Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 381655 times)

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #600 on: March 09, 2018, 12:07:34 AM »
* Walked four miles round trip to pick up the kids from school and bring them home

* Picked up an aluminum can that someone had littered, will recycle

* Added a second compost bin to the family; someone in our Buy Nothing group was giving away one that is the same design as the one we currently have

* Used wastewater from cooking, washing and laundry on plants

* Cloth diapered the baby

* Started potty training the baby using a baby potty I acquired from our Buy Nothing group

* Used bamboo-handled toothbrush instead of plastic-handled toothbrush. A billion non-biodegradable plastic-handled toothbrushes go into the trash each year.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 12:11:00 AM by jengod »

greengardens

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #601 on: March 09, 2018, 01:57:35 AM »
Iím currently pregnant and looking at cloth diapering baby when weíre home (I donít think our potential daycare accepts cloth)

Trying to furnish the nursery with as many hand me downs as possible. So far I have a crib and changing table

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #602 on: March 09, 2018, 02:13:01 AM »
I bought tonic water in glass so I could have a plastic free G&T. Cheers!

Britan

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #603 on: March 09, 2018, 07:41:49 AM »
Working from home today! Save some car emissions. (Ugh my clown car commute).

PMG

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #604 on: March 09, 2018, 10:56:41 AM »
I'm thinking the issue is not a particular food but the whole gamut of essential purchases. I think I'd focus on reducing air miles and also consider which natural resource it is less worse to deplete - oil or sand (is that what glass is made from??).

Also - if plastic gets washed away from rubbish piles it is a worse outcome for all life than if glass ends up in the ecosystem. Glass will break down quicker and make nice sea glass pebbles, whereas with plastic we'll end up eating it.

Thanks to others as well upthread for input on my jar/packet dilemma.  We eat fresh first. Jam is just a representative of odd things that come in bottles and packages.  We probably get one item every 4-6 weeks.

Fresh Bread brings up some good things to think about, focusing on the big picture and break down.

I do want to avoid waste in our daily life, but it isnít the most effective way to get to the root of the problem.


As for small things:

Boiled water for drinking instead of buying jugs.

Filled the thermos for hot tea on demand all day.

Mended my clothing.

Also, Iím working on an converting my partner to second hand shopping.  Weíre not actively shopping for anything at the moment, but weíve had several conversations recently about future needs, from clothing to household goods.  When I started talking about the environmental and humanitarian reasons for buying second hand he ďgot itĒ in a way he hasnít before. He thought I just didnít want to spend money, or couldnít afford more, and he loves me, and thinks I deserve all kinds of wonderful lovely things and wants to give them to me. Now he understand my motivation.  Yes, I like saving money, but that isnít all.  Yes, we are on a really tight budget right now. Many ethically sourced things are way out of our price range, but second hand shopping or extending the life of what we already own can circumnavigate the system. 
     
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 11:02:06 AM by PMG »

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #605 on: March 09, 2018, 02:23:06 PM »
We also buy second hand but here's a problem: hubby will research to find the best model of something and then try to find it second hand. Of course, everyone who has one knows it is the best and there aren't any for sale second hand. Think of a Dyson vacuum or multifunctional backpack for example. I think the key is to be flexible.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #606 on: March 09, 2018, 02:26:51 PM »
We also buy second hand but here's a problem: hubby will research to find the best model of something and then try to find it second hand. Of course, everyone who has one knows it is the best and there aren't any for sale second hand. Think of a Dyson vacuum or multifunctional backpack for example. I think the key is to be flexible.

I have encountered this issue over and over!

The best things to buy secondhand are the things people buy as aspirational purchases (e.g. sports gear) and/or things that are only needed for a few years anyway (e.g. strollers).

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #607 on: March 09, 2018, 02:43:41 PM »
We also buy second hand but here's a problem: hubby will research to find the best model of something and then try to find it second hand. Of course, everyone who has one knows it is the best and there aren't any for sale second hand. Think of a Dyson vacuum or multifunctional backpack for example. I think the key is to be flexible.

I have encountered this issue over and over!

The best things to buy secondhand are the things people buy as aspirational purchases (e.g. sports gear) and/or things that are only needed for a few years anyway (e.g. strollers).

Kitchen aspirational items too like bread makers, ice cream makers, juicers etc.

I have seen people here selling things at the end of their lease and then buying new for their new place. I think they are avoiding the hassle of movers but... a sofa is not a one year purchase??

