Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 372173 times)

jps

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1150 on: February 01, 2019, 05:56:05 PM »
Ate a vegan lunch!

mountain mustache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1151 on: February 01, 2019, 08:42:02 PM »
biked to work, biked to the store to pick up a few groceries on the way home.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1152 on: February 01, 2019, 11:36:59 PM »
As part of my commitment to avoid the 'fast fashion' trap, today I cleared out the mending pile. Fixed up two cardigans and a dress and they're back in my wardrobe.

mies

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1153 on: February 02, 2019, 06:59:22 AM »
I finally eliminated all incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with an E26 base in my house today :D I finally had a chance to get into the attic after the cold snap this week and swap out the ancient 100W incandescent lamp up there for a 13W LED.

I also eliminated a halogen motion sensor security light on my house. The bulb died years ago but you could still here the click of the motion sensor whenever you walked past it. I know it used a negligible amount of energy, but at least it's no longer there consuming energy for the benefit of no one.

The final phase of my project will be swapping out lamps and maybe fixtures in the garage. The previous home owner installed 3 halogen flood lights on the garage and there is still a fixture that takes 4 fluorescent tubes inside the garage. Fortunately those barely get used, so the urgency for swapping those out isn't as high as it was for the actual house.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1154 on: February 02, 2019, 10:37:55 AM »
It occurred to me that maybe I could use one of our 937 reusable grocery sacks (one keeps getting them for free), one of the ones that stands up pretty well, to hold recycling instead of using a paper grocery sack. I had forgotten to get a paper sack at TJ.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1155 on: February 02, 2019, 12:54:26 PM »
I got all sorts of unusual vegetables in my misfits box but instead of letting them go bad, I actually cooked most of them today. Two soups and a bowl of roasted vegetables.

TrMama

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1156 on: February 02, 2019, 02:56:25 PM »
Sewed some produce bags out of an old sheet.

Finished making reusable maxi pads for my daughter. They're made from leftover scraps from previous sewing projects. Hopefully, starting her this young will prevent her from ever throwing one of those out.

Later today, I'll patch the holey knee in my other daughter's pants.

Our guinea pigs are currently outside "mowing" the lawn. I love having pets that live mostly off grass, weeds and produce scraps that would otherwise go in the compost.

mountain mustache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1157 on: February 02, 2019, 03:07:49 PM »
- rode my town bike to the trails, went for a hike and rode back home.
- actually remembered my cloth bags for a visit to the health food store. I usually carry everything out without a bag because I forget cloth ones, and won't take a plastic/paper one.
 

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1158 on: February 02, 2019, 09:00:15 PM »
* Composted contents of two vacuums

* Kept food scraps out of the sink drain as usual and composted those as well

* Created a carbon-holding hugelkulture bed with some dead tree limbs and the woodchip compost; placed it in such a way as to hopefully keep water on the property rather than draining away

Bracken_Joy

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1159 on: February 03, 2019, 08:58:04 AM »
Huh. I always assumed my vacuum accumulation couldn't be composted. Can it?

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1160 on: February 03, 2019, 04:59:09 PM »
Huh. I always assumed my vacuum accumulation couldn't be composted. Can it?

We have hardwood floors; I've read that most carpet is synthetic fiber so you wouldn't want those micro plastics in your compost, but YMMV. Occasionally we'll get some little piece of non-biodegradable material but I just pluck that out when I spread out the finished compost, same as I do with produce stickers or other junk that gets in there.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1161 on: February 03, 2019, 05:39:02 PM »
Huh. I always assumed my vacuum accumulation couldn't be composted. Can it?

We have hardwood floors; I've read that most carpet is synthetic fiber so you wouldn't want those micro plastics in your compost, but YMMV. Occasionally we'll get some little piece of non-biodegradable material but I just pluck that out when I spread out the finished compost, same as I do with produce stickers or other junk that gets in there.

