Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 578700 times)

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1800 on: August 25, 2022, 08:58:17 AM »
I am personally taking as many big and small actions as I can.
I am a member of both the Green Party of Canada and Ontario.  I vote municipally and do a lot of advocacy for environmental sustainability in public engagement opportunities.
I bought an EV - used Leaf - in 2018.  Replaced it with a 2022 Leaf when it was totaled last year.  But I take public transit as much as possible.  We went from having 2 cars for three drivers to one car and four drivers in our family this past year. It has been an adjustment. 
We commissioned a report from a building science company for a pathway to net zero on our house in 2016 and have been slowly implementing all the recommendations.  We are done all the easy ones.  The next few involve major renovations that are beyond our skill set.  This will involve the very hard to insulate walls and a cathedral ceiling, heat pumps and hot water conversion to electric.  50% of the walls have been thickened and insulated from the inside. Another 10% can be done from the inside.  The balance involves doing it from the outside.
Our roof has a 10kW photo voltaic system.  It was installed in November of 2015.
I grow a huge amount of our food. I preserve a lot of it as efficiently as possible.
We just got an induction stove in March.
We have converted 65% of the lawn to gardens - mostly native plants.  The remaining lawn will be converted this fall.  It is so shady now, it grows so poorly.
We do eat a lot less meat and I try to buy it from small farms.
My paid work involves a lot of impact on sustainable systems.
I volunteer a lot of time with a not-for-profit organization that increases urban canopy and does environmental education.
Really trying to cut back on air travel.

Fru-Gal

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1801 on: August 25, 2022, 09:11:54 AM »
Very inspiring list!

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1802 on: August 25, 2022, 09:58:15 AM »
My question is whether the people in this group are also taking big actions like:
-Voting locally and nationally in support of candidates that have social and environmental action on their agenda
-Driving smaller, preferably electric, cars
-Home improvements like insulation, heat pumps and accessing renewable electricity
-Eating less animal products
-Impacting decisions at work to move your company towards more sustainable systems

Voting: yes, climate change and local pollution is high on my list
Driving: I've never owned a vehicle at all; I walk or take transit almost 100% of the time
Home improvements: I rent a small apartment and can't control much (except size of living space)
Eating: I eat with carbon emissions in mind; almost no red meat, less meat in general; I tend to batch cook which increases energy efficiency
Work: I'm not working right now - and I didn't really have a lot of opportunities to steer things that way when I did work. Our physical production happened in another state and was done by another company that we contracted out to. We did try to use our overruns instead of trashing them like a lot of companies did.

I think the reason we don't discuss this sort of stuff in this thread is that they tend to be things you decide once, or very occasionally. I haven't been on an airplane in seven years. I'm not going to post every day "didn't get on an airplane again today!" I haven't owned any vehicle other than a bicycle in my 45-year life. Not going to post "Didn't buy an ICE vehicle again today!" every day for decades. :-) Once people make the decision not to buy a car or to avoid flying or to become vegan and so on, you move on to the small decisions that you can make every day - cutting back on trash, cutting back on plastic use, cutting back on carbon emissions, etc.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1803 on: August 25, 2022, 06:22:17 PM »
I'd like to pose a question to this group. But I am worried that my question will make it sound as though I am opposed to what this thread is about. So - to begin with - I want to make it clear that I am not at all opposed to small actions.

My question is whether the people in this group are also taking big actions like:
-Voting locally and nationally in support of candidates that have social and environmental action on their agenda
-Driving smaller, preferably electric, cars
-Home improvements like insulation, heat pumps and accessing renewable electricity
-Eating less animal products
-Impacting decisions at work to move your company towards more sustainable systems

...Or are the big actions seen as taking things a bit outside of the comfort zone?
Speaking for myself, absolutely yes Iím working on the Big stuff but this thread is specifically and importantly about the Little things because, IMHO:

sometimes those little actions are the ones that are internally Encouraging and that are a daily reflection of my values

even if I wasnít able to go door-to-door canvassing that day for the City Council candidate who supports greater urban density and transit.

Abe

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1804 on: August 25, 2022, 08:44:48 PM »
-Voting locally and nationally in support of candidates that have social and environmental action on their agenda: yes, both voting and in campaign contributions.
-Driving smaller, preferably electric, cars: yes, switched to all electric cars (both). We live relatively close to work, so don't drive much anyway.
-Home improvements like insulation, heat pumps and accessing renewable electricity: yes to all (except ACs were just replaced before we bought the house, but they run off our solar + batteries)
-Eating less animal products: yes, occasional fish (1-2 times a week) but that's it
-Impacting decisions at work to move your company towards more sustainable systems: trying to convince my massive hospital to install solar panels on our huge parking decks.

