Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 528547 times)

okisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1700 on: June 28, 2020, 09:55:54 PM »
I've been going through my predecessor's files at work. I could've just dumped the whole closetful into the trash, BUT environmental reasons. Instead, I spent down time over the week going through each file, removing it from the folder, and making a 'reuse' pile and a 'recycle' pile.
I sorted out all the paper clips and folders and returned them to the office supply area for reuse by coworkers. The blank papers went in to the copier paper tray, and the confidential papers are going to the shredding/recycling service. I brought the cardboard boxes home and put them in my recycling bin. Now I've filled my personal printer with the pages that were only printed on one side. The only trash generated was laminated or otherwise non-recyclable items, instead of several boxes of trash.

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1701 on: June 29, 2020, 04:26:55 AM »
I've been going through my predecessor's files at work. I could've just dumped the whole closetful into the trash, BUT environmental reasons. Instead, I spent down time over the week going through each file, removing it from the folder, and making a 'reuse' pile and a 'recycle' pile.
I sorted out all the paper clips and folders and returned them to the office supply area for reuse by coworkers. The blank papers went in to the copier paper tray, and the confidential papers are going to the shredding/recycling service. I brought the cardboard boxes home and put them in my recycling bin. Now I've filled my personal printer with the pages that were only printed on one side. The only trash generated was laminated or otherwise non-recyclable items, instead of several boxes of trash.

Great job @okcisok !

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1702 on: July 02, 2020, 01:03:35 PM »
watered using the rain barrel collected water.
swept all the paint flakes off the driveway instead of letting them get washed into the storm drains.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1703 on: July 07, 2020, 09:40:03 PM »
watered using the rain barrel collected water. ...

I'm interested in doing this as well- did you build your own rain barrel system? Where did you get your barrels?

ericbonabike

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1704 on: July 08, 2020, 09:14:12 AM »
I started using a 5 gallon bucket to catch the condensation from my AC.  It generates about 10 gallons a day ( i live in the Southeast).  This, plus another 5 gallon bucket I use to catch the water from my shower while I'm waiting for it to warm-up, is enough to water my garden every single day.




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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1705 on: July 29, 2020, 08:42:51 AM »
I started using a 5 gallon bucket to catch the condensation from my AC.  It generates about 10 gallons a day ( i live in the Southeast).  This, plus another 5 gallon bucket I use to catch the water from my shower while I'm waiting for it to warm-up, is enough to water my garden every single day.

After reading your post (thank you for the motivation), I moved a 5 gallon bucket into the shower to catch my warm-up water.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn I waste less than I thought, delighted to know I was no longer wasting it regardless of quantity (it now goes to water the multitude of houseplants I own) and astonished to discover a few days later, that the DH was now saving his warm-up water as well without my having asked him too.  We're now putting the excess water (more than the houseplants can swallow) into the half full rain barrel where it gets used on the garden.

This is great! I just started using rainwater for toilet flushing (since the plants here don't need it in the rainy summer), and can grab the shower warm up water too.

Where did you get your barrels?

@BuffaloStache your city or county might have rain barrels available at reduced cost. I've bought Upcycle rainbarrels online from both Hayneedle and Walmart for $55 (this one: https://www.hayneedle.com/product/upcycle48galterracottarainbarrel.cfm).

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1706 on: August 02, 2020, 05:23:51 PM »
I started using a 5 gallon bucket to catch the condensation from my AC.  It generates about 10 gallons a day ( i live in the Southeast).  This, plus another 5 gallon bucket I use to catch the water from my shower while I'm waiting for it to warm-up, is enough to water my garden every single day.

After reading your post (thank you for the motivation), I moved a 5 gallon bucket into the shower to catch my warm-up water.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn I waste less than I thought, delighted to know I was no longer wasting it regardless of quantity (it now goes to water the multitude of houseplants I own) and astonished to discover a few days later, that the DH was now saving his warm-up water as well without my having asked him too.  We're now putting the excess water (more than the houseplants can swallow) into the half full rain barrel where it gets used on the garden.