Hmmm - I have hardwood floors but synthetic rugs. I guess from here on out I should only buy rugs made of natural fibres (for many, many reasons, not just compostable vacuum contents!) - time to start researching.

debtfreejess

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1162 on: February 03, 2019, 08:11:53 PM »
I like to share how I use our freezer to reduce food waste :)

* We freeze veggie scraps (onion skins, garlic skins, celery leaves, carrot peels, bits of herbs, green bean ends, etc.) in a glass bowl. When it's full, we make veggie broth by bringing the scraps to a boil in a pot of water, then simmering for an hour. Whatever we don't use immediately for soup, we freeze in an ice cub tray (found that freezing directly in jars, even with lots of space, led to broken jars :( )
 
* Whenever I burn toast (which happens more than I'd like to admit), I throw it into the blender and save the breadcrumbs in a jar in the freezer. Use to bind broccoli fritters and top mac n cheese

* Freeze fresh pesto (we usually have a basic plant) in ice cube trays! It's perfectly portioned for a bowl of pasta. I'll also freeze extra herbs (particularly thyme) in olive oil.

* We buy parmesan in blocks; I'll freeze the rinds and throw them in soups for a really nice flavor

* Whenever I make beans in the slow cooker, I'll double it and freeze the leftovers

* In late summer, I'll buy a lot of tomatoes, roast them, blend them and freeze them. They taste better than canned and help us avoid the sad winter tomatoes

* Overripe bananas! I don't really like banana bread, but they would be good for that. But personally, I blend them with a little peanut butter to make a summer treat for my dog

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1163 on: February 04, 2019, 06:59:38 AM »
Today I picked up two toddler outdoor chairs to clean up and paint from a neighbour. They're clearly well used but still sturdy, and will be good practice for me with painting things!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1164 on: February 06, 2019, 01:31:44 AM »
Today I picked up two toddler outdoor chairs to clean up and paint from a neighbour. They're clearly well used but still sturdy, and will be good practice for me with painting things!

Are they the IKEA ones? Those are so sturdy. I think they're rated to 100kg!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1165 on: February 06, 2019, 01:35:08 AM »
Today:
Cold wash for laundry, and line drying.
Cloth pads for me, mostly cloth nappies for the toddler, cloth napkins and hankies for all.
Walked to a playdate.
Walked to buy treats to take to the playdate.
Used up veges before they went bad.

mountain mustache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1166 on: February 06, 2019, 05:10:34 AM »
- walked to the hiking trails, hiked, and then walked to work.
- brought lunch in reusable glass containers (as always)
- walked home from work in the admittedly very windy/cold dark. Bike would have been better today!

TrMama

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1167 on: February 06, 2019, 10:48:18 AM »
Biked to work. Borrowed my DD's rain paints to layer over my regular bike tights so I wouldn't freeze like yesterday.

Packed vegan lunch.

Started some bean sprouts. In 5 days we'll be able to eat them.

There's a stack of free t shirts at work. They're not terribly attractive and I don't think they'll all be claimed (supposed to be one/employee). I'll grab a couple later in the week for my kids to use as PJ/painting shirts.

Read some of the Zero Waste Home blog and picked up a few new ideas.

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1168 on: February 07, 2019, 04:08:33 AM »
No car usage for the past two days.  (We're making a concerted effort to combine trips).  Talked to DD about switching to reusable pads, and she is going to give it a try. 

Anatidae V

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1169 on: February 07, 2019, 04:15:43 AM »
Cooked the food we had instead of picking up tasty kebabs at the butcher.

Practiced tofu stir fry and am getting the hang of it, so more vegan meals in our future!

Read a book on reducing waste and I'm now keen to set up our worm farm and get a tumbling composter, as our next step to both improve our garden's soil and reduce waste leaving the house.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1170 on: February 08, 2019, 03:37:22 AM »
No car usage for the past two days.  (We're making a concerted effort to combine trips).  Talked to DD about switching to reusable pads, and she is going to give it a try.

Has she considered a cup yet? Much cleaner than reusable pads IMO!

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1171 on: February 08, 2019, 10:13:38 AM »
No car usage for the past two days.  (We're making a concerted effort to combine trips).  Talked to DD about switching to reusable pads, and she is going to give it a try.

Has she considered a cup yet? Much cleaner than reusable pads IMO!

I agree!  Cups are the best and I've told her about them, but she doesn't want to try one quite yet

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1172 on: February 08, 2019, 02:41:58 PM »
There was an estate sale going on next door to my local Goodwill.

