anti-reusable/pro-coal energy policy, because every 1 of 50 jobs today are in solar energy and pass the oil/gas/coal industry. Renewable energy is making a bigger and bigger impact. Jay!

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: powskier on March 31, 2017, 11:52:16 PM
Did not procreate.

( did have sex though, amazing isn't it?)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on April 01, 2017, 11:18:15 AM
I bought bulk spices at Sprouts and re-filled my spice jar instead of recycling it and buying a new one.  Oh, and it was waaaayyyy cheaper, too.  Like 3x cheaper.  Win-win!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on April 02, 2017, 07:04:13 AM
Today I purchased some beeswax wraps to try out, hopefully we'll reduce plastic wrap use. They seem pretty sticky, though, so I hope the copious cat hair in my house doesn't get on them.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 05, 2017, 05:53:47 PM
Worm farm workshop this evening! Can't wait to get started turning food scraps into awesome nutrition for my fruit trees. I've been saving the free newspapers from my mail to shred for my new little wormy friends (unfortunately I can't opt out of receiving the newspapers - already tried that!).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on April 05, 2017, 05:56:26 PM
Yay for worms!! One of the things I'm most looking forward to when we eventually buy a house is being able to have compost! I save as many scraps as I can for broth but I still have plenty I can't use. :-(
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 05, 2017, 05:57:52 PM
Today I purchased some beeswax wraps to try out, hopefully we'll reduce plastic wrap use. They seem pretty sticky, though, so I hope the copious cat hair in my house doesn't get on them.

Really interested to hear how this goes. I've thought about making my own beeswax wraps with the copious amounts of beeswax left over from a skincare project.

The main way I minimise use of plastic wrap is through using containers with lids. Chunk of cheese? Stick it in a tiny container, no need for wrap. Slicing up homemade bread? Great, I have the perfect container to store it in, no disposable plastic needed. Need to cover pizza dough while it rises? My mixing bowls have lids!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 05, 2017, 06:00:45 PM
Yay for worms!! One of the things I'm most looking forward to when we eventually buy a house is being able to have compost! I save as many scraps as I can for broth but I still have plenty I can't use. :-(

My compost bin refuses to create compost... The answer we keep getting is ''it just needs more time''. I think we probably just create too much food and garden waste for one small compost bin anyway! So hopefully a combo of the compost bin and several worm farms will work better for us. Oh, and a bokashi bin! One of those is definitely getting acquired down the line.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on April 05, 2017, 07:06:26 PM
Yay for worms!! One of the things I'm most looking forward to when we eventually buy a house is being able to have compost! I save as many scraps as I can for broth but I still have plenty I can't use. :-(

My compost bin refuses to create compost...

If you are in a dry climate, you may need to water it. Compost needs food, air and water, just like any other living thing. It will eventually decompose, yes, but if it's not getting rainwater, hit it with the hose just a little every so often.

We've recently composted human hair, dryer lint, the contents of the kitchen-sink trap, food waste (to chickens), baby poop (dedicated separate humanure bin sequestered until 2020), garden weeds, gopher-damaged plants (dang gopher!). I have used worm castings from the bottom of the pile for potting up seedlings and cuttings.

We've been using a "CSA" for "imperfect produce." It's kind of just a food delivery service with an occasional wonky-looking orange, but we've been very happy with the selection and quality and if it's a channel for selling produce that would otherwise go unhomed, that's a good thing.

Plus I save the fruit boxes they use for delivery to pack up an overstuffed storage room.

My edible guerrilla-gardening continues: This week I planted a young citrus tree in our local park. Someone had planted a lemon tree there a couple of years ago and it's really flourishing. I added a navel orange tree. Cross your fingers that the little guy survives.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: VeggieTable on April 06, 2017, 06:17:03 AM
Today I purchased some beeswax wraps to try out, hopefully we'll reduce plastic wrap use. They seem pretty sticky, though, so I hope the copious cat hair in my house doesn't get on them.

I would also be interested to hear how these work. I've seen them advertised before, but only ever as part of those monthly "boxes" you can have mailed to you each month. Where did you buy yours?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on April 06, 2017, 06:26:19 AM
Today I purchased some beeswax wraps to try out, hopefully we'll reduce plastic wrap use. They seem pretty sticky, though, so I hope the copious cat hair in my house doesn't get on them.

I would also be interested to hear how these work. I've seen them advertised before, but only ever as part of those monthly "boxes" you can have mailed to you each month. Where did you buy yours?
I purchased mine at a local market, from a group who make them somewhat locally. I have 3 different sizes, and they recommended using them for wrapping sandwiches, or (hard) cheeses in the fridge. It will be interesting seeing what I actually end up using them for.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: VeggieTable on April 06, 2017, 06:40:46 AM
My biggest success recently is convincing my neighbors, who used to compost in their old city, to start saving their food scraps again and give them to me. It all started with me saying I would love their coffee grounds, and now it's turned into everything! A full food-scrap bin is definitely the weirdest delivery I receive, but probably makes me the most excited. It feels oddly intimate to see what they're eating each week.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: alewpanda on April 06, 2017, 11:13:33 AM
Today I purchased some beeswax wraps to try out, hopefully we'll reduce plastic wrap use. They seem pretty sticky, though, so I hope the copious cat hair in my house doesn't get on them.

I would also be interested to hear how these work. I've seen them advertised before, but only ever as part of those monthly "boxes" you can have mailed to you each month. Where did you buy yours?
I purchased mine at a local market, from a group who make them somewhat locally. I have 3 different sizes, and they recommended using them for wrapping sandwiches, or (hard) cheeses in the fridge. It will be interesting seeing what I actually end up using them for.


I made my own with shredded beeswax, cotton fabric, a brush and my oven. 

You can order pre-made ones on etsy.

I wrap sandwiches, the end of summer sausage rolls, the ends of cucumbers or bananas when we don't use the whole thing, etc.  Mostly I use jars/containers or even just a dinner plate on top of a bowl to keep food fresh, but its hard for me to store enough of the those sizes for things like sandwiches and large items like the summer sausage.  Mine are not entirely "air-tight" per se...
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 11, 2017, 01:14:15 AM
Today:

Made vege curry in the slow cooker to use up carrots and potatoes that were about to go bad.

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.

Took public transport to and from a meetup.

Yay for worms!! One of the things I'm most looking forward to when we eventually buy a house is being able to have compost! I save as many scraps as I can for broth but I still have plenty I can't use. :-(

My compost bin refuses to create compost...

If you are in a dry climate, you may need to water it. Compost needs food, air and water, just like any other living thing. It will eventually decompose, yes, but if it's not getting rainwater, hit it with the hose just a little every so often.

I already do this :-) it's just slow to decompose. And I'm impatient.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on April 11, 2017, 11:24:12 AM
Bought a metal filter for my aeropress that's reusable, so no more paper filters being used every day.  Better tasting coffee too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 12, 2017, 08:53:22 AM

Yay for worms!! One of the things I'm most looking forward to when we eventually buy a house is being able to have compost! I save as many scraps as I can for broth but I still have plenty I can't use. :-(

My compost bin refuses to create compost...

If you are in a dry climate, you may need to water it. Compost needs food, air and water, just like any other living thing. It will eventually decompose, yes, but if it's not getting rainwater, hit it with the hose just a little every so often.

I already do this :-) it's just slow to decompose. And I'm impatient.

Maybe you should add some already rotting food to add the right bacteria?
Our composting bin works very well. We do need to hussle it from time to time. And it did not do anything in the coldest part if winter. But with only a little warmth the composting accellerated.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: starjay 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle 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.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aetherie 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stashgrower on April 19, 2017, 08:08:01 AM
Little normal things. Garden herbs. Library. Public transport. Homemade lunch.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 22, 2017, 05:14:50 AM
Mainstream news article about living a more sustainable lifestyle, and how much money it can save you (http://www.news.com.au/finance/the-rise-of-the-lowbills-lifestyle/news-story/f4e3c517ca51c05c73f2e7a589ab6312)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GetItRight 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: JLR 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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread 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?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls 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 (http://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2017/04/27/australias-first-rescued-food-supermarket-opens-today)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 28, 2017, 12:26:12 AM
Another 'green' house story - a couple in their twenties who've built a straw bale house. (http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-28/straw-house-technique-helps-couple-beat-energy-housing-crisis/8476702)

Seriously cool.

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

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing it :D
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nnls on April 28, 2017, 01:56:36 AM
Another 'green' house story - a couple in their twenties who've built a straw bale house. (http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-28/straw-house-technique-helps-couple-beat-energy-housing-crisis/8476702)

Seriously cool.




That straw bale house is pretty awesome
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on April 28, 2017, 09:21:58 AM
Another 'green' house story - a couple in their twenties who've built a straw bale house. (http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-28/straw-house-technique-helps-couple-beat-energy-housing-crisis/8476702)
Seriously cool.
That straw bale house is pretty awesome

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll...
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aetherie 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on April 30, 2017, 08:44:51 AM
Another 'green' house story - a couple in their twenties who've built a straw bale house. (http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-28/straw-house-technique-helps-couple-beat-energy-housing-crisis/8476702)
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
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Raenia 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome 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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on May 01, 2017, 07:42:30 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.

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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Chaplin on May 01, 2017, 10:17:17 PM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 02, 2017, 01:17:53 AM
Today we switched over the globes in a chandelier (don't ask) to LEDs.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on May 02, 2017, 02:33:13 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tomita on May 02, 2017, 08:09:51 AM
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

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on May 04, 2017, 10:42:28 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 05, 2017, 05:44:16 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on May 05, 2017, 07:47:49 AM
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!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 07, 2017, 01:46:04 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 07, 2017, 01:48:44 AM
This is a great article (http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-07/war-on-waste-the-slow-cuppa-and-creating-zero-waste/8499756) 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
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on May 07, 2017, 03:04:31 AM
Pineapple sage is really easy to grow, but I had never found a use for it. It has pretty flowers too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nick663 on May 07, 2017, 07:41:02 AM
Rode my bike to the bank instead of driving.  4 less miles of driving.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 08, 2017, 01:29:12 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 09, 2017, 01:02:58 AM
Good one for reducing food waste: 16 Food Scraps You Can Regrow (https://www.buzzfeed.com/jesseszewczyk/16-food-scraps-that-you-can-regrow?bftw=undefined&utm_term=.tgvpgrbrZ#.tyJE7Q1Qw)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on May 10, 2017, 01:02:21 AM
Good one for reducing food waste: 16 Food Scraps You Can Regrow (https://www.buzzfeed.com/jesseszewczyk/16-food-scraps-that-you-can-regrow?bftw=undefined&utm_term=.tgvpgrbrZ#.tyJE7Q1Qw)

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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 11, 2017, 01:01:28 AM
Walked to work today, through the snow. Will walk back in the afternoon.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on May 19, 2017, 10:06:13 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Chaplin on May 19, 2017, 08:23:43 PM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: urover on May 20, 2017, 05:53:26 PM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on May 21, 2017, 01:18:36 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 21, 2017, 12:03:37 PM
Also hung up the laundry to dry yesterday.
We have eaten mushrooms from our garden. Short-travelled food.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on May 21, 2017, 08:30:23 PM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 22, 2017, 05:43:38 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on May 23, 2017, 01:56:56 AM
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.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on May 23, 2017, 02:26:11 AM
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. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: billybob on May 23, 2017, 03:20:56 PM
Lauren Singler
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on May 23, 2017, 03:51:36 PM
A favorite pair of jeans is wearing through in the seat. I've already done some machine darning on the other side of the pants, so I'm going try something new this time and mend the latest thin spots with some decorative embroidery.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 30, 2017, 06:28:00 PM
Just received our electricity bill and it's significantly lower than for this time last year. Our thermal efficiency measures are working!!

Haven't yet taken the plunge to start trying cloth nappies on my baby. Maybe today is the day...

Almost everything we own for the baby came to us second-hand. It feels good to have avoided buying brand-new with the environmental impact that entails.

Our freezer has been running very efficiently thanks to all the meals my MIL cooked and stashed there for us - does that count? ;-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 01, 2017, 02:04:48 AM
Just received our electricity bill and it's significantly lower than for this time last year. Our thermal efficiency measures are working!!


Well done! I hope to see the same at the end of the year.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on June 01, 2017, 06:21:06 AM
Just received our electricity bill and it's significantly lower than for this time last year. Our thermal efficiency measures are working!!

Haven't yet taken the plunge to start trying cloth nappies on my baby. Maybe today is the day...

Almost everything we own for the baby came to us second-hand. It feels good to have avoided buying brand-new with the environmental impact that entails.

Our freezer has been running very efficiently thanks to all the meals my MIL cooked and stashed there for us - does that count? ;-)

Hurray for the lower electricity use! I waited until 5 or 6 weeks in to use cloth nappies - we'd received a fair number of disposables as gifts, and the extra laundry was something I just wasn't up for dealing with the first few weeks.

I am 100% with you on secondhand baby and kid things. My son is growing into 3T sized clothing, and thanks to some generous neighbors we had almost everything he needs (including a snow jacket and boots for next winter). Most of the things I've purchased to fill in the gaps have been secondhand as well. :-)

Today I'm going grocery shopping at the store that lets you bring your own jars for bulk, and picking up a few things for my neighbor while I'm there to save her a trip.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on June 01, 2017, 08:39:28 PM
* After a gloomy start to the week, the sun was back today so hung a couple of loads of laundry to dry. I am genuinely in love with line-drying and thank MMM, Sharon Astyk and Amy Dacyzyn for advocating for it so strongly. Our fancy wall-mount clothesline was a great investment.

* Shredded and froze four pints of zucchini.

* BIG KAHUNA: In honor of America's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, I switched to our electric company's "Green Rate." For a 20 percent premium, all of our electricity will be sourced from renewable sources. We have a very low and ever decreasing electric bill so this will not be a budget buster for us. Politicians are (apparently) useless. Personal action is paramount.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 01, 2017, 08:53:47 PM
Personal action is paramount.

So true.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 02, 2017, 01:27:35 AM
I'm in the middle of purchasing to save on waste (startup costs).

I'm organising some cloth nappies so we can reduce our use of disposables. I'm washing out our work farm next week and setting it up. I've ordered a trolley so I can walk to the local grocer & butcher to purchase almost all our food, and I'm ordering reusable produce bags so we don't use the thin plastic any more. I've been testing some recipes for treats/snacks so I can buy the ingredients in bulk from now on. I've been working out how to get places using public transport even though we are usually still using the car for trips - not quite organised enough with the new baby yet!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 02, 2017, 01:30:30 AM
I'm in the middle of purchasing to save on waste (startup costs).

I'm organising some cloth nappies so we can reduce our use of disposables. I'm washing out our work farm next week and setting it up. I've ordered a trolley so I can walk to the local grocer & butcher to purchase almost all our food, and I'm ordering reusable produce bags so we don't use the thin plastic any more. I've been testing some recipes for treats/snacks so I can buy the ingredients in bulk from now on. I've been working out how to get places using public transport even though we are usually still using the car for trips - not quite organised enough with the new baby yet!

All of this is awesome! But also... Don't you just hate that initial expenditure / consumerism even though you know it'll reduce waste long term? I find it confusing and difficult.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 02, 2017, 01:45:17 AM
I'm in the middle of purchasing to save on waste (startup costs).

I'm organising some cloth nappies so we can reduce our use of disposables. I'm washing out our work farm next week and setting it up. I've ordered a trolley so I can walk to the local grocer & butcher to purchase almost all our food, and I'm ordering reusable produce bags so we don't use the thin plastic any more. I've been testing some recipes for treats/snacks so I can buy the ingredients in bulk from now on. I've been working out how to get places using public transport even though we are usually still using the car for trips - not quite organised enough with the new baby yet!

All of this is awesome! But also... Don't you just hate that initial expenditure / consumerism even though you know it'll reduce waste long term? I find it confusing and difficult.
I keep apologising to my husband for spending money. He keeps patting me on the head. Uh, which sounds really sexist but it's just who feels more comfortable with spending money or not! So far I'm just trying to trust that this is another transitional period, and then we won't spend much and will be much happier with our slightly adjusted lifestyle.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 02, 2017, 04:52:32 AM
Some useful ideas in this Plastic Free July chart. (http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/action-picker.html)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on June 02, 2017, 06:21:07 AM
AV, try not to be too hard on yourself! Conveniences are totally appropriate when you're making the transition to life with a new baby, and the upfront costs of reusable items will end up having a very, very low cost per use.

I bought all my produce without using any plastic bags yesterday. I ended up using one bag for bulk after my darling (*cough*) son got cranky and threw a jar I'd already filled with cashews out of the cart, shattering it. Grrr...

Made asparagus soup with dinner last night. I'd been saving the woody ends in the freezer, then boiled them with some homemade broth and threw it all in the blender with some cream. Delicious! I also made double the amount of quinoa I normally would in the Instant Pot and froze half to reduce the energy useage.

I signed up to participate in a "Refashion Exchange" where you send an unworn garment to another sewist and they turn it into something new and send it back to you, and you receive one from someone else. The gal who I'm sewing for sent me two boxy dresses that I was able to turn into a nursing-friendly dress for her and a matching baby dress. There's some waste inherent in cutting up a perfectly good (if unworn) garment to make something new, but the baby dress helped reduce that and the rest will get cut up into squares for a future postage stamp quilt.

* BIG KAHUNA: In honor of America's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, I switched to our electric company's "Green Rate." For a 20 percent premium, all of our electricity will be sourced from renewable sources. We have a very low and ever decreasing electric bill so this will not be a budget buster for us. Politicians are (apparently) useless. Personal action is paramount.

Way to go! We don't have this option where we live or I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 14, 2017, 01:02:41 AM
My cloth nappies are ordered and DH is onboard with using them during the day at home to start with. I hope we find them easy, though washing is one of the few tasks I'm actually keeping on top of at the moment. We got PUL covers, cotton prefolds and reusable liners. I'm putting a jar of water on the change table so we can use tiny towels as cloth wipes as well :)

I ordered reusable produce bags from onya.com.au, as well as compostable kitty/dog poop bags, and a reusable coffee cup. That cuts out a lot of our common disposable plastic use without any effort on our part.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: I'm a red panda on June 14, 2017, 01:24:49 AM
We replaced our 2.5 gpm Moen shower head with a 1.5 gpm Niagara. We love it and it saves a gallon a minute!

We were able to sell the moen, so it wasn't just discarded!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 14, 2017, 03:30:19 AM
Unintentional: apparently I only wash my hair once a week now. My scalp must have adjusted quickly as it's not looking too greasy. My hair is thick and takes forever to wash properly in the shower, so this is saving a lot of water!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on June 14, 2017, 03:44:12 AM
A former coworker left but never turned off her computer before quitting. I made sure to turn it off. It would probably still be running if I had not powered it off.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on June 14, 2017, 12:21:45 PM
Unintentional: apparently I only wash my hair once a week now. My scalp must have adjusted quickly as it's not looking too greasy. My hair is thick and takes forever to wash properly in the shower, so this is saving a lot of water!

I also only do that once a week.  My skin is a lot healthier new as a result.  And you are right, the hair adjusts.  One thing I do is shave my armpits (I'm a guy), because I realized it's the hair that makes the pits stinky, getting rid of it makes things much nicer.  Plus I can do a quick wash of the pits if they do get a little smelly. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 16, 2017, 07:36:35 AM
Hung up 3 loads of laundry outside to dry. On the first batch some had dried already so that I could make place to hang up load nbr 3.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on June 16, 2017, 11:15:34 PM
Rode my bicycle to a planning meeting. Good exercise, plus didn't have to park.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on June 18, 2017, 12:57:52 AM
Cold-washed, line-dried washing.

Took cloth bags to buy groceries.

(I still need a better solution for buying loose fruit and veg rather than the plastic bags - I've heard zippered mesh lingerie bags work well - but in the meantime I'm re-using the same couple of plastic bags over and over.)

Currently sitting here with no lights on, mostly because the sun is going down and I haven't gotten up yet.

We had a houseguest last night and I got talking power prices with him and told him about my war against leaving lights/appliances on unnecessarily. I was stoked to see that when he went to his room a couple of times during the evening to get something, he turned the light off before coming back to the lounge room.

I need to say something to my BiL who will let himself in, turn three lights on the way to his room, shower for half an hour then go to bed with everything still turned on...
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 18, 2017, 01:51:56 AM
(I still need a better solution for buying loose fruit and veg rather than the plastic bags - I've heard zippered mesh lingerie bags work well - but in the meantime I'm re-using the same couple of plastic bags over and over.)
That's basically what the bags I bought from Onya are - they're an Australian company, too :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 18, 2017, 02:11:01 AM
(I still need a better solution for buying loose fruit and veg rather than the plastic bags - I've heard zippered mesh lingerie bags work well - but in the meantime I'm re-using the same couple of plastic bags over and over.)
That's basically what the bags I bought from Onya are - they're an Australian company, too :)

On TV some time ago they tested bringing a plastic container. This worked, although it takes some more time when paying. They need to way the empty container before waying the food. So you'll need to bring an extra similar container as well.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aetherie on June 19, 2017, 06:07:34 AM
(I still need a better solution for buying loose fruit and veg rather than the plastic bags - I've heard zippered mesh lingerie bags work well - but in the meantime I'm re-using the same couple of plastic bags over and over.)

I have a set of these (https://www.3bbags.com/) and like them.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on June 19, 2017, 11:53:04 PM
(I still need a better solution for buying loose fruit and veg rather than the plastic bags - I've heard zippered mesh lingerie bags work well - but in the meantime I'm re-using the same couple of plastic bags over and over.)
That's basically what the bags I bought from Onya are - they're an Australian company, too :)

Thanks for the recommendation, Anatidae V, I bought those yesterday.

Very excited for them to arrive.

A friend messaged me to say she bought a reusable cup for takeaway coffee. She isn't working so I don't think she should be buying takeaway coffee at all, but at least she's being environmentally-conscious.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on June 20, 2017, 04:47:07 AM
I am continuing to learn about hypermiling.  I have now added a total of 6 mpg to my fuel economy, just by inflating my tires higher and driving differently.  Now that I have this mindset, I shake my head at all the bad/fuel-wasting driving behavior I see.  Looking forward to FIRE, when driving will be a rare occurrence for me.     
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 21, 2017, 12:29:25 AM
Walked to work for the second time this week.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: VeggieTable on June 22, 2017, 06:54:17 AM
(I still need a better solution for buying loose fruit and veg rather than the plastic bags - I've heard zippered mesh lingerie bags work well - but in the meantime I'm re-using the same couple of plastic bags over and over.)

I have a set of these (https://www.3bbags.com/) and like them.

These look awesome! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: nick663 on June 22, 2017, 07:40:38 AM
LED projector bulbs were on sale so I bought the max (12) for our kitchen.  I need to pick one more up this week and I think the whole interior of the house will be on LED or CFL bulbs.  Based on my calculations, they'll pay for themselves in just over a year.

This is the 3rd place I've moved into where the previous owner still had incandescent bulbs.  I don't understand it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on June 22, 2017, 11:57:02 PM
Rode my bike twice instead of taking out the car.

Cloth diapered the baby.

Harvested more homegrown comfrey and curly dock to use as plant food for our small trees.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on June 23, 2017, 03:28:48 AM

Harvested more homegrown comfrey and curly dock to use as plant food for our small trees.

Jengod -- do you chop it up and top-dress the soil with it?  Do you compost it first, or add it green?  Thanks!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Chaplin on June 24, 2017, 10:02:19 PM
This is the 3rd place I've moved into where the previous owner still had incandescent bulbs.  I don't understand it.

I wouldn't be surprised if some, or even many people kept their old incandescents to put back in upon selling so they can take their LED bulbs with them.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 25, 2017, 01:31:01 AM
This is the 3rd place I've moved into where the previous owner still had incandescent bulbs.  I don't understand it.

I wouldn't be surprised if some, or even many people kept their old incandescents to put back in upon selling so they can take their LED bulbs with them.

Could be true. We did this with an advanced wall ventilator. This thing cost 400 euro and we didn't want to give it away to the new owner of the house. We replaced it with an el cheapo ventilation vent before the viewing. I did not replace light bulbs, though.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on June 27, 2017, 12:13:59 AM

Harvested more homegrown comfrey and curly dock to use as plant food for our small trees.

Jengod -- do you chop it up and top-dress the soil with it?  Do you compost it first, or add it green?  Thanks!

Top dress! I hardly even chop it, just drop it in piles at the base of the trees. It sort of shrivel-dries in the sun into a mulch. I also throw extra greens on the continuous batch compost pile and to the chickens. I think the "correct" way to do it is to make comfrey tea: soak it in water and then aerate it with a pond pump. It smells like hell rot but it's very rich in microbes for your soil. However, I'm too lazy for this and prefer a no-till, chop-and-drop permaculture style of sheet mulching.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Teachstache on June 28, 2017, 07:49:38 AM
I rode my bike to work, our family (2 adults, 1 kid) took our 100% electric Nissan Leaf downtown to hear an outdoor concert last night, so no petrol used for transportation yesterday.

Today, I used a full rain barrel to water our 4 zucchini plants, 9 tomato plants, and 5 varieties of herbs that we planted in our backyard garden.

Hanging clothes out on our umbrella dryer this morning.

Using cloth diapers on my not yet potty trained 2 year old son.

However, we DO have a home air conditioner set on 76, and we do use electricity to run 4 crypto currency miners 24/7 on a 240 volt line in our basement (which runs 10% more efficiently than using a 120 volt outlet).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on June 28, 2017, 09:13:32 AM
Planned menu to stretch a single, 4lb whole chicken into 3 dinners + leftovers + broth. Gave some of the broth away to my brother in case we don't have a chance to use it.

Hung dry all of my laundry this week. Have been working on getting DH to line dry at least some of his clothes - he's started hanging his athletic-fabric polo shirts and some of his workout gear since it dries so quickly. Progress!

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on June 28, 2017, 04:12:04 PM
Oops, wrong topic!  Well, I'm drying some laundry on the line and I am trying to freecycle some icepacks that I got through BlueApron.

Replaced gas burner tube and igniter in oven.  Tube had a hole in it next to the igniter, which was probably reason why igniters were burning out so fast.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on July 01, 2017, 05:15:06 AM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on July 01, 2017, 11:14:02 AM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can.

Congrats Mies!  Composting is super enjoyable.  Also fine to compost FYI -- eggshells, hair/fur, used paper napkins and paper towels, dryer lint, newspaper, cardboard, and much more.  www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost 

if you have animals, poop and wood/paper/straw-based bedding from vegetarian pets or livestock (rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, horses, cows, etc) is A-OK and can go straight in.   Poop from omnivores (chickens) should be aged a few months before it goes in, and poop from carnivores (cats, dogs) is a no-go.     
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on July 02, 2017, 06:41:44 AM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can.

Congrats Mies!  Composting is super enjoyable.  Also fine to compost FYI -- eggshells, hair/fur, used paper napkins and paper towels, dryer lint, newspaper, cardboard, and much more.  www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost 

if you have animals, poop and wood/paper/straw-based bedding from vegetarian pets or livestock (rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, horses, cows, etc) is A-OK and can go straight in.   Poop from omnivores (chickens) should be aged a few months before it goes in, and poop from carnivores (cats, dogs) is a no-go.   

Thanks! We've been composting vegetable peels and egg shells for awhile, I just never thought to look any deeper than that. That's at least a little less stuff to be hauled away by the garbage truck.

We don't have any pets, so we don't put any dookie the compost.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on July 02, 2017, 08:56:35 AM
My DH has been freediving today in the Oslo fjord and picked up 20 or so pieces of fishing lures made of lead. Last week he also removed a ghost net for catching crabs (netbthat is forgotten by owner).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on July 02, 2017, 09:53:48 AM
It's going to hit the mid-90's today and I don't want to turn on the oven. I'm experimenting with baking bread on our gas grill using a dutch oven.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: VeggieTable on July 02, 2017, 12:00:09 PM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can.

Congrats Mies!  Composting is super enjoyable.  Also fine to compost FYI -- eggshells, hair/fur, used paper napkins and paper towels, dryer lint, newspaper, cardboard, and much more.  www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost 

if you have animals, poop and wood/paper/straw-based bedding from vegetarian pets or livestock (rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, horses, cows, etc) is A-OK and can go straight in.   Poop from omnivores (chickens) should be aged a few months before it goes in, and poop from carnivores (cats, dogs) is a no-go.   

Quoting you, Trifele, since you seem knowledgeable - do you compost egg cartons? The ones I get from Aldi are made from "100% reclaimed paper" (whatever that means) so I'm wondering if I can throw them on my compost pile...should I cut them up first?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on July 02, 2017, 04:03:18 PM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can.

Congrats Mies!  Composting is super enjoyable.  Also fine to compost FYI -- eggshells, hair/fur, used paper napkins and paper towels, dryer lint, newspaper, cardboard, and much more.  www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost 

if you have animals, poop and wood/paper/straw-based bedding from vegetarian pets or livestock (rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, horses, cows, etc) is A-OK and can go straight in.   Poop from omnivores (chickens) should be aged a few months before it goes in, and poop from carnivores (cats, dogs) is a no-go.   

Quoting you, Trifele, since you seem knowledgeable - do you compost egg cartons? The ones I get from Aldi are made from "100% reclaimed paper" (whatever that means) so I'm wondering if I can throw them on my compost pile...should I cut them up first?

Yes, as long as they are paper-based and not styrofoam, you can certainly put egg cartons in.  Cutting them up will make them decompose faster.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 02, 2017, 05:03:39 PM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can.

Congrats Mies!  Composting is super enjoyable.  Also fine to compost FYI -- eggshells, hair/fur, used paper napkins and paper towels, dryer lint, newspaper, cardboard, and much more.  www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost 

if you have animals, poop and wood/paper/straw-based bedding from vegetarian pets or livestock (rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, horses, cows, etc) is A-OK and can go straight in.   Poop from omnivores (chickens) should be aged a few months before it goes in, and poop from carnivores (cats, dogs) is a no-go.   

Quoting you, Trifele, since you seem knowledgeable - do you compost egg cartons? The ones I get from Aldi are made from "100% reclaimed paper" (whatever that means) so I'm wondering if I can throw them on my compost pile...should I cut them up first?

Yes, as long as they are paper-based and not styrofoam, you can certainly put egg cartons in.  Cutting them up will make them decompose faster.

Another option - if you know anyone with chickens - is to ask if they need cartons.

I have family members who are very generous with their eggs but it is BYO carton.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on July 02, 2017, 05:19:48 PM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can.

Congrats Mies!  Composting is super enjoyable.  Also fine to compost FYI -- eggshells, hair/fur, used paper napkins and paper towels, dryer lint, newspaper, cardboard, and much more.  www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost 

if you have animals, poop and wood/paper/straw-based bedding from vegetarian pets or livestock (rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, horses, cows, etc) is A-OK and can go straight in.   Poop from omnivores (chickens) should be aged a few months before it goes in, and poop from carnivores (cats, dogs) is a no-go.   

Quoting you, Trifele, since you seem knowledgeable - do you compost egg cartons? The ones I get from Aldi are made from "100% reclaimed paper" (whatever that means) so I'm wondering if I can throw them on my compost pile...should I cut them up first?

Yes, as long as they are paper-based and not styrofoam, you can certainly put egg cartons in.  Cutting them up will make them decompose faster.

Another option - if you know anyone with chickens - is to ask if they need cartons.

I have family members who are very generous with their eggs but it is BYO carton.

That is too funny, MustachePun -- I have chickens and just ran out of cartons today (giving away eggs).  You are right!  I would love it if someone gave me some cartons. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on July 05, 2017, 05:06:35 AM
I am working on my DH to convince him that this summer, we don't need to take an airplane to the very north of Norway to go fishing. I rather want to go to some national park much further south that we can reach by driving the car. Then we are talking about 1000km instead of 2500km. And there are also nice trouts, although not as extremely big as some that are in the north.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: JLR on July 05, 2017, 05:48:10 AM
I'm putting a jar of water on the change table so we can use tiny towels as cloth wipes as well :)

I used to put warm water in the thermos on a winter morning and use that to wet the cloth wipes.
Now my babies are all grown I use their old cloth wipes on myself for #1's.

Do Enjo still sell mesh veggie bags? I bought some about 10 years ago and still use them.

Today I tried to take a container back to The Body Shop to get it refilled. I think I showed how rarely I go in there, as apparently they stopped doing that a long time ago because they had to send the bottles back to the UK for refilling. But she was happy to put my empty bottle in her recycling bin so I could fit the new bottle in my backpack.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on July 05, 2017, 06:22:45 AM
I did some research on what else can be safely thrown on our compost heap. I didn't realize you could compost coffee filters and stale bread. The stale bread doesn't last long. I'm guessing the birds and raccoons are probably getting to it before it has a chance to break down. I'd rather they get to it from the compost heap than by getting in to our trash can.

I haven throwing in coffee filters and tea bags and bread for a long time. Notice that some pyramid-shaped tea bags are made out of plastic and should be be thrown in. I also put in old flowers from my own garden and all stems and skins from food or leftover cooked food that is not enough to keep or spoiled food. Sometimes I throw in kitchen paper (unbleached) if it is drained in sauce or so and I cannot throw in into the paper bin. Eggshells and nutshells can be added.

What is not smart to add are bones from meat. This doesn't disappear fast enough. Also shrimp is really not smart. This will smell awfully for weeks and can be smelled from a long distance. We added old twigs from the garden to the compost bin. They are completely blocking the bin, so we can't get anything out from underneath. That was really not smart either. So don't throw in stuff that is hard and needs a really long time to decompose. Just soft fruit, veggies, meat cut-offs, plants, coffee and tea in recycle bags.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 05, 2017, 08:16:02 AM
I'm putting a jar of water on the change table so we can use tiny towels as cloth wipes as well :)

I used to put warm water in the thermos on a winter morning and use that to wet the cloth wipes.
Now my babies are all grown I use their old cloth wipes on myself for #1's.

Do Enjo still sell mesh veggie bags? I bought some about 10 years ago and still use them.

Today I tried to take a container back to The Body Shop to get it refilled. I think I showed how rarely I go in there, as apparently they stopped doing that a long time ago because they had to send the bottles back to the UK for refilling. But she was happy to put my empty bottle in her recycling bin so I could fit the new bottle in my backpack.
My mum used our old nappies as her favourite cleaning tags. I did my first full day of cloth nappies on the baby today. Nights are a challenge I'm not up for quite yet. I think our disposable nappy use is about to slow down a lot :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 05, 2017, 06:34:08 PM
My DH has been taking his coffee to work in a reusable cup! An obvious change, but we had to try a couple of options to find one he likes.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: bucketsofrain on July 05, 2017, 07:21:34 PM
Started composting! (I am on a monthlong vacation at my family's cabin; normally I live in a city with no outdoor space). Has anyone composted without an outdoor space? I am considering getting a worm composter (for smell issues), but am not sure what I would do with the resulting compost.

Also continuing to go around the house unplugging things that aren't being used and turning off the lights. I've turned into my dad.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 05, 2017, 07:39:37 PM
Bucketsofrain, a bokashi bin might be a good option for you rather than traditional composting - worth looking into!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on July 05, 2017, 08:02:22 PM
I am moving so I am busy trying to give stuff away rather than throwing it into the trash.  I'm doing well so far although I've probably created my garbage for 3 months already (incredibly small normally).

I am implementing 3 initiatives at work to re-use of plates and cups, rather than using disposable crap.   
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on July 06, 2017, 12:23:56 AM
Walked to work again. This time on some other shoes (my comfy but neat looking go-to-the-office shoes), as my running shoes give me blisters all the time. So far so good with today's shoes. Let's hope my feet will still be fine after walking home.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: pancakes on July 06, 2017, 01:31:27 AM
I used my reusable cup today :)

Since I got it I've only slipped up once which isn't bad because I (rather unmoustachingly) go for a walk to get coffee everyday. Drinking from a cup in the cafe isn't exactly practical with a baby strapped to my chest.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 06, 2017, 01:48:30 AM
I used my reusable cup today :)

Since I got it I've only slipped up once which isn't bad because I (rather unmoustachingly) go for a walk to get coffee everyday. Drinking from a cup in the cafe isn't exactly practical with a baby strapped to my chest.

As someone with a tiny baby, I do not think this is antimustachian at all. At all.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on July 06, 2017, 02:26:10 AM
I used my reusable cup today :)

Since I got it I've only slipped up once which isn't bad because I (rather unmoustachingly) go for a walk to get coffee everyday. Drinking from a cup in the cafe isn't exactly practical with a baby strapped to my chest.

As someone with a tiny baby, I do not think this is antimustachian at all. At all.