A lot of our individual footprints can be mitigated to a large extent with the above measures. #1 and 4 are free to implement, #2 can be substituted by more conscious of wasteful driving (thus saving money), and the rest are relatively cheap for anyone with a middle-class income.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1805 on: August 29, 2022, 03:36:51 PM »
Haven't received it yet so I'm still crossing fingers that it actually works, but I found something second-hand on eBay located here in NY to replace a broken piece of electronics; so I don't have to buy something new that would almost certainly be manufactured and shipped from abroad.

lifeisshort123

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1806 on: August 29, 2022, 05:33:23 PM »
Had time in the middle of the day to run errands, but would have been ďout of the wayĒ.  Waited until after work to run the errands and save gas, help the earth, etc.

Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1807 on: August 30, 2022, 04:55:32 AM »
Got my pricey meds today!  Went into CVS instead of idling in the drive through.  Theyíre severely understaffed so I woulda been waiting an eternity in the drive through.

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1808 on: August 30, 2022, 07:00:16 AM »
Instead of buying the pre-packed school supplies offered by the PTA, I just bought what my kids need and had them reuse binders, pencil cases, plastic folders, and scissors in good condition.  This also saves money and reduces clutter.

Though, I typically donate to the PTA to make up for the small loss from not joining the fundraiser.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1809 on: August 30, 2022, 04:28:28 PM »
I submitted a comment during the public commenting period (there must be a better way to word that...) supporting a new law that is pro-transit/anti-car. And added a request that they enforce existing regulations better, because they don't enforce them basically at all. (Like letting trucks park in bus stops and bike lanes.)

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1810 on: September 04, 2022, 11:14:59 AM »
Another school related action: once again, reached out to neighbors to set up more carpools/walking schoolbus. This year I'm going to see if we can get this to work with more than one neighbor.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1811 on: September 04, 2022, 01:14:47 PM »
My question is whether the people in this group are also taking big actions like:
-Voting locally and nationally in support of candidates that have social and environmental action on their agenda
-Driving smaller, preferably electric, cars
-Home improvements like insulation, heat pumps and accessing renewable electricity
-Eating less animal products
-Impacting decisions at work to move your company towards more sustainable systems

Voting: yes, climate change and local pollution is high on my list
Driving: I've never owned a vehicle at all; I walk or take transit almost 100% of the time
Home improvements: I rent a small apartment and can't control much (except size of living space)
Eating: I eat with carbon emissions in mind; almost no red meat, less meat in general; I tend to batch cook which increases energy efficiency
Work: I'm not working right now - and I didn't really have a lot of opportunities to steer things that way when I did work. Our physical production happened in another state and was done by another company that we contracted out to. We did try to use our overruns instead of trashing them like a lot of companies did.

I think the reason we don't discuss this sort of stuff in this thread is that they tend to be things you decide once, or very occasionally. I haven't been on an airplane in seven years. I'm not going to post every day "didn't get on an airplane again today!" I haven't owned any vehicle other than a bicycle in my 45-year life. Not going to post "Didn't buy an ICE vehicle again today!" every day for decades. :-) Once people make the decision not to buy a car or to avoid flying or to become vegan and so on, you move on to the small decisions that you can make every day - cutting back on trash, cutting back on plastic use, cutting back on carbon emissions, etc.

I also did not get on a plane today!  And I didn't buy a new car. One small detail is that I was thinking about getting rid of an old vehicle and replacing it with a new one.  Fortunately my mechanic BIL looked over my older car and assured me it was in fine shape. So I guess I didn't add to the environmental impact that comes from manufacturing a new car.

lifeisshort123

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1812 on: September 04, 2022, 05:08:21 PM »
CarpooledÖ saved money and environmental impactÖ cost me an extra 45 minutes, but I think on the whole was worth it.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1813 on: September 05, 2022, 03:46:20 PM »
Bought some freezer safe containers to reuse rather than plastic bags. It makes me nuts to use so much single use plastic - finally took a step to reduce it somewhat.

StarBright

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1814 on: September 05, 2022, 05:18:50 PM »
I split some native plantings (bee balm and cardinal flower) and planted the splits in another part of my yard.

It has taken 4 years for the native pollinator plants to establish. My goal is to eventually have them line my whole fence (a few hundred feet).