I picked up 16 cloth napkins to add to our collection of reusable linens, as well as mechanical pencils for my son, Crayola crayons for my little daughter and some pretty blank cards to use for schoolroom Valentines. Loving buying “used”!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 07:11:31 PM by jengod »

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1173 on: February 08, 2019, 02:59:02 PM »
 - Remembered my cloth grocery bags for my grocery store trip today
 - Had chicken on the list but decided not to buy it, we can have lentils instead
 - Will serve only vegetarian options at the gathering we're hosting tomorrow (I'm counting it for today because I'm doing the food prep)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1174 on: February 08, 2019, 03:20:45 PM »
Made scrap fabric into extra cloth napkins for the kiddos. Bonus: it is novelty fabric and what little boy doesn't prefer an Avengers/Batman/Harry Potter napkin to a plain one?

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1175 on: February 08, 2019, 03:54:39 PM »
Made scrap fabric into extra cloth napkins for the kiddos. Bonus: it is novelty fabric and what little boy doesn't prefer an Avengers/Batman/Harry Potter napkin to a plain one?

Ooooh that's an excellent gift idea for my nephlings...

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1176 on: February 08, 2019, 04:07:26 PM »
Made scrap fabric into extra cloth napkins for the kiddos. Bonus: it is novelty fabric and what little boy doesn't prefer an Avengers/Batman/Harry Potter napkin to a plain one?

Ooooh that's an excellent gift idea for my nephlings...

More ideas: the scraps were leftover from making a Batman apron (I made that for LB) and a Harry Potter tote bag (BB made for himself) :-).

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1177 on: February 09, 2019, 11:21:37 PM »
My new hippy deodorant works better than the supermarket aerosol stuff. I am astonished and pleased by this.

Made scrap fabric into extra cloth napkins for the kiddos. Bonus: it is novelty fabric and what little boy doesn't prefer an Avengers/Batman/Harry Potter napkin to a plain one?

Ooooh that's an excellent gift idea for my nephlings...

More ideas: the scraps were leftover from making a Batman apron (I made that for LB) and a Harry Potter tote bag (BB made for himself) :-).

This is awesome.

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1178 on: February 09, 2019, 11:26:45 PM »
What brand is your deo? I developed an allergy to mine (after months!). Also, it doesn't work that well.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1179 on: February 09, 2019, 11:29:04 PM »
What brand is your deo? I developed an allergy to mine (after months!). Also, it doesn't work that well.

Black Chicken Axilla deodorant paste. It's in plastic, but you can return the packaging if you buy it from Flora and Fauna. However, if your reaction was to the bicarb, this one contains bicarb too. They have a sensitive option which might not?

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1180 on: February 09, 2019, 11:38:05 PM »
I might test myself with plain bicarb.

mountain mustache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1181 on: February 10, 2019, 06:22:39 AM »
ordered a bunch of kitchen towels/rags and cloth scrubbies so I can stop my ridiculous paper towel and sponge usage. Paper towels are one of those things I've had a hard time not using, because they are so convenient, but I think if I just have an ample supply of towels and rags around all of the time, I can create a new habit!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1182 on: February 10, 2019, 05:55:08 PM »
I need to vent:

Some friends of mine are theoretically on board with minimising their environmental impact, and are doing all the small, instagrammable things like buying stainless steel straws. But they've just told me they're planning to buy a second, larger car (likely a mid to large 4wd / SUV) so that they can both drive to work every day instead of catching public transport. They live close to the city and public transport for their location is extremely convenient, quick and cheap.

I know that it's completely normal to have two cars - but I also know it's 100% possible to be a one-car household. I'd like to think I set a good example - we have two jobs and a kid and still manage to not just stick to one car, but to use it only 3-4 days a week.

If I get a good opportunity, I will gently encourage them to think further about only having one car, buuuut... that's unlikely to sway them. I think I'm just finding it extra depressing because even the people who seem to care about climate change, don't actually care enough to not buy whatever they want and live however they want.

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1183 on: February 10, 2019, 06:40:39 PM »
It's rather like mustachianism - it's the big things like where you live, the size of house, that matter much more than whether you buy a coffee out.