But spending money on coffee in a cafe everyday is in my opinion very unmustachian.
Just calculate how much money those coffees could have been worth if you would have invested that money for 25 years into an index fund. ;-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 06, 2017, 03:10:17 AM
I bought more cloth nappies second hand, and am asking about postage costs for another two lots. Should be able to almost eliminate use of disposables with this, possibly until bub is ready for toilet training if they are as size adjustable as they claim :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on July 06, 2017, 04:50:19 AM
I bought more cloth nappies second hand, and am asking about postage costs for another two lots. Should be able to almost eliminate use of disposables with this, possibly until bub is ready for toilet training if they are as size adjustable as they claim :)

That is fantastic! We dropped off on cloth diapers when our son went through a phase of fighting diaper changes like his life depended on it. Being able to get the diaper on and off quickly, and being able to have fewer changes through the day, was worth it. Now, unfortunately, he prefers the disposable diapers and if I try to use a cloth one he will say, "No! Other diaper!". :-(

I used my reusable cup today :)

Since I got it I've only slipped up once which isn't bad because I (rather unmoustachingly) go for a walk to get coffee everyday. Drinking from a cup in the cafe isn't exactly practical with a baby strapped to my chest.

As someone with a tiny baby, I do not think this is antimustachian at all. At all.

+1 to this. Especially if you're not buying fancy expensive coffee drinks, it's worth it to have a routine that gets you out of the house consistently.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 07, 2017, 09:00:40 PM
Ran a couple of errands down the street, no plastic bags.

We're away for a few days, brought our steel water bottles in the car and have been refilling them as needed.

And the friends we're staying with recycle and compost, so it's been easy to keep our waste down.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on July 08, 2017, 08:22:01 PM
As out coffee machine is broken, I walked the dog to the local cafe and home again with a reuseable cup. We walked home really fast so he didn't poo because I didn't want to carry a full baggie and two pies AND the coffee. Only took one cup for the same reason but I guess that meant a cost saving (I can manage on instant but DH is hungover and cannot).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on July 09, 2017, 03:41:31 AM
I painted the lower part of the inside of the windows in our mountain hut. In the winter there is a lot of condensation on the windows, so we don't want them to fot away.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: VeggieTable on July 09, 2017, 11:24:55 AM
I bought more cloth nappies second hand, and am asking about postage costs for another two lots. Should be able to almost eliminate use of disposables with this, possibly until bub is ready for toilet training if they are as size adjustable as they claim :)

Nice! My son is almost 3 and we are still going strong with cloth diapers. Only thing is, as he's gotten older, he has started to pee a lot more, so we switched to using disposables overnight about 6 months ago. Before that, I was able to layer in hemp inserts (3...the kid can pee!), put him in loose clothing, and he'd be ok. Soon he was leaking every night though, so we made the switch.  One thing I love about cloth diapers is how adaptable they are - we use flats, so I can easily change how I fold them or add in an extra insert as he grows. It's pretty amazing to look at 30 pieces of cloth and realize they've made it through 2.5 years not much worse for the wear!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: iceberg8 on July 09, 2017, 12:35:37 PM
Driving slowly 60mph on 80mph, and started a compost. Not buying much clothes (GF hates me for this), not buying much anything. Do not kill insects (unless they are intruders into food).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 09, 2017, 06:54:36 PM
Driving slowly 60mph on 80mph...

So you're a road block for other drivers?

This is dangerous and not something to advocate.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 09, 2017, 10:41:13 PM
I bought more cloth nappies second hand, and am asking about postage costs for another two lots. Should be able to almost eliminate use of disposables with this, possibly until bub is ready for toilet training if they are as size adjustable as they claim :)

Nice! My son is almost 3 and we are still going strong with cloth diapers. Only thing is, as he's gotten older, he has started to pee a lot more, so we switched to using disposables overnight about 6 months ago. Before that, I was able to layer in hemp inserts (3...the kid can pee!), put him in loose clothing, and he'd be ok. Soon he was leaking every night though, so we made the switch.  One thing I love about cloth diapers is how adaptable they are - we use flats, so I can easily change how I fold them or add in an extra insert as he grows. It's pretty amazing to look at 30 pieces of cloth and realize they've made it through 2.5 years not much worse for the wear!
I was tempted by flats, but decided they were too much of a learning curve for myself & DH. We've gone with prefolds and some all-in-twos. The cute patterns on the waterproof covers are definitely a fun bonus for using cloth!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stashgrower on July 10, 2017, 02:03:16 AM
Just normal things. Fed the compost. Took the bus. Borrowed books from the library.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: iceberg8 on July 10, 2017, 11:14:17 AM
Driving slowly 60mph on 80mph...

So you're a road block for other drivers?

This is dangerous and not something to advocate.

Min two lanes, so they can overtake easily (left = faster, here in EU. But it is not faster by law, just by unwritten "law" among peple). I am not overtaking trucks at 60mph, if so - I always check space behind me, on average, once per 10second. Trust me, I am not a roadblock, I can handle it as you would not even notice me on the road ;)
I am also willing to go 55 on 50 (general roads between small cities), but not faster.
But here, in my country, Slovakia (or Czech, Checkia, thats north neighbor) , there are tremendously lot fools who are pushing in city limit 30mph like 40mph, that is too much, I'm willing to go 35. Thats why I would love to buy Ford F650 - they would not suck my a** or tailgate me under like 5 yards.. What is dangerous.
You NEVER know, what I am shipping. Whether it is my family, or small kid, or simply a soup or cake from my grandmom, and I do not want to spill it all over the cabin. That is why I hate superheroes aka tailgators - my password is "if you want to overtake, just do, i will move to right as much as possible" - if you don't dare, then do not tailgate. Having a small car with 260bhp, I strongly believe this rule is fair for both sides.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 21, 2017, 01:01:02 AM
I *finally* have my very own old holey sheet! Currently cutting it up to sew into mitts for dusting :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 05, 2017, 04:05:43 AM
Used reusable produce bags instead of disposable plastic ones.

Applied 'worm wee' to my plants as fertiliser.

Walked and took public transport.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on August 05, 2017, 07:14:29 PM
We are in the middle of a major construction project -- gutting and renovating a falling-down house and yard. We are trying hard to send as little to the landfill as possible.  We have repurposed about two tons of crushed rock and mortar into gravel road fill for the access road.  We are saving all pieces of wood that are still usable/not insect eaten. We'll either sell them or use them ourselves.   We removed some old koi ponds, and we took pains digging out the HDPE liners that we didn't crack them.  It was extra work, but we got them out intact and sold them on Craigslist today for $125.  That feels really good on all fronts. 

Next up:  We are taking down a huge old chimney, and removed the cast-iron wood-burning fireplace insert. We will try to sell it. That thing weighs between 400 and 500 pounds.  The logistics of getting that monster out of the house and into a buyer's truck are going to be interesting!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on August 05, 2017, 08:50:37 PM
* Cargo bike kids to the local library branch - perfectly quiet and cool on a summer afternoon
* Line-drying laundry including cloth diapers
* Fed the baby homemade applesauce (less packaging and she scarfs it down)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 16, 2017, 12:43:18 AM
It's just occurred to me that we moved into this house just over two years ago and decided not to buy a drier straight away, but instead to wait and see if we really needed one. Apparently we don't! Sheets and towels are line dried; clothes are dried inside on racks.

It's starting to warm up, so I'm back to collecting shower water for my garden.

I've started a heap of plants from seed over the last few weeks, rather than buying seedlings in small plastic pots from Bunnings (Australian home and garden superstore).

As always, I'm feeding kitchen scraps to the worms. They provide me with garden fertiliser in return.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on September 16, 2017, 03:09:54 AM
I inflated the tires on our cars this morning. We're taking a road trip today so that should help minimize fuel consumption. You said small things :)

If you take the time to inflate your tires, make sure you check the tire pressure on your spare tire too. Even if you take your car to a shop for regular maintenance and they inflate your tires, they will probably not check your spare. Last year, my wife noticed she was losing tire pressure while driving home from work. I found a small tear on the tread that probably also had a hole. I put the spare tire on so we could get the car to the shop to replace the tire. Imagine my surprise when the spare was almost flat too. The recommended pressure for the spare is 60psi and the spare was down to 20psi. This was after several years of taking it to a dealership for regular service.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on September 16, 2017, 11:20:23 AM
YAY!!! So exciting to see new posts on my favorite thread.

We just moved into a house with a yard, so we bought a reel lawnmower instead of a gasoline or electric powered one.

I've been saving compostable food scraps in the freezer in anticipation of starting compost. Need to decide what kind of compost system to use - since we rent it needs to be something easy to move. I'm thinking that simple stacking bins or a rotating composter might be good options.

DH's new job is about 30 miles away and he's been unable to find anyone to carpool with, so we're trading vehicles. My compact car gets almost double the gas mileage of his truck. If this ends up being a long-term home/job situation for us, the truck will be sold and replaced with a used hybrid.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 16, 2017, 07:06:55 PM
Mr Happier walked to and from the shops yesterday for a few items we'd forgotten.

Today I'm posting a heap of unneeded baby things on Buy Nothing. Reducing consumption for the win!

One of our goals has been to find more vegetarian meals we both enjoy. So we're making our favourite pasta bake and substituting cannellini beans for the diced chicken. It tastes pretty good!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 16, 2017, 07:21:51 PM
YAY!!! So exciting to see new posts on my favorite thread.

:D
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: JLR on September 16, 2017, 10:01:38 PM
The usual stuff. Washing on the line. Leftovers for lunch for most of us. Reused my tea bag from yesterday. Filled my Thermos with the small amount of excess water I accidentally boiled. Wearing thermals and Ugg boots to cut down on heating costs. My husband got out our worn out shoes and glued where the soles are coming away.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on September 18, 2017, 06:07:16 AM
This afternoon and again tomorrow morning I will need to visit Oslo, 35 km away. I have decided to take the train. There is toll money to get into the city by car and I would need to pay for parking. This afternoon I want to read my study book that I will be tested on tomorrow morning. The train provides a place to sit and read and it costs about the same as the car. Tomorrow morning driving into Oslo in rush hour will not be an option anyway. The train is a much better alternative.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on September 18, 2017, 10:00:18 AM
You can't use bags at Costco because the items are too big to fit.  So they give you shipping boxes instead at checkout.  I've kept the boxes they gave me the last trip and will re-use them when I go to Costco from now on.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: seattlecyclone on September 18, 2017, 10:26:34 AM
We hosted a party yesterday. Unlike pretty much every other party we go to, we used real dishes. Not sure why people think that going to the store to buy paper plates is more convenient than running a couple loads of plates through the dishwasher, but they do.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mm1970 on September 21, 2017, 10:38:56 AM
Just found this thread after reading "Zero Waste Home".

Anyway, yesterday -
Started buying bulk items in bulk bins, even though can be more expensive per pound.  Saved and reused the baggie/ twist tie for the oats (& will for the beans, quinoa, etc.)

Hit up the olive bar, and just washed and reused last week's container.

Opted for a cantaloupe (no packaging) instead of strawberries, and got a whole pepper instead of a plastic bag of baby peppers.

Re-starting the compost bin.

Stitched up a hole in my shirt.  So it can live another 5 years.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on September 21, 2017, 11:58:56 AM
Sketched out plans to build a stacking compost bin from cedar boards. Will likely cost more than buying a plastic stacking bin, but will look nicer and not be plastic.

I've been saving my compostable scraps in the freezer and they're starting to take up an inconvenient amount of space, so this will be getting built this weekend.

Working on eating up leftovers before going grocery shopping again to limit food waste.

All outings under 2 miles round trip (and some longer ones!) are happening on foot.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on September 21, 2017, 06:59:12 PM
Sketched out plans to build a stacking compost bin from cedar boards. Will likely cost more than buying a plastic stacking bin, but will look nicer and not be plastic.

I've been saving my compostable scraps in the freezer and they're starting to take up an inconvenient amount of space, so this will be getting built this weekend.

Working on eating up leftovers before going grocery shopping again to limit food waste.

All outings under 2 miles round trip (and some longer ones!) are happening on foot.

We have a stash of hardwood decking boards, fencing and that sort of thing that people have thrown out that we use to build things. I got them through our version of Craigslist. Cuts down the cost if you have that option.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on September 21, 2017, 07:38:13 PM
Sketched out plans to build a stacking compost bin from cedar boards. Will likely cost more than buying a plastic stacking bin, but will look nicer and not be plastic.

I've been saving my compostable scraps in the freezer and they're starting to take up an inconvenient amount of space, so this will be getting built this weekend.

Working on eating up leftovers before going grocery shopping again to limit food waste.

All outings under 2 miles round trip (and some longer ones!) are happening on foot.

We have a stash of hardwood decking boards, fencing and that sort of thing that people have thrown out that we use to build things. I got them through our version of Craigslist. Cuts down the cost if you have that option.

That's a great idea, thanks! We're in a small town and the surrounding area is fairly spread out, but if I can find some nearby that would be great. If it's free or cheap that makes up for being able to have most of the cuts done for me at Home Depot!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Thinkum on September 21, 2017, 09:44:21 PM
Walked a couple of miles RT to go to the store.

Used my backpack and reusable bags as well.

Eating up more tomatoes, trying not to let them go bad.

 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: horsepoor on September 22, 2017, 09:06:26 AM
The other night I plucked a perfectly good, 2-handled wicker basket from my neighbor's trash can.  I'll probably donate it next time our employee association does a gift basket auction fundraiser.  It's annoying seeing people tossing things that at minimum should be taken to the thrift store.

This weekend I'll be digging up and transplanting volunteer plants in my front yard, so my xeriscaping will be even more bird and pollinator-friendly next year.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Thinkum on September 22, 2017, 09:22:30 AM
It's annoying seeing people tossing things that at minimum should be taken to the thrift store.


I could not agree more! Such wastefulness always boggled my mind. I feel a lot better though when I go to donate and see there is always stuff to be sorted and sometimes overflowing outside the sorting area.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on September 24, 2017, 02:33:39 PM
Just found this thread after reading "Zero Waste Home".

Anyway, yesterday -
Started buying bulk items in bulk bins, even though can be more expensive per pound.  Saved and reused the baggie/ twist tie for the oats (& will for the beans, quinoa, etc.)

Hit up the olive bar, and just washed and reused last week's container.

Opted for a cantaloupe (no packaging) instead of strawberries, and got a whole pepper instead of a plastic bag of baby peppers.

Re-starting the compost bin.

Stitched up a hole in my shirt.  So it can live another 5 years.

WHOO! Love #zerowastehome. We are far from perfect especially when it comes to kid food and school lunches but it's changed my thinking in so many ways!

today:
* menstrual cup
* bar soap instead of body wash in a plastic bottle
* currently cooking dried garbanzos from the bulk bins so I can have them ready for this week's "crispy paprika chickpeas" dish
* place French press coffee grounds and dried eggshells directly under our growing California black walnut tree
* riding bike and then ridesharing to a friend's birthday later today

recently:
* instead of driving private car, took train and bus (with three kids and luggage) to cruise port for a vacation. saved $ and carbon emissions.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 24, 2017, 09:36:52 PM
We're back to the time of year where it makes sense to capture shower warmup water for the garden.

I've started seeds for a range of homegrown veges - my gardening skills are very much beginner level, but hopefully I can get a few things growing well. You can't get more local and ethical than your own garden!

Signed up for a local produce and plant swap, and a local workshop on making beeswax wraps (free, of course!).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on September 25, 2017, 01:36:46 AM
As I need to have new tires put around wheels, I had to drive a bit to deliver the tires. When collecting them, I'll combine it with visiting 2 shops in the same vicinity that I want to visit to buy some cheap articles.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 25, 2017, 01:43:58 AM
Used worm wee and castings as fertiliser for my plants.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stashgrower on September 25, 2017, 05:46:15 AM
Dodged the rain and cycled.

Made homemade goodies and packed in recycled glass.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on September 25, 2017, 07:32:54 AM
Making applesauce today for my first attempt at canning - 5lbs of apples from the farmer's market are cut up and cooking in the crockpot, with cores going to compost. If it goes well, I want to try canning watermelon rind pickles and a few more batches of applesauce this fall.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: birdie55 on September 25, 2017, 07:58:12 AM
frooglepoodle, you might try making apple cider vinegar from the apple cores, etc.   Some recipes call for a little sugar, some just use water and the apple remnants.  Google it if you are interested. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: BuildingFrugalHabits on September 25, 2017, 09:41:49 AM
Great thread!

Good things I do now:
No kids
Home is 100% solar powered
Bike to work
Hybrid car for errands and general transport
Line dry clothing
I try to limit meat consumption to a few times per week,
Consume grass feed, pasture raised and buy fresh/local produce when in season
Compost all food scraps
Recycle
Limit my consumption of new items as much as possible
We generate about one kitchen bag of trash per week. 
Repair things when possible, source items from craigslist instead of new
Try to avoid single use items when possible
Use the library
Low flow shower heads
No bottled water
Switched from packaged tea to loose

Stuff I need to work on:
I fly often for work
I fly about 2x per year for personal (carbon offsets??)
Carpool for mountain trips
Go back to full vegetarian again
Would like to eventually replace one of our vehicles with an electric car
We use a lot of water for our yard and garden
Trying to lower my garbage output further towards zero waste
Try to avoid all food waste
Downsize to smaller house or RV (stretch goal)



Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 25, 2017, 11:09:07 PM
Great thread!

Good things I do now:
No kids
Home is 100% solar powered
Bike to work
Hybrid car for errands and general transport
Line dry clothing
I try to limit meat consumption to a few times per week,
Consume grass feed, pasture raised and buy fresh/local produce when in season
Compost all food scraps
Recycle
Limit my consumption of new items as much as possible
We generate about one kitchen bag of trash per week. 
Repair things when possible, source items from craigslist instead of new
Try to avoid single use items when possible
Use the library
Low flow shower heads
No bottled water
Switched from packaged tea to loose

Stuff I need to work on:
I fly often for work
I fly about 2x per year for personal (carbon offsets??)
Carpool for mountain trips
Go back to full vegetarian again
Would like to eventually replace one of our vehicles with an electric car
We use a lot of water for our yard and garden
Trying to lower my garbage output further towards zero waste
Try to avoid all food waste
Downsize to smaller house or RV (stretch goal)

Inspirational! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 25, 2017, 11:14:13 PM
Zero-waste slug deterrents: could I just scatter crushed eggshells in a ring around my tender little seedlings?

Today:

Used empty wine bottles, scavenged from neighbours, to bottle homemade blackberry liqueur. This is a much greener option than buying special bottles (and free!).
I'm eating leftovers from a family party before they go bad. It necessitated a little juggling of the meal plan, but I hate food waste.
Using shower water on the plants in my garden that the rain doesn't reach.
Made plans to meet friends at a cafe within walking distance.
Dressing the baby in hand-me-downs and using cloth nappies.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 27, 2017, 12:01:00 AM
Walked this morning to pick up Buy Nothing items.

Walked to and from mums' group.

Loaning some party items to a neighbour, reducing the volume of consumer goods we all own by sharing those that are used less frequently.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on September 27, 2017, 02:24:24 AM
Walked to work today and will walk back in the afternoon.

Asked colleagues who live near me if I can sit in their car when we have a work event far away.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on September 28, 2017, 06:47:36 AM
We have started using compostable bin bags. Inching closer to not needing or using plastic bags.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on September 28, 2017, 06:59:46 AM
We have started using compostable bin bags. Inching closer to not needing or using plastic bags.

We have gotten these from our community for free for many years, to use for the green kitchen garbage. Those are pretty small bags and I have found that they are a good size to use in bathroom bins. Also, as we are given new ones long before the old ones are used up, I have started to bring them along on hiking trips to put in used toilet paper. You can even throw the whole bag on a campfire at the end of the day.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Thinkum on September 28, 2017, 11:12:48 AM
More of the same. Walked to the market and to get pet food. While at the place we buy our pet food, the woman said "Getting groceries in the morning and getting your pet food while walking!" She had a big smile as she said so and we talked about how great it is to be able to walk everywhere.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 29, 2017, 08:33:29 PM
We have started using compostable bin bags. Inching closer to not needing or using plastic bags.

Did you find these at Coles / Woolies?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 29, 2017, 08:52:31 PM
Baby is wearing cloth nappies and hand-me-downs.
We're eating leftovers and minimising food waste.
Won't be driving anywhere today.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 30, 2017, 03:15:43 AM
Started the process of mulching my potted plants to assist with water retention in the coming hot weather.
Fed food and paper scraps to my worms; used worm wee on the garden.
Made chilli with very little meat and a large quantity of beans.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stashgrower on September 30, 2017, 03:48:21 AM
Sleep!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on September 30, 2017, 07:02:41 AM
We have started using compostable bin bags. Inching closer to not needing or using plastic bags.

Did you find these at Coles / Woolies?
I'm afraid not, I found them online (biome.com.au or wotnot.com.au both sell them). We're using them in our main kitchen bin. I need to find appropriate sizes for our kitty litter trays (litter is made from recycled newspaper) and our nappy bin (we still use a mix of cloth nappies and disposable ones).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on October 06, 2017, 04:18:21 AM
I finally ordered a bokashi bin for composting, after struggling to find the stacking kind we were looking for. We gave up on building a wooden bin for the time being, but in the future if we have more yard compost and/or can find inexpensive wood we may build tackle it at that point.

I've packed DH's lunches (mostly leftovers) for the past 18 consecutive work days. Lots of fast food and vending machine wrappers saved, since those are his other two options for work.

I bought some deeply discounted packaged cauliflower florets that were approaching their sell-by date. I peeled off the stickers and washed the plastic tubs, since they'll make good packaging for giving away baked goods.

Our town waste management doesn't collect glass for recycling. Seriously. We've designated a separate bin for glass and will take it to a recycling center when it is full.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 06, 2017, 04:24:49 AM
Walked to work.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: ck25 on October 08, 2017, 07:53:25 PM
I've been really trying to reduce my waste footprint, so here's what I've done today:

- Supported a local vegan restaurant and composted the to-go container.
- Ordered some bamboo forks to use at work instead of plastic disposable ones (my lunch containers are glass so regular stainless steel forks won't work).
- Purchased unpackaged local soap at the co-op.
- Made dinner from local organic produce and pasta bought from a bulk bin
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on October 08, 2017, 08:32:16 PM
I've been really trying to reduce my waste footprint, so here's what I've done today:

- Supported a local vegan restaurant and composted the to-go container.
- Ordered some bamboo forks to use at work instead of plastic disposable ones (my lunch containers are glass so regular stainless steel forks won't work).
- Purchased unpackaged local soap at the co-op.
- Made dinner from local organic produce and pasta bought from a bulk bin

Bamboo forks are lovely to use but just FYI you can just reuse a plastic fork - I put them in the dishwasher no probs. Hubby takes them in case he loses it at work.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on October 09, 2017, 01:48:28 AM
This morning I realised one of my pairs of black leggings that I wear to work (instead of stockings in winter) is starting to wear on the inner thighs, particularly on the seam. Then I also realised I only ever wear my leggings under fitted knee length skirts so figured I will just keep wearing them until they completely fall apart.

Lest I sound bad for not repairing my leggings, I've worn them for 5 winters (problably several hundred times) and the fabric is starting to decay, it's not just the seams going.


My cat is also pretty environmentally friendly when it comes to toys. Toys are important because she is 100% indoors. Her favouritest toy ever is a ribbon from an Xmas pressie from a friend from 3 or 4 years ago. She plays with it every day. Other favourite toys include an empty vitamin bottle, scraps of cardboard, empty boxes and those squishy balls that are giveaways at conference stalls etc. Actual cat toys? Pffft.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on October 09, 2017, 04:20:00 AM
I patched my husband's jeans yesterday. They're 100% cotton and will go into the box of denim I'm saving to make a quilt when they're truly worn beyond repair. One of them is close to that point, but the other might make it a while longer.

I ordered some silicone zip-top freezer bags. They were honestly pretty expensive, but I've been doing a lot of freezer cooking lately and hate to throw away the plastic freezer bags. I do wash and reuse plastic bags until they break, but my exception is for bags that have held raw meat (like most of my freezer meals).

My bokashi bin is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 09, 2017, 04:22:39 AM
Frooglepoodle I'd love a link to the silicone bags you bought!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on October 09, 2017, 04:28:59 AM
Frooglepoodle I'd love a link to the silicone bags you bought!

I bought these (https://www.stasherbag.com/products/half-gallon) as I have a few sandwich and snack size bags and the quality seems good. It doesn't appear that they ship to Australia :-(
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 09, 2017, 04:44:33 AM
Frooglepoodle I'd love a link to the silicone bags you bought!

I bought these (https://www.stasherbag.com/products/half-gallon) as I have a few sandwich and snack size bags and the quality seems good. It doesn't appear that they ship to Australia :-(

It's still helpful for my research :-) thank you!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 09, 2017, 06:59:25 AM
Taking the train to the city this afternoon. So late in the day, the car might have been fast, but is expensive in matters of toll and is difficult to park. Much better taking the train.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on October 09, 2017, 08:23:47 AM
I don't always do the little things.   Don't always recycle, drive a big truck, live in a  bigger house and heat a bigger shop than I need, waste things, etc.
My environmental improvements have been much bigger picture things.   We purchased a 100 acre farm in 1990 that was all bare row crops and totally converted it into wildlife habitat; built two ponds, planted 40,000+ trees, planted 50+ acres of native prairie grass, maintain 20 acres of wildlife food plots, selective timber stand improvements, etc.   Have since purchased another 150 acres in various parcels and now doing similar things with this ground.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: coldestcat on October 09, 2017, 10:57:21 AM
That sounds awesome fishindude.

Right now I take the bus to work. My wife and I try to buy all our food in bulk to avoid packaging waste. main issues for food now are chips and sour cream. We are looking for a car because ours is on its last leg, and trying to keep environmental impact in mind when looking for a car. She is graduating uni next year so if she gets a job downtown on the bus line we will try and survive with no car, but it really depends on where she gets hired.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on October 10, 2017, 11:53:42 AM
I convinced my wife to take home made coffee in a reusable travel mug to her coffee date instead of her buying coffee there & having to use/recycle a paper cup. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 11, 2017, 03:31:34 AM
Cloth nappies.
Took the bus to my mums' group meetup.
Used a keepcup for my takeaway coffee at the meetup.
Made a pasta bake to use up all the veges that were close to going bad.
Fed the vege scraps to my worms :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on October 11, 2017, 03:43:50 AM
My bokashi bin arrived and I set it up immediately! I'm very excited since food scraps are one of our biggest sources of waste.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on October 11, 2017, 05:04:06 AM
Showering every second day while the weather is still relatively cool.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on October 11, 2017, 02:00:11 PM
Showering every second day while the weather is still relatively cool.

That's something I do, but will you lose your Aussie citizenship ;) ? A few years after I moved to Australia a colleague called me a dirty pom for only showering once a day. I had no idea until then that so many people showered twice! And this was in the drought too about ten yrs ago.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on October 12, 2017, 08:54:33 PM
Showering every second day while the weather is still relatively cool.

That's something I do, but will you lose your Aussie citizenship ;) ? A few years after I moved to Australia a colleague called me a dirty pom for only showering once a day. I had no idea until then that so many people showered twice! And this was in the drought too about ten yrs ago.

Ha, no (that said, it's not something I've going to 'fess up to at work because I'm not sure of reactions and I already am a bit on the outer with norms regarding hair, makeup, clothing etc).

And wtf?? Yeah, I think I've only ever met one person who showered twice a day and that was because she did 2 big bike rides a day (I still think twice a day is excessive but at least OTT exercise is somewhat of an excuse). Showering once a week in summer would make me cringe, but daily shower = very normal where I live.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 13, 2017, 12:23:13 AM
BuzzFeed article - test driving some environmentally friendly practices (https://www.buzzfeed.com/jemimaskelley/eco-vibes?utm_term=.hi3Lrqjqw#.ii5RwWGWk). I've sent this to a few people who want to make changes - it's fairly light and accessible so a bit easier than articles or blogs that focus on the negative impacts of mainstream actions or promote practices that seem more 'extreme'.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on October 13, 2017, 12:35:41 AM
BuzzFeed article - test driving some environmentally friendly practices (https://www.buzzfeed.com/jemimaskelley/eco-vibes?utm_term=.hi3Lrqjqw#.ii5RwWGWk). I've sent this to a few people who want to make changes - it's fairly light and accessible so a bit easier than articles or blogs that focus on the negative impacts of mainstream actions or promote practices that seem more 'extreme'.

Cool article. I'm doing a lot of those things but I struggle with buying loose rice etc. I'm open to it for things that I'll cook but with things I eat raw I don't know whose had their fingers in there..!  Plus when I went to check prices in my local option it was astronomical. There is another option to try and you have to wash your hands at the door :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: stashgrower on October 13, 2017, 03:56:20 AM
Took public transport
Stacked errands to minimise transportation
Bought bulk goods (not loose rice specifically, but loose other things :))
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on October 13, 2017, 07:28:27 AM
That’s a great article, Happier! Thanks for sharing!

I realized that I can scrape my son’s unfinished food (things that would be unpalatable to save for later, like granola turned soggy in yogurt) into my bokashi bucket. This has the added benefit of stopping me from finishing it just to keep it from being wasted, which will be better for my waistline.

Stacked errands yesterday to reduce driving.

I discovered that canola oil and a dish scrubbing pad are really effective for removing stubborn label glue from glass jars. 

This weekend we’re going to buy a growler to refill occasionally at our local brewery instead of buying bottled beer.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Thinkum on October 13, 2017, 10:27:44 PM
Bought some Spaghetti scrubs (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071K9JM2P/ref=ya_st_dp_summary?ie=UTF8&psc=1) that are made of recycled corn cobs and peach pits. No more disgusting and extremely wasteful kitchen sponges. They work really good so far and because they are like a loofah, they make a lot of bubbles out of a little bit of soap. So saving money and waste of sponges and excess soap.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: EngineeringFI on October 13, 2017, 10:47:59 PM
Here are a few things that I've done in the last few months:

1. Switched my electricity billing to "time of day" then reconfigured my thermostat to only cool the house on off-peak hours. I also moved any "phantom power" users to outlets that are switched so I can turn them off when I leave for work. This shifted almost all my power usage off the grid peak times and helps the utility company not to fire up less efficient generators to meet peak demand.

2. Reconfigured my home theater PC, TV, and stereo settings to minimize power consumption. I used a power meter from amazon to check the before and after power consumption and was able to cut it by 50%

3. Started composting! I want free dirt for my garden so now I keep a little bin in my kitchen to collect food scraps, and add them to the larger compost bin about once a week.

4. Had an additional 8 inches of insulation blown into my attic to bring the insulation above R38. This will matter more when Tucson starts to cool off in a month or two.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on October 14, 2017, 11:47:07 AM
Used our stash of cloth napkins for breakfast table this morning: blue tropical design for the grownups and Thomas the Train for the kids
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: EngineeringFI on October 14, 2017, 01:24:43 PM
Used our stash of cloth napkins for breakfast table this morning: blue tropical design for the grownups and Thomas the Train for the kids

Nice! Paper napkins make no sense to me!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 16, 2017, 07:49:43 PM
Baby is wearing cloth nappies.
I'm wearing cloth pads.
Thanks to jengod, I'm looking up how to sew my own napkins!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on October 17, 2017, 06:46:07 AM
Baby is wearing cloth nappies.
I'm wearing cloth pads.
Thanks to jengod, I'm looking up how to sew my own napkins!

Great reminder for me... I have all these leftover materials from sewing cloth diapers... I should just make them into feminine pads!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 17, 2017, 01:48:45 PM
Recharged some rechargable batteries. Also recharging a big headlight as I plan to walk to work tomorrow. Fuck the fact that someone might expect me to arrive at work at 8 o'clock, as I am not officially called into a meeting. The weather will be quite nice tomorrow and I should use the opportunity to exercise.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on October 18, 2017, 03:22:13 AM
Our local council has given us another bin, so now we split our recycling, our food & organic waste and our general rubbish. I am glad we're doing cloth nappies or I'm not sure we'd have enough space in the general rubbish bin.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on October 18, 2017, 01:41:59 PM
Made homemade chicken stock using the leftover poaching liquid, the carcass, and vegetable scraps. All the solids are going into compost now.

I cleared a bunch of old (some of them 10+ years old) t-shirts out of my drawers that no longer fit and cut them up for cleaning rags.

Simmering orange peels, cloves, and cardamom pods on the stove. I'm not sure how the energy consumption of the stovetop compares to burning a candle, but at least it doesn't involve synthetic fragrances (and I can compost the orange peels at the end of the day).

DH has to travel for work for a few days. Sent him with lots of homemade goodies (granola, crispy roasted chickpeas, and cookies) in reusable containers since he likes to snack.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 18, 2017, 05:10:50 PM
Walked to work and back again.

Have been using cloth towels at dinner for months now.

Have been using cloth ladies towels now and like them better than the paper ones. Combining sometimes with a silicon cup.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 18, 2017, 05:36:34 PM
Made homemade chicken stock using the leftover poaching liquid, the carcass, and vegetable scraps. All the solids are going into compost now.

Homemade stock is on my list to learn!

Posting to follow! I've been appalled at the rate I'm going through paper towels lately, and in a stroke of luck, my mom donated her old sewing machine to my cause, so I'm finally getting around to making cloth napkins.

Welcome to the thread :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on October 18, 2017, 05:36:53 PM
I've soaked some shredded paper for the worm farm. Hopefully this can be an ongoing chain of turning waste paper to worm food and eventually to human food.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 18, 2017, 05:39:09 PM
I have to drive today, so I'm combining trips to minimise fuel use. One of the errands is grocery shopping, where I'll be using cloth bags for fruit and veges and trying to minimise the plastic packaging of other food items.

Today or tomorrow I'll order my bulk seeds and nuts. Ordering in bulk cuts down on packaging considerably.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: bucketsofrain on October 18, 2017, 08:02:44 PM
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on October 21, 2017, 06:48:38 AM
Anyone tried this? Thought I might get some and see if it's as versatile as they claim:
https://www.thewellstore.com.au/products/agreena-3-in-1-eco-wraps-4-pack
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on October 21, 2017, 07:20:27 AM
Anyone tried this? Thought I might get some and see if it's as versatile as they claim:
https://www.thewellstore.com.au/products/agreena-3-in-1-eco-wraps-4-pack

If they really can work as baking paper I want some!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on October 21, 2017, 09:10:45 AM
I planned making a trip further away from home, but decided to visit the forest in my neighbourhood instead. Saved an amount of diesel, but ended up with dog shit under my boot, which is not the first time.
DH wanted to go shopping in the big city and took the train. He only came home with stuff we have use for, apart for the bunch of flowers that he bought on sale. Otherwise just food and some woolen undershirts that we use weekly.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on November 04, 2017, 01:20:20 PM
I chopped up our jack-o-lantern this morning and tossed it in the compost pile. Next year, it will help us grow more pumpkins!

We signed up for a raw milk herdshare (directly purchasing raw milk from a farmer is illegal here, so basically we leasing a portion of a cow for a 1-year term) and I opted to get our share in glass mason jars instead of plastic jugs.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: crimwell on November 05, 2017, 12:35:59 AM
.
- Ordered some bamboo forks to use at work instead of plastic disposable ones (my lunch containers are glass so regular stainless steel forks won't work).


Why won't regular forks work? I must be missing something

I use glass snapware containers to take my lunch (most days I'm eating leftovers ) and I use cheap steel Walmart fork/spoon/knife to eat out of them. I've never noticed a problem. What an I doing wrong?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on November 05, 2017, 04:02:19 AM
I'm very proud of this one :) I'm catering a picnic morning tea for about 30 people (give or take - could be as low as 20) next weekend and didn't have enough bowls/containers etc that would be suitable to serve all the food in.

I managed to buy 9 large plastic bowls and various containers (2 with lids), all secondhand for $5 total. :D

I see it as renting serving containers for a small price. Once I'm done with them I'll take them to the reuse/recycle shed at the rubbish tip and someone else can buy them to use. Much better than buying disposable containers and less fuss than borrowing them from friends (don't need to worry if they get a bit trashed or lost or have to remember what belongs to who).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on November 13, 2017, 03:17:45 PM
I try to avoid printing where possible but, working in an office, sometimes it is a necessary evil, so I use the Print Friendly exension for Chrome.

It lets you review a web page and remove anything unnecessary, e.g. I often reduce a four-page news story down to a single page by deleting photos, links to related stories, comment boxes, etc.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/print-friendly-pdf/ohlencieiipommannpdfcmfdpjjmeolj?hl=en
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 24, 2017, 04:00:45 AM
We're using sized cloth nappies, and today I purchased the next size up (Black Friday sale even though I'm in Australia where we don't celebrate Thanksgiving...) so we can continue using cloth as the baby grows.