I guess I should get out a bucket.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1707 on: August 03, 2020, 12:33:20 AM »
I installed about 40 square metres of insulation in our uninsulated house over the weekend.  Not a fun job as the ceiling space is no more than 2 feet high at the highest point.  I just bought another 40 square metres to do the bedrooms at the other end of the house.  It should make the house a lot warmer in our current winter, and reduce our need to air condition in summer.


Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1708 on: August 13, 2020, 02:03:38 PM »
Im recycling bottles for my container garden irrigation system.  Ive only gotten 4 cherry tomatoes off my plant thus far, so Im hoping for a big August yield.  I also fertilized some coffee grounds and epsom salt.  I deadheaded my sunflowers (they sadly only looked good for about a week). 

lazycow

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1709 on: August 17, 2020, 01:55:46 AM »
Made my teen daughter 2 dozen reusable makeup remover wipes. I used flannelette material from her worn out pajama pants as it is super soft, cut 2 small circles per wipe and zig zag stitched them together. And I made a little wash bag for her to chuck them in when used so they can be washed in one go. Hopefully this will lead to no more disposable cotton wipes which a) come in plastic and b) she doesn't bother composting.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1710 on: August 17, 2020, 09:47:36 AM »
We got an e-bike and are using it instead of the car for a lot more of our errands.  And since I am now in the habit, I took my regular bike on a short errand that didn't involve the big hill.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1711 on: August 18, 2020, 06:51:18 AM »
When I cleaned out my mom's house, I posted every usable random item on Craigslist for free, including her cleaning supplies and random shed stuff. It went immediately. Generally people advise hiring a dumpster, but we produced only about 10 bags of trash (including kitchen trash generated by us during the cleanout process).

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1712 on: August 18, 2020, 06:52:28 AM »
Also, watered garden with fish tank water (which also fertilizes) though water scarcity is not really an issue in our area.

Abe

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1713 on: August 18, 2020, 07:48:53 PM »
We got an e-bike and are using it instead of the car for a lot more of our errands.  And since I am now in the habit, I took my regular bike on a short errand that didn't involve the big hill.

What brand do you have? I'm considering getting one!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1714 on: August 22, 2020, 04:09:11 PM »
We got an e-bike and are using it instead of the car for a lot more of our errands.  And since I am now in the habit, I took my regular bike on a short errand that didn't involve the big hill.

What brand do you have? I'm considering getting one!
We wanted to buy Canadian so DH ended up with a Rook assembled by surface604.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1715 on: August 25, 2020, 02:21:59 PM »
Joined a group that is examining greening footprints.  The proposed action was to commit to a 5-week challenge.  I chose menu planning to reduce food waste and eat what we have as my son moves out to university. 

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1716 on: September 01, 2020, 08:21:31 AM »
I used a drying rack instead of drying 2 loads of wet clothes
I also resurrected my old drying rack...and even use it to dry re-washed ziploc bags.

tawyer

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1717 on: September 01, 2020, 05:21:28 PM »
Repaired another pair of kid's shoes with Shoe Goo. After countless repairs, the tube is finally finished! The repairs made in the past have generally lasted until the shoe is outgrown or worn out.

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1718 on: September 04, 2020, 12:37:36 PM »
Sorted through my cookbooks and gave away the ones I don't want anymore through a local Buy Nothing group.

Abe

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1719 on: September 04, 2020, 04:08:54 PM »
Opening windows at night to cool down the house as much as possible, keeping AC at 80 during day when occupied with the incoming heatwave and running a ceiling fan as needed. Hopefully can avoid rolling blackouts this weekend in CA!

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1720 on: September 04, 2020, 08:16:16 PM »
I repair my head phones - some crazy glue and hockey tape for the win.  I dare not use them for anything but meetings at my desk top but they stay on and you can't see the repair.

okisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1721 on: October 09, 2020, 10:48:21 PM »
Started a new job a few weeks ago. There wasn't any kind of recycling in the office, just a shredder bin for sensitive documents. While we provide plastic water bottles and canned soda for clients and go through reams of copy paper a day!