The only thing I can think to suggest is saying that it's a real shame that public transport isn't working for them anymore and if they ask why you can say because.... And send an ad for a second hand version of the car, maybe they can cut down on the embodied energy of a new one? Most of my friends are entirely clueless/ too busy to stop and think/ don't have time to notice any environmental messages eg in media.  Gentle prods are doing little. We will see what headway I can make when I see them this weekend.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1184 on: February 10, 2019, 08:33:45 PM »
I think I'm just finding it extra depressing because even the people who seem to care about climate change, don't actually care enough to not buy whatever they want and live however they want.

Yeah :-(  My family is like this. I'm not perfect by any means, but I do pretty well (small 1BR apartment, no car, cut way back on meat, no air travel, etc.). But the rest of my family - if you asked them they would say the environment is really important. But they are living in oversized homes, take multiple airplane vacations a year, eat meat daily, have two cars including SUVs, are generally very consumery and love to shop, etc. etc. But they have an *electric* SUV, and they turn the thermostat down a little in winter, so it's all good. (eyeroll) I keep doing what I'm doing because my conscience wouldn't let me do otherwise, but it sure feels futile when surrounded by people like that.

Anatidae V

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1185 on: February 11, 2019, 02:58:00 AM »
I have been diligently using my keep cup for my treat hot drink at the cafe. Next is to help DH get in the same habit, and make some slices & muffins for the freezer so I stop buying a treat to go with it.

We bought diced kangaroo to try. Plan is to have a go at a few different recipes with it and see what we like it best in, and move more of our meat use to that while also decreasing meat in our diet in general.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1186 on: February 11, 2019, 04:36:36 AM »
I used my keepcup and did a plastic free shop for dinner (though it did use some plasticy ingredients we already had at home).

Three out of six of my T-shirt have started to develop holes all over them. Past the point of repair, the fabric is giving out all over the place. Yay for me buying clothing in 2015 that I have continued to enjoy wearing week in and out. I really should have started looking for replacements before it got to this point though as my wardrobe is very limited with half the shirts out of commission and I don’t want to make any poor rushed purchases just to tide me over.

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1187 on: February 11, 2019, 07:32:53 AM »
 - Walked to the store for last minute food needed
 - Used no paper products at our party on Saturday - only washable plates, cloth napkins, etc.
 - Took public transit to the city on Sunday
 - Currently, trying to plan if I can work from home tomorrow.  Mostly because of the snow, but it would also save me driving for the day

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1188 on: February 12, 2019, 07:34:01 AM »
Was going to buy ground meat, but didn't because I got some frozen soy crumblies to try out the other day.
Was going to buy a case of prepackaged snacks, but abstained.

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1189 on: February 15, 2019, 04:01:15 AM »
We're currently doing a DIY major to-the-studs kitchen remodel in the old house we bought, and we kept and repaired the existing appliances.  The dishwasher was leaking and the door hinge was broken, and the gas cooktop would not light, was missing gaskets, and needed a new gas supply line.  My DH has great fix-it skills, and he took both of them to pieces, diagnosed the problems, got parts at the local appliance repair store, and put them back together.  Voila -- both working great now. 

I feel like many (most?) people in our situation would have bought new appliances and trashed these.  I feel really, really good that we instead gave them a new life and kept them out of the landfill.   

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1190 on: February 16, 2019, 01:44:09 AM »
A friend told me that she's been thinking more about the environmental impact of flying as a result of conversations with me, and is going to donate the cost of her upcoming international flight to an offset charity. I don't have words for how happy this makes me.

I have started keeping a spare jug by the kitchen sink, and when I'm running the tap waiting for warm water I fill that jug. Then we use the jug of water later to fill up the kettle and anything else we need room temperature water for.

I am buying clothes from sources that make at least some effort towards ethical production (secondhand would be better, but I don't have much luck with finding anything that fits and is suitable. Looking forward to having more time for op shopping post-FIRE!).

Hosting family tomorrow and I'm making bread, dips and treats from scratch to minimise packaging.