Also purchased a cloth swim nappy! If that works out well, we can avoid using disposable swim nappies when we start weekly lessons.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on November 24, 2017, 05:21:38 AM
Did NOT fly 3000 miles to visit family for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Made a large portion of our Thanksgiving dinner using local ingredients. We have planned uses for the leftovers of our 13 lb turkey.

I bought a sweater stone to defuzz my wool sweaters to keep them looking nice. I have found a safety razor less effective for this task than a cartridge razor, but I no longer use cartridge razors.

Running the heat on a fairly low temperature (60F overnight and 64F during the day) and wearing a sweatshirt and slippers inside.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Rollin on November 24, 2017, 05:50:20 AM
That’s a great article, Happier! Thanks for sharing!

I realized that I can scrape my son’s unfinished food (things that would be unpalatable to save for later, like granola turned soggy in yogurt) into my bokashi bucket. This has the added benefit of stopping me from finishing it just to keep it from being wasted, which will be better for my waistline.

Stacked errands yesterday to reduce driving.

I discovered that canola oil and a dish scrubbing pad are really effective for removing stubborn label glue from glass jars. 

This weekend we’re going to buy a growler to refill occasionally at our local brewery instead of buying bottled beer.

Not that I have anything to do with it, but our local brew pubs are recycling their waste hops, etc. Pretty cool in my book. Maybe inquire if they could do the same?

On another note, I was planning on starting a "Last Straw" campaign and emailed myself at lunch to get started in my local community. The DW and I went to dinner that night and the restaurant had written across a large chalk board "Our Last Straw." They already kicked it off! I talked with the owner and thanked her for her efforts. Same thing (sorta) happened on changing out our street lights to LEDs. i was going to get the data etc to convince the local commission of the benefits, but
i got delayed. Lo and behold there were crews down my street changing them out! Maybe the thoughts helped?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 24, 2017, 05:52:21 AM
It's hot and humid here. We're using a pedestal fan to keep us cool, instead of air con.

Harvested a very small amount of homegrown fruit and veges from my garden. Every little bit counts. Zero food miles!

Forgot one from earlier: bought cloth napkins, hankies and a wooden puzzle game from my local op shop (thrift shop to the yanks). Not only am I buying secondhand and reducing landfill / overproduction of consumer goods, but the napkins and hankies will help reduce my use of disposables. Given that I have not found time to sew my own, buying some secondhand feels like a solid choice.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on November 24, 2017, 05:19:23 PM
Anyone tried this? Thought I might get some and see if it's as versatile as they claim:
https://www.thewellstore.com.au/products/agreena-3-in-1-eco-wraps-4-pack

If they really can work as baking paper I want some!
I bought some from biome.com.au; they seem OK. I will have to use them for a month or so before giving a good review. Seem like they could be delicate and require a little thinking to store properly. I have trialled them as "cling wrap" in the fridge, seem good! Baking paper trial next. I think if I use them to cook meat, I'll want to label that one and make it only for meat.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on November 24, 2017, 08:19:40 PM
I eagerly await your review - I regularly use baking paper to bake fish.

Today I used rainwater to water the plants and tried to figure out how to make our compost start to break down so we don't have to buy compost in plastic bags.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on November 25, 2017, 05:18:16 AM
I took out all of the used plastic bread bags and ziplock bags from my work bag, cleaned them where necessary and stored them in the kitchen again. I do this every Saturday and use those bags many times before they are discarded. I don't buy ziplock bags new, I save them from when I receive baked goodies or other things from friends.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Rollin on November 25, 2017, 05:55:39 AM
I am vying for contacts, but my doc won't let me until I get my ducts working. So part of that plan is using some disinfecting wipes daily. They are folded over twice so I simply cut them into four smaller pads and place the unused ones back in the foil rap and fold over.

Today I'll ride my bike to the library and to watch a college football game, as opposed to driving of course.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on November 27, 2017, 03:08:42 PM
I just canceled two catalogs through catalogchoice.org. I'm just waiting for a couple more that my wife normally gets so I can get the customer number information and addresses off of them and cancel those as well. It boggles my mind that companies still send catalogs like this. So much wasted paper and energy.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GettingClose on November 27, 2017, 03:33:18 PM
Salvaged most of the very sturdy disposable plates from a family member's Thanksgiving dinner.  Washed/sanitized them - now in the office kitchen to be used and recycled.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: gaja on November 27, 2017, 04:04:57 PM
I'm working on reducing my air travels. This year I've had 20 overnight stays for work. Only 2-3 trips were so long distance that flying made sense. In total, I flew three times; to and from Brussels, and another time home from Amsterdam. The other times I used train, bus, electric car and/or boat. Train to Central Europe takes time, but it is very much possible to eliminate the rest of the work related flights.

For vacation, we have used the electric van and boat, and this weekend I'm taking one of the kids by train to see the Christmas markets across the border. The kids have flown twice each to visit the grandparents - that is the only way they can travel alone. The alternative route is train+train+bus+boat+bus, and takes 10-12 hours. I'm not sure what we can do about those travels.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 28, 2017, 02:23:34 AM
Have home office today before going to my GP who has office close by my home.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on December 23, 2017, 04:39:13 PM
This is DH, not me: he brought home some crackers and 12 mince pies from a work party that would have otherwise gone in the bin (still in original wrapping). We'll take the mince pies to a morning tea at a friend's place on Saturday.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 06, 2018, 09:18:51 PM
It is way too long since I've updated here!

Still using cloth nappies except for the 12 hour overnight sleep. I'm trying to convince Mr Happier that we should use a laundry hose sprayer thing to rinse nappies off into the toilet rather than using disposable nappy liners to catch poop, but that's a work in progress.
We have commenced occasional shopping trips to the super fancy bulk food shop several suburbs away, to buy dried beans, nuts etc in our own containers rather than plastic packaging. Still working on finding good options close to home.
When shopping at the supermarket, we're making decisions to prioritise minimising packaging over convenience or price. e.g. carrots in a plastic bag are $1/kg, carrots without plastic are $2/kg. This does mean we're not buying cherry tomatoes as they're always in plastic clamshells, so that's a bit sad.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on January 06, 2018, 11:18:38 PM
I started collecting my soft plastics again to take to recycling.  Admittedly, I got lazy for a bit.  But I've always been reusing them so I'm not terrible!  ;)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 07, 2018, 04:01:27 AM
The coin pouch in DH's wallet had ripped open so I fixed it with some PVA glue, clamping it together with a couple of little bulldog clips. All fixed now!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on January 07, 2018, 05:44:09 AM
I started composting even more stuff. We're at the point now where we are really only tossing plastics that aren't marked as recyclable or food soiled items that can't be composted or recycled.

We usually only have to take our trash to the curb once a month but my goal is to only have to take it to the curb every 2 months. The recycling bin will will probably still go at at the same frequency, but we are looking for ways to reduce that too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 07, 2018, 06:00:59 AM
I don't own a car, so I never drive

Cleaned my room using vinegar + water. No store-bought cleaning products.

Try to use my heating as little as possible.

Don't eat meat.

I never use plastic (ziplock) bags. I do have a few boxes, so I use those if I store leftover in the fridge/freezer.

Did laundry using the 30 min program at 40 degrees.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: pancakes on January 08, 2018, 12:52:32 AM
I took my organic waste down the road to the community composting hub and covered my leftovers using the beeswax wraps my MIL gave me for Christmas.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachedali on January 09, 2018, 12:15:07 AM
I love the idea of this thread. I brought my own reusable bottle of water and refilled it in the public water filter machine.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 09, 2018, 12:21:41 AM
My mom gifted me a thermo mug for the holidays. So now if I drink tea, I run the kettle once to fill my cup and the thermo mug. The kettle's minimum amount of water is already the two mugs, so otherwise the leftover would be cooled off by the time I want a second mug and I have to run the kettle again. Now I can enjoy two cups of tea while heating only once.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on January 09, 2018, 04:34:25 AM
This is upcoming and not today, but...

We have to visit a city that is about an hour's drive away this weekend. Since we are going anyway, I plan to cajole my husband into allowing extra time to visit the bulk food market there, and drop off our glass recycling at their recycling facility. Our town doesn't collect glass for recycling, but I refuse to throw away something that's 100% recyclable so we've been saving our bottles and jars in a separate bin for the 4 months we've lived here.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 09, 2018, 08:24:32 PM
This is upcoming and not today, but...

We have to visit a city that is about an hour's drive away this weekend. Since we are going anyway, I plan to cajole my husband into allowing extra time to visit the bulk food market there, and drop off our glass recycling at their recycling facility. Our town doesn't collect glass for recycling, but I refuse to throw away something that's 100% recyclable so we've been saving our bottles and jars in a separate bin for the 4 months we've lived here.

That's crazy that they don't collect glass. They could sell what they collect so the cost could be lower than regular collection. I watched a program on waste here where the glass recyclers said they couldn't get enough to meet demand.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 09, 2018, 08:36:26 PM
Walked to my mums' group catchup rather than driving. I brought my keepcup for a coffee but that turned out to be unnecessary - baby started screaming and I had to go straight home again :-/
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: alewpanda on January 09, 2018, 08:53:43 PM
Threw some leftover vegetable bits from tacos last night into tonights salad. 

Took coffee in my mug from home, although I was tempted to stop out.

Got ice cream out with friends.  Avoided the plastic container by ordering a cone.

Found an ice cream brand whose containers AND lids are completely recyclable in my area.  This is a big deal as we have very limited recycling options and we are big ice cream lovers.  Currently we have no kitchen space for an ice cream maker, so for now this will need to do.

Am putting together a bag or textiles for recycling at goodwill.  Too worn to donate, have plenty of rags already, and no room for extra "dirty work" clothes.



Food waste and food packaging is the big one for us right now.  We are in process of selling our home and moving to a location that will allow for a lot more walking and public transit to cut down on commuting impact, but for now we are focusing more on avoiding extra purchases, packaging, and waste. 



Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 09, 2018, 09:46:42 PM
Caught the bus home from work again. Even though it is summer and I hate the heat. (I should get bonus points for that)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 09, 2018, 09:51:22 PM
@alewpanda food packaging is a big one for me too! I'm just chipping away at it bit by bit.

Caught the bus home from work again. Even though it is summer and I hate the heat. (I should get bonus points for that)

*Bonus points*
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 09, 2018, 09:56:11 PM

Caught the bus home from work again. Even though it is summer and I hate the heat. (I should get bonus points for that)

*Bonus points*

Sweet. *polishes bonus points*

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 09, 2018, 10:16:19 PM
A colleague gave me her empty Coke can for Return and Earn rather than tossing it in the office bin (where it would not be recycled).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on January 10, 2018, 05:00:07 AM
This is upcoming and not today, but...

We have to visit a city that is about an hour's drive away this weekend. Since we are going anyway, I plan to cajole my husband into allowing extra time to visit the bulk food market there, and drop off our glass recycling at their recycling facility. Our town doesn't collect glass for recycling, but I refuse to throw away something that's 100% recyclable so we've been saving our bottles and jars in a separate bin for the 4 months we've lived here.

That's crazy that they don't collect glass. They could sell what they collect so the cost could be lower than regular collection. I watched a program on waste here where the glass recyclers said they couldn't get enough to meet demand.

That's fascinating! I think it's crazy too. I'm in a small town in the American South, so not the most environmentally conscious place on the planet. It's the kind of place where people sometimes look at you funny when you bring your own shopping bag, so I have to wonder if they only collect the items that they can get enough of to make it worth it.

The upside is that it's make us much more careful about purchasing things in packaging that CAN be recycled. Or even reducing what we buy in glass, so we don't fill up our bin too quickly.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on January 10, 2018, 10:41:53 AM
Not just today, but overtime in the course of the last year I have reduced our garbage by half if not a third by shopping smarter, planning meals so leftovers get used and hence the less waste which also saves me $$ so a win win.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 10, 2018, 12:38:56 PM
I'm trying to make little steps on batch cooking. Just boiled 4 eggs, rather than 1-2 at a time. Saves all the gas used as I only boiled water once :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 10, 2018, 12:43:03 PM
@frooglepoodle - We've been saving glass and plastic bottles for a new container return scheme and when you have to collect them it really makes you see what you are using. As a result we bought a reuseable growler to buy beer (instead of creating 6 bottles a week).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: clarkai on January 12, 2018, 07:27:24 AM
We live with roommates, and do communal food to save money, reduce packaging, and encourage others to eat better for themselves and the environment. There have been a lot of leftovers that others ignore and were ending up in the compost after a week or longer languishing in the fridge, so I've taken to eating leftovers first this week. Works pretty well.

I also (this is so silly) kept my shoes on after my morning walk when I sat down to journal, instead of pointing a heater at my feet.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 12, 2018, 04:17:32 PM
Today is a pretty standard day:
No driving.
Try to minimise use of the air con (tough when it's 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit) and humid).
Line dry our washing.
Use cloth nappies on the baby.
Feed vege scraps to the worm farm.

Yesterday we batch cooked a chicken dish and a vegan dish. Mr Happier likes to eat meat for one meal a day, so I'm shifting more of our meat meals to chicken rather than beef or lamb (much less resource intensive to produce). He's happy to have vegan or vegetarian for his other two meals. I'm trying to have one meat or vegetarian meal a day at most (dinner) and shift the rest of my day's food and drink consumption to completely vegan. It's only a small thing, but that's what this thread is about ;-)

When we went shopping yesterday, I bought only unpackaged fruit and veges, and used my reusable calico and netting bags to hold them. It was interesting to see which items cost more unpackaged than packaged. Aldi charges less for its unpackaged fruit and veges than its packaged (though some things e.g. zucchini were not available there without packaging) while Woolies charges more for unpackaged spinach, carrots and mushrooms.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Teachstache on January 12, 2018, 09:14:32 PM
Washed a full load of laundry this evening & hung dry the clothes in our bedroom. Extra humidity in this 0 degree Fahrenheit weather. Put kid in cloth training pants (not disposables) this evening after library visit. Will hang dry his cloth training pants. Used Instant pot to make tomato sauce from tomatoes canned from our garden. Washed jars from tomatoes & will reuse for additional canning next summer.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on January 13, 2018, 02:41:10 AM
I'm cooking from leftovers today. I'm also going to do laundry and line dry all of it. We eat vegetarian / vegan meals 2/3 of the time, but I've been advised by my doctor to increase my red meat intake. I only buy meat that's been reduced - at least I've saved the beef from the thrash that way.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 13, 2018, 03:06:44 AM
We're trying to avoid buying fruit and veges in plastic packaging. It's impossible to get cherry or grape tomatoes without plastic; well tonight for the second time this summer we've collected enough homegrown cherry tomatoes to make our favourite pasta :D

Next summer I will need to be more systematic about trying to grow enough cherry tomatoes!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Teachstache on January 13, 2018, 04:37:20 AM
We're trying to avoid buying fruit and veges in plastic packaging. It's impossible to get cherry or grape tomatoes without plastic; well tonight for the second time this summer we've collected enough homegrown cherry tomatoes to make our favourite pasta :D

Next summer I will need to be more systematic about trying to grow enough cherry tomatoes!

Nice work on gardening! Here in the midwestern USA, I have an absolute glut of cherry tomatoes every summer. I love reading your gardening & line drying updates, HappierAtHome, since it's 0 degrees Fahrenheit here (-17 Celsius) & I'm dreaming about my summer garden & line drying out on my patio.

What's your favorite pasta involving cherry tomatoes, HappierAtHome?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 13, 2018, 02:30:13 PM
Yay HAH!

As always, line drying our washing (we don't own a clothes dryer). Most of it goes on the washing line outside but more delicate items (where we don't want peg marks or exposure to harsh UV) get hung up inside on clothes racks in the lounge room. It's a cooler day today but quite windy so hopefully the stuff hung up outside will dry quickly.

We're about to go to a housewares swap at a friend's house this morning. Like a clothing swap but for household items. We're taking a whole bunch of stuff from our place, hopefully most of it will find a home. If not, all leftovers will get donated to charity. Our city is drowning in secondhand items and all of the op shops are swamped post Xmas, so I'm hoping there won't be too much that needs to be donated.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tawyer on January 13, 2018, 02:38:37 PM
Put on my down jacket in the house to avoid using the heat or making hot drinks to keep warm.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 13, 2018, 04:36:49 PM
A homewares swap is such a great idea!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 13, 2018, 04:50:43 PM
We're trying to avoid buying fruit and veges in plastic packaging. It's impossible to get cherry or grape tomatoes without plastic; well tonight for the second time this summer we've collected enough homegrown cherry tomatoes to make our favourite pasta :D

Next summer I will need to be more systematic about trying to grow enough cherry tomatoes!

Nice work on gardening! Here in the midwestern USA, I have an absolute glut of cherry tomatoes every summer. I love reading your gardening & line drying updates, HappierAtHome, since it's 0 degrees Fahrenheit here (-17 Celsius) & I'm dreaming about my summer garden & line drying out on my patio.

What's your favorite pasta involving cherry tomatoes, HappierAtHome?

It was 37 degrees Celsius / 98 Fahrenheit here yesterday!

Super simple: penne, basil pesto, a heap of halved cherry tomatoes (I like to pan fry them for five minutes), and some fetta on top. A little bit of pan fried chicken is a nice addition if you enjoy chicken.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Teachstache on January 13, 2018, 06:16:17 PM
We're trying to avoid buying fruit and veges in plastic packaging. It's impossible to get cherry or grape tomatoes without plastic; well tonight for the second time this summer we've collected enough homegrown cherry tomatoes to make our favourite pasta :D

Next summer I will need to be more systematic about trying to grow enough cherry tomatoes!

Nice work on gardening! Here in the midwestern USA, I have an absolute glut of cherry tomatoes every summer. I love reading your gardening & line drying updates, HappierAtHome, since it's 0 degrees Fahrenheit here (-17 Celsius) & I'm dreaming about my summer garden & line drying out on my patio.

What's your favorite pasta involving cherry tomatoes, HappierAtHome?

It was 37 degrees Celsius / 98 Fahrenheit here yesterday!

Super simple: penne, basil pesto, a heap of halved cherry tomatoes (I like to pan fry them for five minutes), and some fetta on top. A little bit of pan fried chicken is a nice addition if you enjoy chicken.

Sounds similar to our summer pasta with garden produce. Enjoy your summer!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 13, 2018, 06:59:05 PM
A homewares swap is such a great idea!

It was great! It was mostly kitchen things but there was also non-perishable food, a couple of bottles of wine, games, personal items and so on. It all managed to find a home or a good place to be donated. Huzzah!

We mostly just took consumables - a bit of food, a bottle of bubbles, cat treats. And we're adding to our Lifeline donation run with some games and puzzles. (we're in the process of doing a massive cull of books, CDs and DVDs to make space for removing a big bookshelf for our mid-year renos - will be knocking a wall down to make things more open and usable)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on January 14, 2018, 07:56:46 AM
- Drying the laundry indoors. Only used a tiny amount of detergent to wash it (I always do this, I don't even own a dryer).
- Going to fix a few holes in a frequently used homemade quilt. I made the quilt years ago from worn-out jeans and because it's pretty heavy and warm, it's very popular in this house.
- Also DIY'ing around the house a bit, fixing things that are broken. This way, we don't have to replace them but will be able to get a few more years of use out of them. I glued the leg of a chair earlier this week. I was afraid this wasn't going to work, so I put a few heavy objects on it to test the strength. It seems the chair is holding out, but just in case, I will put the chair on the side of the dinnertable that's only used when we have company and I will be careful not to allow a very overweight relative to sit on it.
- Tonight I'm going to work on one of two quilting projects-in-progress, one from old jeans, one from scraps. We use quilts a lot, in bed and at night when we watch a movie so we don't have to heat that much.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Meowkins on January 14, 2018, 05:47:38 PM
Have I been here before? Idk. Hello. I will be reading this whole thread tomorrow.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 14, 2018, 05:50:49 PM
Have I been here before? Idk. Hello. I will be reading this whole thread tomorrow.

Welcome Meowkins!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 15, 2018, 01:01:08 AM
Walked to work today. And will walk back home again.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 16, 2018, 01:02:39 AM
Wow @Linda_Norway! How far away is work from your home?

I caught the bus home again.

Tonight's dinner will be using up potatoes that have been in the fridge for many weeks. They'll be turned into potato salad, probably enough for a few meals.

Tonight we'll wash some clothes with cold water and hang them to dry inside on clothes racks.

As always, we will compost kitchen waste - banana skins, coffee grounds from DH's Aeropress, uneaten wet cat food, onion peels etc




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 16, 2018, 01:47:51 AM
Walked to work again. It is 7,5 km in one direction. In summer I use 1 hour and 10 minutes one way. Today it was close to 1,5 hour one way. Most of it is on quite road or pavement, but a 2 kms is on a forest road where the snow is not removed. There is now about 50 cm of snow now. It feels a bit like an expedition under these circumstances. I do own a pair of snowshoes, but I think it is too much fuss carrying them with me on the rest of the stretch, so I just walk through the snow. I sink away about 15 cm for each step.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 16, 2018, 02:12:31 AM
Walked to work again. It is 7,5 km in one direction. In summer I use 1 hour and 10 minutes one way. Today it was close to 1,5 hour one way. Most of it is on quite road or pavement, but a 2 kms is on a forest road where the snow is not removed. There is now about 50 cm of snow now. It feels a bit like an expedition under these circumstances. I do own a pair of snowshoes, but I think it is too much fuss carrying them with me on the rest of the stretch, so I just walk through the snow. I sink away about 15 cm for each step.

That's a long way to walk. (I have no idea how hard it is to walk 2km in snow but I'm guessing it's hard) Wow!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on January 16, 2018, 07:55:34 AM
Walked to my mums' group catchup rather than driving. I brought my keepcup for a coffee but that turned out to be unnecessary - baby started screaming and I had to go straight home again :-/

Yeah, for a while it's going to be hard to have adult conversations that last more than a few minutes at a time without interruption, especially at playgrounds or meetups!  Kudos on walking there and back, though!

Since our dryer broke, I have been rack drying between 1-3 loads a day while we wait for the right replacement dryer at the right price to come along. It means that laundry is fluttering around everywhere in the house (too cold/rainy/snowy/icy to hang outside) but it will be interesting to see what our electricity bills are like without drying 10 loads of laundry a week!  Also as we plan our laundry room reorganization, I'm hoping to build in more folding racks so that we can permanently reduce our dryer loads by at least half.  (why get a new dryer at all? First of all, house resale, second, my planning is not so great that I can guarantee that we'll have the dry clothes we need when we need them if it takes 24 hours.)

To do this, I had to resurrect my folding dryer rack from the garage. It used to have two special plastic pieces that broke, so was held together with string. I was going to trade it in for scrap metal. BUT--
Last year I got a bag of "Instamorph" (also known as Low Temperature Thermoplastic Beads, "Friendly Plastic", "Polymorph" and other names).  Since then I have used them to replace pieces on my fancy (though not durable) umbrella, broken toy parts,  and most recently my folding dryer rack. This stuff is the bomb for resurrecting broken items.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on January 16, 2018, 10:20:54 AM
Rode my bike 22 km to work this morning through a foot of uncleared snow on the road.  Took 45 minutes.  Another co-worker who lives a bit closer than me ended up in his car for two hours stuck in traffic.  :P
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 16, 2018, 11:42:53 AM
Walked to work again. It is 7,5 km in one direction. In summer I use 1 hour and 10 minutes one way. Today it was close to 1,5 hour one way. Most of it is on quite road or pavement, but a 2 kms is on a forest road where the snow is not removed. There is now about 50 cm of snow now. It feels a bit like an expedition under these circumstances. I do own a pair of snowshoes, but I think it is too much fuss carrying them with me on the rest of the stretch, so I just walk through the snow. I sink away about 15 cm for each step.

That's a long way to walk. (I have no idea how hard it is to walk 2km in snow but I'm guessing it's hard) Wow!

Today it was pretty bad. Think of walking very soft sand. On my way back I regretted not bringing my snowshoes. Most of the pavements weren't cleaned for snow either, so I could choose walking through deep snow or walking on the road between sliding cars. Half of my colleagues stayed home today because of the snow chaos.

I really like cross country skiing. Unfortunately there is no good route from my home to my work. But I appreciate the snow for the good conditions that we can use in the weekends. Petty we are not FIREd yet.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Abe on January 18, 2018, 08:51:29 PM
Things we've done with reasonably minimal impact on our lives:

1) Compost everything organic. If it's not clearly inedible, eat it. I refuse to buy anything packaged in plastic, which is fairly easy since the only things (other than utilities) that I buy are food, clothes and occasionally gasoline. 90% of our trash waste is baby's diapers. Once he's older, total garbage will be less about a pound per month.

2) Showers: no more than 3 gallons (I've measured it a couple times). I only use hot water in the winters, for the final rinse.

3) Bike to work. Bike to grocery store. Bike to parks.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 18, 2018, 08:55:29 PM
Had a hot date with some local mum friends this morning, so I walked to the cafe and brought my keepcup for my coffee (we like to shift to the park with our coffees so the bubs can play in the grass, but I don't want to use a disposable cup!).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 20, 2018, 12:33:02 AM
Using up veges that were going to go bad in savoury muffins and pasta sauce.

Paid a little extra for carbon offset for freight.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on January 20, 2018, 05:46:14 AM
Had a nearly vegetarian dinner last night, though I used (homemade) chicken broth in place of vegetable since that’s what I had. I’m trying to build up a repertoire of vegetarian recipes my husband actually enjoys!

We’ve continued composting in our bokashi bucket. It’s a little bit more work than a simple compost pile, but makes a lot of sense as renters and helps food scraps break down faster in the winter.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on January 20, 2018, 09:20:57 AM
Hey, can I join in?

I wrapped my apple in a cloth napkin so it wouldn't get bruised. Now I can use the cloth napkin instead of a paper towel at work!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PermaculturePumpkin on January 21, 2018, 05:44:37 PM
Ooh, I love this thread!

Today I walked about 20 minutes to get some small groceries I needed. Mostly for fitness reasons but also environmental (two birds with one stone). And rather than buy my mixed greens all ready to go in the big plastic container which then has to be recycled, I bought a few different heads of lettuce, then cleaned them in the salad spinner and mixed them at home myself. I need to find a local farmers' market as my next step, but I just moved to a new city and am still feeling my way around so just doing the best I can at the moment.

But my "sin" for the day is I did buy a coffee today in a to-go cup because I forgot my reusable one at home.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: southern granny on January 21, 2018, 08:22:27 PM
We had a no meat day.  Cereal and almond milk for breakfast, veggie salad for lunch, and chickpea curry and brocolli with garlic sauce for dinner. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 22, 2018, 03:26:02 AM
I did meal planning for this week (haven't done this for months and months) which hopefully will minimise any food waste.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on January 22, 2018, 03:56:59 AM
I saved the oil from a jar of stuffed peppers and the vinegar from a jar of marinated artichokes and mixed them (with a bit of extra seasoning) to make a salad dressing. It was delicious and so much better than pouring the liquid down the drain.

I chopped up some baby potatoes that were starting to sprout and some wrinkly sweet potatoes and roasted them for dinner last night.

Bought discounted bananas and potatoes from the scratch-and-dent bin.

Our main entertainment for this weekend was walking, since the weather was quite a bit warmer than it has been for most of the past month.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Teachstache on January 22, 2018, 05:35:12 AM
Saturday we drove the electric car to the playground for an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon playdate with our almost 3 year old son. Came home & made homemade macaroni and cheese in the instant pot. Washed 2 full loads of laundry & hung dried them (bonus: extra humidity for our dry air in the house). Put kid in homemade reusable training pants this weekend (plastic pants with prefold inserts to catch the wetness).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 23, 2018, 02:31:38 AM
Walked to work again (7,5 km) and will walk back in the afternoon.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on January 23, 2018, 07:40:35 AM
I have a question.   How do I avoid plastic bags at the fruit and vegetable store?  I save and wash them and I guess I could take them back with me and re-use them.  I typically use them about 3 or 4 times until they fall apart or I store meat in them.  But I would like to try to cut most of them out.  So what do you use to carry and store your vegetables?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aetherie on January 23, 2018, 07:45:59 AM
I have a question.   How do I avoid plastic bags at the fruit and vegetable store?  I save and wash them and I guess I could take them back with me and re-use them.  I typically use them about 3 or 4 times until they fall apart or I store meat in them.  But I would like to try to cut most of them out.  So what do you use to carry and store your vegetables?

I have a set of reusable produce bags, similar to these: https://smile.amazon.com/Natural-Home-Reuseable-Produce-Bags/dp/B004XIBKB8/
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PermaculturePumpkin on January 23, 2018, 07:47:58 AM
I have a question.   How do I avoid plastic bags at the fruit and vegetable store?  I save and wash them and I guess I could take them back with me and re-use them.  I typically use them about 3 or 4 times until they fall apart or I store meat in them.  But I would like to try to cut most of them out.  So what do you use to carry and store your vegetables?

I bought reusable green net bags with drawstrings (got them at Whole Foods. $$$ but a good investment) and we bring them with our reusable grocery bags. They work great when I remember them. When I don't, we just put the fruit or veggies directly in the basket and don't use anything. I don't find that the cashiers really mind. These aren't the bags we have, but are similar: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Simple-Ecology-Organic-Cotton-Mesh-Reusable-Produce-Bags-/111157877031
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PermaculturePumpkin on January 23, 2018, 07:56:05 AM
Last week I introduced in-house composting at our tiny little office (there are only about 5 or 6 of us there on a day-to-day basis; others come and go). Our cleaners are not very good so one staffer already takes home all the recycling, but I noticed we were throwing out a lot of coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit peels and paper towel. I befriended another lady who is a composting nut, and next thing you know, we had started it. The plan is that I will bring the compost home on Friday and put it in my backyard bin (a win for my garden as well!). The only thing is I am currently bringing in my own composting bags and I need to get the regional manager on board so that he lets me expense the bags as they are a tiny bit costly. He has been away a lot, so that is my task for the upcoming week. :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on January 23, 2018, 10:34:41 AM
I've been better learning how to separate and pack meat for storage in our extra freezer.  This cuts down a lot on waste due to meat going bad, and it cuts down on # of trips to the grocery store.  Now that I feel like our meat buying/consumption is getting closer to optimized, I'm going to start working on doing the same thing with veggies and starches.  We're "OK" at it right now, but I think we could be even better. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 23, 2018, 10:57:56 AM
Just talked to my flatmates and realized how little I use my heating. I never heat my room in the morning and only use it for a short time span after work. And even then, I put it on 1-2 out of 5 levels, while my flatmate apparently regularly uses 5 and and leaves in on if he's away for sports or so (I'm really wondering how he isn't just cooking himself in that room).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on January 23, 2018, 12:31:53 PM
I have a question.   How do I avoid plastic bags at the fruit and vegetable store?  I save and wash them and I guess I could take them back with me and re-use them.  I typically use them about 3 or 4 times until they fall apart or I store meat in them.  But I would like to try to cut most of them out.  So what do you use to carry and store your vegetables?

I bought reusable green net bags with drawstrings (got them at Whole Foods. $$$ but a good investment) and we bring them with our reusable grocery bags. They work great when I remember them. When I don't, we just put the fruit or veggies directly in the basket and don't use anything. I don't find that the cashiers really mind. These aren't the bags we have, but are similar: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Simple-Ecology-Organic-Cotton-Mesh-Reusable-Produce-Bags-/111157877031

I just reuse the plastic bags but last time I forgot, and I just put my veggies right in my reusable grocery bag gently. The Boy said I made him think of, like, grocery shopping in Old Europe or something :-).

Today I thought of a more efficient route for running my errands/grocery shopping.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 23, 2018, 04:52:09 PM
If you're reducing your use of disposable plastic, you may find this thread inspiring: Plastic Free February (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/plastic-free-february/) :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 23, 2018, 05:05:37 PM
If you're reducing your use of disposable plastic, you may find this thread inspiring: Plastic Free February (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/plastic-free-february/) :-)

Oh yeah, good idea HaH, I did mean to put that here. My mind is a sieve.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 23, 2018, 05:24:56 PM
If you're reducing your use of disposable plastic, you may find this thread inspiring: Plastic Free February (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/plastic-free-february/) :-)

Oh yeah, good idea HaH, I did mean to put that here. My mind is a sieve.

Clearly a BIFL metal sieve, not a crappy plastic one :-P
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on January 23, 2018, 05:36:18 PM
I made a key lime pie this afternoon, and used the zested and juiced limes to make a lime syrup following these instructions (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/03/fresh-lemon-syrup-recipe.html) before composting the limes.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on January 23, 2018, 05:51:06 PM
Quote
I just reuse the plastic bags but last time I forgot, and I just put my veggies right in my reusable grocery bag gently. The Boy said I made him think of, like, grocery shopping in Old Europe or something :-).

Today I thought of a more efficient route for running my errands/grocery shopping.

And this will likely be my solution.  Reuse the ones I have by actually getting them into my trunk. No bags?  Go bag less and just throw the veggies in the crisper. 

Anyone have experience with stuff wilting in the refrigerator?  I bought a more expensive bunch of carrots and just threw them in the crisper.  I forgot about them for a while and found them all wilted.  The huge bag left open lasts for months??
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 26, 2018, 12:33:38 AM
I'm a bit frustrated that I haven't written anything in here for several days.

Small thing: tonight we are going out in the city (35 kms from home) and we'll take the train to get there.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 26, 2018, 02:05:01 AM
I used up a bunch of food that was about to go off in a fried rice meal for lunch.

I would have liked to have said I mended a work cardigan but it's beyond my skills to fix. Cardigan is now in my bag of clothes waiting for the next clothes swap.

I would have also have liked to have said I finally took up the sleeves of a work jacket that I got in a clothes swap last year but again it was  beyond my sewing skills. I hemmed one sleeve (by folding it back and using a basic hemming hand stitch) but it looked like shit so I unpicked my stitches. Work jackets should look neat, not bodgy. But, I marked the length with a safety pin and if I feel up to it tomorrow, we'll go to a mall where there is a tailor and pay to have the sleeves taken up properly. Then I will actually have a jacket (not just cardigans) to wear to work. It's unusual for me to find a jacket that fits my upper arms but isn't too big elsewhere. Plus, it's secondhand not new. So, a tiny partial win.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on January 26, 2018, 07:17:21 AM
- I took in the waist of a skirt so it fits me again. I lost a bit of weight around the stomach so it was sagging, and this is a high waist skirt.
- Dried laundry on a drying rack
- Didn't turn on the heating at all last night (it was 16,5 C indoors, no problem if you're wearing proper clothes)
- Cut up some old pairs of jeans that people gifted to me. I'm working on a quilt made of recycled denim.
- Reduced someone else environmental impact: my brother moved and needs a few more hand towels for the bathroom. I have promised to give him 4 of mine. I have 8 of them because they came in a pack of 8. I only use 2 of them because they are only used by guests. We let our towels dry on a rack in the bathroom after showering and we dry our hands with them too. I think I have owned those hand towels for almost 10 years, I'm happy to give them away to somone who's actually going to use them.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 26, 2018, 09:14:57 AM
My brother and I decided to diversify our investments and put our €1000 investment of this month into a "solar panel loan" investment. I can't take any solar panels on my own rental roof, so this is my way of participating in the energy transition for now :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: tyort1 on January 26, 2018, 11:38:29 AM
With Xcel Energy (our local electricity provider), there's the option to switch to renewable based energy.  Its slightly more expensive, but worth it IMO.  I switched us over to 100% renewables for the energy we use.  Feels good.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on January 27, 2018, 02:08:41 PM
Spread five gallons of beautiful homemade chocolate-cake-crumb worm compost on our raspberry beds.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on January 27, 2018, 04:29:40 PM
I worked out how to get cloth nappies onto my son while he's standing up so we can keep using the ones we have and don't need to buy pull-ups yet (he's all of 9 months). Bonus, they're easier to get on him than disposable nappies now.

Also had a go at meal planning and grocery shopping only from a list. I'm hoping to make all his baby food this week, except his special snack biscuits for biting/chewing practice.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: bacchi on January 27, 2018, 05:01:51 PM
Anyone have experience with stuff wilting in the refrigerator?  I bought a more expensive bunch of carrots and just threw them in the crisper.  I forgot about them for a while and found them all wilted.  The huge bag left open lasts for months??