I get a lot of joy every time I walk by my original patch and see bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies doing their thing.

EchoStache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1815 on: September 06, 2022, 06:22:11 AM »
I've done quite a lot in recent months/past year, basically a complete shift from uber consumer to some reasonable level of frugality/environmental friendliness.

When showering, I now only use water to wash my hair, then off.  Back on only to rinse off. Obviously, saving water, sewer, and energy for hot/warm water.  I haven't done much in reducing water temp so room for improvement there.

I make sure I don't leave the water running when brushing my teeth.

I never turn on the faucet wide open unless I'm filling something.  When using water, I turn it on just enough.  I'm encouraging my household of 5 to partake in these to develop new habits on all of us, hopefully.  I'm sure many on these forums have already been doing this for as long as they can remember, but I have definitely not.  So I feel like these are big changes, especially as they carry over to the entire household.

Just had a hybrid water heater installed.

Recently moved.  We had five window units on our hold house, and they were always set around 70, and often cooler at night, as low as 66.  New house has central air and is easier to maintain a constant temp and good humidity level in the house.  Keeping the AC set warmer was an important goal.  So far, we have settled on 73 at night while sleeping and 75 during the day.  I think there is room to improve during the day, especially during hot sunny days when the A/C tends to run a lot.

We are trying to be very intentional about buying "stuff" and getting away from the mindset that "buying stuff" is what makes life rewarding.

If I stop in somewhere to pick up a single item or two, I ALWAYS refuse the plastic bag that the cashier automatically places the individual item into.  Half the time I have to take the item back out of the bag.  Is it really easier to carry one item(plastic bag) than one item(item without the bag?  A constant reminder of the sickening wastefulness of our culture.

I mentioned earlier in the thread that we are now recycling for the first time ever.  I feel really good about the improvements we have made.  I feel like, as a household, we have drastically reduced our wastefulness.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2022, 06:27:39 AM by UltraStache »

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1816 on: September 06, 2022, 10:05:39 AM »
That's some awesome progress, UltraStache!

chaskavitch

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1817 on: September 06, 2022, 11:38:38 AM »
I filled out a survey from the city with answers in enthusiastic favor of their interest in xeric and water-wise landscaping requirements for new commercial and residential construction :)  We've got some beautiful landscaping through most of town, but most of it looks like it takes a LOT of water to maintain, and they replant a lot of it every season/year.

Rollin

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1818 on: September 09, 2022, 01:30:36 PM »
I'd like to pose a question to this group. But I am worried that my question will make it sound as though I am opposed to what this thread is about. So - to begin with - I want to make it clear that I am not at all opposed to small actions.

My question is whether the people in this group are also taking big actions like:
-Voting locally and nationally in support of candidates that have social and environmental action on their agenda
-Driving smaller, preferably electric, cars
-Home improvements like insulation, heat pumps and accessing renewable electricity
-Eating less animal products
-Impacting decisions at work to move your company towards more sustainable systems

...Or are the big actions seen as taking things a bit outside of the comfort zone?

If there is not a thread started on this (as opposed to this one about small stuff) maybe it'd be great to start one!

LD_TAndK

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1819 on: September 25, 2022, 05:33:11 AM »
I've been conscientious of our electricity usage in all sorts of small ways, using less hot water, less heating and cooling, re-insulated the attic, no dryer, put things on power strips to cut power when not in use.

The results are we've used 4,476 kWh over the last 365 days for our all-electric house. Car and grill are still using fossil fuels.

National average is 10,715 kWh annually, which doesn't include most people's heating & cooking fuel!

EchoStache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1820 on: September 25, 2022, 08:40:18 AM »
Another thing I forgot to mention; wife is air drying most of our clothes now.

When driving to work(30 miles each way), we leave in plenty of time that we don't have to speed.  CC gets set to 63 while faster traffic cruises at 70+.  This keeps our efficiency to around 4.2 miles/kWh vs around 3.5 if we drive 70.  Really only changes the commute by 2-3 minutes tops.  Saves about $10/month in electricity.

When we buy eggs, we try to ensure the packaging is cardboard and not styrofoam. 

Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1821 on: September 25, 2022, 10:13:00 AM »
I just charged up my first electric vehicle. 

EchoStache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1822 on: September 25, 2022, 10:24:37 AM »
I've been conscientious of our electricity usage in all sorts of small ways, using less hot water, less heating and cooling, re-insulated the attic, no dryer, put things on power strips to cut power when not in use.