I ordered some recycling totes for the break room and take each one home to my city recycling bin when they get full since there's no commercial bins. It's been two weeks and I've already emptied three bags. One of the partners (and her visiting husband) have both asked who brought them and thanked me for it.

Next is a visit to a thrift store to get some flatware, plates, and bowls. Right now the break room is single-use plastic and disposable *everything*. I bring my lunch in reusable containers with flatware wrapped in a cloth napkin.

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1722 on: October 11, 2020, 03:48:08 AM »
Started a new job a few weeks ago. There wasn't any kind of recycling in the office, just a shredder bin for sensitive documents. While we provide plastic water bottles and canned soda for clients and go through reams of copy paper a day!

I ordered some recycling totes for the break room and take each one home to my city recycling bin when they get full since there's no commercial bins. It's been two weeks and I've already emptied three bags. One of the partners (and her visiting husband) have both asked who brought them and thanked me for it.

Next is a visit to a thrift store to get some flatware, plates, and bowls. Right now the break room is single-use plastic and disposable *everything*. I bring my lunch in reusable containers with flatware wrapped in a cloth napkin.

Great job @okcisok !  I did something similar at a prior job -- brought in a bunch of thrifted dishes, cups and silverware, and a drainer for next to the sink.  Then the challenge was to get everyone to wash their stuff!   

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1723 on: October 11, 2020, 02:29:51 PM »
I suspect most people here won't like this one, but I didn't register to vote.  Once you register to vote, your personal info is given to the political factions who in turn proceed to send you an endless deluge of political circulars that end up being landfilled. Skip the registration, save the waste.     

okisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1724 on: October 11, 2020, 06:46:16 PM »

Next is a visit to a thrift store to get some flatware, plates, and bowls. Right now the break room is single-use plastic and disposable *everything*. I bring my lunch in reusable containers with flatware wrapped in a cloth napkin.

Great job @okcisok !  I did something similar at a prior job -- brought in a bunch of thrifted dishes, cups and silverware, and a drainer for next to the sink.  Then the challenge was to get everyone to wash their stuff!

I thought of that! :) But right now we do have coffee mugs that everyone is very good about washing at the end of the day, so I think it'll be an easy segue. Worth a try! At least I'll do it and try to be a good example.

okisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1725 on: October 13, 2020, 08:46:19 PM »
The DH installed a much needed high efficiency mini-split hvac system replacing an ancient and unreliable energy-hog heat exchanger.  We used the squishy foam packing material to block off/seal the no longer needed air vents and put the packing cardboard down as the first layer in new sheet composting pile.  We still have to responsibly dispose of the compressor, but the duct system we pulled out of the crawlspace has been recycled and were very happy with the small amount of waste created overall.

Impressive that you had so little waste on a home improvement project! Plus you'll be using less energy.

Brought home a copy paper box stuffed with paper and cardboard from work and put the whole thing in the recycling bin.
Was able to reuse plastic packaging as dog poop bags.
Picked up cans and other assorted trash on my walk and put them in the appropriate bins.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1726 on: October 29, 2020, 10:14:38 AM »
Yesterday I helped my late friend's sister clear out the freezers in her apartment.  We diverted a lot of food from the garbage.  Some items were just so old (my friend died in April) that they were unrecognizable, so I hauled them home for my compost.  I separated all the plastic from the organics and salvaged the reusable containers.  I am getting myself geared up to wash all the resealable bags.

All the 'treats' will go to my son and his buddies.  I filled our fridge and freezer to the gills.  I am hoping some of my neighbours will help eat some of the 6L of squash soup. 
My friend was a home economist and foodie but also a bit of a pack rat.  The great thing is - everything is labelled in her beautiful handwriting.  Hopefully I can use up a number of the sauces and pestos.  It will be like having dinner with her again almost.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1727 on: October 29, 2020, 10:19:25 AM »
So sorry for your loss @Frugal Lizard.  It sounds like it's a kind of way to keep your friend close, and I hope that brings some comfort.

Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1728 on: March 07, 2021, 03:33:16 PM »
Tonight I'll be taking my recycling down to the recycling bins in my building and then later this week I'll be donating some shoes to the thrift store.  I am also recycling some AMZ boxes for returns. 

Chaplin

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1729 on: March 07, 2021, 04:10:55 PM »
Our old box spring started creaking with even the slightest movement so we pulled it out and put the mattress on the floor for now. Rather than sending the box spring to the landfill we disassembled it ourselves and kept some of the wood for building shelves and the wire mesh on top is now a trellis in the garden. Rather than getting another box spring, we'll get a bed frame with slats that makes all future box springs unnecessary.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1730 on: March 08, 2021, 06:41:04 AM »
Love that @Chaplin!

A project I'm doing is repurposing used cardboard boxes (beer boxes are especially nice/heavy duty with carry handles) with leftover contact paper to make easy to clean organizing bins.

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1731 on: August 14, 2021, 09:55:48 AM »
Finally set up my clothesline again and have been drying a load daily.  In this heat, they dry as fast as the dryer. Our clothes and towels wear out slower when line dried, too.

Speaking of textiles, I saved all the tattered sheets, odd socks, etc. that were too shabby to give away, then dropped them off to the textile recycling booth at the farmers market.  Got some nice veggies at half price and picked up a Too Good To Go bakery box... win win win!

Botany Bae

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1732 on: August 14, 2021, 10:22:30 AM »
I did my weekly sort of our complex's recycling. My neighbors are all lazy and don't separate the recycling, which means it gets thrown in with regular trash at pickup. I go out every week ahead of pickup and separate out the 4 bins. It's not too hard, mainly removing paper bags from the aluminum bin because I guess it is too complicated to turn a bag upside down and dump the cans out.

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1733 on: August 14, 2021, 10:31:55 AM »
I did my weekly sort of our complex's recycling. My neighbors are all lazy and don't separate the recycling, which means it gets thrown in with regular trash at pickup. I go out every week ahead of pickup and separate out the 4 bins. It's not too hard, mainly removing paper bags from the aluminum bin because I guess it is too complicated to turn a bag upside down and dump the cans out.

That is awesome of you!  Though lazy of your neighbors.

I just went to the website of the makers of Scotch-Brite sponges, and sent a message asking them would they consider removing individual plastic wrapping of their sponges in bulk packs.  It seems unnecessary... I know they want to keep the sponges moist and soft but who really cares.

Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1734 on: August 14, 2021, 10:52:48 AM »
I bought a new battery from my Toyota dealership who I hope recycles my old dead battery from my Prius.

Used my own bag at 7-11.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1735 on: August 14, 2021, 11:12:33 AM »
Rode my bike to work and didn't bring a lunch because we are getting free subs--preventing food waste even though a sub is not my first choice for lunch (because it is already on the dinner menu... oops!).

mies

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1736 on: August 14, 2021, 11:13:31 AM »
I forgot to buy garlic at Walmart yesterday. I walked back to Walmart this morning instead of driving to get what I forgot. It was about 30 minutes each way.

draco44

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1737 on: August 14, 2021, 03:00:00 PM »
Used a half-gallon mason jar to make sun tea.

Used various food scraps such as leftover jam and a bit of dried coconut to make a big batch of granola.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1738 on: August 16, 2021, 08:21:12 AM »
We donated our old duvet to a local kennel for their dogs in the winter.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1739 on: August 20, 2021, 10:32:34 AM »
Cut our garbage pickup from once a week to once every 2 weeks. We're consistently producing less than a can/week so it doesn't make sense to pay for the extra pickups.

Next week, we're having a heat pump installed that will heat/cool half the house. I'm not sure this will be a net environmental positive since our current system is baseboard heat, supplemented by a gas fireplace, in the winter and no cooling in the summer. I know we'll be doing better in the winter, but it'll be partly offset by increasing our summer electricity usage. Anyway, I'm looking forward to being a lot more comfortable in the summer.