Celery can go in water in a container. Carrots can go in a closed container with a little water. If I have both, I'll lay the celery in water and put the carrots on top, out of the water.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 28, 2018, 08:56:10 AM
Had to buy new shoes so went to a second hand charity store, where I found a perfect pair at the children's department of the store :D
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on January 28, 2018, 09:49:21 PM
Refuse
Reduce
Reuse
Recycle
Repair: Had a high-quality purse restored after 15 years of use (I bought it used). Got it back today with new straps and braces. Hope it will last another 15 years.
Rot
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on January 28, 2018, 10:37:31 PM
I did the vegetable and fruit run with no plastic bags.  I just packed everything into the reusable bags.  It was fine.  @frugalparagon would approve!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 29, 2018, 02:02:09 AM
I realised today that I haven't taken a flight in 2 years. That probably blows everything else I've done out of the water.

Meat free meal tonight. Did some rescheduling of clients to save about 50km of travel by combining trips. Rescued someone else's stuff that they were sending to landfill and rehomed it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 29, 2018, 02:19:37 AM
I realised today that I haven't taken a flight in 2 years. That probably blows everything else I've done out of the water.


Well done. I find it difficult to avoid flying, if you really want to visit the other place. Driving to the same location is often more time consuming. What is easier, that is planning your holidays closer to home instead of in abroadistan.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 29, 2018, 02:26:07 AM
I realised today that I haven't taken a flight in 2 years. That probably blows everything else I've done out of the water.


Well done. I find it difficult to avoid flying, if you really want to visit the other place. Driving to the same location is often more time consuming. What is easier, that is planning your holidays closer to home instead of in abroadistan.

Unfortunately everywhere abroadistan is over the water from here... But there are loads of nice places to holiday within 5 hrs drive and where I live is pretty idyllic if you like beaches.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on January 29, 2018, 04:06:22 AM
I find it difficult to avoid flying, since we live on the opposite coast from our families. That offsets most, if not all of the good we are able to do elsewhere in our lives. :-/

Last night I made a vegan lentil and walnut chili for dinner. The cornbread I served with it was not vegan, but it used up ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste (bacon drippings and whey strained from yogurt in place of buttermilk - both from local sustainable farms).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 29, 2018, 05:14:25 AM
I really wish there would be a more sustainable way to fly (e.g. huge improvements in "mileage" for planes). I love to travel and have many friends abroad so even though I could avoid it, I really don't want to.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 29, 2018, 06:23:08 AM
I really wish there would be a more sustainable way to fly (e.g. huge improvements in "mileage" for planes). I love to travel and have many friends abroad so even though I could avoid it, I really don't want to.

After FIRE you could perhaps stay longer in the same region and with that fly less frequent.

They are experimenting with electric planes, but for the moment only for short stretches.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on January 29, 2018, 10:39:54 AM
I really wish there would be a more sustainable way to fly (e.g. huge improvements in "mileage" for planes). I love to travel and have many friends abroad so even though I could avoid it, I really don't want to.

After FIRE you could perhaps stay longer in the same region and with that fly less frequent.

They are experimenting with electric planes, but for the moment only for short stretches.

I did slow travel for a couple months last year and that was indeed perfect. Won't wait till I'm fully FIRE. If I have no obligations after finishing my PhD I'll be on the road again ;)

Electric planes would be great for short/domestic flights! Hope that technology will mature soon.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on January 29, 2018, 12:04:08 PM
Carpool: Reached out to an additional family and reorganized so that the carpool is more efficient in terms of fewer trips made. Saves everyone time, too!


Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 30, 2018, 12:39:16 AM
Walked to work today and will walk back again in the afternoon. 7,5 km each way.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on January 30, 2018, 02:22:05 AM
Walked to work today and will walk back again in the afternoon. 7,5 km each way.

Wow!!


I don't think I have anything to report today. We've got all the doors and windows open to cool our house down, but that's something we always do.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on January 30, 2018, 04:43:52 PM
I really wish there would be a more sustainable way to fly (e.g. huge improvements in "mileage" for planes). I love to travel and have many friends abroad so even though I could avoid it, I really don't want to.

After FIRE you could perhaps stay longer in the same region and with that fly less frequent.

They are experimenting with electric planes, but for the moment only for short stretches.


I love travelling by train, but of course that more or less requires you stay in the same continent. I have taken the train to and in many countries in Europe. It takes more time, but the scenery is often very beautiful and you meet loads of locals.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on February 01, 2018, 07:19:23 AM
Tried cooking a new vegetarian dish yesterday... was trying to replicate a Vietnamese noodle stirfry that my new sister-in-law made for us last year.  I didn't get it quite right, but to my surprise the kids yummed it up and even complimented me!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 02, 2018, 01:27:42 AM
I can always write this in both this thread and in the "what small things did you save money on today", because saving environment goes often hand in hand with saving money.

Walked to work today and will walk back again in the afternoon.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on February 02, 2018, 04:28:58 PM
In addition to the usual text, this week I also got a letter from the library saying that my reservation was in.

Noooooooooo.

A text is fine. Don't kill a tree, too!

I opted out this morning.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on February 02, 2018, 08:15:10 PM
I took my used plastic bags to the fruits and veggie store and re-used them.  I always use my re-use carry out bags.

The big one though is that I am dating a vegan and learning to eat way less meat!  Woohoo, win-win for me!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 02, 2018, 08:44:42 PM
Bought locally caught fish with minimal packaging.
Making zero waste baby food (baby approved!).
Set the air con a few degrees higher. It's still plenty cold!
Sorted through hand-me-downs to work out what we can use and what we should pass on.
Had to buy petrol today (that's has to the Americans) - first time since November!!
Making (hopefully delicious) vegan chickpea "meatballs" for dinner.

Plus normal things - cloth nappies, line drying washing, etc.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 05, 2018, 11:56:40 PM
I went to town to pick up one of our cars after it's EU control. DH offered to drive me to the train station in the morning. I thought it was a stupid idea that he had to get up early in the morning and let the car drive 2 km downhill and then 2 km back uphill meeting all the downhill-sliding other cars. So I walked down. And then I took the train to town.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on February 06, 2018, 04:08:13 PM
Replaced the ink cartridges in my reusable fountain pens rather than buying new plastic pens.

Line drying laundry
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mele on February 06, 2018, 08:11:42 PM
Used my diva cup instead of buying tampons. 

Hung laundry.

Made pinto beans in the instapot. 

Gathered eggs from our backyard, put chicken poop from coop into an unused corner of the garden to "cool" and eventually go into garden soil.  Not the garbage can like I used to do.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 06, 2018, 08:29:34 PM
Used my diva cup instead of buying tampons. 

Hung laundry.

Made pinto beans in the instapot. 

Gathered eggs from our backyard, put chicken poop from coop into an unused corner of the garden to "cool" and eventually go into garden soil.  Not the garbage can like I used to do.

Ok this might sound weird, but in my area chicken owners give away or swap their chicken poo for garden produce. It's good stuff. Likewise worm castings. Might be an option if you have more than you can deal with?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on February 06, 2018, 09:02:41 PM
As always, laundry gets hung on the line to dry, or if it is more delicate clothing (eg bras), it gets hung up inside on clothes racks in the living room so the UV and heat doesn't destroy the fabric.

Dinner last night (and leftovers tonight) was vegan. Chickpea salad (tinned chickpeas) with red onion, lemon juice and olive oil, plus cherry tomatoes and parsley from my garden plus a big handful of mint from my friend's garden (getting mint from her garden also pruned the mint so she was happy, I was happy).

I caught the bus home from work, even though it was horribly hot in the sun walking home from the bus stop.



Used my diva cup instead of buying tampons. 

Hung laundry.

Made pinto beans in the instapot. 

Gathered eggs from our backyard, put chicken poop from coop into an unused corner of the garden to "cool" and eventually go into garden soil.  Not the garbage can like I used to do.

Ok this might sound weird, but in my area chicken owners give away or swap their chicken poo for garden produce. It's good stuff. Likewise worm castings. Might be an option if you have more than you can deal with?

Oh yeah, I'd be happy to chuck some chicken poo in my compost! When I first got my compost bin, a colleague gave me a bucket of straw bedding/chicken poo from her chooks to get my compost bin started. I was pretty happy with that :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 06, 2018, 09:31:20 PM
..Chickpea salad (tinned chickpeas) with red onion, lemon juice and olive oil, plus cherry tomatoes and parsley from my garden plus a big handful of mint...

Yum, this sounds like a salad my dad used to make. He added boiled egg tho.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 06, 2018, 11:59:01 PM

Used my diva cup instead of buying tampons. 

Hung laundry.

Made pinto beans in the instapot. 

Gathered eggs from our backyard, put chicken poop from coop into an unused corner of the garden to "cool" and eventually go into garden soil.  Not the garbage can like I used to do.

Ok this might sound weird, but in my area chicken owners give away or swap their chicken poo for garden produce. It's good stuff. Likewise worm castings. Might be an option if you have more than you can deal with?

Oh yeah, I'd be happy to chuck some chicken poo in my compost! When I first got my compost bin, a colleague gave me a bucket of straw bedding/chicken poo from her chooks to get my compost bin started. I was pretty happy with that :)

DH bought chicken poo fertilizer and put it in our flower garden. After that there grew an awful lot of weeds in that garden. You might want to be careful with that product. Maybe boil it first before use.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on February 07, 2018, 06:48:59 AM

Used my diva cup instead of buying tampons. 

Hung laundry.

Made pinto beans in the instapot. 

Gathered eggs from our backyard, put chicken poop from coop into an unused corner of the garden to "cool" and eventually go into garden soil.  Not the garbage can like I used to do.

Ok this might sound weird, but in my area chicken owners give away or swap their chicken poo for garden produce. It's good stuff. Likewise worm castings. Might be an option if you have more than you can deal with?

Oh yeah, I'd be happy to chuck some chicken poo in my compost! When I first got my compost bin, a colleague gave me a bucket of straw bedding/chicken poo from her chooks to get my compost bin started. I was pretty happy with that :)

DH bought chicken poo fertilizer and put it in our flower garden. After that there grew an awful lot of weeds in that garden. You might want to be careful with that product. Maybe boil it first before use.

We have chickens, and if our compost is predominantly made of chicken litter and poo, and not enough grass clippings/vegetable leftovers/coffee grounds, we get too much leafy growth in our garden.  Chicken waste is very nitrogen-rich, and nitrogen based fertilizers promote vegetative growth and overall health of plants.  Two years ago we got the biggest most beautiful tomato plants ever, and tiny tiny little fruits.

Also, you're supposed to let it sit or compost for a while before you add it, because it can kind of burn your plants if you just add it straight.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on February 07, 2018, 10:44:15 AM
Didn't turn on the heating even though it's the coldest day this winter so far. It's still 16 C  / 61 F inside, no need for extra heating. We always have an extra blanket on our bed during winter, when it's freezing we have two blankets on top of our duvet.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on February 08, 2018, 02:00:57 AM
When I had a hypo (low blood sugar) this afternoon, I ate 2 black jelly beans instead of chucking them in the bin or the compost. (black jelly beans are gross :p)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 09, 2018, 04:26:21 AM
Walked to work and will walk back again later.

This weekend I will take the train to the city on Saturday and Sunday. I will try to get up early enough to walk to the train station as well (25 minutes walking), instead of driving.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on February 16, 2018, 04:46:37 AM
Very small thing but I had to buy envelopes and agonized for a bit over whether to buy the peel and stick ones that don't leave a horrible aftertaste but create trash or the ones you have to lick. I opted for the more eco-friendly ones.

This would never have occurred to me but I suspect it's going to be one of those things I can't unsee!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: NewConvert on February 16, 2018, 04:20:10 PM
I am new to this. Just the fact that a random plastic bottle I throw away doesn't decompose for  ~450 years blows me away. Definitely not the kind of legacy I want to leave behind.

My todays work -

1. Opted out of redplum  advertising at:
https://www.redplum.com/tools/direct-mail-preferences

2. Opted out of valpak coupons (have pretty much never used it) :
https://www.valpak.com/coupons/show/mailinglistsuppression

3. Opted out of credit card solicitation mails though was initially very apprehensive about providing ssn  online - but after extensive googling it seems legit (I hope)
https://www.optoutprescreen.com

After this stumbled on the app paperkarma that does this for you. Haven't  checked it out though - has anyone else any experience using this app?
Also planning to signup at the direct marketing agency site to take me off their mailing list
https://dmachoice.thedma.org/register.php

To others out there who have done this -- does this work and stop all the junk mail?


Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PKate on February 16, 2018, 04:59:15 PM
Quote


Anyone have experience with stuff wilting in the refrigerator?  I bought a more expensive bunch of carrots and just threw them in the crisper.  I forgot about them for a while and found them all wilted.  The huge bag left open lasts for months??

The carrots that you buy are usually a variety of carrot that is a storage variety.  Many of the baby carrots sold with the greens attached are bred to be sweet and not for storage.   Removing the green tops ASAP will help all carrots from wilting so quickly. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on February 18, 2018, 02:58:28 AM
I paid the few cents CO2 compensation premium on my bus ticket. Not sure if it's gonna make any difference, but at least I tried.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on February 18, 2018, 03:04:06 AM
Picked up five bottles for Return and Earn walking home after my run tonight.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 26, 2018, 01:18:39 AM
Today:

Walked to and from a visit to a local Playgroup, with the pram. I love not driving!

Used my keepcup for a rare caffeinated treat. Packed fruit for the baby in Tupperware.

As always, using hankies, cloth nappies and small terry towels in place of disposable items.

Saved food scraps for the worm farm.

Giving away items (including unwanted gifts!) away on Buy Nothing to people who can put them to good use.

Reading library books (every little bit of lowered consumption helps!).

Eating batch cooked vegan meals.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on February 26, 2018, 01:21:12 AM
And I have recently ordered my first bamboo toothbrush, non-plastic bin bags* and recycled plastic razors (I'm not game for the stainless steel razors just yet!).

*Husband isn't ready to not use bin bags at all, and has been extremely open minded about other changes, so this is one of those areas where I won't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on February 26, 2018, 02:02:57 AM
My boss buys a bottle of water with her salad for lunch every day (horror).

One of my colleagues buys a can of Coke from the vending machine every day (double horror).

I've all but given up on changing their spending habits, but I have trained them to give me their bottles and cans for Return and Earn.

@marty998 and I have deposited exactly 360 bottles and cans since January 1. Our goal is 1500 for the year and we're ... resourceful. :D
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on February 26, 2018, 02:17:46 AM
And I have recently ordered my first non-plastic bin bags

What's a bin bag?  Thanks
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on February 26, 2018, 02:19:09 AM
And I have recently ordered my first non-plastic bin bags

What's a bin bag?  Thanks

Apologies but this is hilarious to me.

Garbage bag. Rubbish bag. Trash bag. Bin liner.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on February 26, 2018, 02:43:25 AM
And I have recently ordered my first non-plastic bin bags

What's a bin bag?  Thanks

Apologies but this is hilarious to me.

Garbage bag. Rubbish bag. Trash bag. Bin liner.

Ha ha! Gotcha.  At first I thought you might mean a produce bag . . .  And now I'm going to ask you to educate me again.   How would it work without bin bags?  Do you live in a city, and how do they pick up your trash?  Thanks
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: marty998 on February 26, 2018, 03:23:45 AM
My boss buys a bottle of water with her salad for lunch every day (horror).

One of my colleagues buys a can of Coke from the vending machine every day (double horror).

I've all but given up on changing their spending habits, but I have trained them to give me their bottles and cans for Return and Earn.

@marty998 and I have deposited exactly 360 bottles and cans since January 1. Our goal is 1500 for the year and we're ... resourceful. :D

Well... you are resourceful one! I picked up exactly 1 empty lemon lime bitters bottle today on my run. You picked up.... 45?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on February 26, 2018, 03:25:29 AM
And I have recently ordered my first non-plastic bin bags

What's a bin bag?  Thanks

Apologies but this is hilarious to me.

Garbage bag. Rubbish bag. Trash bag. Bin liner.

Ha ha! Gotcha.  At first I thought you might mean a produce bag . . .  And now I'm going to ask you to educate me again.   How would it work without bin bags?  Do you live in a city, and how do they pick up your trash?  Thanks

I already drop my recycling into my building's recycling bins without bags.

I use bread bags for other garbage because they're being thrown out anyway, but without those I could just empty my kitchen bin into the garbage bins outside.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on February 26, 2018, 03:27:13 AM
And I have recently ordered my first non-plastic bin bags

What's a bin bag?  Thanks

Apologies but this is hilarious to me.

Garbage bag. Rubbish bag. Trash bag. Bin liner.

Ha ha! Gotcha.  At first I thought you might mean a produce bag . . .  And now I'm going to ask you to educate me again.   How would it work without bin bags?  Do you live in a city, and how do they pick up your trash?  Thanks

I already drop my recycling into my building's recycling bins without bags.

I use bread bags for other garbage because they're being thrown out anyway, but without those I could just empty my kitchen bin into the garbage bins outside.

Thanks!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on February 26, 2018, 04:17:57 AM
Yesterday, we walked to pick up our grassfed milk in glass bottles at the drop-off point.

Built a second bokashi bucket out of 2-gallon buckets from the hardware store. Much less expensive than purchasing another branded bokashi bin, and we've found the bokashi system works well for us. We'd have a hard time hitting the critical mass for a hot compost heap to start breaking down quickly, plus we rent our house so the fact that bokashi breaks down so much faster once it's mixed with the dirt is a big plus.

Ate up a good portion of the random leftover food in the refrigerator this weekend to keep it from going to waste.

Made broth from a chicken carcass and the veggie scraps I save in the freezer.

I need to clean the house today and will be doing most of it using citrus vinegar, baking soda, and water. With reusable rags, of course!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on February 26, 2018, 09:42:27 PM
As always:

Washed clothes in cold water (reduces electricity use).

Drying clothes on the washing line in the backyard (we don't own a clothes dryer).

As much as possible goes into our compost bin (it's more of a worm farm at this point rather than hot compost) including:
    - fruit and veggie scraps,
    - paper towel (we use one piece of paper towel to wipe out excess oil from the frying pan before it gets washed up, to save oil going in to the sewage system), '
    - cat fur,
    - emptying out the vacuum cleaner (mostly cat fur, but some dust and leaves etc traipsed in from outside),
    - uneaten wet cat food (damn cat likes to lick the gravy off but not eat the actual food - one small tin lasts her a week),
    - coffee grounds and teabags,
    - crushed egg shells (even though this doesn't break down in our bin)
    - paper with sensitive details on it (torn up small)
    - empty toilet rolls
    - small amounts of oil, meat etc
    - any food that's gone off/stale etc (but no bones, no citrus and only small amounts of dairy)
    - hair (I cut my hair at home)
    - branches from rose pruning (can't just put this on the garden beds for mulch because in my climate they turn into barbed-wire-like traps)
    - rinse out saucepans etc into the compost container on the kitchen bench (again, to reduce how much goes down the sink)     

As a result, we usually only have one bag of rubbish in the bin each week (as in, a plastic shopping bag from a supermarket) plus kitty litter/kitty poo. 

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 26, 2018, 09:51:18 PM
Today I picked up a bottle from the side of the road and took it to container recycling. I donated the 10c to Take 3 for the Sea https://www.take3.org/ (an organisation that cleans up beaches so plastic doesn't get in the ocean).

It helps that a brand new shiny machine has just been installed in a very convenient supermarket car park and I was already planning to go there today. I'm not keen on carrying/ storing other people's stinky waste for too long!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 27, 2018, 12:01:19 AM
Yesterday I cleared the parking lot for snow using a hand shovel, instead of starting the snow blower. The snow was not so deep and light weight.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on February 27, 2018, 09:40:40 PM
Remembered to bring reusable bags in everywhere I shopped today. Got a $0.10 credit at one place but mostly didn't end up with more bags!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on February 27, 2018, 09:48:45 PM
Once in a blue moon DH or I buy a bottle of water (usually we are organised and carry our own water, particularly in summer, but occasionally we are not). I re-use the bottles to dispose of my insulin pen needles. The needles are low risk (compared to syringes) and as far as we can work out, they comply with the council requirements for needle disposal. DH drops the full bottles (with closed lid) into the designated needle disposal bins.

We do occasionally buy the proper needle disposal plastic containers from the pharmacist but they are so expensive and the thickness of the plastic seems overkill for the tiny thin needles protected by plastic casings.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on February 28, 2018, 03:18:24 AM
Still biking everywhere even though it was -10C last night. People think I'm crazy but actually it's quite nice: it's dry and sunny, so it doesn't really feel cold during the day. I wear thermal leggings and thick socks underneath my jeans, as well as a scarf, hat and gloves and I don't get cold at all. I'm pretty sure I will get colder waiting at the bus stop.

Knitting a new scarf from re-used wool.

Had bread for breakfast that was slightly stale but still perfectly edible.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 04, 2018, 12:07:02 AM
My boss buys a bottle of water with her salad for lunch every day (horror).

One of my colleagues buys a can of Coke from the vending machine every day (double horror).

I've all but given up on changing their spending habits, but I have trained them to give me their bottles and cans for Return and Earn.

@marty998 and I have deposited exactly 360 bottles and cans since January 1. Our goal is 1500 for the year and we're ... resourceful. :D

Well... you are resourceful one! I picked up exactly 1 empty lemon lime bitters bottle today on my run. You picked up.... 45?

455!

We had a good week.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on March 04, 2018, 01:56:05 AM
DH, DD and I spent an hour cleaning up the area around a trailhead nearby.  We picked up 2 big bags of cans and bottles, and 2 big bags of garbage.  Unfortunately, there seem to be some people who regard this small trailhead parking area as their personal garbage dump.  But on the good side, we talked to some people who seemed interested in what we were doing, and hopefully we have inspired a few of them.

(Background -- we live in a very mixed area, shall we say. About half the people seem decent/responsible about not littering, and the other half throw their vodka bottles and McDonalds garbage out their car windows.)     
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on March 05, 2018, 03:23:42 AM
Picked up some trash laying around at the bus stop while waiting for the bus. No clue why people just drop it as there's a trash bin next to the bus stop.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on March 05, 2018, 05:09:17 AM
We're moving house in a week. We've been eating down our stash of frozen, refrigerated and pantry foods so we hopefully won't spoil anything during the move.

I've bought a few heavy duty packing boxes new for the delicate stuff and books, but almost all of them are from various friends and family who have moved in the past 6 months or who have saved other boxes for us.

The bubblewrap we used to wrap delicates have been used for 3 other people to move house so far!

We've also been offered furniture from a relative, so.weve added that to our stuff for now and will whittle it down by donating once we've settled in and know what we like using in the new house.

As a bonus, all of these things have saved us money!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PMG on March 05, 2018, 05:28:07 AM
I just ran across these organic cotton fabric, washable pour over filters and thought of this thread.  I may make some of these as Christmas gifts in the future. How did I not think of it sooner?

https://www.etsy.com/listing/196090126/100-organic-cotton-reusable-coffee?utm_source=OpenGraph&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 05, 2018, 05:29:37 AM
Slept beautifully in my line dried sheets last night.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 05, 2018, 11:00:12 AM
Working at home tomorrow, as well as DH, as we have a meeting halfway the day at our home. We both want use our cars tomorrow.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on March 05, 2018, 04:33:13 PM
I drained bacon on a cut-up flour bag instead of paper towels.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Primm on March 05, 2018, 06:04:23 PM
When I had a hypo (low blood sugar) this afternoon, I ate 2 black jelly beans instead of chucking them in the bin or the compost. (black jelly beans are gross :p)

Send them to me! Black jelly beans are my favourite. Yes, I'm the person who celebrated when they started making bags of only black with no colour jelly beans.

Hope you're on top of your sugars now.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on March 05, 2018, 06:42:34 PM
Bought some packaged snacks for my husband’s upcoming work trip - not ideal but it’s less waste than fast food.

Made portabella mushroom fajitas for meatless Monday, served with rice and beans cooked from dried.

Composting all our fruit and veggie scraps, plus whatever other food scraps the bokashi bucket seems able to handle.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 06, 2018, 12:03:00 AM
I made zero waste popcorn for the first time. Kernels from the bulk section made in a glass bowl in the microwave. No butter or oil made it a 25 cent, 120 calorie, zero waste snack

I find this very inspiring, both in terms of something to strive for and that this is still possible.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Urchina on March 06, 2018, 12:22:50 AM
Ate vegan today, with the exception of the single butter cookie I had for dessert.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 06, 2018, 01:16:41 AM
Walking home tonight, there was a single empty can in the middle of the footpath.

It was like an offering from the recycling gods.

@marty998, our good works have pleased them!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: marty998 on March 06, 2018, 12:58:43 PM
Yeah I found a few too! @mustachepungoeshere

I wonder if we are both bordering on obsession with this though :D
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: thegeebees on March 06, 2018, 02:30:13 PM
I made zero waste popcorn for the first time. Kernels from the bulk section made in a glass bowl in the microwave. No butter or oil made it a 25 cent, 120 calorie, zero waste snack

We just started doing this with a 20 year-old popcorn popper that my in-laws had sitting in their garage! I've been making 1-2 batches per week with bulk popping corn and the kids take them for snacks at school.

I love this thread idea! Today I realized my wallet had finally bitten the dust but rather than buy a new one (heaven forbid) or even get one from a thrift store, I checked to see if any of my sisters had a spare they didn't want. Score! I got a free one, saving it from the garbage dump and saving me from having to pay.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 06, 2018, 09:49:15 PM
* Grocery run by cargo bike today.
* Brought own grocery bags
* Brought own wine carrier so bottles don't get multiple bags from earnest, well-meaning grocery baggers trying to protect them from breakage
* Bought milk in reusable glass bottles
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on March 06, 2018, 10:38:17 PM
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 06, 2018, 11:17:53 PM
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

I have heard rave reviews about the metal ones eg on the flora and fauna site. Plastic ones just can't stand up to our UV and I've had wooden ones go mouldy or leave marks. The only thing about metal ones is imagine how hot they'll be in full sun!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on March 06, 2018, 11:26:48 PM
I did not turn on the heat in my room plus turned the heat down in the hallway (from 21 to 18).

Brought my seperated trash (batteries, paper, glass and "other") to the containers they're supposed to go in.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PMG on March 07, 2018, 12:04:02 AM
I’m trying to find the lesser or two evils. The country I’m living in has no recycling.  Many things that come in glass also come in plastic pouches.  Jam is one we buy pretty often. Soy sauce is another.  We initially bought the glass jar, but now we can buy a plastic packet and refill the jar.  For a while I was thinking the pouches were the more responsible option, but neither glass or plastic are going to disappear.  WWYD?

It’s really eye opening when I can’t even appease my guilt by recycling. 

——
The upside is that we’ve found quite a few very local products. The pouches of jam are made just a few hours away by train.  I haven’t found a loose leaf mint tea, but the bagged one is grown and packaged in country as well.  It’s tricky compromising. 

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on March 07, 2018, 03:17:04 AM
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

I have heard rave reviews about the metal ones eg on the flora and fauna site. Plastic ones just can't stand up to our UV and I've had wooden ones go mouldy or leave marks. The only thing about metal ones is imagine how hot they'll be in full sun!
yeah, that's mainly why I haven't tried them yet. I will buy some and use them indoors to start with.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trying2bFrugal on March 07, 2018, 10:31:11 AM
I'm looking for ideas, inspiration and positive reinforcement as I work to reduce my impact on the environment and use of finite..

1. Water bottles
AVOID plastic at any cost. We use Zero pitcher filter for drinking needs. They offer $5 for each filter you send then back for recycling.

2. Cook your food
I have spent two times in last 8 months on  outside lunches since we didn't cooked that day. Other than business compulsory or meetings i lunch at desk. Buying lunch not only cost wattage of money, time and the extra napkin, plastic, etc., we cook for guests when they are less in numbers.

3. Carry bags
Try to use reusable bags. If you can't, at east use same bags. It costs a most nothing to produce them but it cost many generations. I use a nice reusable bag for shopping and the carry bags are used as trash bags.

4. Bikes
Although I am new bee doing biking, you should avoid short trips in car

5. Drive sensibly
I know not everyone goes hybrid or electric or used old ones, but to the least drive sensibly so you consume less oil footage. Try share riding.

6. Wastage
The only time I ever got a slap on my face from my father is when I left drops of food. It wasn't even handful, but we grew on it. When you see the starving people, you know the meaning of drops of food. So eat what you need. This goes to possessions as well. If you have more give it to people.
I buy stuff from goodwill and donate back to them if it was read or no more useful to me.

7. Donate
There is a saying in my country. Things you want it to grow, then you got to donate them. Name it, it could be knowledge, wisdom, money, habits. At the least donate some of your time for charity work.

8. Plan
Most times wastage of time, money, resources happen due to poor planning. So plan ahead. When I bought a used Prius, I had enough cash to buy a BMW, on buying a bed, we gone for bed with high raise with no need for box, so we got storage space and ease of movement and less wastage. These are just examples. You can plan your purchases.

9. Reuse
For most people, buying new stuff if inevitable for pure pleasure of their mind. Once they get in a situation they will let it go. Desire is the creator and destructor yet desire the right is key. So reuse stuff more you can.
We didn't used the paper plates so long unless the crowd is more than 12 (12 corolle plates).

 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on March 07, 2018, 01:47:02 PM
I live in a small space with my two near teens.  I thought it was small but then I measured it.  It's 2 bedrooms, plus a den with 1 bathroom.  And 850 square feet.  This reduces all utility costs substantially, as well as the footprint created building it. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trying2bFrugal on March 07, 2018, 02:26:03 PM
I’m trying to find the lesser or two evils. The country I’m living in has no recycling.  Many things that come in glass also come in plastic pouches.  Jam is one we buy pretty often. Soy sauce is another.  We initially bought the glass jar, but now we can buy a plastic packet and refill the jar.  For a while I was thinking the pouches were the more responsible option, but neither glass or plastic are going to disappear.  WWYD?

It’s really eye opening when I can’t even appease my guilt by recycling. 

——
The upside is that we’ve found quite a few very local products. The pouches of jam are made just a few hours away by train.  I haven’t found a loose leaf mint tea, but the bagged one is grown and packaged in country as well.  It’s tricky compromising.

My mom prepare jam from fruits without any preservatives. Agreed they dont last THAT long and taste fancy.
But you could help your family on health (most bottled ones need preservatives). May be something you can think about it?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on March 08, 2018, 03:42:50 AM
I’m trying to find the lesser or two evils. The country I’m living in has no recycling.  Many things that come in glass also come in plastic pouches.  Jam is one we buy pretty often. Soy sauce is another.  We initially bought the glass jar, but now we can buy a plastic packet and refill the jar.  For a while I was thinking the pouches were the more responsible option, but neither glass or plastic are going to disappear.  WWYD?

It’s really eye opening when I can’t even appease my guilt by recycling. 

——
The upside is that we’ve found quite a few very local products. The pouches of jam are made just a few hours away by train.  I haven’t found a loose leaf mint tea, but the bagged one is grown and packaged in country as well.  It’s tricky compromising.

My mom prepare jam from fruits without any preservatives. Agreed they dont last THAT long and taste fancy.
But you could help your family on health (most bottled ones need preservatives). May be something you can think about it?
Or even use pureed fruit instead of jam, depending on what you're using it for? It keeps in the fridge in a glass jar for a few days, or in the freezer for a while (a few months?)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 08, 2018, 03:52:21 AM
I'm thinking the issue is not a particular food but the whole gamut of essential purchases. I think I'd focus on reducing air miles and also consider which natural resource it is less worse to deplete - oil or sand (is that what glass is made from??).

Also - if plastic gets washed away from rubbish piles it is a worse outcome for all life than if glass ends up in the ecosystem. Glass will break down quicker and make nice sea glass pebbles, whereas with plastic we'll end up eating it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 09, 2018, 12:07:34 AM
* Walked four miles round trip to pick up the kids from school and bring them home

* Picked up an aluminum can that someone had littered, will recycle

* Added a second compost bin to the family; someone in our Buy Nothing group was giving away one that is the same design as the one we currently have

* Used wastewater from cooking, washing and laundry on plants

* Cloth diapered the baby

* Started potty training the baby using a baby potty I acquired from our Buy Nothing group

* Used bamboo-handled toothbrush instead of plastic-handled toothbrush. A billion non-biodegradable plastic-handled toothbrushes go into the trash each year.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: greengardens on March 09, 2018, 01:57:35 AM
I’m currently pregnant and looking at cloth diapering baby when we’re home (I don’t think our potential daycare accepts cloth)

Trying to furnish the nursery with as many hand me downs as possible. So far I have a crib and changing table
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 09, 2018, 02:13:01 AM
I bought tonic water in glass so I could have a plastic free G&T. Cheers!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Britan on March 09, 2018, 07:41:49 AM
Working from home today! Save some car emissions. (Ugh my clown car commute).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: PMG on March 09, 2018, 10:56:41 AM
I'm thinking the issue is not a particular food but the whole gamut of essential purchases. I think I'd focus on reducing air miles and also consider which natural resource it is less worse to deplete - oil or sand (is that what glass is made from??).

Also - if plastic gets washed away from rubbish piles it is a worse outcome for all life than if glass ends up in the ecosystem. Glass will break down quicker and make nice sea glass pebbles, whereas with plastic we'll end up eating it.

Thanks to others as well upthread for input on my jar/packet dilemma.  We eat fresh first. Jam is just a representative of odd things that come in bottles and packages.  We probably get one item every 4-6 weeks.

Fresh Bread brings up some good things to think about, focusing on the big picture and break down.

I do want to avoid waste in our daily life, but it isn’t the most effective way to get to the root of the problem.


As for small things:

Boiled water for drinking instead of buying jugs.

Filled the thermos for hot tea on demand all day.

Mended my clothing.

Also, I’m working on an converting my partner to second hand shopping.  We’re not actively shopping for anything at the moment, but we’ve had several conversations recently about future needs, from clothing to household goods.  When I started talking about the environmental and humanitarian reasons for buying second hand he “got it” in a way he hasn’t before. He thought I just didn’t want to spend money, or couldn’t afford more, and he loves me, and thinks I deserve all kinds of wonderful lovely things and wants to give them to me. Now he understand my motivation.  Yes, I like saving money, but that isn’t all.  Yes, we are on a really tight budget right now. Many ethically sourced things are way out of our price range, but second hand shopping or extending the life of what we already own can circumnavigate the system. 
     
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 09, 2018, 02:23:06 PM
We also buy second hand but here's a problem: hubby will research to find the best model of something and then try to find it second hand. Of course, everyone who has one knows it is the best and there aren't any for sale second hand. Think of a Dyson vacuum or multifunctional backpack for example. I think the key is to be flexible.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 09, 2018, 02:26:51 PM
We also buy second hand but here's a problem: hubby will research to find the best model of something and then try to find it second hand. Of course, everyone who has one knows it is the best and there aren't any for sale second hand. Think of a Dyson vacuum or multifunctional backpack for example. I think the key is to be flexible.

I have encountered this issue over and over!

The best things to buy secondhand are the things people buy as aspirational purchases (e.g. sports gear) and/or things that are only needed for a few years anyway (e.g. strollers).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 09, 2018, 02:43:41 PM
We also buy second hand but here's a problem: hubby will research to find the best model of something and then try to find it second hand. Of course, everyone who has one knows it is the best and there aren't any for sale second hand. Think of a Dyson vacuum or multifunctional backpack for example. I think the key is to be flexible.

I have encountered this issue over and over!

The best things to buy secondhand are the things people buy as aspirational purchases (e.g. sports gear) and/or things that are only needed for a few years anyway (e.g. strollers).

Kitchen aspirational items too like bread makers, ice cream makers, juicers etc.

I have seen people here selling things at the end of their lease and then buying new for their new place. I think they are avoiding the hassle of movers but... a sofa is not a one year purchase??

What bugs me with hubby is that every evening he is scrolling sites either researching or looking for 2nd hand stuff. He found something the other day but did not move quickly enough  and it was sold! In the end I get exasperated and just say "please buy it new!!".
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 09, 2018, 06:20:09 PM
524 bottles returned this year.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Urchina on March 09, 2018, 07:09:58 PM
Again, ate vegan for most of the day (will have 2 oz of hamburger tonight with dinner).
Asked DH to pick up stuff at the grocery store on the way home, so no special trip for errands.
Didn't buy anything today (other than the groceries DH got, and yes, we've got our reusable bags). I often forget how useful it is to the environment to not buy stuff.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Cali on March 09, 2018, 08:57:47 PM
I carry a small metal fork and spoon and reasonable small knife in a reusable lunch baggie in my purse. Just because they’re handing out free plastic utensils doesn’t mean I have to ise them. I don’t want something I used to eat a sliver of birthday cake to sit in a landfill for eternity.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: big_owl on March 09, 2018, 09:19:11 PM
Studies generally agree that the best thing you can do for the planet is not have kids.  So I got snipped a while back.  Turns out it makes sex a lot better too!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on March 10, 2018, 02:08:23 AM
Ate vegetarian (mostly vegan except some butter and cappuccino) for the whole week.