The results are we've used 4,476 kWh over the last 365 days for our all-electric house. Car and grill are still using fossil fuels.

National average is 10,715 kWh annually, which doesn't include most people's heating & cooking fuel!

Visited Germany last month.  Relative who is single and lives in a small efficiency apartment asked how much electricity we use.  I told him 1300 kWh the previous month...very hot, tons of AC usage, EV charging etc.  He replied that he used 1,000 kWh............last year...

bacchi

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1823 on: September 25, 2022, 12:43:39 PM »
I've been conscientious of our electricity usage in all sorts of small ways, using less hot water, less heating and cooling, re-insulated the attic, no dryer, put things on power strips to cut power when not in use.

The results are we've used 4,476 kWh over the last 365 days for our all-electric house. Car and grill are still using fossil fuels.

National average is 10,715 kWh annually, which doesn't include most people's heating & cooking fuel!

Visited Germany last month.  Relative who is single and lives in a small efficiency apartment asked how much electricity we use.  I told him 1300 kWh the previous month...very hot, tons of AC usage, EV charging etc.  He replied that he used 1,000 kWh............last year...

Wow. My heat pump water heater alone is 1/4 of that (and that's if I divide it in half assuming a 20g tank instead of a 40g tank).

BuffaloStache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1824 on: September 30, 2022, 03:04:29 PM »
I had jury duty this week, and instead of getting to it by car I hopped on my bike for a ride. It was a brisk morning but a lot of fun and I was able to take some new bike-lanes that I had heard about. I was able to make the entire ~25 minute ride without ever needing to share a lane with regular car traffic.

Added bonus, I got dismissed early and the Judge told all of us to "take a court mandated mental health rest of the day. The weather is nice so you should go outside".

I took a scenic route home that effectively doubled the distance, but gave me great views of the mountains and biking along a river for large portions of it. A great day, better for the environment, built-in exercise, and doing my civi duty- what a win!

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1825 on: September 30, 2022, 04:01:31 PM »
@BuffaloStache That sounds great!

tyrannostache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1826 on: October 18, 2022, 03:25:53 PM »
Walk my children to the bus stop despite their protests and requests for a ride in the car. It's 2 blocks, kids. Walk it.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1827 on: October 19, 2022, 08:23:01 AM »
Two nights in a row without meat.

rockeTree

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1828 on: November 07, 2022, 12:54:33 PM »
More offsetting than reducing but I planted a tree in the yard yesterday, and I made a batch of vegan lunches for during the week.

Fru-Gal

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1829 on: November 07, 2022, 04:32:37 PM »
Quote
Visited Germany last month.  Relative who is single and lives in a small efficiency apartment asked how much electricity we use.  I told him 1300 kWh the previous month...very hot, tons of AC usage, EV charging etc.  He replied that he used 1,000 kWh............last year...

This made me go look up our usage. We use an average of 250 kWh a month for a family of four adult-sized humans, 1700 square-foot house. So our per-person usage is less than your German friend. Plus avg 18 therms of natural gas/month. So I think thatís pretty good right? According to our utility we use less energy than efficient homes our size. But we could definitely do better.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2022, 04:43:57 PM by Fru-Gal »

EchoStache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1830 on: November 07, 2022, 04:42:33 PM »
Quote
Visited Germany last month.  Relative who is single and lives in a small efficiency apartment asked how much electricity we use.  I told him 1300 kWh the previous month...very hot, tons of AC usage, EV charging etc.  He replied that he used 1,000 kWh............last year...

This made me go look up our usage. We use an average of 250 kWh a month for a family of four, 1700 square-foot house. So I think thatís pretty good right?

Sounds like amazingly low electricity use....well done! 
« Last Edit: November 07, 2022, 04:46:43 PM by UltraStache »

Fru-Gal

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1831 on: November 07, 2022, 04:47:48 PM »
We donít have AC and during heat waves we just use fans plus my patented window insulating techniques (curtains, cardboard, window film, anything to block solarization) and air cooling at night. But we donít live in a hot area (though due to more frequent heat waves many around here are getting AC now). In winter we use electric heaters sparingly. We love to dress for the weather so we will all be wearing down jackets once it gets cold.

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1832 on: November 10, 2022, 10:08:45 PM »
There's been a big hoo-hah in Aus this week because the company that offers in-supermarket collection of soft plastics has had to pause due to a backlog. So today I got off my bottom and went to the bulk store. They have veggie chips now so got some of those as well as stocking up on staples. I also made a list of things we eat that I could make to avoid packaging, so maybe I could do one a day. I don't know how likely this is to happen.