Anatidae V

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1191 on: February 16, 2019, 06:58:37 AM »
I set up 3 bins in our kitchen yesterday, to help us sort our waste: compost, thin plastics and "general". When I set up our worm farm I'll add a fourth bin for that. They all live on our bench so it might feel a bit crowded, but I'll work out a nicer solution later - building the habits first!

I also rearranged our laundry to make the recycling bin and other tubs more accessible. We should be able to keep on top of the cloth nappy washing better now. I also ordered more cloth nappies last week, and have a date with a friend coming up to learn to put new elastic in some of my secondhand ones, as it's the part that goes bad first!

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1192 on: February 16, 2019, 11:46:12 AM »
Ran the laundry machine on 'eco' mode. No clue why I don't do that more often tbh.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1193 on: February 16, 2019, 10:14:10 PM »
  • Participated in a beach cleanup with friends and our two older kids; picked up masses of styrofoam and packaging and cup lids and plenty of weird stuff too, including pregnancy tests, flip-flops, plastic hangers, and so on.
  • Bottled my first batch of homemade apple-cider vinegar. It was oddly easy, it's tasty, and all the containers were acquired secondhand.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1194 on: February 17, 2019, 04:51:45 AM »
  • Participated in a beach cleanup with friends and our two older kids; picked up masses of styrofoam and packaging and cup lids and plenty of weird stuff too, including pregnancy tests, flip-flops, plastic hangers, and so on.
  • Bottled my first batch of homemade apple-cider vinegar. It was oddly easy, it's tasty, and all the containers were acquired secondhand.

Totally the kinda thing I'd use on a beach... Like, how?

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1195 on: February 17, 2019, 05:35:13 AM »
  • Participated in a beach cleanup with friends and our two older kids; picked up masses of styrofoam and packaging and cup lids and plenty of weird stuff too, including pregnancy tests, flip-flops, plastic hangers, and so on.
  • Bottled my first batch of homemade apple-cider vinegar. It was oddly easy, it's tasty, and all the containers were acquired secondhand.


Totally the kinda thing I'd use on a beach... Like, how?

I think they probably wash ashore from garbage dumped in the ocean. :(

BookLoverL

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1196 on: February 18, 2019, 09:46:01 AM »
Picked up a bag of litter from my local neighbourhood for the first time since the autumn - I had been going out a lot in the summer to do it, but for some reason I'd stopped over winter while the nights were longer. Going to try to properly restart the habit.

Got the train back from visiting my long distance boyfriend instead of taking the car.

Walked to the train station from his house instead of letting him drive me.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1197 on: February 18, 2019, 09:42:49 PM »
I got a notice today that my apartment building is going to have a "brown bin" for compostables going forward - so I can put food scraps and food-soiled paper there. This is awesome :-)  Does anyone have a good idea for how to store compostables in a very tiny kitchen in a way that won't attract pests? I was thinking I might just put them in a paper bag in the freezer or something, although I hate to give up freezer space. I really don't know what else to do with it.

The city is also promoting a "zero waste pledge" to go with it, and if you sign up they will give you a free reusable bag or a cutting board. I don't need those things, so I'm going to skip the freebie. If other New Yorkers want to take part, it's at nyc.gov/zerowastepledge.

jengod

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What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1198 on: February 18, 2019, 09:53:14 PM »
Does anyone have a good idea for how to store compostables in a very tiny kitchen in a way that won't attract pests? I was thinking I might just put them in a paper bag in the freezer or something, although I hate to give up freezer space.

We used a lidded plastic container (once held dishwasher pods) stored in the freezer for many years. We now use a small lidded trashcan (with a push pedal) and take the removable liner to the bins when we can.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 09:59:57 PM by jengod »

Anatidae V

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1199 on: February 18, 2019, 10:10:58 PM »
DH and I took lunch to work 2 days in a row, made by me. Turns out I love spinach smothered in hommus. Even better with a tin of tuna or tofu, very filling.

I brought my own cutlery and tea towel to work, to eat it with. I also purchased two glass keep cups for my and DH's offices, so we will both be more likely to use our Very Nice Treat Cups when we do purchase hot beverages. At home we already have reusable takeaway mugs we like taking to the park and using around the toddler, but I guessed correctly DH is much more likely to use one at work if it's a Fancy Cup.