Picked up some trash last night when going to the pool.

Bought discounted almost-expired peas in the supermarket.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Raenia on March 10, 2018, 06:31:42 AM
Today we're taking a bus+subway to travel to a friend's wedding, rather than driving.  I also will be walking to the post office this morning.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 14, 2018, 01:18:29 AM
REPAIR: I stitched up a split seam on one of our couch cushions. I was worried I would have to get out the sewing machine, but a needle and thread did the trick.

REUSE: Cloth diapers and wipes for the baby

APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY: Line-drying laundry inside since we're being blessed with some winter rains right now

MANAGE ON-SITE RESOURCES: Bought a downspout extender so I can divert some rainwater to different places in the yard
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on March 14, 2018, 04:33:54 AM
We've been saving a small amount of energy and reducing food waste by placing more emphasis on freezer cooking in our meal planning. It saves me a decent amount of time, too.

I'm sewing my way through my fabric stash and a backlog of projects, instead of buying as much new fabric. I'm also working on squeezing little projects out of the scraps/leftovers from larger projects. I sew with a lot of knits so this means a lot of baby garments and some adult undergarments.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 14, 2018, 04:41:51 AM
I'm sewing my way through my fabric stash and a backlog of projects, instead of buying as much new fabric.

*Guilt about last year's stash of wool intensifies*
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 14, 2018, 07:37:59 PM
Took public transit to a class.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: BuildingmyFIRE on March 15, 2018, 09:45:01 AM
I brought lunch (again) today.  Other than compulsory business related lunches, I have not purchased takeout lunch or coffee even once this year.  Hurray! 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 15, 2018, 01:48:54 PM
I brought lunch (again) today.  Other than compulsory business related lunches, I have not purchased takeout lunch or coffee even once this year.  Hurray!

This is extremely amazing. Congrats.

I planted three native trees and two grapevines in an odd little triangle that is owned by the state transit department but obviously ignored for years on end. I also picked up a bag of non-biodegradable trash and collected two plastic bottles for recycling.

If they survive, in addition to sequestering carbon and catching freeway dust with their leaf canopies, the additional greenery from the trees and the tidier appearance of oddball areas should advantage rising (rather than declining) property values in the neighborhood.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 15, 2018, 03:59:34 PM
Wow, go JenGod, that's awssome!

Now I have an answer if someone complains about our messy garden - we are trying to address the Australian housing affordability crisis! It's very 'rustic'.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on March 15, 2018, 05:00:26 PM
Nice job Jengod!  Me too -- haven't purchased food or coffee once at work this year so far.  I'm in a good groove bringing it from home.  We should have started a challenge thread in "Throw Down the Gauntlet."  :)

Another thing I do is whatever compostable waste I make at work -- banana peels, tea bags, used paper towels, whatever -- I bring it home at the end of the day and throw it in my compost bin.  We have recycling bins at work, but no compost. It drives me crazy to throw good compostables in a garbage bin. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 16, 2018, 08:28:41 AM
Walked to work this morning and will walk back in a moment (after I finish typing here).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: JLR on March 16, 2018, 10:05:34 PM
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: JLR on March 16, 2018, 10:12:54 PM
Another thing I do is whatever compostable waste I make at work -- banana peels, tea bags, used paper towels, whatever -- I bring it home at the end of the day and throw it in my compost bin.  We have recycling bins at work, but no compost. It drives me crazy to throw good compostables in a garbage bin.

Would you be willing to make a communal compost bin at work that you bring home each day?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 16, 2018, 10:20:54 PM
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....

Seconding the recommendation for Reva pegs.

Mine are going on nine years.

@marty998 thought I was insane for having a preferred brand of pegs.

Then I bought him a packet and ... he still doesn't really have an opinion either way. :D
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: marty998 on March 17, 2018, 05:27:57 AM
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....

Seconding the recommendation for Reva pegs.

Mine are going on nine years.

@marty998 thought I was insane for having a preferred brand of pegs.

Then I bought him a packet and ... he still doesn't really have an opinion either way. :D

Fuck I was embarrassed when you handed me pegs haha.

Reva are good 😊

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on March 18, 2018, 05:33:26 AM
Another thing I do is whatever compostable waste I make at work -- banana peels, tea bags, used paper towels, whatever -- I bring it home at the end of the day and throw it in my compost bin.  We have recycling bins at work, but no compost. It drives me crazy to throw good compostables in a garbage bin.

Would you be willing to make a communal compost bin at work that you bring home each day?

I sure would!  Great idea -- thanks!  Let me see . . . I'll start by watching the kitchen garbage can at work for a few days and seeing what my coworkers are actually throwing in there -- how much is compostable, what kind of things they are.   
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MoolahLula on March 18, 2018, 11:45:04 AM
I stayed home all day yesterday.  Recycled a bucket of water I had drawn when we were having a bad windstorm a couple weeks ago, when I thought my power and water might be effected by falling trees.  Today I used it to mop up some messes. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: deborah on March 18, 2018, 06:23:58 PM
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....
My wooden pegs have lasted at least that long, and  they stay on the line all the time. They are just normal wooden pegs.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 18, 2018, 09:15:50 PM
* Picked up a bag of trash this morning in this weird high-traffic no-maintenance area near my house. Got some exercise, plus found $0.35 of recycling and a penny. The kids call this activity "plogging": "picking up litter while jogging"

* Rode my cargo bike to a bazaar organized by our local Buy Nothing group -- gave away some gizmos and children's books, came home with some collard greens, cake mix, more children's books, a gallon jug and a huge bottle of bubbles to entertain the kids.

* Made sourdough bread -- no packaging involved other than the recyclable paper bag of flour
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Frugal Lizard on March 19, 2018, 06:35:50 AM
I hung three loads of laundry out on the clothesline.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on March 19, 2018, 07:21:43 AM
Built and installed (3) cedar wood duck nesting boxes yesterday.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: gatortator on March 19, 2018, 03:31:54 PM
love this thread and delurking now...

I gave up driving for lent.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on March 20, 2018, 06:22:33 AM
* Picked up a bag of trash this morning in this weird high-traffic no-maintenance area near my house. Got some exercise, plus found $0.35 of recycling and a penny. The kids call this activity "plogging": "picking up litter while jogging"

Ha ha Jengod -- in my family we call this "Rat" running -- From Running Against Trash. So sometimes I will grab a garbage bag and announce "I'm going for a rat run."
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: okcisok on March 20, 2018, 08:41:52 PM
I love the terms for picking up trash while doing another activity. I always take an extra plastic bag when I walk my dog, just for aluminum cans. I got a couple of pounds today! I started keeping track of the loose change I pick up, too. I read a NYTimes article about a doctor who picked up almost $100/year from walking through the park. Inspiration!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on March 21, 2018, 05:20:07 AM
I read a NYTimes article about a doctor who picked up almost $100/year from walking through the park. Inspiration!

My teenage daughter finds money nearly every time we go somewhere.  It's eerie -- like the cosmic forces are sending money her way.  Yesterday on our run together she found a credit card.  We weren't able to find the person's name in the phone listings, so we cut it up.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on March 23, 2018, 11:00:35 AM
Just hired an excavation contractor to totally rebuild an old run down pond on our property.   The dam had blown out of it decades ago, prior to our ownership, lots of trees and brush grown up, etc.
When complete, should have a 1/2 to 3/4 acre pond about 10' - 12' deep.    Hope to stock fish by late summer.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on March 23, 2018, 03:46:20 PM
Today marked the third week in a row of having only one, not-even-full bag of trash for trash pickup day. :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on March 23, 2018, 08:15:20 PM
Just hired an excavation contractor to totally rebuild an old run down pond on our property.   The dam had blown out of it decades ago, prior to our ownership, lots of trees and brush grown up, etc.
When complete, should have a 1/2 to 3/4 acre pond about 10' - 12' deep.    Hope to stock fish by late summer.

Ooo, I have always dreamed of having my own pond with fish in it!!  Good luck!

I have not had a dryer for almost 3 months!!  Weirdly, our utility company reports that our gas usage was identical to Jan and Feb of last year.  This can't be right-- in ordinary times we do at least 10 large loads of laundry a week. We submitted a meter reading last month, however, and they say that it was the same as their recorded value.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 24, 2018, 12:59:52 PM
I took a bus halfway to my local gun control march. The connecting bus only comes every 90 minutes on Saturdays and I was going to be late if I waited for it so I Lyfted the rest of the way. Will try to transit part way home as well.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on March 27, 2018, 03:22:15 PM
Technically it was 2 days ago. But instead of buying a weighted blanket for my son, I upcycled fleece blankets from Goodwill. I did have to buy the pellets new (boo) but at least I saved fleece!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on March 28, 2018, 02:13:33 PM
Just hired an excavation contractor to totally rebuild an old run down pond on our property.   The dam had blown out of it decades ago, prior to our ownership, lots of trees and brush grown up, etc.
When complete, should have a 1/2 to 3/4 acre pond about 10' - 12' deep.    Hope to stock fish by late summer.

This is completely awesome.  Ponds support all kids of creatures, and that will be a great size! 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 29, 2018, 08:14:24 PM
Our gardener hasn’t shown up lately (for reasons unclear) so this evening I went out there with our manual/reel lawn mower (purchased used at an estate sale) and mowed, and then cleaned up the odd bits with a vintage Craftsman sickle I once trashpicked out of a pile of scrap metal.

Anyway, no carbon emissions plus chop-and-drop “grasscycling” to build soil vitality long-term.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on March 30, 2018, 08:52:04 AM
- Dried laundry outside
- Will turn various vegetable odds and ends into a delicious stew
- Cleaning and decluttering and will go through our winter clothes to see if there are any items that need mending or should be donated
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Holyoak on March 30, 2018, 10:01:17 AM
Rather than simply opening the hot water tap at my sink, letting cold water run down the drain until hot, I collect it and use it for laundry day to fill the washing machine.  I also collect the basically clear rinse water, and use it for the next wash load.  Old washing machines had a feature along these same lines.  Will hang dry as much as possible allowing for conditions.

I also use a full flow shower head in conjunction with a shutoff.  This way I get a nice satisfying shower during wet-down and wash-off, but save a ton of water while lathering up, leaving it off or at a very reduced rate.  I'm also a super conservative garbage producer, maybe producing one 13 gal bag a month.  My ratio of recycling to trash is many, many orders of magnitude.

I also sweep up many piles of sunflower seed husks produced at my feeders, and turn them into great mulch.

My all gas (heat/stove/WH) breezy/practically un-insulated 1955 2 BR rental home in the heart of the Lake Erie Snowbelt, had a $54 bill last month, and it was plenty cold.

I take the city bus as much as possible, which I enjoy even more since it went to CNG.  Just looked, and I have only driven 1200 miles since June of last year.

I reload all ammunition I shoot aside from rimfire, this save a ton of $$$ not to mention resources, especially when I use bullets I cast from scrap lead, and can get many, many firings from the brass case.  When the case is beyond use, it gets recycled.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on March 30, 2018, 10:13:56 AM
I was craving ice-cream and decided to try one of the new Ben & Jerry's dairy free ones that were on sale :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: csprof on March 30, 2018, 07:05:02 PM
Broke out the hot glue gun and managed to 90% fix an umbrella that was on the way out.  (Little end-caps that hold the nylon material on kept coming off whenever the umbrella was closed).  It won't last forever, but it should get me through spring without needing to buy a new one.  Yay!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 30, 2018, 08:03:06 PM
Giving away and receiving items on Buy Nothing this week.

As always, line drying all laundry including cloth nappies.

Mulching my garden to improve water retention.

Mostly vegan and vegetarian meals this week.

Baby's food is all cooked from scratch, no overly packaged "convenience" foods for him.

Traditional Easter takeaway tonight will be wrapped only in paper, no plastic or plastic-coated cardboard.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jmwagner5 on March 30, 2018, 10:00:49 PM
I basically did nothing today besides run and read a book.  By doing nothing I feel like I did something for the environment.  That makes sense, right?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on March 30, 2018, 10:32:23 PM
I basically did nothing today besides run and read a book.  By doing nothing I feel like I did something for the environment.  That makes sense, right?

Yes! You didn't drive, or buy stupid consumer shit, or anything like that. It counts.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on March 31, 2018, 12:53:54 AM
Hung out two loads of laundry to dry.

Peed in a bucket and fed it to my persimmon tree.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 01, 2018, 12:20:08 AM
Easter Sunday here. We only purchased eggs and bunnies in foil (no plastic or plastic-coated cardboard boxes) so the packaging is 100% recyclable.

Thought ahead with Easter brunch so we had a plan for all the leftovers. I might be eating more bagels than usual, but nothing will be wasted.

Food scraps and cardboard and paper waste are going in the worm farm.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on April 01, 2018, 09:09:22 AM
Took home the leftovers from Easter brunch at my grandma's. She was happy to get rid of them and I was happy to take them. Mostly veggies and some cold meats. We don't normally eat that, but eating it is better than throwing it away.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 01, 2018, 12:36:32 PM
Hung two loads of laundry on the clothesline and one in the basement on the drying rack.
Walked to church this morning.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on April 01, 2018, 12:49:36 PM
Took home the leftovers from Easter brunch at my grandma's. She was happy to get rid of them and I was happy to take them. Mostly veggies and some cold meats. We don't normally eat that, but eating it is better than throwing it away.

Oh, and also got a relative's thermos flask. They wanted to get rid of it because the cap is missing (not the lid). It's 0,5 liter sized so you can either drink straight from the flask or take any other unbreakable cup with you to drink from. Good enough for me.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 04, 2018, 03:26:49 PM
Today we're combining (necessary) car trips to minimise fuel use.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: pancakes on April 04, 2018, 06:37:44 PM
I am right now using my reusable coffee cup that I purchased last year.

I’ve only forgotten it once so far this year and caved in and bought coffee in a disposable cup. Better yet for my wallet too, I usually make my coffee at home and take it with me on my walk now.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on April 04, 2018, 06:51:02 PM
Today we're combining (necessary) car trips to minimise fuel use.

I did this today too!

I also did not buy myself Starbucks as a treat after my doctor appointment because we had plans to go out for ice cream after dinner, then those got scrapped when toddler refused to eat his dinner. So no single use disposables today!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on April 05, 2018, 04:43:45 AM
I bought some silverware at Goodwill and stuck it in the drawer in the break room at work.  Some people are using it, rather than the plastic forks and spoons they provide. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on April 05, 2018, 04:56:36 AM
I really, really wanted to go for a drive to the shops for got chips. Instead I took baby to the library for sing-along time, then we went to the park after his nap, and I ate various junk food in the pantry instead. Both trips were walking in the pram. He got worn out and slept well, I still got my fix.

Also line drying washing, hubby took the bus to work and we're reusing the boxes from our recent house move by giving them back to my parents for when they move in a few months. Some of those boxes have been through 5+ people moving house now, we only bought a couple to help us move and the rest are very second-hand!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Abe on April 07, 2018, 12:14:56 AM
Biking to work, grocery store and all activities within town. My goal is, except for emergency calls, not to drive for the next 6 months.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on April 07, 2018, 03:07:36 AM
It's a bright and sunny Saturday morning in here. I'm going to dry laundry outside today and then go to the market on my bike to buy unwrapped fruit and vegetables and to refill my glass milk bottle. We don't drink milk a lot, but these days, when we use it we go to the market where a farmer fills my bottle straight from the tap. No extra waste and no middle man to take the farmer's profits.

Then I'm probably going to clean and do a bit of DIY in our bedroom. We have guests coming over next week and the room really needs a good spring clean.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Yasha on April 09, 2018, 07:06:34 AM
524 bottles returned this year.

Thanks for your inspiring number! I just cashed in my second $20 load of cans and bottles (in addition to some $1-$2 trips) so by my calculation (rough count of the coins in my 'can money' lunchbox) I've return-and-earned 520 cans/bottles. Woot woot! All this 'bonus money' is going to paying down a debt just a liiiittle faster.

I've also learned tonight that it is a little frightening to be a smallish young woman who looks a little hipster (short blue hair) cashing in cans on bin night on recycling fortnight with all the houso's screaming at each others for 'stealing' each others recycling O_O... I think I'll make sure to avoid Monday nights in the future and stick to a nice safe Saturday morning with all the Soccer Mums cashing in the team's waterbottles (legit saw someone pull up in a ute with the tray completely full of water bottles - who buys that much bottled water in a city with lovely free tap water???) purely for safety/scary reasons.

Other than that - ate vegetarian, composted coffeegrounds, dried laundry on the clothes horse outside, closed windows and blinds in the heat of the day, opened them in the evening, opened the dishwasher to air-dry instead of fan-dry, borrowed friend's car for half an hour to take the cans to the machine rather than owning a car (haven't had a car for almost three years now), caught the free bus to and from work.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: SimplyFinanciallyFree on April 09, 2018, 07:52:07 AM
Our office is extremely wasteful, with paper cups, plastic utensils, paper plates, etc.  I can't stand the waste so I have my own set of real utensils, water cup with lid, a travel mug, and a bowl that all live at my desk.  I also bring in a clean cloth napkin and dish towel every week to use during lunch.  People give my a strange look, especially with the napkin, but I just can't stand the extreme waste that I see daily. I am just trying to do my part.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on April 09, 2018, 07:57:00 AM
I re-use my paper cup at work and also have my own mug (but it's super large so sometimes I still grab a paper one if I just want a single cup of tea).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on April 09, 2018, 02:30:25 PM
REPAIR:
* I fixed our stepstool by replacing four hex nuts that had been lost in the 40 years since it was manufactured.
* I sewed up a separated seam on one of our couch cushions.
* I sewed up a hole in the bottom of one of my reusable bags. It's very imperfect (darning, how does it work?) but it will do.

CONSERVE
* Watered houseplants with leftover drinking water, dishwater and melted ice cubes
* Peed in a bucket and fed it to the compost bin
* Routed some household greywater toward plants

ROT
* No green waste sent to the city again this week, all to to the compost bins or as top-dressing/mulch for the yard.

REDUCE
* The weekend was almost completely car-free. All trips were transit or walked, except our return from a date-night cooking class in an Uber.

RECYCLE
* Gave away our learning tower to another mom in our local Buy Nothing group. It has a fairly large footprint in our small-ish house, the big kids refuse to use it, and the little one is too small to help cook for a couple more years. Hopefully I'll be able to borrow it back in the future if I need one again.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on April 10, 2018, 06:02:53 AM

* I sewed up a hole in the bottom of one of my reusable bags. It's very imperfect (darning, how does it work?) but it will do.



Are you using a machine or sewing by hand?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on April 10, 2018, 06:21:07 AM
I fixed some mittens that were wearing thin in the thumbs, and then decided to sew some more and made a lavender rice bag out of an old sock :) 

One of the pair wore through in the heel, but the socks are a super cute elephant pattern, so I wanted to keep them somehow.  It actually will work really well for neck aches, because it bends nicely to rest on your shoulders when you put it on your neck.  Unexpected benefit!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 11, 2018, 07:23:51 PM
Normal things today:
Taking public transport.
Eating vegan and vegetarian bulk cooked meals.
Baby in cloth nappies.
Line drying laundry.

Unusual things today:
Going to pick up prescriptions from a pharmacy within walking distance to avoid driving.
Researched medical imaging chains to find one that had a location within walking distance of home. Also great because I never want to drive immediately after any kind of medical appointment.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Basenji on April 11, 2018, 07:51:46 PM
Took a long soaking bath. Left water in tub. Put a small bucket between tub and toilet bowl (small bathroom, they are near each other) and will use buckets of water from the tub to flush the toilet until the water in the tub is gone.






Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Tom Bri on April 11, 2018, 09:33:09 PM
Renovated my small solar water heater for the spring season by replacing the reflector. This is simply a cardboard box lined with aluminum foil. Place a pan of water in it and leave it in the sun. On bright days it reaches just short of boiling temp. Really cuts down on cooking time.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Sanne on April 12, 2018, 05:57:18 AM
- Not eating animal products (not only today but every day)
- Biking to work
- Brought homemade vegan chocolate fairtrade treats to work for my colleagues
- Brought my outdoor cardigan to a tailor to get it fixed (needs a new zipper)
- Brought my lunch to work in a reusable bag
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on April 12, 2018, 08:48:07 AM
- Not eating animal products (not only today but every day)
- Biking to work
- Brought homemade vegan chocolate fairtrade treats to work for my colleagues
- Brought my outdoor cardigan to a tailor to get it fixed (needs a new zipper)
- Brought my lunch to work in a reusable bag

+1 this list is impressive
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Drew0311 on April 13, 2018, 06:58:33 AM
All of my trips in town are by ebike. I have a utility trailer for groceries and larger stuff and I recharge the battery with solar panels.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on April 13, 2018, 03:14:05 PM
I read a NYTimes article about a doctor who picked up almost $100/year from walking through the park. Inspiration!

You intrigued me. Looked it up. So cool.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/23/coin-drop

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 13, 2018, 10:13:51 PM
Ended up having to buy some baby clothes new (got as many hand-me-downs as we could via Buy Nothing but did not strike gold; still had to acquire quite a few things in the next size for winter. No baby clothes at all in any of my local op shops!). We took reusable grocery bags to pack our purchases. I'm used to bringing my own bags for groceries but don't really think about it for "stuff" shopping (mostly because I just avoid shopping at all costs).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on April 13, 2018, 10:29:35 PM
Ended up having to buy some baby clothes new (got as many hand-me-downs as we could via Buy Nothing but did not strike gold; still had to acquire quite a few things in the next size for winter. No baby clothes at all in any of my local op shops!). We took reusable grocery bags to pack our purchases. I'm used to bringing my own bags for groceries but don't really think about it for "stuff" shopping (mostly because I just avoid shopping at all costs).

I tried to take some baby toys to Vinnie's as a favour for someone and they wouldn't have them. Cited hygiene. I wonder if it's put people off donating anything baby. They did take the clothes off me and some scruffy books, a bunch of CDs but turned their nose up at many useful bits. Got rid of it all on FB so it didn't go in the bin.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 13, 2018, 10:57:03 PM
Ended up having to buy some baby clothes new (got as many hand-me-downs as we could via Buy Nothing but did not strike gold; still had to acquire quite a few things in the next size for winter. No baby clothes at all in any of my local op shops!). We took reusable grocery bags to pack our purchases. I'm used to bringing my own bags for groceries but don't really think about it for "stuff" shopping (mostly because I just avoid shopping at all costs).

I tried to take some baby toys to Vinnie's as a favour for someone and they wouldn't have them. Cited hygiene. I wonder if it's put people off donating anything baby. They did take the clothes off me and some scruffy books, a bunch of CDs but turned their nose up at many useful bits. Got rid of it all on FB so it didn't go in the bin.

It makes me wonder what volume of baby clothing ends up in landfill :-(
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on April 14, 2018, 05:07:54 AM
Ended up having to buy some baby clothes new (got as many hand-me-downs as we could via Buy Nothing but did not strike gold; still had to acquire quite a few things in the next size for winter. No baby clothes at all in any of my local op shops!). We took reusable grocery bags to pack our purchases. I'm used to bringing my own bags for groceries but don't really think about it for "stuff" shopping (mostly because I just avoid shopping at all costs).

I tried to take some baby toys to Vinnie's as a favour for someone and they wouldn't have them. Cited hygiene. I wonder if it's put people off donating anything baby. They did take the clothes off me and some scruffy books, a bunch of CDs but turned their nose up at many useful bits. Got rid of it all on FB so it didn't go in the bin.

I wonder if this is just St. Vinnie's.   I could swear I have seen baby clothes at Goodwill?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 14, 2018, 05:12:38 AM
Ended up having to buy some baby clothes new (got as many hand-me-downs as we could via Buy Nothing but did not strike gold; still had to acquire quite a few things in the next size for winter. No baby clothes at all in any of my local op shops!). We took reusable grocery bags to pack our purchases. I'm used to bringing my own bags for groceries but don't really think about it for "stuff" shopping (mostly because I just avoid shopping at all costs).

I tried to take some baby toys to Vinnie's as a favour for someone and they wouldn't have them. Cited hygiene. I wonder if it's put people off donating anything baby. They did take the clothes off me and some scruffy books, a bunch of CDs but turned their nose up at many useful bits. Got rid of it all on FB so it didn't go in the bin.

I wonder if this is just St. Vinnie's.   I could swear I have seen baby clothes at Goodwill?

No Goodwill in my city / country.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on April 14, 2018, 05:57:34 AM
Ended up having to buy some baby clothes new (got as many hand-me-downs as we could via Buy Nothing but did not strike gold; still had to acquire quite a few things in the next size for winter. No baby clothes at all in any of my local op shops!). We took reusable grocery bags to pack our purchases. I'm used to bringing my own bags for groceries but don't really think about it for "stuff" shopping (mostly because I just avoid shopping at all costs).

I tried to take some baby toys to Vinnie's as a favour for someone and they wouldn't have them. Cited hygiene. I wonder if it's put people off donating anything baby. They did take the clothes off me and some scruffy books, a bunch of CDs but turned their nose up at many useful bits. Got rid of it all on FB so it didn't go in the bin.

I wonder if this is just St. Vinnie's.   I could swear I have seen baby clothes at Goodwill?

No Goodwill in my city / country.

Got it!  I was interested when you mentioned Vinnie's, as I grew up with those in the midwest US.   But I have not seen any Vinnie's since I moved to the east coast . . . Regional thing I guess.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on April 15, 2018, 03:12:35 AM
This is from a couple of days ago. We stayed in a cabin in a caravan park for the better part of a week on holidays. We made the mistake of grocery shopping while hungry and overestimated how much we’d actually cook.

Instead of throwing out a bag of veggies (or trying to transport it home in a hot cramped car over several days and it all going off), I put it all in a bag and went for a wander. Found a young family camping nearby and asked if they’d like our veggies.

They said yes and seemed very happy to have them! So I saved some food waste and hopefully saved a young family a few dollars.

Which reminds me: before we went away I managed to run down our perishables almost completely except for garlic. So our friend got a small bag of garlic with her birthday present the night before we left on our holiday.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 15, 2018, 12:29:18 PM
We heard on TV that biologically degradable plastic bags often don't degrade in a composting bin. They need a lot of hest, which is only retrieved in a professional garbage factory.
We noticed that the bags in our compost bin don't degrade fast enough. When we take out the composted earth at the end of the season, there are still grey plastic strips. From now on we will thow away the green stuff without the bag. We placed a separate container for the bags beside the compost bin, so that it is easy to throw away the bag.
I fished a pile of half degraded plastic bags out of the top layer of compost.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on April 15, 2018, 10:52:36 PM
* Brought reusable shopping bags and produce bags to grocery shop. Bought milk in reusable glass bottles.

* Drank the juice of a blood orange that we grew in our very own yard. The tree has taken years to produce any substantial fruit crop but it's pretty darn tasty.

* We have a outdoor faucet that drips. Placed one of our potted pineapples and a native tree under there to absorb the drips, and then put the watering can under to collect more from around the yard. I've noticed goldfinches perch on the watering can and drink the water!

* Watered herb bed with greywater runoff from sink/dishwasher/laundry.

* Collected and crushed wind-blown leaves for mulch.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on April 16, 2018, 03:20:10 AM
Not from today, but we received the water bill today.

We did some DIY this winter and found a few small leaks in our pipes. We fixed them and now our water bill is 17% lower! That's only €5/month, but it's a lot of water saved. We have also installed a water saving toilet, so I hope to be able to reduce our bills even further in the future.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on April 16, 2018, 05:07:38 AM
Not from today, but we received the water bill today.

We did some DIY this winter and found a few small leaks in our pipes. We fixed them and now our water bill is 17% lower! That's only €5/month, but it's a lot of water saved. We have also installed a water saving toilet, so I hope to be able to reduce our bills even further in the future.

That's great Imma!  Congrats!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Astatine on April 16, 2018, 06:22:41 PM
Yesterday DH and I bought some new clothes from a vintage/secondhand clothes shop.

He got a shirt that he should be able to wear to work and some cuff links (looked new and were about half the price of ones we’ve seen in department stores).

I got an A-line long wool jacket for winter (and if I end up not wearing it, DH is happy to have it). And I got a gorgeous waistcoat.

All of it was in as-new condition. Huzzah!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 17, 2018, 12:15:44 AM
Walked to and from my brother's house instead of driving.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on April 17, 2018, 06:41:00 AM
Used up overripe bananas and sour milk by making muffins. Greased the pan with butter instead of using liners.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on April 17, 2018, 12:27:43 PM
Walked to the post office instead of adding distance to my work drive. Plus, bonus exercise!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: JimLahey on April 18, 2018, 11:31:01 PM
I went fishing for a bit today but it was crazy windy. So I actually spent most of my time picking up trash around the area I was fishing. Ended up with a plastic grocery bag full mostly of beer cans and plastic liquor bottles. I once stumbled upon a geocache in the same area while picking up trash.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 19, 2018, 12:33:56 PM
Went for a walk in the neighbourhood this evening, and yesterday, and picked up some garbage.

At work we have a perforator that worked really badly. I though I had to order a new one. But then I asked the janitor to grease it. Now it works fine again.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 19, 2018, 12:36:49 PM
DH just had an operation in a hospital 1,5 hour driving from home. He is not allowed to drive home. I had planned to pick him up tomorrow. But he said he is feeling so well now that he is planning to take the train home.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on April 19, 2018, 12:49:23 PM
DH just had an operation in a hospital 1,5 hour driving from home. He is not allowed to drive home. I had planned to pick him up tomorrow. But he said he is feeling so well now that he is planning to take the train home.

Did he have surgery for the heart issue you have discussed on here? I'm glad to hear he's feeling well now, I hope he's going to feel a lot better now.

It kind of sounds like he's planning to take the train on his own. I would check with the hospital if they're willing to let him go home alone. A few years back I had a (relatively minor) surgery that required an overnight stay. I was going to take the bus home the next day, but the hospital said I'd have to stay another night if I planned on travelling home alone. I also felt well, the bus ride was 45 minutes and the stop right in front of my house, but the hospital still wasn't comfortable with it. I guess legally they wouldn't have been able to force me to stay another night, but I called around and in the end found someone willing to give me a ride home. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 19, 2018, 01:18:11 PM
DH just had an operation in a hospital 1,5 hour driving from home. He is not allowed to drive home. I had planned to pick him up tomorrow. But he said he is feeling so well now that he is planning to take the train home.

Did he have surgery for the heart issue you have discussed on here? I'm glad to hear he's feeling well now, I hope he's going to feel a lot better now.

It kind of sounds like he's planning to take the train on his own. I would check with the hospital if they're willing to let him go home alone. A few years back I had a (relatively minor) surgery that required an overnight stay. I was going to take the bus home the next day, but the hospital said I'd have to stay another night if I planned on travelling home alone. I also felt well, the bus ride was 45 minutes and the stop right in front of my house, but the hospital still wasn't comfortable with it. I guess legally they wouldn't have been able to force me to stay another night, but I called around and in the end found someone willing to give me a ride home.

Yes, it is that heart surgery. I will warn him to ask the hospital explisitely. I don't feel like asking them behind his back.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: whitewaterchica on April 19, 2018, 02:49:00 PM
These comments are so enjoyable to read. I walk 5-6 days per week, taking various routes through my town. The last couple weeks I've starting picking up the misc garbage and recycling that tends to get blown out of cans on windy days.

Confirmed that my new office mate knows where the recycling cans are and emphasized that we are big in recycling (he throws his recycling in his trash can daily). The majority of us use reusable water bottles and coffee/tea mugs but he is a 10 cup of coffee, take a new paper cup each time, plus 3 plastic water bottles a day kind of a guy so I likely wasted my breath. Oh well.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on April 19, 2018, 03:19:33 PM
That sucks. My new thing is to let people know that all the plastic they ever used still exists.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 19, 2018, 06:54:00 PM
My new thing is to let people know that all the plastic they ever used still exists.

I needed to read this today - illness has lead to far more plastic usage (primarily food packaging) than usual for our household.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on April 19, 2018, 07:29:39 PM
My new thing is to let people know that all the plastic they ever used still exists.

I needed to read this today - illness has lead to far more plastic usage (primarily food packaging) than usual for our household.

I think you get a pass right now. Single use stuff for sick, injured or disabled people, and for hospitals & clinics, is totally ok in my book! The rest of the developed world just needs to slow the fuck down and take a look.

eta: #slowthefuckdown - the slow movement with a bit more bite.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 20, 2018, 01:11:15 AM
These comments are so enjoyable to read. I walk 5-6 days per week, taking various routes through my town. The last couple weeks I've starting picking up the misc garbage and recycling that tends to get blown out of cans on windy days.

Confirmed that my new office mate knows where the recycling cans are and emphasized that we are big in recycling (he throws his recycling in his trash can daily). The majority of us use reusable water bottles and coffee/tea mugs but he is a 10 cup of coffee, take a new paper cup each time, plus 3 plastic water bottles a day kind of a guy so I likely wasted my breath. Oh well.

Our customers who visited our office the last few days, grabbed a paper cup and wrote their initials on it. And kept using the same cup the whole day. They are well trained. :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on April 20, 2018, 04:53:45 AM
My new thing is to let people know that all the plastic they ever used still exists.

I needed to read this today - illness has lead to far more plastic usage (primarily food packaging) than usual for our household.

I think you get a pass right now. Single use stuff for sick, injured or disabled people, and for hospitals & clinics, is totally ok in my book! The rest of the developed world just needs to slow the fuck down and take a look.

eta: #slowthefuckdown - the slow movement with a bit more bite.

Agreed. It is ENTIRELY appropriate for your situation.

I'm currently trying to plan ahead for late pregnancy and the first few weeks with a newborn to keep the packaging from getting out of control. But I, you know, have had notice and time to plan. That doesn't necessarily happen with illness.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 22, 2018, 05:44:01 AM
I have realised all over again that my menstrual is so much more convenient than the disposable pads and tampons I used before. Making the switch to cloth pads and a menstrual cup was daunting, but I'm so glad I did.

On that topic, today:
Used my menstrual cup and cloth pads.
Baby is in cloth nappies.
Cooked from unpackaged ingredients.
Washed clothes in cold water and line dried them.
Turned off the retic now that we're finally getting some rain.
Shifted potted plants to catch the rain.
Used warming up water from the shower to water plants that never get rained on.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on April 22, 2018, 05:59:32 AM
I have realised all over again that my menstrual is so much more convenient than the disposable pads and tampons I used before. Making the switch to cloth pads and a menstrual cup was daunting, but I'm so glad I did.

On that topic, today:
Used my menstrual cup and cloth pads.

Ohh never realized how using the cup was also an environmental win. Used mine for the whole past week and it's soooo much better than tampons. I still have friends who say they find it gross, but I find tampons much much more gross!

I also went to the market yesterday and got quite some unpacked veggies.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on April 22, 2018, 06:42:59 AM
I have realised all over again that my menstrual is so much more convenient than the disposable pads and tampons I used before. Making the switch to cloth pads and a menstrual cup was daunting, but I'm so glad I did.

On that topic, today:
Used my menstrual cup and cloth pads.

Ohh never realized how using the cup was also an environmental win. Used mine for the whole past week and it's soooo much better than tampons. I still have friends who say they find it gross, but I find tampons much much more gross!

I also went to the market yesterday and got quite some unpacked veggies.

I post this literally every time anyone in any forum/FB post mentions their menstrual cup, lol. 

I feel like my cramps are at least 10x better with a cup than they were with a tampon.  The whole process is far more manageable for me, and the cup lasts so much longer between changes than tampons do!  I recommend them to EVERYONE.  I've had my cups for far longer than the manufacturer recommends (>10 years), but they are still clean and perfectly usable.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 22, 2018, 07:18:41 PM
I have realised all over again that my menstrual is so much more convenient than the disposable pads and tampons I used before. Making the switch to cloth pads and a menstrual cup was daunting, but I'm so glad I did.

On that topic, today:
Used my menstrual cup and cloth pads.

Ohh never realized how using the cup was also an environmental win. Used mine for the whole past week and it's soooo much better than tampons. I still have friends who say they find it gross, but I find tampons much much more gross!

I also went to the market yesterday and got quite some unpacked veggies.

I post this literally every time anyone in any forum/FB post mentions their menstrual cup, lol. 

I feel like my cramps are at least 10x better with a cup than they were with a tampon.  The whole process is far more manageable for me, and the cup lasts so much longer between changes than tampons do!  I recommend them to EVERYONE.  I've had my cups for far longer than the manufacturer recommends (>10 years), but they are still clean and perfectly usable.

It's the long lasting bit that really does it for me - I LOVE not having to worry about emptying my cup for twelve hours at a time. I sleep so much better than I do wearing a pad. It's just awesome!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on April 22, 2018, 10:45:59 PM
Car-free weekend!