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1833 on: November 11, 2022, 07:00:33 AM »
There's been a big hoo-hah in Aus this week because the company that offers in-supermarket collection of soft plastics has had to pause due to a backlog. So today I got off my bottom and went to the bulk store. They have veggie chips now so got some of those as well as stocking up on staples. I also made a list of things we eat that I could make to avoid packaging, so maybe I could do one a day. I don't know how likely this is to happen.

It's really tricky getting rid of those soft plastics.  There's surprising amount of loose stuff that we buy as a family, lots of drippy/sticky things.  I was using jars and containers for a while, but they're not an ideal solution - the glass ones are too heavy and the plastic ones hard to clean. . . and it's tricky to get the stuff into the container a lot of the time without spilling.

LD_TAndK

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1834 on: November 15, 2022, 02:46:16 PM »
Anytime I'm on a run or walk in my area, which is every day, I play a game where if I see a clean empty plastic bag I have to take it then fill it with other litter. Sometimes it's just a little doggy bag, often a grocery bag, and rarely a large bag.

For some reason this is more fun and motivating than just going out to pick up trash on a regular basis.

LightTripper

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1835 on: November 18, 2022, 03:48:34 AM »
That's a good idea @LD_TAndK !  I keep meaning to stick a spare shopping bag in my pocket for walks with the kids as they can be quite slow/get distracted, and it seems like it would be quite efficient and satisfying to do some tidying up en route!  Maybe next time I will actually remember to do it...

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1836 on: November 19, 2022, 09:00:46 AM »
There was a lot of kvetching from pet owners in my town when they banned single use plastic bags at grocery stores. I accumulate plastic takeout bags, bread bags, etc.  I posted them on Buy Nothing and now I have a "bag buddy" who picks them up from me when she walks her dog. We've been doing this for half a year and are both very happy with the arrangement.

rockeTree

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1837 on: November 19, 2022, 03:34:15 PM »
I love that! Building some community, reusing the hard to avoid food packaging plastic, keeping dog waste off the streets :-)

PMG

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1838 on: November 19, 2022, 07:02:55 PM »
Today I walked down to a couple shops to pick up some gifts for family Christmas next week. Before I left the house I went through Christmas wrapping and bags on hand and realized I didnít have enough but I thought, thatís no big deal, both the shops put things in nice paper bags, Iíll use them and have enough Ö but once at the shops I refused the bags out of habit and trotted off with everything in my backpack only to get home and remember that that I had wanted the bags! Hah. Oh well. Im sure I will figure something out! Iím even more determined now to not buy or use anything new.

Our towns still allow plastic bags, but weíve been quite good at using our own bagsÖ until Covid inspired grocery pick up. The amount of plastic bags is overwhelming. We do have two cats and a baby so currently we reuse a fair number but back before Covid weíd just ask for what we needed from friends and not add to the pile our selves. Weíre now only doing grocery pick up about 1/3 of the time and a new locally sourced market has opened so we have been able to cut back again, but it was on my mind today.

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1839 on: November 19, 2022, 07:12:27 PM »
Before I left the house I went through Christmas wrapping and bags on hand and realized I didnít have enough but I thought, thatís no big deal, both the shops put things in nice paper bags, Iíll use them and have enough Ö but once at the shops I refused the bags out of habit and trotted off with everything in my backpack only to get home and remember that that I had wanted the bags! Hah. Oh well. Im sure I will figure something out!

LOL. I get my medications delivered by Capsule pharmacy, and they use stiff brown paper bags to deliver. The outside is minimalist with just their logo, which you can cover pretty easily. I've used a few of them as gift bags, which works fine as long as people don't look too hard at the fun pattern printed on the inside of the bag - little pills and tablets. They're white, so maybe people think it's supposed to be snow. ;-)

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1840 on: November 20, 2022, 02:55:47 PM »
Today I walked down to a couple shops to pick up some gifts for family Christmas next week. Before I left the house I went through Christmas wrapping and bags on hand and realized I didnít have enough but I thought, thatís no big deal, both the shops put things in nice paper bags, Iíll use them and have enough Ö but once at the shops I refused the bags out of habit and trotted off with everything in my backpack only to get home and remember that that I had wanted the bags! Hah. Oh well. Im sure I will figure something out! Iím even more determined now to not buy or use anything new.