This weekend I'll make jam from berries I picked on the side of the road all from within a 200m radius of my house.

mies

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1740 on: August 20, 2021, 10:36:28 AM »
Cut our garbage pickup from once a week to once every 2 weeks. We're consistently producing less than a can/week so it doesn't make sense to pay for the extra pickups.

Nice. I love it when the more eco friendly option also saves money. 😎

Christof

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1741 on: August 20, 2021, 04:43:54 PM »
When we wanted to reduce garbage pickup we found out that our city enforces a 5 liter per person per week minimum which is twice what we need.

cannotWAIT

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1742 on: August 20, 2021, 06:32:52 PM »
I got approved to continue working from home until February. It's probably the single biggest thing I can do to reduce my impact. I don't drive my car anywhere other than to go hiking (which I can't do right now anyway because all the trails are closed due to fire risk). I have time to hang my laundry out to dry. I don't buy clothes or really anything else. I waste almost no food (and food waste has been a huge sin of mine) because I have the mental wherewithal to be more conscientious about it. I don't travel to any stupid conferences. I don't buy stupid gifts for co-workers (that I'm sure they don't want anyway but we're all socially obligated to participate in the potlatch). And I have the time and energy to solve my little problems with effort and ingenuity, as opposed to Amazon.

Imagine if everyone who could WFH did!


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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1743 on: August 21, 2021, 11:12:08 AM »
Went along behind my husband to put the leftover hamburger buns in the freezer so they won't go to waste. Took apart the packaging that came with my mail-order pharmacy "stuff" so that it could be recycled (the wrapper, with my grocery bags) and composted (the filling, hopefully--they might toss it at the municipal composting facility but since it said compostable, I thought it was worth a try). I haven't taken the freezer packs apart yet but I will--the wrapper should be recyclable and apparently the filling can be poured on plants!

Christof

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1744 on: August 21, 2021, 02:08:24 PM »
Six miles into our bike ride we noticed that a bottle was missing. I turned around and rode all the way back to the train station to find it. I dint find the bottle but at least had another 12 miles of biking exercise. On the way back we took the same trains (contrary to what we planned) and found the bottle in the tracks at one station where we changed trains. The lid broke, so tomorrow well see if we can fix it or if we continue to use the bottle without a lid.

We insist that our son is bringing everything back from school that he took there including bottles. So it was good to show him that we demand the same from us when we loose a bottle.

Botany Bae

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1745 on: August 21, 2021, 04:37:03 PM »
Shopped from our Buy Nothing group's traveling women's clothing box, and passed on some of our own no longer needed items.

Our bathroom sink faucet broke this morning and the hot water won't shut off completely. As in there is a steady flow of hot water, not a drip. Maintenance won't come in until Monday to fix it. So I shut off the water to the sink completely to stop the water and energy waste.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1746 on: August 21, 2021, 07:42:45 PM »
Stored saved seeds for chard from the garden in old prescription containers with the labels removed. Will share with my Buy Nothing Group over winter.

draco44

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1747 on: August 21, 2021, 07:48:58 PM »
Received a kitchen gadget I'd been looking for from Buy Nothing instead of purchasing a new one.

Wrapped and gave a gift using a nice gift bag and decorative shredded paper that I'd saved from a gift I'd previously received from a different person.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1748 on: August 21, 2021, 08:11:14 PM »
Made some new toys for the birdie friends out of old cardboard, old popsicle sticks, food coloring, and sisal twine

Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1749 on: August 22, 2021, 06:20:52 AM »
Yesterday I recycled a bunch of Amazon boxes.  This morning, perhaps not a total win but I bought and installed an attractive wall-mounted container to better wrangle my plastic bags for scooping and disposing of cat litter. 

Last night I ate 2 individual sized containers of strawberry ice cream I purchased when I was recovering from surgery in the winter. Food waste is my big area to tackle.  I have zero likelihood of cooking yet I buy ingredients to make dishes.