I, too, used a menstrual cup!

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 23, 2018, 02:12:51 AM
I have probably written it here before. We have a project where we receive warm water from the neighbours who produce this with their mountain warmth pump. There are supposed to be solar panels set up as well, but after 2,5 years, these are still not in place. Maybe this summer, but I've heard this before...

We have been running the project the whole winter. When we started in October, the water entering our house was 32C. This went into our CV kettle that has a lowest temperature of 30C. So in October, the CV kettle didn't have to work to warm up the water for the floor heating. Unfortunately, the shower water is not going through the same system and needs to be warmed up seperately.
But as the days got colder, the water entering our house got colder. At the coldest, it was down at 25C, while 26C was very common. This water was warmed up by our kettle to 30C and then sent in the floor.
As long as we took care the thermostat didn't switch off, the water we returned was colder than the water coming in. We put the thermostat on 23C (much too warm for our house), and the house got 18C at max in practice.

Yesterday we finally had a meeting with the neighbours about this system. We told our experiences. Turns out the neighbour has been receiving 32-33C warm water into his house. While our water was down to 26C. And it is coming from the same large tank. Something weird was going in. So we did a test with changed water pressure and putting the pump higher. That worked, the water into our house changed to 32C.

It is a pity that we didn't have a meeting earlier. It didn't help that the neighbour who has this system in his house was living in south America for the last half year. So there was no one around who actually understood the system. But at least now, we find that now (when the weather is a lot warmer than in the winter) the system works well, with 2 of the 3 houses connected. But we still don't know who it will work when all 3 houses are connected and lived in and it is a proper winter.

Because we have been receiving so little warm water, which was so cold, the neighbours have decided that we didn't have to pay for this winter.

We saved 17% of our energy bill. We presume that the warmth pump at the neighbour's house uses less than our saved amount to warm up the water. When the solar panels ever are in place, this should be the main heating source in all months except for November to February.

I really want this to work, as it will make our house a lot more energy efficient. When we sell it (in a year or 2 when we start FIRE, hopefully), we can also sell it as a house with a (partly) green energy solution.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 23, 2018, 02:17:00 AM
I have realised all over again that my menstrual is so much more convenient than the disposable pads and tampons I used before. Making the switch to cloth pads and a menstrual cup was daunting, but I'm so glad I did.

On that topic, today:
Used my menstrual cup and cloth pads.

Ohh never realized how using the cup was also an environmental win. Used mine for the whole past week and it's soooo much better than tampons. I still have friends who say they find it gross, but I find tampons much much more gross!

I also went to the market yesterday and got quite some unpacked veggies.

I post this literally every time anyone in any forum/FB post mentions their menstrual cup, lol. 

I feel like my cramps are at least 10x better with a cup than they were with a tampon.  The whole process is far more manageable for me, and the cup lasts so much longer between changes than tampons do!  I recommend them to EVERYONE.  I've had my cups for far longer than the manufacturer recommends (>10 years), but they are still clean and perfectly usable.

It's the long lasting bit that really does it for me - I LOVE not having to worry about emptying my cup for twelve hours at a time. I sleep so much better than I do wearing a pad. It's just awesome!

I have also converted to the combination of cloth pads and cup. The cup is great at night and doesn't leak like any type of pad does. But I don't want to use it at work, even though we have many handicap toilets with water in the cubicle. I have also noticed it fills up quickly when I'm hiking in the forest. So I don't want to rely on it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on April 23, 2018, 01:39:06 PM
Yesterday I was in the garage, about to throw out my bike tire (bulging sidewall after three years of service) when I looked down at the old belt that I had tossed in the trash earlier that morning.  Pulled the belt buckle off, used some tin snips to cut my bike tire into a long strip roughly the same width and length as the ruined leather belt, drilled some holes at appropriate locations . . .

Today I'm wearing a cool looking, comfortable belt.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fishindude on April 25, 2018, 10:55:04 AM
Planted six Persimmon trees on the back forty near the pond.  Should be an excellent wildlife food source sometime in the future.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 30, 2018, 12:27:32 PM
Visiting a shop that we usually don't visit because it is out of our route. We found another shop in the same chain at a convenient place along the route we drove today for another purpose.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 30, 2018, 05:21:51 PM
We're having issues with Baby Ewok wetting straight through his nappies, and Mr Happier has been musing on the possibility of switching to disposables during the day (we already use a disposable overnight). I showed him this image yesterday and his immediate response was "shit, no way we can switch to disposables and do THAT". Crisis averted.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Frugal Lizard on April 30, 2018, 06:58:34 PM
We're having issues with Baby Ewok wetting straight through his nappies, and Mr Happier has been musing on the possibility of switching to disposables during the day (we already use a disposable overnight). I showed him this image yesterday and his immediate response was "shit, no way we can switch to disposables and do THAT". Crisis averted.
Might be time to change the size or design of the diaper.  We had to make adjustments a couple of times with each kid to prevent the leaks.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on May 01, 2018, 07:06:51 AM
We're having issues with Baby Ewok wetting straight through his nappies, and Mr Happier has been musing on the possibility of switching to disposables during the day (we already use a disposable overnight). I showed him this image yesterday and his immediate response was "shit, no way we can switch to disposables and do THAT". Crisis averted.
Might be time to change the size or design of the diaper.  We had to make adjustments a couple of times with each kid to prevent the leaks.

I recently started doubling up on inserts because our toddler is peeing through too.  The only problem is that he seems fairly susceptible to diaper rashes, and DH doesn't change him often enough in reusables, so then we go back to disposables so we can use the super-effective rash cream :(  The same thing happens at daycare, so we're only using cloth 3 days a week, and that picture @HappierAtHome posted makes my brain hurt.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on May 01, 2018, 09:08:23 AM
I pulled apart my winter bike hubs this year to discover that the grease had mostly washed out and the cones were slightly pitted.  I removed one cone easily and replaced it, but the other one is welded on with corrosion.  Checked everwhere for spare parts but couldn't find them for the hub (some kind of generic asian one.  Rather than throw it out, I attached the axle with the stuck cone it to my trusty cordless drill busted out some sandpaper of varying grits, and spent a few hours sanding the cone smooth again.  After re-assembling the hub, it spins beautifully now and hopefully I'll get another winter out of it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 03, 2018, 06:59:39 PM
This morning I asked a local independent grocery shop whether they would start stocking more packaging-free lines. They said they're working on it!! This is the only place I can get unpackaged nuts, beans etc anywhere near home, so if they keep moving towards plastic-free that will be fantastic for me.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 03, 2018, 07:18:02 PM
Request for help: I need to buy bigger inserts for my cloth nappies and am looking for alternatives to my current brand, that will work with my shells. Some light googling has not brought up other brands of cloth nappies with inserts I can snap into my shells. My inserts are as per the attached picture, with a snap at each end, and they are sized. All I want is sized inserts with a snap at each end. Anyone know a brand off the top of their head?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on May 06, 2018, 06:37:54 AM
Request for help: I need to buy bigger inserts for my cloth nappies and am looking for alternatives to my current brand, that will work with my shells. Some light googling has not brought up other brands of cloth nappies with inserts I can snap into my shells. My inserts are as per the attached picture, with a snap at each end, and they are sized. All I want is sized inserts with a snap at each end. Anyone know a brand off the top of their head?

@HappierAtHome Do you have to have snaps?  A lot of inserts will stay in place once they're on the baby, it just takes a little bit longer to get them on.  What kind of shells do you have? 

From a quick Googling, here in the US Alvababy and Lalabye diapers have sized inserts with snaps.  The Alvababy inserts have snaps only on one end, and the Lalaybe have a larger insert with snaps on both ends, and a doubler with one snap that you can add to the first insert.  I have mostly pocket diapers - more pricy, but I find stuffing them to be pretty easy/relaxing.

Other thought - could you just get a snap fastener tool and add snaps to inserts that are the right size?  I'd never considered it before, but the snaps are the same type you see on the fronts of most PUL diapers.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on May 06, 2018, 06:39:36 AM
I made yogurt this weekend!  We've started getting milk delivered, and we're getting WAY too much, so I decided to try, and it actually worked!  Flavored with some blackberry jam I made last year, it's pretty good.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hula Hoop on May 06, 2018, 06:42:15 AM
I used the chicken stock that I made earlier in the week with the leftover bones from a roast chicken to make a soup for lunch.  I also talked my husband out of going out for pizza last night just because he didn't feel like cooking even though we have a fridge full of food.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 06, 2018, 07:52:23 PM
Request for help: I need to buy bigger inserts for my cloth nappies and am looking for alternatives to my current brand, that will work with my shells. Some light googling has not brought up other brands of cloth nappies with inserts I can snap into my shells. My inserts are as per the attached picture, with a snap at each end, and they are sized. All I want is sized inserts with a snap at each end. Anyone know a brand off the top of their head?

@HappierAtHome Do you have to have snaps?  A lot of inserts will stay in place once they're on the baby, it just takes a little bit longer to get them on.  What kind of shells do you have? 

From a quick Googling, here in the US Alvababy and Lalabye diapers have sized inserts with snaps.  The Alvababy inserts have snaps only on one end, and the Lalaybe have a larger insert with snaps on both ends, and a doubler with one snap that you can add to the first insert.  I have mostly pocket diapers - more pricy, but I find stuffing them to be pretty easy/relaxing.

Other thought - could you just get a snap fastener tool and add snaps to inserts that are the right size?  I'd never considered it before, but the snaps are the same type you see on the fronts of most PUL diapers.

Thanks chaskavitch! I have Best Bottoms shells, which are basically a PUL nappy cover with snaps at each end for the insert.

I will totally consider adding snaps if I can find the right size (HUGE) inserts without snaps. Better still, a Perth MMMer has offered to lend me her snap press if I do that. Right now I'm weighing up whether it would actually be cheaper to sew my own inserts rather than buy the extra large Best Bottoms ones, or buy another brand and add snaps... and weighing up how many spoons (energy units) it would take, too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 06, 2018, 07:53:35 PM
I have been planning to dig up my strawberry plants for some time, but wanted to wait until I found someone who would take them. A friend mentioned she wants to try growing strawberries - perfect!! No need for the plants to go to waste.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MrDelane on May 06, 2018, 08:16:17 PM
We used to go through a lot of sandwich sized ziploc bags.
Anytime we had a bit of leftover whatever, it went into a plastic bag.
And, most of the time, once that leftover was eaten (within just a few days) then the bag went in the trash.

We use some tupperware, but never seemed to have enough of the right size. Well, we got a set of small mason jars which we are using in place of ziplock bags. It's only been a week and we already see the difference.

And, bonus, since they're glass and sit vertically in the fridge its MUCH easier to see what we have.

Hopefully this is just the first step in significantly reducing our plastic consumption.

EDITED TO ADD:
I should probably mention that I never would have thought about it if it hadn't been for this site.  So thank you to this community for opening my eyes a bit more.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on May 06, 2018, 09:36:54 PM
* Harvested some Swiss chard from the backyard for dinner, used it as the greens in this one-skillet sweet potato-bean dish we like.

* Decanted a 3L jar of citrus vinegar to use for cleaning
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 07, 2018, 12:04:00 AM
Walked to work and will walk back again this afternoon.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: BookLoverL on May 07, 2018, 02:51:14 AM
I've been doing some weeding in advance of planting my vegetable garden this year. Delicious herbicide-and-pesticide-free produce with no shipping miles, you say? Mmm...

I persuaded my mum to buy British-grown red cabbage instead of Savoy cabbage from Spain, which I'm sure would have more air miles to it.

On Saturday I walked the half an hour to the village pop-up cafe event instead of driving there (5 mins each way) and using up the fuel.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 08, 2018, 12:19:16 AM
Working my way through the freezer contents to make sure we use everything in a timely fashion to minimise food waste.

Making baby food (finger foods and purees) from unpackaged ingredients.

Baby and I are both dressed warmly so we don't have to put the heater on (our house gets COLD in Autumn and Winter).

As always, cloth nappies.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: TheWifeHalf on May 08, 2018, 12:07:11 PM
I dug up 54 dandelions instead of using chemicals
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HouseofLife on May 09, 2018, 12:43:17 PM
Awesome thread! Today I:

Rode my bike to work (about 1.6 miles to and from work)

Made my own coffee in the morning, reducing the need for a cup of coffee at the store.

Left the light off at the office and let natural light come in (feels healthier!)

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: dashuk on May 09, 2018, 01:36:03 PM
Off work sick today. To pass the time after I eventually dragged myself out of bed around lunchtime I sat and fixed three t-shirts that had started to come apart at various seams and replaced the velcro fly on a pair of board shorts. All back into circulation rather than needing to be replaced.

However I am currently more proud of the fact OH has just trundled off with the bike trailer to pick up a huge load of used kids clothes. Putting the kids in used clothes and then passing them on again afterwards is of course good in itself,  but while OH rides quite a lot, it's usually with me rather than alone, and I usually do the hauling of stuff. If I wasn't sick, I'd probably have done this trip. In the circumstances she could easily have decided to take the car. Did I mention that it's a ten mile round trip and it started drizzling just as we got the bike out? Reasonable badassity upgrade in my opinion.

Also this week, we (read: she) has managed to find a different cloth nappy/diaper setup that works overnight for both kids. We've mostly used cloth with both in the daytime, but wound up using disposables overnight. Should now be down to just using disposables for holidays where we don't have access to a washing machine (camping).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on May 10, 2018, 08:52:30 PM
Walked two miles each way to get the kiddos from school.

Made a flower arrangement for the dinner table from what's growing in our backyard rather than buying a bouquet grown far away and shipped in by truck
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 12, 2018, 01:03:34 AM
We decided not to buy any decorations, party favours etc for the small afternoon tea we're hosting for Baby Ewok's first birthday. Today on Buy Nothing a gorgeous gold "one" balloon popped up - going to landfill if no-one wanted it. Perfect! I don't ever want to buy another balloon in my life now that I know how terrible they are for the environment, but reusing one that would otherwise be thrown out really appeals to me. I expect I can find another home for it afterwards, too!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on May 12, 2018, 01:24:55 AM
We decided not to buy any decorations, party favours etc for the small afternoon tea we're hosting for Baby Ewok's first birthday. Today on Buy Nothing a gorgeous gold "one" balloon popped up - going to landfill if no-one wanted it. Perfect! I don't ever want to buy another balloon in my life now that I know how terrible they are for the environment, but reusing one that would otherwise be thrown out really appeals to me. I expect I can find another home for it afterwards, too!

Yes I always see occasion balloons being given away, what a score!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on May 12, 2018, 01:25:56 AM
We decided not to buy any decorations, party favours etc for the small afternoon tea we're hosting for Baby Ewok's first birthday. Today on Buy Nothing a gorgeous gold "one" balloon popped up - going to landfill if no-one wanted it. Perfect! I don't ever want to buy another balloon in my life now that I know how terrible they are for the environment, but reusing one that would otherwise be thrown out really appeals to me. I expect I can find another home for it afterwards, too!

Such an amazing coincidence! Love those giveaway groups on Facebook.
And good job on not buying any decorations  single use decorations are so bad, so unnecessary and such an easily avoidable category of waste. Hope more people will follow your example!

I've eaten vegetarian and mostly vegan for the past weeks.

Walked to work (instead of biking so no environmental win there)

Haven't heated my place since April or so?

Barely use the light as the sun is up from 5.30 AM till 9 PM.

My roommates are kinda bad leaving the kitchen and hallway lights on 24/7, so I turn them off whenever I walk through the house.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on May 12, 2018, 05:47:34 AM
I'm staying home today to work on some coursework, with a few books borrowed from the libary and many digital files downloaded from the online library. I have not printed a single thing and I won't even have to print this essay once it's finished. Back when I first went to uni, I remember I looked up physical magazines quite a lot and copied articles. Everyone did that even though many publications were already available online: we simply didn't have a device to bring with us to class to store it on and internet connections at home were slow. I'm not even 30 yet but when I first went to uni laptops weren't common and I don't think smartphones actually existed. Everyone used pens and paper. Writing essays has become a lot more convenient now I have a fast laptop on my kitchen table and almost every publication you need available online.

I did two loads of laundry and line dried them. Will hopefully do some mending tonight. I've ripped the only pair of jeans I have left and even though the fabric is getting really thin, hopefully mending them will allow me to wear them for another month or so. I ride my bike a lot so jeans wear out quite fast. I get all my jeans secondhand and generally wear them out in about 6 months. I haven't had time to go thrift shopping for new-to-me jeans yet. It always amazes me how many women get rid of barely worn jeans from expensive brands.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on May 12, 2018, 06:00:36 AM
Oh Imma it's actually really good that you avoid printing stuff. I'm still really bad at that. I just prefer paper so much compared to reading from a screen. I also can't get myself to getting an e-reader no matter in how many ways it is more convenient than regular books. And reading academic papers on my laptop is horror due to my endless ways to distract myself online. Just having it printed out in front of me while all electronics are off ensures that I'll actually read it.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on May 12, 2018, 09:39:53 AM
Meal planned and batch cooked to reduce food waste. Shopped at our farmer's market to reduce food miles. Picked up our weekly milk delivery (in glass!) and chatted with the dairy farmer about how to make homemade cottage cheese with the milk leftover from last week. I love living in an area with a robust agricultural community!

Checked out two ebooks from the library to read on my Kindle.

DH is cutting the grass with our reel mower.

This afternoon I'm going to do shorten the sleeves on a long-sleeved maternity dress so I can continue wearing it for the remainder of my pregnancy. More wardrobe options (and less laundry) with zero extra resource use. The cut-off sleeves will go into my scrap bin for kid sewing.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on May 12, 2018, 10:17:42 AM
Oh Imma it's actually really good that you avoid printing stuff. I'm still really bad at that. I just prefer paper so much compared to reading from a screen. I also can't get myself to getting an e-reader no matter in how many ways it is more convenient than regular books. And reading academic papers on my laptop is horror due to my endless ways to distract myself online. Just having it printed out in front of me while all electronics are off ensures that I'll actually read it.

It took some training for me as well, but there are clear advantages too, like using ctrl-f to search for the exact piece of information you need. I don't have an e-reader, I read articles on my laptop (I download the pdf, I get distracted when I read it straight from the browser). I have a free app on my phone that I use to read novels on the train.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on May 12, 2018, 03:48:51 PM
My chickens bed down in paper shredding from my office, which then goes on the compost and finally the garden. The chickens clean up the food the cat leaves, and any other leftovers, and turn it into eggs.

I reuse jars, plastic bags etc etc.

Most of my environmental impact stuff is because I'm cheap, not because I'm environmentally aware!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on May 12, 2018, 08:18:11 PM
* Old-fashioned all-metal safety razor

* Cloth diapers, working on potty-training the baby

* Cooked at home

* Bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic handle

* Bar soap instead of plastic-bottled "body wash"
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on May 16, 2018, 07:32:58 AM
Today I:
- line dried a load of washing
- used some cloth nappies
- fed toddler "big people" food, mostly leftovers including rice, lentils, banana, hummus and crackers... Actually, I think today we were vegetarian!
- Enjoyed the pleasant weather!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on May 16, 2018, 10:42:04 AM
These comments are so enjoyable to read. I walk 5-6 days per week, taking various routes through my town. The last couple weeks I've starting picking up the misc garbage and recycling that tends to get blown out of cans on windy days.

Confirmed that my new office mate knows where the recycling cans are and emphasized that we are big in recycling (he throws his recycling in his trash can daily). The majority of us use reusable water bottles and coffee/tea mugs but he is a 10 cup of coffee, take a new paper cup each time, plus 3 plastic water bottles a day kind of a guy so I likely wasted my breath. Oh well.

How about getting him a beautiful new mug of his own at some point? Or a reusable water bottle with his name on it? I wouldn't give it as a pointed hint, but at some point when it seems reasonable to celebrate (like his birthday, minor promotion, or anniversary of his arrival)? Or give out free mugs/water bottles to a group of people and he gets one too?

In other words, you can't force him to reuse, but maybe if using a mug/bottle makes him feel good he will start.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on May 16, 2018, 06:39:06 PM
Cargo bike 4 miles round trip to pick up the kids from school. I think I found the route I can do without the elevation rise killing me while pushing three kids. (The big one should be able to ride by himself. Working on it.)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on May 18, 2018, 11:48:26 AM
Refused a straw today
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Phryne on May 18, 2018, 06:13:06 PM
- not so small but including cause it makes me ridiculously happy: Paid the deposit on our Solar Panels!

- small: continuing to pick every tomato with a hint of ripening and bringing them inside to ripen by the window (this is impressive as in the Central Victorian Highlands we’re reaching max temps of about 12°C now, how are these plants still growing?!)

- small: about to walk to the farmers market for ethical pork.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on May 18, 2018, 06:30:55 PM
- not so small but including cause it makes me ridiculously happy: Paid the deposit on our Solar Panels!

Woo hoo!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Abe on May 18, 2018, 09:05:57 PM
Decided I'm just not going to use disposable plastic stuff anymore. No soda bottles, no straws, no disposable utensils. Read the latest National Geographic to see why.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on May 19, 2018, 03:12:47 AM
I had an old friend over for lunch, no cafe outing, I made delicious food and amazing brownie for us to share.

My partner has been taking our toddler to the toy library with Nana, so instead of buying toys he's getting a constant mix of cool new stuff that we don't have to store!

Hung washing to dry on the line.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on May 19, 2018, 10:09:21 PM
Decided I'm just not going to use disposable plastic stuff anymore. No soda bottles, no straws, no disposable utensils. Read the latest National Geographic to see why.

Book recommendations, in case you're interested: Zero-Waste Home by Bea Johnson, and Plastic-Free by Beth Terry

Ecological things:
* We had a royal-wedding viewing party at a friend's house. I made scones and coffee at home and brought them in reusable containers that I had purchased at a thrift shop.
* This afternoon walked to a coffee shop to work and got my coffee in a non-disposable ceramic mug.
* Cloth diapered the baby. She took herself to the potty two or three times today which saves on laundry!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on May 20, 2018, 01:28:31 AM
Paid 24 cents extra for my business ride to compensate CO2
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Poundwise on May 25, 2018, 09:33:04 AM
I'm really pleased with myself. I posted on a moms group for our school district to see if there was interest in petitioning for a safe walking route from the park to the school, and there has been a big response.  It wouldn't cost much for the town to draw a new crosswalk and some new lines indicating a pedestrian/bike path.

If this goes through, we could have 50 more kids a day walking instead of driving to and from school, for decades!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on May 25, 2018, 10:05:42 AM
Refused a straw today

The camel's back thanks you.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on May 25, 2018, 12:27:26 PM
Took my toddler son to a park with a splash pad to play today, and packed lunch in reusable containers and brought our own reusable water bottles. Took the apple cores home to compost. Green habits start young! :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on May 25, 2018, 07:04:19 PM
* Cargo biked the kids home from school twice this week.

* My daughter's speech therapy will be in walking/biking distance, so hopefully will keep a car off the road for transport to and from that.

* We haven't taken out the green bin in months because we compost all green waste on site, and we only take the blue recycling bin out every other week. Still working on reducing our non-recyclable trash. (We have a take-out food problem.)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on May 26, 2018, 01:56:54 AM
Plans for today:
- Doing laundry and drying it outside
- Mending some clothes
- Sewing a curtain from thrift shop fabric and thrift shop sewing thread
- Gardening - for years I've been working on killing off an invasive exotic plant and so far I'm doing better than most years.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hula Hoop on May 26, 2018, 05:55:44 AM
My kids made a "summer drink" when we got home after being outside - just OJ, pieces of sliced orange and ice.  Younger daughter asked why we couldn't have straws in our drinks and I explained that I no longer buy straws because of the environmental impact.  They just accepted it and moved on.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on May 26, 2018, 07:02:42 AM
I made a batch of muffins and froze them in a big tub with one layer of baking paper between instead of individually wrapping in cling wrap. I'll be carrying them in a lunchbox anyway, no need for the wrapping... And if it doesn't work, I'll buy a lunchbox with partitions and then it WILL work!

I also combined car trips so I only had to go out once this weekend.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: aetherie on May 26, 2018, 02:39:52 PM
It's Saturday and we haven't driven our car since Tuesday.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: okcisok on May 26, 2018, 05:58:02 PM
Realized a prescription would run out during the long holiday weekend. I already had my running shoes on to go to the gym.
The office is just under a mile away, so replaced my running shoes with flip-flops and rode my bike! Twenty minutes of exercise, and errand completed.

(Also a personal win about not procrastinating until the office was closed, feeling guilty all weekend about running out of meds, then a rushed trip on Tuesday morning. :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: okcisok on May 27, 2018, 11:08:06 AM
Rode my bike to the community garden to dump off a bag of compost. I live in an apartment, so it was real epiphany when I read (maybe here!) that I can put compostables in a bag in the freezer until I can get to a composter. No smell, no fuss, just a brick of vegetable peels and apple cores that fits handily in a paper grocery sack.

After I dumped the compost, I used the sack to collect cans I found in the street on my ride home. Exercise in the sunshine, less waste in the landfill, less trash in the street, and I made about $0.25. All the wins!

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Barbaebigode on June 01, 2018, 03:40:20 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

The research the guardian article is about is this (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 04, 2018, 02:27:37 AM
I planted beetroot, spinach and cos lettuce to be our leafy greens this winter (southern hemisphere, warm climate). Fingers crossed they grow! I may plant some in pots inside as well, on the kitchen bench to hedge my bets (pun intended).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on June 04, 2018, 04:08:50 AM
My cilantro, mint and basil plants are still going strong. Saving the plastic they're usually packed in when buying fresh herbs every time I pick them from my own plants :) :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 04, 2018, 05:35:41 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

The research the guardian article is about is this (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987).

I should avoid meat more often. We do eat vegetarian every now and then, but should do it more consequently, like every week. I try to prepare normal portions of meat though, like 100 gram per person.

Not eating or drinking dairy would be a big problem for me. I love milk, cheeses, yoghurt, creams. This would be a lot more challenging than not eating meat.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on June 04, 2018, 06:14:53 AM
I didn't let my MIL use paper plates for dinner for 4 people.  Mostly I don't understand why you would do that when we have a perfectly good, empty dishwasher.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on June 04, 2018, 08:20:13 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

The research the guardian article is about is this (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987).

I should avoid meat more often. We do eat vegetarian every now and then, but should do it more consequently, like every week. I try to prepare normal portions of meat though, like 100 gram per person.

Not eating or drinking dairy would be a big problem for me. I love milk, cheeses, yoghurt, creams. This would be a lot more challenging than not eating meat.

It depends on what your starting point is and what your meals generally look like. When I moved towards a more vegetarian diet I started out by replacing my morning milk by tea (now I dislike milk). Then I just refused to put meat on sandwiches and ate other stuff (cheese, peanut butter, jam etc) instead for breakfast.

Dinner was the hardest for me as I still lived with my parents and their diet was very traditionally Dutch potatoes-veggie-meat. However now I live by myself I greatly enjoy eating curries, vegetarian pastas and just any dish without meat (even potatoes/veggie ones!). For me it's hard to imagine why I would miss meat if I already have a delicious curry or chili or pasta with a wide variety of ingredients in it. Sure it can be nice, but why is it such a big deal to leave it out for so many people?

I'm mostly sad that cheese is one of the worst things - it's the hardest to give up for me :(
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on June 04, 2018, 09:59:24 PM
Decided I'm just not going to use disposable plastic stuff anymore. No soda bottles, no straws, no disposable utensils. Read the latest National Geographic to see why.

I think most of the content is online here if anybody wants to look:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/

(?)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on June 04, 2018, 10:10:15 PM
* Cargo biked our school run
* Line-dried a load of laundry
* Watered our roadside sycamore with graywater from the house
* Cloth-diapered the baby
* Made tea from loose-leaf tea rather than bagged tea (which may have some non-compostable packaging)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 05, 2018, 03:00:03 AM
Went on foot to work today. Will walk back as well.
Planning to walk to the train station on Thursday (half an hour one way).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on June 05, 2018, 10:01:13 AM
I just found the Trash is for Tossers website, and I'm seriously considering replacing all of my personal care products with things she sells as I run out.  Refillable floss,  refillable conditioner, shampoo bars, compostable hair ties.  And they all come in compostable packaging!  I've been looking for shampoo bars for so long, I'm pretty excited.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 06, 2018, 01:56:53 AM
Walked/ran to work today. Will walk back in the afternoon.

I need to get more into running regularly.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Phryne on June 06, 2018, 04:51:35 AM
I just found the Trash is for Tossers website, and I'm seriously considering replacing all of my personal care products with things she sells as I run out.  Refillable floss,  refillable conditioner, shampoo bars, compostable hair ties.  And they all come in compostable packaging!  I've been looking for shampoo bars for so long, I'm pretty excited.

I did similar to this last month! A local store here has bulk enviro friendly cleaning & care products, with minimal or refillable packaging (or byo, so you don’t need to purchase more plastic!) The shampoo is more exy than what I’d been using previously, but is divine. The dishwasher powder is hands down the best we’ve ever had- no caustic smell or squeaky plates and is lasting for ages so is better value than I realised. And I love supporting a local small business.

Small things-
- Ordered a local veggie box from a local not for profit now that our garden has slowed production. All sourced from farms within 40kms of my house!
- went for a run today, so no wine bottle in the recycling bin tonight. Am feeling extra virtuous!
- covered herbs with an old bedsheet to protect them from last night’s frost
- washing is drying on a rack in front of a sunny window

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on June 06, 2018, 06:30:44 AM
I just found the Trash is for Tossers website, and I'm seriously considering replacing all of my personal care products with things she sells as I run out.  Refillable floss,  refillable conditioner, shampoo bars, compostable hair ties.  And they all come in compostable packaging!  I've been looking for shampoo bars for so long, I'm pretty excited.

I did similar to this last month! A local store here has bulk enviro friendly cleaning & care products, with minimal or refillable packaging (or byo, so you don’t need to purchase more plastic!) The shampoo is more exy than what I’d been using previously, but is divine. The dishwasher powder is hands down the best we’ve ever had- no caustic smell or squeaky plates and is lasting for ages so is better value than I realised. And I love supporting a local small business.


I never even thought about local specialty stores!  We have a food co-op in town, and now that I've looked at their website, it appears they have shampoo, household items, olive oil, vanilla - all in bulk!  It is out of my way to shop there, but it sounds like it is absolutely worth looking into.  I'm so glad your comment made me think about them @Phryne !
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on June 07, 2018, 06:18:00 PM
Walked four miles down the creek path to meet a friend for lunch.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 08, 2018, 01:31:31 AM
Walked to work this morning and will walk back in the afternoon. Took the train to the city yesterday and did not take the car to the train station (but I was given a ride with neighbour's cars).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fomerly known as something on June 09, 2018, 07:05:23 AM
I had 2 family chair re-upholstered instead of buying new.  Of course I paid no mind to the fact I picked a pricey material but oh well.  two 40 year old chairs look new again.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on June 09, 2018, 07:35:43 AM
Bought 2nd hand shoes.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 10, 2018, 02:01:14 AM
Yesterday we ate fish soup from a fish my DH had caught earlier. We will eat the other half today.

I did a walk in the forest from my house, no car used.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Phryne on June 13, 2018, 03:27:01 AM
- Worked from home (saving the 40km car trip just to get to the train station)
- Went for a 5 km walk at lunch time which meant I could keep the fire low, saving wood, emissions & power (as the fan wasn’t on)
- made faux fried rice for dinner to use up last night roast chicken (with tarragon...), the pakchoy from my veggie box & a bundle of ginger a neighbour gave me. Was inauthenticity delish!
- planted the ends of spring onions I’d cut up yesterday.
- had grated beetroot rather than the roasted beetroot I’d planned for my salad, seemed  silly to turn the oven on for so long for something so small

I love reflecting on my day like this, it inspires me to do more tomorrow!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: greengardens on June 13, 2018, 06:01:31 AM
The pump on my liquid soap dispenser broke. Instead of buying a new dispenser I bought a new Pump. Still had to throw away the old pump but better than throwing away the whole thing!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: okcisok on June 13, 2018, 05:41:21 PM
Remember to take a plastic grocery bag with me on the dog's walk. I have the specialty poo bags clipped to the leash, but I've been trying to cut down on them--one-use plastic and something I have to pay for. I use fabric bags for my groceries, so I have friends who don't save me their castoff bags and use them for the dog's business.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 14, 2018, 03:20:09 AM
Made biscuits (cookies) instead of walking to the shops to buy them.

Walked to the library for baby rhyme time.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 16, 2018, 06:10:04 PM
Jumping in. My recycling company no longer accepts virtually ANY plastics. Only gallon size milk jugs. Full stop. Throwing away cottage cheese and sour cream and yogurt containers is KILLING me. We used to have a 3/4 full recycling bin and a 1 bag trash can a week. Now we have like 1/4 and a full trash bin. SO. I am making a plan. I already own an instant pot.

-I picked up conventional milk and cream to start, in case I screw up a batch or two. But I'm going to use my IP to make cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt myself. When I get the recipes tuned in, I'll start buying the organic variety of this local brand I always buy.
-Also entertaining making my own laundry detergent now, since I can't recycle those bottles either. Recipes are welcome. I have a LOT of skin sensitivites, so I've been using the Ecos brand from costco. We have an HE washer, so it needs to be compatible.
-Finally got myself organized enough to get the deposit down for our 1/4 cow from a local lady we like. Grass fed, uses biodiesel, etc. I was buying some organic beef at costco as a stopgap, but I really prioritize local too.
-Garden is coming along.
-Picked cherries from a relative's. She's not able body enough to do it solo, and they would go to waste otherwise. Gifted some to her, of course, and brought a lot home for ourselves. Now to figure out what to do with them! The tree isn't sprayed or netted, so a lot of them have bad spots. Jam maybe? They're on the tart side of sweet.

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 16, 2018, 06:50:43 PM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on June 16, 2018, 07:52:26 PM
Bracken_Joy, I’ve seen recipes for Paleo fruit crisps that look pretty good.

Cherry mole tacos: https://newleafwellness.biz/2016/11/03/crockpot-cherry-chicken-mole-tacos/ (surprisingly good considering the source is a white lady from Pittsburgh)
Cherry salsa: https://nwedible.com/cherry-salsa-canning-recipe/ (haven’t tried it but sounds delicious!)

* We’ve been eating a ton of local veggies from our CSA box and farmer’s market. I sautéed a new-to-me variety of squash with chard and kale with our dinner tonight.
* making a batch of homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot tonight.
* the last bit of last week’s milk smelled a little off so it’s going into pancakes tomorrow morning.
* bought bulk (1lb) bags of two herbal teas that our local natural food market doesn’t stock online. We drink a lot of iced herbal tea in the summer!
* I took a soapmaking class. I had to drive a reasonable distance to get to the class and the recipe we made wasn’t the most natural (I avoid palm oil and synthetic fragrances, but that’s what was provided), but I wanted to learn the process so I can make soap from locally sourced ingredients like lard, tallow, and beeswax!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: OtherJen on June 16, 2018, 08:49:34 PM
Oh wow, I’m saving that cherry mole recipe. We have 3 lbs of cherries in our freezer from a Hungry Harvest delivery a couple of weeks ago, and we love mole.

We just received our third Hungry Harvest delivery yesterday, and it really makes me conscious of what fruits and veggies I have on hand and what needs to be used to avoid waste. I boiled potatoes for salad and sautéed zucchini noodles for a side dish early today, before the outside temperature went up. I have plans for a few more of the veggies tomorrow.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: OtherJen on June 16, 2018, 08:56:39 PM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

This is nice to read. I have celiac disease (i.e., no gluten) and try to eat as varied a diet as possible, so I prefer not to put additional restrictions on my diet beyond the medically necessary one. It’s a balance: I feel really good when the bulk of my diet is plant-based and not highly processed, but my body craves some animal fat/protein every day. Even a couple of eggs or a piece of cheese is enough.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 16, 2018, 09:02:33 PM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

This is nice to read. I have celiac disease (i.e., no gluten) and try to eat as varied a diet as possible, so I prefer not to put additional restrictions on my diet beyond the medically necessary one. It’s a balance: I feel really good when the bulk of my diet is plant-based and not highly processed, but my body craves some animal fat/protein every day. Even a couple of eggs or a piece of cheese is enough.

Gluten is such a great example, because it can literally give people cancer, yet my body is a-okay on plenty of wheat (I've done full elimination diets).