Not sure how old your baby is, but I find that toddlers begin to produce art at unmanageable quantities. Some of it is precious, but I ended up using some as wrapping paper for grandparent gifts and they love it! Looks great, too.

PMG

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1841 on: November 20, 2022, 04:11:28 PM »
Today I walked down to a couple shops to pick up some gifts for family Christmas next week. Before I left the house I went through Christmas wrapping and bags on hand and realized I didnít have enough but I thought, thatís no big deal, both the shops put things in nice paper bags, Iíll use them and have enough Ö but once at the shops I refused the bags out of habit and trotted off with everything in my backpack only to get home and remember that that I had wanted the bags! Hah. Oh well. Im sure I will figure something out! Iím even more determined now to not buy or use anything new.

Not sure how old your baby is, but I find that toddlers begin to produce art at unmanageable quantities. Some of it is precious, but I ended up using some as wrapping paper for grandparent gifts and they love it! Looks great, too.

Ooh that is a fabulous idea. She isnít old enough but ill tuck that idea away for the future. I ended up finding a plain Kraft bag and a bag with gold dots in my collection of used bags. They arenít quite the right sizes but theyíll work. I figure both will look Christmas-y with the right tissue paper which I already had.


Rollin

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1842 on: March 05, 2023, 02:45:28 PM »
Last weekend my son wanted to paint his very small bedroom (it's not even eight by twelve). We did the whole thing with a single gallon of paint, even though Ace Hardware's Benjamin Moore machine was broken and we had gotten some awful store brand stuff. There was a tiny bit left over, which I have stored in an old jam jar in case we need to touch something up later.

Bonus: Also saved the $35 another gallon would have cost us!

Our county has a chemical swap shop that includes lots of good paint. It's at the waste to energy facility. Maybe you have one too.

Rollin

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1843 on: March 05, 2023, 03:31:35 PM »
I'd like to pose a question to this group. But I am worried that my question will make it sound as though I am opposed to what this thread is about. So - to begin with - I want to make it clear that I am not at all opposed to small actions.

My question is whether the people in this group are also taking big actions like:
-Voting locally and nationally in support of candidates that have social and environmental action on their agenda
-Driving smaller, preferably electric, cars
-Home improvements like insulation, heat pumps and accessing renewable electricity
-Eating less animal products
-Impacting decisions at work to move your company towards more sustainable systems

...Or are the big actions seen as taking things a bit outside of the comfort zone?

Big Stuff

Installed solar on the roof replacing our use of grid electricity (net zero or better). 1-3 year environmental pay back (ours should be lower because the panels were made in the US).
Hybrid water heater installed (down from $450/year electric costs to $100, commensurate electricity usage).
Foamed the roof/attic (reduced power bill (before solar) by half). Increased life of my AC system by 100%. Glues my roof on for protection against potential hurricane damage.

Small Stuff

Close hurricane shutters on sunny side of the house when we have AC on (shade).
Electric mower instead of gas (no noise pollution either).
Switched to LEDs throughout, and in a couple of places where they get left on we went to auto on and auto off.
Installed motion activated security light powered by small solar panel (no need to hard-wire).
Shoe gu to repair work boots - gets two years out of boots that the sole falls apart after one year.
Sold my rooftop water heater to a local, rather than recycle it.
Van sits unless I work, which I compress to 2 days a week (FIRE job).
E bike all errands, or ride standard bike the other days. When I used to ride to the office 4 days a week I calculated the cost to recharge the battery at $0.10/week! Compare that to driving a car or even taking the bus.
Open house up in AM to cool it by 2 degrees.
Bundle of spare shingles (left over from another neighbor's re roof) reused for a neighborís shed repair.
Hang my clothes after 5 minutes or so in the dryer (to get the wrinkles out). They last much longer too.

Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1844 on: March 05, 2023, 06:30:49 PM »
I took my cart of recycling down to the recycling bins this morning. 

Earlier this week I reused some boxes from work. 

Extramedium

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1845 on: March 11, 2023, 11:19:29 AM »
Kudos to you, Rollin!  Your example is inspiring.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1846 on: March 11, 2023, 11:34:24 AM »
Made an appointment for a consult as first step toward getting an energy audit and hopefully eventually electrifying our home!

Loretta

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1847 on: March 11, 2023, 03:23:40 PM »
Air dried some laundry, drove my passenger and myself in my EV to our charity knitting group, and ate food I mostly had in the fridge already.  Recycled some brown paper bags.