I love eggs, but with a recently acquired suspected egg allergy (yet to be confirmed by an allergist) I'm worried they're going to be something I never get to eat again. While I aspire to be mostly-vegan, I sure would have loved to have eggs once a fortnight or so.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 16, 2018, 10:47:22 PM
Okay friends: has anyone successfully used a non-glyphosate method to kill oxalis? I've been researching and it looks like pulling the weeds makes it spread even faster; there are varying accounts of how successful the boiling water method is. I like the concept of snipping off all leaves on all plants as soon as you see them, but that's also very labour intensive and requires a level of vigilance I may or may not possess. But if someone tells me it definitely works, I'll try it!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 16, 2018, 10:59:29 PM
Okay friends: has anyone successfully used a non-glyphosate method to kill oxalis? I've been researching and it looks like pulling the weeds makes it spread even faster; there are varying accounts of how successful the boiling water method is. I like the concept of snipping off all leaves on all plants as soon as you see them, but that's also very labour intensive and requires a level of vigilance I may or may not possess. But if someone tells me it definitely works, I'll try it!
I've heard a tiny gardening flamethrower thing can work on weeds. If someone confirms that would work, can I use you as an excuse to purchase one? :P
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 16, 2018, 11:04:22 PM
Okay friends: has anyone successfully used a non-glyphosate method to kill oxalis? I've been researching and it looks like pulling the weeds makes it spread even faster; there are varying accounts of how successful the boiling water method is. I like the concept of snipping off all leaves on all plants as soon as you see them, but that's also very labour intensive and requires a level of vigilance I may or may not possess. But if someone tells me it definitely works, I'll try it!
I've heard a tiny gardening flamethrower thing can work on weeds. If someone confirms that would work, can I use you as an excuse to purchase one? :P

Ooooh I did notice that Diggers sells those. I wonder if they'd ship it to Perth... Also useful when the Triffids rise.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on June 17, 2018, 03:38:51 AM
Okay friends: has anyone successfully used a non-glyphosate method to kill oxalis? I've been researching and it looks like pulling the weeds makes it spread even faster; there are varying accounts of how successful the boiling water method is. I like the concept of snipping off all leaves on all plants as soon as you see them, but that's also very labour intensive and requires a level of vigilance I may or may not possess. But if someone tells me it definitely works, I'll try it!
I've heard a tiny gardening flamethrower thing can work on weeds. If someone confirms that would work, can I use you as an excuse to purchase one? :P

Ooooh I did notice that Diggers sells those. I wonder if they'd ship it to Perth... Also useful when the Triffids rise.

I have a weed problem in the garden too and I was told about those mini flamethrowers as well. I have been too scared to try them, if you decide to try it please let me know how it went. It's not extremely dry around here, but the weeds are close to my house and I can already see myself accidentally setting my house on fire....
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 17, 2018, 08:36:34 AM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

Thanks <3 From the responses, I can tell this is a far more welcoming and tolerant space then my anxiety convinced me it would be.

I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

Bracken_Joy, I’ve seen recipes for Paleo fruit crisps that look pretty good.

Cherry mole tacos: https://newleafwellness.biz/2016/11/03/crockpot-cherry-chicken-mole-tacos/ (surprisingly good considering the source is a white lady from Pittsburgh)
Cherry salsa: https://nwedible.com/cherry-salsa-canning-recipe/ (haven’t tried it but sounds delicious!)

Oh man, saving that mole recipe. And fruit crisp is a great idea. We both do totally fine with oats (husband so long as we don't eat too many, or he's had a really active day), so a toasty oat'n'nut crust could be great. I didn't even think about just tweaking a blackberry recipe or something!

I'm not sure how I feel about cherry salsa! I really dislike salsa with mango or corn, any sweet pockets like that. Maybe with the cherries being more tart than sweet? Maybe I'll try that if I get a second haul this year.

Okay friends: has anyone successfully used a non-glyphosate method to kill oxalis? I've been researching and it looks like pulling the weeds makes it spread even faster; there are varying accounts of how successful the boiling water method is. I like the concept of snipping off all leaves on all plants as soon as you see them, but that's also very labour intensive and requires a level of vigilance I may or may not possess. But if someone tells me it definitely works, I'll try it!
I've heard a tiny gardening flamethrower thing can work on weeds. If someone confirms that would work, can I use you as an excuse to purchase one? :P

Ooooh I did notice that Diggers sells those. I wonder if they'd ship it to Perth... Also useful when the Triffids rise.

I have a weed problem in the garden too and I was told about those mini flamethrowers as well. I have been too scared to try them, if you decide to try it please let me know how it went. It's not extremely dry around here, but the weeds are close to my house and I can already see myself accidentally setting my house on fire....

Those flame week killers are super fun! But you're totally right Imma, they're kinda terrifying! You need to set up a really good perimeter, have 5-gal buckets of water on standby, etc. They're considered the gold standard around here for invasives, though.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on June 17, 2018, 08:59:23 AM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

Thanks <3 From the responses, I can tell this is a far more welcoming and tolerant space then my anxiety convinced me it would be.


Even within a meat+dairy containing diet there's still lots of space for tweaking to reduce environmental impact. Beef, pork and cheese are environmentally the worst, so replacing those by e.g. chicken already has a tremendous impact (if I remember correctly beef is 3-4x worse than chicken but correct me if I'm wrong!).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 17, 2018, 09:10:10 AM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

Thanks <3 From the responses, I can tell this is a far more welcoming and tolerant space then my anxiety convinced me it would be.


Even within a meat+dairy containing diet there's still lots of space for tweaking to reduce environmental impact. Beef, pork and cheese are environmentally the worst, so replacing those by e.g. chicken already has a tremendous impact (if I remember correctly beef is 3-4x worse than chicken but correct me if I'm wrong!).

I've struggled with this logistically recently- growing up, we raised our own chicken and turkey, so obviously could control a LOT of factors there. But now that I'm purchasing instead, it's been quite difficult- while there's a 25% or so premium to get local organic grass fed and finished beef over store bought conventional, there's a 5-6x price difference for chicken for even just store bought organic and local vs conventional. And even then, I can't find a good local farmer for it where the price difference isn't more like 10x! How do others deal with that, without raising their own? We live in the suburbs now, so hobby farming isn't really an option.

(We do fish a fair bit as well, to take the burden off land-based meats. And game when we have it. But a fair bit of our meat is still purchased)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on June 17, 2018, 12:33:35 PM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

Thanks <3 From the responses, I can tell this is a far more welcoming and tolerant space then my anxiety convinced me it would be.


Even within a meat+dairy containing diet there's still lots of space for tweaking to reduce environmental impact. Beef, pork and cheese are environmentally the worst, so replacing those by e.g. chicken already has a tremendous impact (if I remember correctly beef is 3-4x worse than chicken but correct me if I'm wrong!).

I've struggled with this logistically recently- growing up, we raised our own chicken and turkey, so obviously could control a LOT of factors there. But now that I'm purchasing instead, it's been quite difficult- while there's a 25% or so premium to get local organic grass fed and finished beef over store bought conventional, there's a 5-6x price difference for chicken for even just store bought organic and local vs conventional. And even then, I can't find a good local farmer for it where the price difference isn't more like 10x! How do others deal with that, without raising their own? We live in the suburbs now, so hobby farming isn't really an option.

(We do fish a fair bit as well, to take the burden off land-based meats. And game when we have it. But a fair bit of our meat is still purchased)

I read the arguments in favor of ruminants as nitrogen fixers! :-) But we live in the Appalachians so a lot of land is really only suitable for grazing.

Are there are farmers in your area that offer bulk pricing on chickens? I pretty much only buy whole chickens, usually from a family that offers buy 5, get one free on whole chickens, and part them myself. We don’t have anywhere near the cost difference in our area, though. I pay $3.50-$4.50/lb for pastured chickens from local farmers depending on organic, etc. and I think the non-sale price at the grocery store is around $1/lb?

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: krmit on June 17, 2018, 12:44:21 PM
@Bracken_Joy, I'd love to hear what recipe you use for cottage cheese if it works out.

I make my own powdered laundry detergent (and actually store it in a plastic yogurt container): 1 cup borax to 1 cup washing soda to 1 cup shredded Fels-Naptha soap. I use 1 tablespoon per load in my non-HE washer.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 17, 2018, 01:02:33 PM
@Bracken_Joy, I'd love to hear what recipe you use for cottage cheese if it works out.

I make my own powdered laundry detergent (and actually store it in a plastic yogurt container): 1 cup borax to 1 cup washing soda to 1 cup shredded Fels-Naptha soap. I use 1 tablespoon per load in my non-HE washer.

I'm doing this recipe for the cottage cheese: https://thisoldgal.com/instant-pot-homemade-cottage-cheese-recipe/ (https://thisoldgal.com/instant-pot-homemade-cottage-cheese-recipe/) and this for the sour cream: https://brigettholmes.com/recipe/make-cultured-sour-cream-instant-pot/ (https://brigettholmes.com/recipe/make-cultured-sour-cream-instant-pot/) I'll report back on how they turn out =)

Re: the detergent, I found this comment: "That is the question I’ve gotten the most in the 100+ comments on my original laundry detergent recipe tutorial. I don’t personally have a high efficiency washing machine but have heard from dozens of readers and friends who do and they’ve used this in an HE washer with no problems.

The main concern with a high efficiency washer is creating too much suds, so a low-suds soap or detergent is suggested. This recipe is low-suds by definition and should be safe for HE, but always check with the instructions that came with your machine to make sure before using." From: https://wellnessmama.com/27059/high-efficiency-laundry-detergent/ (https://wellnessmama.com/27059/high-efficiency-laundry-detergent/) And her recipe sounds a lot like yours! I guess I could always try making it, and if it doesn't rinse clean, then gift it through Buy Nothing or something. Having add a second rinse would definitely undo all the benefits! Haha.

I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

Thanks <3 From the responses, I can tell this is a far more welcoming and tolerant space then my anxiety convinced me it would be.


Even within a meat+dairy containing diet there's still lots of space for tweaking to reduce environmental impact. Beef, pork and cheese are environmentally the worst, so replacing those by e.g. chicken already has a tremendous impact (if I remember correctly beef is 3-4x worse than chicken but correct me if I'm wrong!).

I've struggled with this logistically recently- growing up, we raised our own chicken and turkey, so obviously could control a LOT of factors there. But now that I'm purchasing instead, it's been quite difficult- while there's a 25% or so premium to get local organic grass fed and finished beef over store bought conventional, there's a 5-6x price difference for chicken for even just store bought organic and local vs conventional. And even then, I can't find a good local farmer for it where the price difference isn't more like 10x! How do others deal with that, without raising their own? We live in the suburbs now, so hobby farming isn't really an option.

(We do fish a fair bit as well, to take the burden off land-based meats. And game when we have it. But a fair bit of our meat is still purchased)

I read the arguments in favor of ruminants as nitrogen fixers! :-) But we live in the Appalachians so a lot of land is really only suitable for grazing.

Are there are farmers in your area that offer bulk pricing on chickens? I pretty much only buy whole chickens, usually from a family that offers buy 5, get one free on whole chickens, and part them myself. We don’t have anywhere near the cost difference in our area, though. I pay $3.50-$4.50/lb for pastured chickens from local farmers depending on organic, etc. and I think the non-sale price at the grocery store is around $1/lb?

That's a good idea on the bulk. Maybe I'll call around. I'll admit I haven't looked hard this year.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on June 17, 2018, 01:13:33 PM
I'd suggest cherry pie, but I don't think you'd do the pie crust?

(Also, please don't jump on me re: meat+dairy. A lot goes into our decision to eat the way we do, and we're not blind to the environmental impacts of it. Better is sometimes the best you can do when "best" isn't a good option. Thanks for understanding.)

I'd like to believe this is a jumping-on-people free zone.

My personal belief is that anyone who is putting thought into the impact of what they're eating is miles ahead of anyone who isn't (that statement applies to health as well as environment), plus different bodies tolerate foods differently. My body feels great on loads of beans, nuts and seeds; if I couldn't digest beans I might make completely different choices.

Thanks <3 From the responses, I can tell this is a far more welcoming and tolerant space then my anxiety convinced me it would be.


Even within a meat+dairy containing diet there's still lots of space for tweaking to reduce environmental impact. Beef, pork and cheese are environmentally the worst, so replacing those by e.g. chicken already has a tremendous impact (if I remember correctly beef is 3-4x worse than chicken but correct me if I'm wrong!).

I've struggled with this logistically recently- growing up, we raised our own chicken and turkey, so obviously could control a LOT of factors there. But now that I'm purchasing instead, it's been quite difficult- while there's a 25% or so premium to get local organic grass fed and finished beef over store bought conventional, there's a 5-6x price difference for chicken for even just store bought organic and local vs conventional. And even then, I can't find a good local farmer for it where the price difference isn't more like 10x! How do others deal with that, without raising their own? We live in the suburbs now, so hobby farming isn't really an option.

(We do fish a fair bit as well, to take the burden off land-based meats. And game when we have it. But a fair bit of our meat is still purchased)

That's a tough one indeed. It's always hard to try to optimize between better/organic products and low cost. However, this wasn't the point I was trying to make. Honestly, whether meat is organic or local or not has only a small effect on its environmental impact. In many cases organic meat can even be worse for the environment as animals need more space and grow slower (so use more resources while alive). Growing a cow, even if you do it yourself, just does cost a temendous amount of resources and emits lots of greenhouse gasses. For chicken or pigs these numbers are still much higher than for plants, but already lots lower compared to the beef-producing cows. Just giving up beef, while eating an equal amount of total meat could therefore already reduce your environmental impact by quite a lot (depending on how much your consumption was to start with ofc.)

Here's an example of an article (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars) that discusses the matter and provides some numbers. It was the first one I found on Google so not necessarily the most thourough/accurate one, but the general line of evidence is clear.

btw; not trying to "jump on you" or judge you but just trying to provide ideas to reduce your impact without completely going vegetarian.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on June 17, 2018, 06:18:01 PM
Those flame week killers are super fun! But you're totally right Imma, they're kinda terrifying! You need to set up a really good perimeter, have 5-gal buckets of water on standby, etc. They're considered the gold standard around here for invasives, though.

That sounds... more intense than I was expecting. I just have a suburban yard (my block is only 0.11 acres, and it's mostly house). I'll be torching weeds that are growing between pavers, and in flower beds with (damp) mulch and fruit trees. I was planning to have a bucket of water on hand, and good stomping shoes if I need to stomp a tiny fire out. I might talk this through with some locals to see if I'm in danger of starting a real fire.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 17, 2018, 08:13:21 PM
Those flame week killers are super fun! But you're totally right Imma, they're kinda terrifying! You need to set up a really good perimeter, have 5-gal buckets of water on standby, etc. They're considered the gold standard around here for invasives, though.

That sounds... more intense than I was expecting. I just have a suburban yard (my block is only 0.11 acres, and it's mostly house). I'll be torching weeds that are growing between pavers, and in flower beds with (damp) mulch and fruit trees. I was planning to have a bucket of water on hand, and good stomping shoes if I need to stomp a tiny fire out. I might talk this through with some locals to see if I'm in danger of starting a real fire.

They're fairly easy to rent and borrow around here, maybe check into a rental situation? And then you have the added benefit of picking people's brains. I know we don't take near the precautions in the winter (soooo wet) as we do in the summer (soooo dry). So seasonality plays a role too!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on June 17, 2018, 11:24:50 PM
I am also overrun by oxalis. I was going to purchase this sort of mini soldering iron thing (to burn words into wood). Maybe I could use it to zap weeds near the house??? There's no naked flame, I could stick the prong into the roots.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: The Guru on June 18, 2018, 05:55:46 AM
Okay friends: has anyone successfully used a non-glyphosate method to kill oxalis? I've been researching and it looks like pulling the weeds makes it spread even faster; there are varying accounts of how successful the boiling water method is. I like the concept of snipping off all leaves on all plants as soon as you see them, but that's also very labour intensive and requires a level of vigilance I may or may not possess. But if someone tells me it definitely works, I'll try it!
I've heard a tiny gardening flamethrower thing can work on weeds. If someone confirms that would work, can I use you as an excuse to purchase one? :P

Ooooh I did notice that Diggers sells those. I wonder if they'd ship it to Perth... Also useful when the Triffids rise.

I have a weed problem in the garden too and I was told about those mini flamethrowers as well. I have been too scared to try them, if you decide to try it please let me know how it went. It's not extremely dry around here, but the weeds are close to my house and I can already see myself accidentally setting my house on fire....

we have one of those at the commercial greenhouse where I work, and you'd be amazed how much heat it takes to kill a weed (though useful to incinerate all those seeds oxalis throws off). Have you tried vinegar w/ a few drops of dish soap as a spreader? This burns off the foliage quite well (especially in full sun; you'll see results faster than w/ glyphosate); it doesn't kill the root, but if you do successive sprays the root will die due to lack of food from the foliage.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: birdie55 on June 18, 2018, 08:58:35 AM
Bracken Joy,

This Old Gal has a yogurt recipe that many, many people use successfully, on the IP facebook group.  I have never tried it, I don't eat enough yogurt to warrant making it myself.  However, I've read many posts about it. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 18, 2018, 09:01:09 AM
Bracken Joy,

This Old Gal has a yogurt recipe that many, many people use successfully, on the IP facebook group.  I have never tried it, I don't eat enough yogurt to warrant making it myself.  However, I've read many posts about it.

Thanks! I do have a yogurt recipe I've made a few times already, although it's been a while. Cottage cheese and sour cream are new for me =)

The cottage cheese turned out okay, although *very* mild in flavor. I may try doing a fermented cottage cheese next, and see if I like the flavors better.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on June 18, 2018, 12:19:58 PM
Okay friends: has anyone successfully used a non-glyphosate method to kill oxalis? I've been researching and it looks like pulling the weeds makes it spread even faster; there are varying accounts of how successful the boiling water method is. I like the concept of snipping off all leaves on all plants as soon as you see them, but that's also very labour intensive and requires a level of vigilance I may or may not possess. But if someone tells me it definitely works, I'll try it!
I've heard a tiny gardening flamethrower thing can work on weeds. If someone confirms that would work, can I use you as an excuse to purchase one? :P

Ooooh I did notice that Diggers sells those. I wonder if they'd ship it to Perth... Also useful when the Triffids rise.

I have a weed problem in the garden too and I was told about those mini flamethrowers as well. I have been too scared to try them, if you decide to try it please let me know how it went. It's not extremely dry around here, but the weeds are close to my house and I can already see myself accidentally setting my house on fire....

we have one of those at the commercial greenhouse where I work, and you'd be amazed how much heat it takes to kill a weed (though useful to incinerate all those seeds oxalis throws off). Have you tried vinegar w/ a few drops of dish soap as a spreader? This burns off the foliage quite well (especially in full sun; you'll see results faster than w/ glyphosate); it doesn't kill the root, but if you do successive sprays the root will die due to lack of food from the foliage.

I can confirm it doesn't work for Japanse knotweed. I wouldn't be surprised if that stuff doesn't even catch fire. I'm sure the roots would not be damaged, but if I could only burn off the parts above ground at least I wouldn't have to weed for about a week.

Chelidonium en nettles etc we just mow every now and then.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Duchess on June 18, 2018, 12:33:02 PM
Ooh, I like this thread! Can’t believe I only just found it.

Taking the slowly, slowly approach to living a more environmentally-minded life. Today I:

- Remembered to take stainless steel straws for my toddler to use for her drink at the cafe.

- Used bar soap rather than shower gel packaged in plastic. If only I could get my husband on board. Thankfully a small zero waste store opened in a nearby city and they’ve started stocking bulk shower gel.

- Have got the whole family using bamboo toothbrushes.

- Found a second-hand Le Partfait canning jar at the charity shop (aka thrift shop/op shop). This will help with plastic-free purchases.

- Found a second-hand skirt for my little one at the charity shop.

- Arranged a play date within walking distance of home reducing the need to get in the car.

- Took a fancy dress that no longer fits to a dress agency to be sold.

- Inspired by this thread, used a bucket to collect the water from warming up the shower and used it to water the veggie patch.

- Also inspired by this thread, increased the variety of things added to the compost heap.

- Continued to use my second-hand iPhone 5s rather than continually upgrading to the newest model.

Unfortunately also had a couple of fails:

- Tried to turn a ripped pair of jeans into demin shorts but they’re far too snug around the thigh area to look presentable. Having borrowed a friend’s overlocker (aka serger), I might salvage the fabric and make some bags to use at the bulk store.

- Tried to use eco-friendly laundry detergent from the zero waste shop but it did not do a decent enough job of getting our clothes clean. Maybe it’s our European front-loading energy-efficient washing machine?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 18, 2018, 12:45:12 PM
Oh! I forgot one I was happy about, because it's: helping a friend, frugal, AND lessening environmental impact. Friend has been slowly transitioning to glass reusable tupperware type container. Her old plastic ones are stained, cracking, and she doesn't use them because she hates them. I'm 100% sure they contribute to her cooking less. She's been buying the new glass ones one at a time for ELEVEN DOLLARS apiece at the grocery store. Gasp! So I directed her to a few store options and gave her some coupons. We were able to get our whole set for $24 and there's a lot of pieces, so I'm hoping she can score a similar deal.

-Continuing my dairy experiments. Round 2 today. Trying the same cottage cheese recipe, with better planning and technique. We saved cottage cheese tubs and sour cream tubs, so we even have correctly labeled containers =P

-My usual stuff: open/close up house overnight to minimize HVAC use. Gardening, never use any sprays or anything. Used my reusable glass jar collection (many saved from pasta sauces) to divvy up rice we bulk purchase. The food we're getting our dog on buys carbon offsets, locally sources ingredients, uses ethically compensated domestic labor, etc. (I know those are not all environmental factors, but it all matters to me).

-Reusing a ton of items for the puppy from our previous dog, and hand me downs from neighbors and family. We've only purchased a couple items (the puppy kong has helped a lot), otherwise it's only been food and natural chews. Harness, crate, exercise pen, baby gates, dog beds, bowls, all of it is reused and/or hand me downs.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 22, 2018, 12:19:44 AM
For the first time this week, walked to work again and will walk back in the afternoon.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on June 22, 2018, 12:29:49 AM
Felt cold last night in bed. Put on socks rather than turning on heat for a bit.

Ate leftover sandwiches from a meeting at work yesterday (Free food! No food waste!)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: greengardens on June 23, 2018, 02:42:15 PM
@Bracken_Joy I would caution against the homemade detergent in HE front loaders. I used to make my own detergent and it worked really well in my standard washer. However when I switched to an HE front loader the homemade stuff would not get my clothes clean. I tried everything, even playing around with the formula. I also noticed that it would build up inside my washer so that I'd start having soap scum in the drum. We don't have hard water, and I spent several months trying to troubleshoot both problems. After 6 months of unclean clothes I broke down and started using County Save powder detergent. It can only be purchased online and is definitely more expensive than making my own, but it comes in a cardboard box (can be recycled) and my clothes are finally clean! Plus no build up in the washer drum any more.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mon€yp€nny on June 23, 2018, 04:35:14 PM
Clean up my 5yr old's room and sorted everything she didn't want anymore into plastics,  paper, donation, thrift store, sell and 'rest garbage'.
As from next year, we won't have a rest garbage bin anymore. We will have a paper bin, plastics bin and a compost bin that will be emptied but everything else, we will have to bring to an underground waste bin hopefully somewhere not too far away.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 24, 2018, 09:11:19 AM
@Bracken_Joy I would caution against the homemade detergent in HE front loaders. I used to make my own detergent and it worked really well in my standard washer. However when I switched to an HE front loader the homemade stuff would not get my clothes clean. I tried everything, even playing around with the formula. I also noticed that it would build up inside my washer so that I'd start having soap scum in the drum. We don't have hard water, and I spent several months trying to troubleshoot both problems. After 6 months of unclean clothes I broke down and started using County Save powder detergent. It can only be purchased online and is definitely more expensive than making my own, but it comes in a cardboard box (can be recycled) and my clothes are finally clean! Plus no build up in the washer drum any more.

Good to know! Thank you! Yeah, our washer is pretty new (~1 yr), I would hate to do something that could shorter it's lifespan.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: bacchi on June 24, 2018, 09:39:36 AM
@Bracken_Joy I would caution against the homemade detergent in HE front loaders. I used to make my own detergent and it worked really well in my standard washer. However when I switched to an HE front loader the homemade stuff would not get my clothes clean. I tried everything, even playing around with the formula. I also noticed that it would build up inside my washer so that I'd start having soap scum in the drum. We don't have hard water, and I spent several months trying to troubleshoot both problems. After 6 months of unclean clothes I broke down and started using County Save powder detergent. It can only be purchased online and is definitely more expensive than making my own, but it comes in a cardboard box (can be recycled) and my clothes are finally clean! Plus no build up in the washer drum any more.

Good to know! Thank you! Yeah, our washer is pretty new (~1 yr), I would hate to do something that could shorter it's lifespan.

It probably depends on the water and washing machine. I've used homemade detergent (1/2+1/2+soap bar) for the life of our 5 year old HE front loader (Samsung) and it's going strong and clothes get clean. The "cold" setting comes out around 90F during the summer so that could be a factor too.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 24, 2018, 10:03:59 AM
@Bracken_Joy I would caution against the homemade detergent in HE front loaders. I used to make my own detergent and it worked really well in my standard washer. However when I switched to an HE front loader the homemade stuff would not get my clothes clean. I tried everything, even playing around with the formula. I also noticed that it would build up inside my washer so that I'd start having soap scum in the drum. We don't have hard water, and I spent several months trying to troubleshoot both problems. After 6 months of unclean clothes I broke down and started using County Save powder detergent. It can only be purchased online and is definitely more expensive than making my own, but it comes in a cardboard box (can be recycled) and my clothes are finally clean! Plus no build up in the washer drum any more.

Good to know! Thank you! Yeah, our washer is pretty new (~1 yr), I would hate to do something that could shorter it's lifespan.

It probably depends on the water and washing machine. I've used homemade detergent (1/2+1/2+soap bar) for the life of our 5 year old HE front loader (Samsung) and it's going strong and clothes get clean. The "cold" setting comes out around 90F during the summer so that could be a factor too.

=o Our cold setting is 45-55F depending on the time of year! We have COLD ground water. I really haven't had luck with powdered detergents in general, I wonder if that's part of it? My washer has 4 settings: cold, cool, warm, hot. We usually use cool, since there's a noticeable difference between cold and cool. I wonder if that's because of how cold our groundwater is?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 25, 2018, 01:02:38 AM
Walked to work this morning and will walk back in the afternoon.

I checked my washing machine, which as environmental feedback. I usually was on 40C, shortening the 2,5 hour program into 1 hour. I checked whether the original long program was better than the shorter one. The washing machine shows amount of energy and water rounded off to a number of blocks in a bar.

Conclusion: It makes no difference in energy whether I would wash on 40C or 60C degrees or whether I use the long or the short program. But the machine used less water when I use the short program and when I wash on 40C instead of 60C. If I would wash on 30C, the machine would use even less water. I don't have much faith in 30C getting my laundry clean, from earlier experiences.
I'll continue to wash on 40C short program, which is more convenient than waiting for 2,5 hours. And it doesn't seem to have negative impact on the energy compared to the standard programs.

Also, I have had the habit of drying the laundry outside since the weather turned warm and sunny, about 2 months ago. I think I might be the only one in the neighbourhood doing that.

Yesterday we had self-caught fish (grayling) for dinner.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on June 25, 2018, 02:36:45 AM
I didn't shower yesterday, just washed myself at the tap! I have sensitive skin so I try to skip showering when I can + it's better for the environment as well.

I decluttered the house this weekend and recycled a large box of paper and cardboard and two large garbage bags of clothing and textile. I also found a dress with a damaged top, that I'm going to turn into a skirt. I found some old jeans that I put aside to turn into a jeans quilt. I've made jeans quilts before, it's one of my favourite materials to work with. I moved some furniture and stuff around so I now have a place where I can permanently set up my sewing machine. This means I will probably sew more often.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 25, 2018, 02:52:58 AM
I took the bus to & from work. I brought my own snacks. My leafy greens are growing steadily and I have stopped buying lettuce (but not spinach just yet) as I wait for them to be big enough to start picking. It's winter so we aren't eating too much fresh greens right now anyway.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hula Hoop on June 26, 2018, 05:49:22 AM
I bought small metal thermoses for my kids last year for them to bring lunches to summer camp.  During the year, they eat school provided lunches.  They've been at summer camp for a couple of weeks and so far they've brought their lunch every day in their thermoses.  This morning I made them pasta with pesto and then packed cookies and fruit in reusable sandwich bags.  They also brought reusable water bottles.  So much better than putting the pasta in plastic containers and they stay hot.

This is both mustachian and good for the environment.  The lunches cost 5 euros a day per kid so 10 euros a day.  And my kids actually prefer the home made lunches.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: saving_dutchman on June 26, 2018, 06:26:08 AM
I repaired my broken wireless mouse (work mouse). It was maybe a 10 minute fix and that includes writing this. The usual route is to just order a new one, it's only company money right and screw the environment...
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 26, 2018, 07:18:54 AM
Tomorrow, when it is raining and many people decide to drive to work, I'll be taking the bus in my raincoat. We'll be eating leftovers for lunch. I've been making overnight oats in jam jars I saved and washed (although it does mean I ate a lot of jam to get them!) This has meant my husband has been eating a decent breakfast every single hole day, instead of only occasionally. That means less muffins & coffees bought out, so less wasted packaging and better lunch decisions!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on June 26, 2018, 09:56:09 AM
I had to drop someone at the airport, which is 75% of the way to a city we don't go to often but has the nearest recycling center that accepts glass and a supermarket with bulk bins. I took all the glass that we've been saving, and stopped to get bulk peanut butter and oats.

I also bought some stainless steel straws while we were there - the glass ones we have are fine for home but I'm more comfortable carrying stainless around in my bag.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 27, 2018, 02:53:04 AM
I had to drop someone at the airport, which is 75% of the way to a city we don't go to often but has the nearest recycling center that accepts glass and a supermarket with bulk bins. I took all the glass that we've been saving, and stopped to get bulk peanut butter and oats.

I also bought some stainless steel straws while we were there - the glass ones we have are fine for home but I'm more comfortable carrying stainless around in my bag.

What a pity that recycling glass is not easier for you. We used to have glass/metal containers several places in each town. Now we have gotten individual containers. The easier it is to recycle, the more people do it. Maybe you should ask your community to make an additional recycling point closer to your home.

I walked to work today.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on June 27, 2018, 04:56:19 AM
I had to drop someone at the airport, which is 75% of the way to a city we don't go to often but has the nearest recycling center that accepts glass and a supermarket with bulk bins. I took all the glass that we've been saving, and stopped to get bulk peanut butter and oats.

I also bought some stainless steel straws while we were there - the glass ones we have are fine for home but I'm more comfortable carrying stainless around in my bag.

What a pity that recycling glass is not easier for you. We used to have glass/metal containers several places in each town. Now we have gotten individual containers. The easier it is to recycle, the more people do it. Maybe you should ask your community to make an additional recycling point closer to your home.

I walked to work today.

My understanding is that the recycling options are limited here because they are not cost effective, for whatever reason. The trash service in our county does offer recycling, but the number of items they accept is limited. It is a fairly rural area and appears to have a high proportion of people who are not terribly environmentally conscious, which is a shame.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 27, 2018, 05:47:12 AM
Our state has banned single-use plastic bags. I'm afraid to say, it took this actually happening to make us get our arses into gear about sorting out our shopping bags and produce bags... which we already owned. Sigh. So, grocery shopping this week will involve re-usable bags, yay!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 27, 2018, 08:40:14 AM
Our state has banned single-use plastic bags. I'm afraid to say, it took this actually happening to make us get our arses into gear about sorting out our shopping bags and produce bags... which we already owned. Sigh. So, grocery shopping this week will involve re-usable bags, yay!

How do you deal with tare weight on reusable produce bags? When I did jars, I just marked the weight on the outside of the container and they used that. Is it the same idea with produce bags?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on June 27, 2018, 04:23:19 PM
Our state has banned single-use plastic bags. I'm afraid to say, it took this actually happening to make us get our arses into gear about sorting out our shopping bags and produce bags... which we already owned. Sigh. So, grocery shopping this week will involve re-usable bags, yay!

How do you deal with tare weight on reusable produce bags? When I did jars, I just marked the weight on the outside of the container and they used that. Is it the same idea with produce bags?

My produce bags weight a few grams so I just don't worry about the tare. When buying fruit & veg it shouldn't make too much difference. To be honest I usually forget them anyway and just have loose veg in my trolley (and skip the green beans!)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on June 28, 2018, 02:47:26 AM
Walked to work this morning.

Dried some of our small strawberries from the garden to add to the muesli we are going to take on a camping trip. I bought al cheapo muesli without lots of additives.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Phryne on June 28, 2018, 04:03:57 AM
- eaten veg heavy meals this week cause our veggie box (local produce from within 40kms!) was enormous!
- waited till yesterday for the green grocer to be open for eggs, yoghurt & fruit from local small farmers rather than shop at the more generic supermarket. Used my produce bags (Onya brand, label says they weigh <10gm)
- made kindling from some left over weatherboard from a neighbour (saved buying it in plastic and the wood from going to landfill)

Big deal:
- Our solar panels were installed today! A friend said they have the double bonus of further insulating the roof. Hopefully they’ll also help keep heat *in* the house, because the forecast is 9°C and rainy the next two days :-(
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mon€yp€nny on June 28, 2018, 03:14:41 PM
- hung dried laundry
- another room clean up/ sorting with just two old pepermints going to grey trash, everything else will be recycled in some way.
- we ate vegan and husband didn't complain. Only food waste this week were peels and ends.
- planning to buy next week's vegetables, eggs and yoghurt at the organic farm again, it's a couple of minutes from my home (we shopped at supermarkets to save time for a while).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Meowkins on June 28, 2018, 06:18:05 PM
I dunno if this counts, but apparently my the moron my gov't place to head our environmental agency is proposing rollbacks of the law that requires public input and transparency on projects that affect the environment.

So I left a comment. There are only 24 comments now and they close on 7/20, so if you guys wanted to drop some comments in, that would be an easy lift: https://www.southernenvironment.org/news-and-press/news-feed/speak-up-for-the-right-to-speak-up

You can basically check the current comments and crib off them. Saying that NEPA is fine the way it is and doesn't need updating, because it's protected us for decades, is probably just fine.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on June 29, 2018, 04:18:48 AM
I dunno if this counts, but apparently my the moron my gov't place to head our environmental agency is proposing rollbacks of the law that requires public input and transparency on projects that affect the environment.

So I left a comment. There are only 24 comments now and they close on 7/20, so if you guys wanted to drop some comments in, that would be an easy lift: https://www.southernenvironment.org/news-and-press/news-feed/speak-up-for-the-right-to-speak-up

You can basically check the current comments and crib off them. Saying that NEPA is fine the way it is and doesn't need updating, because it's protected us for decades, is probably just fine.
do I have to be American?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Meowkins on June 29, 2018, 08:19:52 AM
@Anatidae V I honestly don't know! Thank you for considering commenting though. I mean I doubt it will hurt. LOL.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mies on July 09, 2018, 04:38:39 AM
While I was at my parents house over the weekend, I found a bunch of old expired food. Like the 2 to 15 years past it’s sell by date. My mom wanted to toss it in the garbage, but I took it home and composted it instead. I recycled as much of the packaging as possible.

They buy way too much food for two people. I really wish they would stop shopping at Costco. They aren’t saving any money because they are so disorganized and cluttered. They buy something, use some of it, and then it gets buried in clutter. They can’t find it when they need it, buy more, then the old items sit in the basement until I find it and bring it to there attention. It’s a horrendous waste of food and money.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on July 09, 2018, 05:24:49 PM
I took some of my produce bags and put them by the reusable shopping bags so the Boy will hopefully find and take them when he goes shopping. He wants to reuse the produce bags but lacks the habit.

I used up previously frozen milk. (I have trouble using up a whole gallon so I freeze some so it doesn't go to waste.)

Yesterday the Boy made an extra stop (on his way) in his hybrid car at Sprouts so he could buy the milk in the reusable carton. I will take credit for this since he learned about it from me!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Ecky on July 10, 2018, 04:13:42 AM
Drove a little slower to work this morning, averaged 81mpg.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Trifele on July 10, 2018, 08:53:07 AM
Drove a little slower to work this morning, averaged 81mpg.

That's sweet @Ecky -- What are you driving?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on July 10, 2018, 04:16:19 PM
I remembered to bring a cloth napkin to work and use it!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on July 10, 2018, 11:53:16 PM
* Cargo biked to the grocery store just now with reusable bags.

* Made rolled/old-fashioned oats at home from whole groats using a grain flaker we ordered a couple of years ago. Cuts down on packaging waste and probably saves money. (I make overnight oats with the whole groats, but prefer rolled oats for baking.)

* Shopped at the thrift store as usual instead of buying new household goods; picked up a popover pan for baking and a fruit basket for the table.

* Composted dryer lint, baby poop, Tub Shroom discards, food waste, solarized Bermuda grass runners, dustpan leavings.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on July 11, 2018, 06:17:47 AM
Remembered to bring a ceramic coffee mug with me to work, because I'm at a different building than usual.  My desk has silverware, a coffee mug, a plate, and a nalgene, but I started my (6 am) work day at a different building and I usually end up with a styrofoam cup and feel like a dick about it.  Not enough of a dick to not drink coffee all day, though.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Ecky on July 11, 2018, 07:05:35 AM
Drove a little slower to work this morning, averaged 81mpg.

That's sweet @Ecky -- What are you driving?

First generation Honda Insight. It's around 250k miles now with no maintenance other than regular (oil, tires).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on July 11, 2018, 08:08:26 PM
Packed the kids' lunches in mostly second-hand thrifted reusables: thermos containers and ice packs from Goodwill, vintage Revereware stainless-steel covered containers from eBay, cloth napkins from an estate sale. (The insulated bags and the plastic sporks were bought new.)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FrugalFisherman10 on July 12, 2018, 08:22:02 AM
haven't read the whole thread so these may have been mentioned somewhere already, but I saw them yesterday and thought they looked pretty 'revolutionary'. Seriously.

and most of the things like this I see as gimmicky "...We REINVENTED the Shish-kabob skewer!! BAM"...who cares? "this company is disrupting the coffee mug industry"...they're fine already, thanks.

But not these. They seem pretty legit. Not cheap though

https://www.shopetee.com/

What do yall think?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 14, 2018, 05:52:24 PM
haven't read the whole thread so these may have been mentioned somewhere already, but I saw them yesterday and thought they looked pretty 'revolutionary'. Seriously.

and most of the things like this I see as gimmicky "...We REINVENTED the Shish-kabob skewer!! BAM"...who cares? "this company is disrupting the coffee mug industry"...they're fine already, thanks.

But not these. They seem pretty legit. Not cheap though

https://www.shopetee.com/

What do yall think?

They look like pretty standard beeswax wraps? Beeswax wraps are useful, lots of people like them for avoiding glad wrap (cling film).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: frooglepoodle on July 14, 2018, 08:06:21 PM
Bought some picture frames and quart sized mason jars at a yard sale today. The jars will be for canning applesauce this fall. I don’t have an immediate use for the frames but we have a lot of empty wall space so I’m sure they’ll get used.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 15, 2018, 07:36:35 AM
Made fancy breakfast overnight oats jars with DH, and showed him how to make them. He added choc chips to his. This should reduce him buying breakfast (and associated rubbish)

We rearranged our shed to access our bikes, so we can fix them up and start riding again!

And I used my (mostly) wooden hairbrush. It seems to be nicer on my hair than plastic ones.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: greengardens on July 15, 2018, 01:43:31 PM
Started using cloth diapers during the day on le bebe.

Ordered toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper that comes in plastic free packaging
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on July 15, 2018, 02:08:35 PM
* Bike and transit to meet my mom for a cooking class on Friday.

* Brought reusable Lunchbots in a personal Coleman cooler to bring home leftovers.

* Cargo bike with the baby 2.5m each away to and from the farmer's market this morning.

* Brought reusable coffee mugs with us to the market.

* Line dried a load of laundry.

* Replaced lithium batteries in bike lights, fountain pen cartridge, and gasket from stovetop espresso maker, rather than replacing the whole gizmos.

* Been reading about how to find and prepare foraged foods in hopes of expanding our low-carbon, less-miles food sourcing. (I found a couple of morels earlier this year and it's currently purslane season.)

* Everybody except the baby and DH is currently using a bamboo-handle toothbrush.

Ordered toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper that comes in plastic free packaging

YES! This is all compostable too, so I often just stick the paper wrapper in the old tube and throw into our compost bin.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 15, 2018, 06:21:02 PM
Today:
Using public transport and my legs to get me where I need to go.
Washing in cold water and line drying.
Vegan breakfast and vegan nearly vegan lunch (just remembered I put oyster sauce on the tofu!).
The baby is with his Grammy today, which means disposable nappies, but when he gets home he'll be back in cloth.
We hosted friends for lunch on Saturday, and they took it as a matter of course that we used cloth napkins. We've had a few people question the cloth napkins lately so it was a nice change not to have someone ask for paper instead.

Recently I was diagnosed with a borderline allergy to dairy (borderline as in not quite officially an allergy - for those familiar with the prick test for allergies the reaction was just under the size required for a diagnosis - but the immunologist said that it would definitely be affecting me and could possibly be the cause of some health issues I've been dealing with). A nice side effect of this is that I have finally broken my milky coffee habit, and am consuming considerably less dairy overall (not NONE, because I find I'm okay with a moderate volume of hard cheese or butter). This is a good thing - I have been wanting to cut down my dairy consumption for environmental and ethical reasons for a long time :-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on July 16, 2018, 06:22:00 AM
Rode my bike to work, with my old helmet.  The whole inside of the padding was peeling off and the foam was leaving black schmutz all over my head, and when my husband saw it he was aghast that I hadn't already thrown it out and bought a new one.  Subsequently, I've used school glue to paste the lining back inside and the helmet is perfectly comfortable again :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: GuitarStv on July 16, 2018, 10:19:07 AM
Rode my bike to work, with my old helmet.  The whole inside of the padding was peeling off and the foam was leaving black schmutz all over my head, and when my husband saw it he was aghast that I hadn't already thrown it out and bought a new one.  Subsequently, I've used school glue to paste the lining back inside and the helmet is perfectly comfortable again :)

Small word of caution . . . bike helmets do go bad, even if they haven't been crashed.  Most manufacturers recommend replacing them every three to five years.  I think that replacing every seven at the most is prudent.  If the padding on your helmet is just falling off, no real worries.  If you're helmet is from the 90s or something, it's probably a good idea to try out a new one.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on July 16, 2018, 10:23:42 AM
Rode my bike to work, with my old helmet.  The whole inside of the padding was peeling off and the foam was leaving black schmutz all over my head, and when my husband saw it he was aghast that I hadn't already thrown it out and bought a new one.  Subsequently, I've used school glue to paste the lining back inside and the helmet is perfectly comfortable again :)

Small word of caution . . . bike helmets do go bad, even if they haven't been crashed.  Most manufacturers recommend replacing them every three to five years.  I think that replacing every seven at the most is prudent.  If the padding on your helmet is just falling off, no real worries.  If you're helmet is from the 90s or something, it's probably a good idea to try out a new one.

It's pretty old, so I should probably get a new one.  Oh well.  At least I wasn't forced into doing it immediately and without research by the threat of black grime on my forehead at work :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Raenia on July 16, 2018, 10:39:43 AM
Rode my bike to work, with my old helmet.  The whole inside of the padding was peeling off and the foam was leaving black schmutz all over my head, and when my husband saw it he was aghast that I hadn't already thrown it out and bought a new one.  Subsequently, I've used school glue to paste the lining back inside and the helmet is perfectly comfortable again :)

Small word of caution . . . bike helmets do go bad, even if they haven't been crashed.  Most manufacturers recommend replacing them every three to five years.  I think that replacing every seven at the most is prudent.  If the padding on your helmet is just falling off, no real worries.  If you're helmet is from the 90s or something, it's probably a good idea to try out a new one.

That's good to know... glad I didn't listen to all the people here berating me for being unmustachian because I was replacing my 15-year-old-and-full-of-spiders helmet with a new one.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on July 16, 2018, 12:59:31 PM
I guess this was actually last week--encouraged my boys to wash their hair with bar soap. My beloved does this and his hair is fine. I personally use shampoo and conditioner (2-3 times per week at least, not daily), but if the kids are happy with bar soap, think of the lifetime bottle savings!

If they were to ask for shampoo, I would probably buy it for them, but given how they seem to feel about soap in general, this seems highly unlikely.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 22, 2018, 06:05:35 PM
Ordered a bulk supply of bamboo toothbrushes.
Researching more environmentally friendly cosmetics, from an online retailer who accepts returned packaging to recycle.
Using cloth pads.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: bacchi on July 22, 2018, 07:06:22 PM
I guess this was actually last week--encouraged my boys to wash their hair with bar soap. My beloved does this and his hair is fine. I personally use shampoo and conditioner (2-3 times per week at least, not daily), but if the kids are happy with bar soap, think of the lifetime bottle savings!

If they were to ask for shampoo, I would probably buy it for them, but given how they seem to feel about soap in general, this seems highly unlikely.

The co-op near me has byob(ottle) shampoo (and honey, and maple syrup, and vinegar, and peanut butter....)

It's really reduced the buying of new bottles.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on July 22, 2018, 10:59:58 PM
Replaced the ink cartridge in my fountain pen rather than buying a whole new plastic pen.

Replaced a Maglite lens that my kid had damaged, rather than replacing the whole flashlight.

Cloth diapers.

Peed in the backyard to accelerate the soil food web/mulch decomposition in a new bed with pomegranate, goji berry, two kinds of sweet potato, turmeric and ginger.

Decanted two bottles of citrus vinegar cleaner and composted the used peels.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: bacchi on July 24, 2018, 01:32:12 PM
The AC condensation line broke some time ago and it's been dripping water into the crawl space.

1) repaired the line and routed it through the crawl space wall and near a tree desperate for water.
2) put some poly down where the leak was as the start of enclosing the entire crawl space. The hygrometer read around 70% -- outside is currently 30% so there's some efficiency gains to be had there.

I routed the back unit's condensation line into some native grasses and they're flourishing. Those grasses will reach ~6 feet tall and shade the AC condensing unit.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 24, 2018, 11:40:11 PM
Made foaming hand soap using liquid Castile soap, a few drops of essential oils and water. This used up the last of the Castile soap, so I have washed out the container to be refilled when we next get to the bulk shop.
Washed out the plastic bags from frozen veges, to put in the special soft plastics recycling bin at the supermarket.
Set aside paper and cardboard recycling, to get added to the worm farm.
Talked through plans to switch to more expensive, but more environmentally friendly, options in a few areas. Got husband's buy in, which is vital.
Bought bigger inserts for cloth nappies. We have been struggling to make cloth nappies work (had a wet-through in under an hour this morning...). I don't know what we will try next if the bigger inserts don't work, but I HATE creating so much landfill waste by using disposables.
Still using cloth pads.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on July 25, 2018, 01:35:14 AM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 25, 2018, 01:37:05 AM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?

We use icecream tubs (2L ones). Mr Happier was SO SAD when I explained I needed him to eat icecream so I could collect the tubs ;-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 25, 2018, 04:59:24 AM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?

We use icecream tubs (2L ones). Mr Happier was SO SAD when I explained I needed him to eat icecream so I could collect the tubs ;-)
I may need to tell Ponder to do the same.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 25, 2018, 05:29:35 AM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?

We use icecream tubs (2L ones). Mr Happier was SO SAD when I explained I needed him to eat icecream so I could collect the tubs ;-)
I may need to tell Ponder to do the same.

Or buy dairy-free icecream and you can do it ;-)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: chaskavitch on July 25, 2018, 06:27:13 AM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?

We use icecream tubs (2L ones). Mr Happier was SO SAD when I explained I needed him to eat icecream so I could collect the tubs ;-)
I may need to tell Ponder to do the same.

Or buy dairy-free icecream and you can do it ;-)

That's what my parents use too!  It's a good idea :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on July 25, 2018, 11:39:05 AM
For a long time we used an old dishwasher-pods tub in the freezer; freezer is by far the best for preventing flies.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 27, 2018, 02:53:29 AM
Today, we walked to the local fish & chip store for dinner, dried clothes on the line and made a delicious garden salad from the greens I've been growing!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 27, 2018, 02:54:34 AM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?

We use icecream tubs (2L ones). Mr Happier was SO SAD when I explained I needed him to eat icecream so I could collect the tubs ;-)
I may need to tell Ponder to do the same.

Or buy dairy-free icecream and you can do it ;-)

That's what my parents use too!  It's a good idea :)
I would, but the tubs are not as good! The size and ease of using the lid is just not the same
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on July 27, 2018, 03:46:37 AM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?

We use icecream tubs (2L ones). Mr Happier was SO SAD when I explained I needed him to eat icecream so I could collect the tubs ;-)
I may need to tell Ponder to do the same.

Or buy dairy-free icecream and you can do it ;-)

That's what my parents use too!  It's a good idea :)
I would, but the tubs are not as good! The size and ease of using the lid is just not the same

Today I bought a 4kg laundry powder bucket which will become our compost bucket. It will be fine through winter but might not work in summer, we'll see. If not, I will convert it into an in-ground compost near the backdoor!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 28, 2018, 07:24:46 PM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 28, 2018, 10:16:14 PM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 28, 2018, 10:18:09 PM
Started plants from seed, and reused plastic pots from plants I'd previously bought.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on July 28, 2018, 11:40:31 PM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
This one:
https://www.bunnings.com.au/raven-5m-superior-white-door-and-window-weather-strip-rp59-white_p3961089
DH agrees that it's also reduced the sound transfer between rooms. One box did one door, and read the instructions because you don't put it on the same surface of the frame all the way around - it's different for the part where the hinge is (I mucked one up).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on July 29, 2018, 12:47:14 AM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
This one:
https://www.bunnings.com.au/raven-5m-superior-white-door-and-window-weather-strip-rp59-white_p3961089
DH agrees that it's also reduced the sound transfer between rooms. One box did one door, and read the instructions because you don't put it on the same surface of the frame all the way around - it's different for the part where the hinge is (I mucked one up).

Thank you!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on July 29, 2018, 03:44:16 PM
We've been traveling by bicycle, cargo bike and public transit since Wednesday (Honda Fit is in the shop w a check-engine light).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on August 01, 2018, 12:42:41 PM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
This one:
https://www.bunnings.com.au/raven-5m-superior-white-door-and-window-weather-strip-rp59-white_p3961089
DH agrees that it's also reduced the sound transfer between rooms. One box did one door, and read the instructions because you don't put it on the same surface of the frame all the way around - it's different for the part where the hinge is (I mucked one up).

Thank you!
I did my toilet and laundry doors today. Then I realised the toilet door was pointless, because it is short and stops a full 2cm below the edge of the door frame! No wonder I have a draught - there's a window in the toilet that's permanently open for ventilation, doesn't have the ability to be closed. I guess we're buying a new door?!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 01, 2018, 01:01:58 PM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
This one:
https://www.bunnings.com.au/raven-5m-superior-white-door-and-window-weather-strip-rp59-white_p3961089
DH agrees that it's also reduced the sound transfer between rooms. One box did one door, and read the instructions because you don't put it on the same surface of the frame all the way around - it's different for the part where the hinge is (I mucked one up).

Thank you!
I did my toilet and laundry doors today. Then I realised the toilet door was pointless, because it is short and stops a full 2cm below the edge of the door frame! No wonder I have a draught - there's a window in the toilet that's permanently open for ventilation, doesn't have the ability to be closed. I guess we're buying a new door?!

Could you add a door shoe with a sweep on it? You can get some pretty good extra distance covered that way.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on August 01, 2018, 05:27:29 PM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
This one:
https://www.bunnings.com.au/raven-5m-superior-white-door-and-window-weather-strip-rp59-white_p3961089
DH agrees that it's also reduced the sound transfer between rooms. One box did one door, and read the instructions because you don't put it on the same surface of the frame all the way around - it's different for the part where the hinge is (I mucked one up).

Thank you!
I did my toilet and laundry doors today. Then I realised the toilet door was pointless, because it is short and stops a full 2cm below the edge of the door frame! No wonder I have a draught - there's a window in the toilet that's permanently open for ventilation, doesn't have the ability to be closed. I guess we're buying a new door?!

Could you add a door shoe with a sweep on it? You can get some pretty good extra distance covered that way.
Does that work on the top of the door? It's the top that's the problem, not the bottom.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Fresh Bread on August 01, 2018, 05:56:18 PM
AV, maybe you could attached one of those brush excluders meant for the bottom of the door on the top of the door frame so it hangs down to cover the gap. It would not look pretty but if you are freezing now it might be a good temporary measure.

We have a mini curtain rail over our back door and a cheapo ikea curtain because the gaps are so awkward we can't sort the draughts. That would be annoying for the toilet door though! Maybe a little pelmet!!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on August 01, 2018, 06:03:58 PM
What do people use to collect their compost scraps?

We've been using takeaway containers which are stored in the fridge but it's not really working, partly because we have a small fridge/freezer. I don't really want to buy a bin new but don't have anything to repurpose that has a lid to discourage the fruit flies. Maybe it's time to visit an op shop (thrift store)? Or ask someone that buys icecream in nice big tubs?

IME I never use a lid ever.  It surprisingly cuts down on odours (no anaerobic bacteria) where most people think they are preventing odours with a lid.  When fruit fly season happens you just have to dump more frequently.

I store mine under the kitchen sink and pull it out when I cut up veggies or whatever (all the time in my house).  I dump it when it gets full every 3-4 days without issues.  I live in the Pacific Northwest so not sweltering hot. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on August 01, 2018, 06:17:51 PM
You guys are all very inspiring! 

For the last 7 months I've been transitioning to a vegan diet.  I write about it in detail in my journal.  At this point I have no plans to turn back.  I feel fantastic, I've lost weight and I'm super lean.  I fit into pants that are smaller than when I was 20 and I'm 44.  It's not all diet.  I exercise a lot more than the average person. 

There's a pretty simple formula for this transition (having your questions answered, gaining confidence etc.) and it generally takes people 3 months to change their palette. 

At work I am working on 3 initiatives - EV charging, hand dryers over paper towels and eliminating bottled water.  They each have challenges but I plan to be successful with every one of them.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on August 01, 2018, 06:45:58 PM
Started carrying a set of stainless steel flatware, chopsticks and straws with me. So far have saved a plastic straw and a plastic fork & knife; SO GRATIFYING. I swear the metal straw makes drinks taste colder too LOL.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on August 01, 2018, 09:23:33 PM
You guys are all very inspiring! 

For the last 7 months I've been transitioning to a vegan diet.  I write about it in detail in my journal.  At this point I have no plans to turn back.  I feel fantastic, I've lost weight and I'm super lean.  I fit into pants that are smaller than when I was 20 and I'm 44.  It's not all diet.  I exercise a lot more than the average person. 

There's a pretty simple formula for this transition (having your questions answered, gaining confidence etc.) and it generally takes people 3 months to change their palette. 

At work I am working on 3 initiatives - EV charging, hand dryers over paper towels and eliminating bottled water.  They each have challenges but I plan to be successful with every one of them.
the 3 months info is fascinating, I wonder if that's how long I took to stop whining about giving up dairy! I've moved from almond to soy milk and the creaminess is incredible.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on August 01, 2018, 10:02:43 PM
the 3 months info is fascinating, I wonder if that's how long I took to stop whining about giving up dairy! I've moved from almond to soy milk and the creaminess is incredible.

It's accurate in my humble experience.  I've stumbled a bit recently (having a work donut) but typically I have no cravings for sweets, cheese or anything.  I'm a pretty good example of what's possible because I was a 'meat and potatoes' eater my whole life albeit on the 'balanced diet' end of things. 

It's possible, and actually becoming much easier to give up dairy.  There are continually new almond/soy milk cheeses being invented and there are also many near meat alternatives that continue to get better.  I personally don't eat any of these things right now...a bit of cheese substitute but that's it. 

I've experimented with nothing in my coffee and I may drift that way eventually. 
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 02, 2018, 08:39:29 AM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
This one:
https://www.bunnings.com.au/raven-5m-superior-white-door-and-window-weather-strip-rp59-white_p3961089
DH agrees that it's also reduced the sound transfer between rooms. One box did one door, and read the instructions because you don't put it on the same surface of the frame all the way around - it's different for the part where the hinge is (I mucked one up).

Thank you!
I did my toilet and laundry doors today. Then I realised the toilet door was pointless, because it is short and stops a full 2cm below the edge of the door frame! No wonder I have a draught - there's a window in the toilet that's permanently open for ventilation, doesn't have the ability to be closed. I guess we're buying a new door?!

Could you add a door shoe with a sweep on it? You can get some pretty good extra distance covered that way.
Does that work on the top of the door? It's the top that's the problem, not the bottom.

Why not remount the door?
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on August 02, 2018, 04:05:05 PM
I put weather stripping around our front door, laundry door that leads to the outside, and the baby's room. I'll be putting some on all the other internal doors as well, as we heat rooms individually. Next up is making some sausage toys to go along the bottoms of the doors!

Can you share a link to the weather stripping you used? Because we need to do this!
This one:
https://www.bunnings.com.au/raven-5m-superior-white-door-and-window-weather-strip-rp59-white_p3961089
DH agrees that it's also reduced the sound transfer between rooms. One box did one door, and read the instructions because you don't put it on the same surface of the frame all the way around - it's different for the part where the hinge is (I mucked one up).

Thank you!
I did my toilet and laundry doors today. Then I realised the toilet door was pointless, because it is short and stops a full 2cm below the edge of the door frame! No wonder I have a draught - there's a window in the toilet that's permanently open for ventilation, doesn't have the ability to be closed. I guess we're buying a new door?!

Could you add a door shoe with a sweep on it? You can get some pretty good extra distance covered that way.
Does that work on the top of the door? It's the top that's the problem, not the bottom.

Why not remount the door?
I admit to zero diy experience with doors. Either way I'm gonna have to drill things and redo the handle, aren't I? Ok, I will investigate this.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: cats on August 05, 2018, 06:14:08 PM
Fairly US specific--I wrote to my senators about legislation. In a fit of especially deep climate change depression, I started googling on the various climate change solutions listed by the Drawdown project.  Number one on the list is "refrigerant management", phasing out HFCs (https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/materials/refrigerant-management).  I also discovered that there was actually legislation introduced in the Senate earlier this year that would support this phasing out in the US.  So I wrote each of my senators and asked them to support this legislation (S 2448, American Innovation and Manufacturing Act).  I also wrote my representative and asked her to introduce/support companion legislation in the House.  Then I emailed some close friends/family and asked them to do the same, fingers crossed at least one of them does.

I was also heartened to see that some of the other top 10 solutions (reducing food waste, adopting a plant rich diet) are ones that I can take action on myself.  These are already things my family and I work on but I am now inspired to increase our efforts.  Seeing how high on the list "tropical forests" is also has me inspired to look more closely into some of those carbon offset programs where you pay to have some trees planted.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: OtherJen on August 07, 2018, 07:52:39 PM
Walked to my polling place instead of driving.

Made a vinegar/salt/borax solution to clean the living room rug instead of using a heavily scented commercial cleaner.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: okcisok on August 07, 2018, 08:19:55 PM
I put my compost scraps in a zipper bag in the freezer. When it's this hot out, I just dump the whole frozen brick in the compost when the bag gets full. When it's colder out, I let it thaw in the sink for a while before I take it out. No smell, and helps keep the freezer full and working at optimal levels.

I started a new job where I can walk/bike to work! There are 4 others who bike regularly out of about a 25 person staff, so pretty high percentage for here in the lower Midwest. I had to drive to a training today, but I made sure to carpool to our lunch portion.

I'm also still picking up cans for recycling as I walk my dog. I bring home plastic bags from work or ask friends who don't carry their own bags for their plastic bags. Haven't bought dog poop bags in almost two years!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: cats on August 07, 2018, 08:32:40 PM
I have been following up my letter writing over the weekend (I heard back from one friend that they wrote too!) and have decided I need to broaden my horizons beyond elected officials.  So I wrote to the customer service contact of several of the grocery store chains we occasionally frequent and asked about food waste and what they are doing to cut back on it.  I specifically mentioned that I've read that a lot of food gets wasted before it even gets to the store because it's perfectly good but doesn't meet appearance standards (i.e. irregular shape and color) and that I've noticed the produce at these stores is quite uniform.

Anyway, I actually heard back from a real person at one chain (Sprouts, if anyone would care to join me).  They told me all about their practices with giving edible but not saleable food to hunger relief, and inedible food to composting or animal feed, but nothing about the incoming end.  So I wrote back and thanked them for the response and reiterated that I was interested in their buying practices and said I would be more inclined to shop there if I saw them promoting things like "irregular" produce.  Will be interested to see if I hear more back.

Also sniffed the dress I wore today and decided it was good for one more day instead of tossing it in the wash.  Less laundry and less wear and tear on the dress.  My husband seems to go through way less clothing than I do and I need to start taking a bigger page out of his book on this one.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: OtherJen on August 07, 2018, 09:35:53 PM
I have been following up my letter writing over the weekend (I heard back from one friend that they wrote too!) and have decided I need to broaden my horizons beyond elected officials.  So I wrote to the customer service contact of several of the grocery store chains we occasionally frequent and asked about food waste and what they are doing to cut back on it.  I specifically mentioned that I've read that a lot of food gets wasted before it even gets to the store because it's perfectly good but doesn't meet appearance standards (i.e. irregular shape and color) and that I've noticed the produce at these stores is quite uniform.

Anyway, I actually heard back from a real person at one chain (Sprouts, if anyone would care to join me).  They told me all about their practices with giving edible but not saleable food to hunger relief, and inedible food to composting or animal feed, but nothing about the incoming end.  So I wrote back and thanked them for the response and reiterated that I was interested in their buying practices and said I would be more inclined to shop there if I saw them promoting things like "irregular" produce.  Will be interested to see if I hear more back.

Also sniffed the dress I wore today and decided it was good for one more day instead of tossing it in the wash.  Less laundry and less wear and tear on the dress.  My husband seems to go through way less clothing than I do and I need to start taking a bigger page out of his book on this one.

I don’t know where you live, but you might be interested in a program like Hungry Harvest (https://www.hungryharvest.net/), which is like a CSA for exactly the type of irregular and surplus produce you’re describing. We’ve been subscribers since it expanded to our area in early June, and we’ve been pleased with it. For about $20 per week (including a small delivery charge), we get a sturdy, reusable/recyclable cardboard box of several different types of irregular/surplus veggies delivered to our front porch every Friday (you can get mixed fruit/veg boxes too, but we tend to prefer veggies).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: cats on August 08, 2018, 07:33:16 AM
I have been following up my letter writing over the weekend (I heard back from one friend that they wrote too!) and have decided I need to broaden my horizons beyond elected officials.  So I wrote to the customer service contact of several of the grocery store chains we occasionally frequent and asked about food waste and what they are doing to cut back on it.  I specifically mentioned that I've read that a lot of food gets wasted before it even gets to the store because it's perfectly good but doesn't meet appearance standards (i.e. irregular shape and color) and that I've noticed the produce at these stores is quite uniform.

Anyway, I actually heard back from a real person at one chain (Sprouts, if anyone would care to join me).  They told me all about their practices with giving edible but not saleable food to hunger relief, and inedible food to composting or animal feed, but nothing about the incoming end.  So I wrote back and thanked them for the response and reiterated that I was interested in their buying practices and said I would be more inclined to shop there if I saw them promoting things like "irregular" produce.  Will be interested to see if I hear more back.

Also sniffed the dress I wore today and decided it was good for one more day instead of tossing it in the wash.  Less laundry and less wear and tear on the dress.  My husband seems to go through way less clothing than I do and I need to start taking a bigger page out of his book on this one.

I don’t know where you live, but you might be interested in a program like Hungry Harvest (https://www.hungryharvest.net/), which is like a CSA for exactly the type of irregular and surplus produce you’re describing. We’ve been subscribers since it expanded to our area in early June, and we’ve been pleased with it. For about $20 per week (including a small delivery charge), we get a sturdy, reusable/recyclable cardboard box of several different types of irregular/surplus veggies delivered to our front porch every Friday (you can get mixed fruit/veg boxes too, but we tend to prefer veggies).

Thanks for the suggestion!  I actually buy most of our produce at a local grocery that does sell more irregular produce and it also winds up being $20-25/week for our fruit/veggies, so I have a solution that is working well for me personally.  However, that's just 2 stores whereas Sprouts is a larger chain with a much bigger customer base, so I figure it's worth writing and asking if they'd consider doing something similar and actively promoting it to customers as a good thing.  I guess I'm lately feeling that while personal action is great and necessary, it's not enough. So I'm working on reducing impact also by reaching out and asking people (i.e. elected officials) and businesses with a larger impact than I have to do more also.  There are a lot of people in the US living a very carbon intensive lifestyle and I don't think they're going to change that unless they get bigger nudges than just their crazy hippy frugal neighbor or co-worker mentioning it :)
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: MoolahLula on August 09, 2018, 07:28:25 PM
Tonight I bought $33 of thrift store clothes, mostly dresses, because I have discovered a great local thrift store and joined there rewards program.  I will maybe return one item and donate a bag of clothes on Saturday myself.  Reduce reuse recycle, or something like that, right.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: greengardens on August 11, 2018, 08:03:29 PM
If this is the inappropriate place for this let me know and I will delete but does anyone have any environmentally friendly ways to store breast milk? Right now we’re using these one time use plastic bags, which are very convenient and easy to store, but I hate one use plastic. We’re trying to be as green as possible with baby, using cloth diapers, hand me down clothes and toys, etc... but this has me stumped
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: HappierAtHome on August 11, 2018, 08:11:28 PM
If this is the inappropriate place for this let me know and I will delete but does anyone have any environmentally friendly ways to store breast milk? Right now we’re using these one time use plastic bags, which are very convenient and easy to store, but I hate one use plastic. We’re trying to be as green as possible with baby, using cloth diapers, hand me down clothes and toys, etc... but this has me stumped

What about glass jars? They're freezer safe as long as you leave room at the top for the milk to expand.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mon€yp€nny on August 12, 2018, 02:31:33 AM
I realized we were doing a lot of things that did not fit in our goals. I really want to change a number of things to get back on track.

So I went to the organic farm just a bit over a mile from my home yesterday. Due to medical issues and yes, laziness, I had not been there for at least 6 months. Unfortunately, I drove there by car. I really have to see whether I can get a bike attachment for my wheelchair so I can cycle again.
It was really nice to go again, the atmosphere there is so relaxed, I enjoyed watching she sheep a bit with the fruit trees in the background. The lady that runs the store once a week writes your receipt on scap paper. She has a calculator but hardly uses it. I pay her with my bank app, I just transfer the money.
Got bio dynamic veggies, fruit, eggs and heavenly goat's yoghurt.  The BD eggs are a bit expensive, think we will buy organic from the supermarket next week.

I'm also cooking more vegetarian and vegan meals. Found nice lookings meals on Pintrest.

Also I'm working on more minimalism and zero waste. I have no idea what to do with the plastic straws, makeup cotton pads etc etc I don't need anymore. The unopened will go to the local charity for the poor but the others? Maybe I'll put everything in a box for a year, date on it and everything that I haven't used will go to the correct recycling bin after a year.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Hirondelle on August 12, 2018, 02:46:07 AM
Went for a daytrip with a friend using the train. She's vegan so we had organic fries with vegan mayo for lunch.

For dinner I ate some crackers and chutney that were about to go bad.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on August 12, 2018, 11:31:23 AM
If this is the inappropriate place for this let me know and I will delete but does anyone have any environmentally friendly ways to store breast milk? Right now we’re using these one time use plastic bags, which are very convenient and easy to store, but I hate one use plastic. We’re trying to be as green as possible with baby, using cloth diapers, hand me down clothes and toys, etc... but this has me stumped

What about glass jars? They're freezer safe as long as you leave room at the top for the milk to expand.

I did this and it works, just be sure you use straight-sided jars or the jars will crack with the expansion in the freezer. Jelly jars in the 4oz or 8oz sizes work well. You can also buy reusable plastic lids if you don't want to use the metal rings and lids.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Imma on August 12, 2018, 12:48:05 PM
Also I'm working on more minimalism and zero waste. I have no idea what to do with the plastic straws, makeup cotton pads etc etc I don't need anymore. The unopened will go to the local charity for the poor but the others? Maybe I'll put everything in a box for a year, date on it and everything that I haven't used will go to the correct recycling bin after a year.

Depending on how strict you are on minimalism, I would just store them and use them up and don't buy new ones from now on. Cotton pads have many uses. If you're really certain you're never going to use them again, I would donate them to a friend / relative who doesn't mind that the packaging has been opened.

My mother always told me that we mend everything except for underwear, because we're not paupers. I bought some new pairs of underwear last week and the elastic came off one pair the very first time I washed it. I sewed it back on. I'm pretty good with mending and repurposing but this was a first for me. l also zig zagged around the edges of a towel that was starting to fray. Eventually, the towel will be cut up for cleaning rags, but I generally only do that when the first holes start to appear.

Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: mxmoney on August 12, 2018, 03:42:05 PM
We've hardly turned the AC on all day!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Mon€yp€nny on August 13, 2018, 10:53:36 AM
@Imma, I would have returned that underwear without any shame. I'm replacing all my undies with Sloggi everlast. They come with lifetime warranty. I was so sick of low quality underwear, total waste of cotton etc.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: greengardens on August 13, 2018, 08:59:17 PM
If this is the inappropriate place for this let me know and I will delete but does anyone have any environmentally friendly ways to store breast milk? Right now we’re using these one time use plastic bags, which are very convenient and easy to store, but I hate one use plastic. We’re trying to be as green as possible with baby, using cloth diapers, hand me down clothes and toys, etc... but this has me stumped

What about glass jars? They're freezer safe as long as you leave room at the top for the milk to expand.

I did this and it works, just be sure you use straight-sided jars or the jars will crack with the expansion in the freezer. Jelly jars in the 4oz or 8oz sizes work well. You can also buy reusable plastic lids if you don't want to use the metal rings and lids.

Thanks! I’ll have to check with daycare to make sure they’ll accept the glass jars but at the very least I can use them for my at home stash
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Anatidae V on August 14, 2018, 04:55:25 AM
If this is the inappropriate place for this let me know and I will delete but does anyone have any environmentally friendly ways to store breast milk? Right now we’re using these one time use plastic bags, which are very convenient and easy to store, but I hate one use plastic. We’re trying to be as green as possible with baby, using cloth diapers, hand me down clothes and toys, etc... but this has me stumped

What about glass jars? They're freezer safe as long as you leave room at the top for the milk to expand.

I did this and it works, just be sure you use straight-sided jars or the jars will crack with the expansion in the freezer. Jelly jars in the 4oz or 8oz sizes work well. You can also buy reusable plastic lids if you don't want to use the metal rings and lids.

Thanks! I’ll have to check with daycare to make sure they’ll accept the glass jars but at the very least I can use them for my at home stash
I use plastic tubs that are made for my pump, unsure if you could find something similar? It means I don't have to worry about smashing something in a sleep deprived moment.
https://www.babybunting.com.au/avent-via-breast-milk-containers.html
Title: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: jengod on August 14, 2018, 10:47:23 AM
Took transit and back to my first ever mammogram. Kept a car off the road and didn’t have to pay for parking ($9 minimum).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 15, 2018, 01:09:08 AM
Walked to work and will walk back later today.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: OmahaSteph on August 15, 2018, 12:39:03 PM
Packed lunch using reusable containers, including a silicone envelope in place of a plastic sandwich bag. Continue to use a metal straw at work. Lunch consisted largely of produce I grew at home without pesticides (just neem oil).
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: cats on August 15, 2018, 06:31:48 PM
Got hungry at work, contemplated buying a snack, but after reading about China turning away more and more “recycling” from the US I decided I could stand not to add another piece of packaging to the trash. Ate some oatmeal (purchased in bulk) that I keep at my desk for such occasions  instead.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 16, 2018, 12:50:10 AM
Walk to work again. Will not walk back, as my DH will come over here with the car for a repair.
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: dashuk on August 16, 2018, 03:24:17 AM
At work I am working on 3 initiatives - EV charging, hand dryers over paper towels and eliminating bottled water.  They each have challenges but I plan to be successful with every one of them.

Interested by this one, because it doesn't appear as clear cut either way as, say, drinking tapwater. Fair amount of embodied energy in making a hand dryer, plus a kW or so of power when it's running. Paper towels could be made from pretty low-grade recycled paper, and will biodegrade pretty quickly. But then you're going to need a lot of them over the lifetime of the hand-dryer, they probably come wrapped in plastic, etc. Have you seen any sort of whole-life analysis of this?

In the spirit of the thread, while I was pondering this, rather than use the bathroom on my floor of the office, I walked downstairs to the changing rooms, because I've got a towel there for showering after the cycle commute anyway. No paper towels or hand dryers involved!
Title: Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
Post by: cats on August 16, 2018, 09:20:05 AM
At work I am working on 3 initiatives - EV charging, hand dryers over paper towels and eliminating bottled water.  They each have challenges but I plan to be successful with every one of them.

Interested by this one, because it doesn'