What bugs me with hubby is that every evening he is scrolling sites either researching or looking for 2nd hand stuff. He found something the other day but did not move quickly enough  and it was sold! In the end I get exasperated and just say "please buy it new!!".

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #608 on: March 09, 2018, 06:20:09 PM »
524 bottles returned this year.

Urchina

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #609 on: March 09, 2018, 07:09:58 PM »
Again, ate vegan for most of the day (will have 2 oz of hamburger tonight with dinner).
Asked DH to pick up stuff at the grocery store on the way home, so no special trip for errands.
Didn't buy anything today (other than the groceries DH got, and yes, we've got our reusable bags). I often forget how useful it is to the environment to not buy stuff.

Cali

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #610 on: March 09, 2018, 08:57:47 PM »
I carry a small metal fork and spoon and reasonable small knife in a reusable lunch baggie in my purse. Just because they’re handing out free plastic utensils doesn’t mean I have to ise them. I don’t want something I used to eat a sliver of birthday cake to sit in a landfill for eternity.

big_owl

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #611 on: March 09, 2018, 09:19:11 PM »
Studies generally agree that the best thing you can do for the planet is not have kids.  So I got snipped a while back.  Turns out it makes sex a lot better too!

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #612 on: March 10, 2018, 02:08:23 AM »
Ate vegetarian (mostly vegan except some butter and cappuccino) for the whole week.

Picked up some trash last night when going to the pool.

Bought discounted almost-expired peas in the supermarket.

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #613 on: March 10, 2018, 06:31:42 AM »
Today we're taking a bus+subway to travel to a friend's wedding, rather than driving.  I also will be walking to the post office this morning.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #614 on: March 14, 2018, 01:18:29 AM »
REPAIR: I stitched up a split seam on one of our couch cushions. I was worried I would have to get out the sewing machine, but a needle and thread did the trick.

REUSE: Cloth diapers and wipes for the baby

APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY: Line-drying laundry inside since we're being blessed with some winter rains right now

MANAGE ON-SITE RESOURCES: Bought a downspout extender so I can divert some rainwater to different places in the yard

frooglepoodle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #615 on: March 14, 2018, 04:33:54 AM »
We've been saving a small amount of energy and reducing food waste by placing more emphasis on freezer cooking in our meal planning. It saves me a decent amount of time, too.

I'm sewing my way through my fabric stash and a backlog of projects, instead of buying as much new fabric. I'm also working on squeezing little projects out of the scraps/leftovers from larger projects. I sew with a lot of knits so this means a lot of baby garments and some adult undergarments.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #616 on: March 14, 2018, 04:41:51 AM »
I'm sewing my way through my fabric stash and a backlog of projects, instead of buying as much new fabric.

*Guilt about last year's stash of wool intensifies*

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #617 on: March 14, 2018, 07:37:59 PM »
Took public transit to a class.

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #618 on: March 15, 2018, 09:45:01 AM »
I brought lunch (again) today.  Other than compulsory business related lunches, I have not purchased takeout lunch or coffee even once this year.  Hurray! 

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #619 on: March 15, 2018, 01:48:54 PM »
I brought lunch (again) today.  Other than compulsory business related lunches, I have not purchased takeout lunch or coffee even once this year.  Hurray!

This is extremely amazing. Congrats.

I planted three native trees and two grapevines in an odd little triangle that is owned by the state transit department but obviously ignored for years on end. I also picked up a bag of non-biodegradable trash and collected two plastic bottles for recycling.

If they survive, in addition to sequestering carbon and catching freeway dust with their leaf canopies, the additional greenery from the trees and the tidier appearance of oddball areas should advantage rising (rather than declining) property values in the neighborhood.

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #620 on: March 15, 2018, 03:59:34 PM »
Wow, go JenGod, that's awssome!

Now I have an answer if someone complains about our messy garden - we are trying to address the Australian housing affordability crisis! It's very 'rustic'.

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #621 on: March 15, 2018, 05:00:26 PM »
Nice job Jengod!  Me too -- haven't purchased food or coffee once at work this year so far.  I'm in a good groove bringing it from home.  We should have started a challenge thread in "Throw Down the Gauntlet."  :)

Another thing I do is whatever compostable waste I make at work -- banana peels, tea bags, used paper towels, whatever -- I bring it home at the end of the day and throw it in my compost bin.  We have recycling bins at work, but no compost. It drives me crazy to throw good compostables in a garbage bin. 

Linea_Norway

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #622 on: March 16, 2018, 08:28:41 AM »
Walked to work this morning and will walk back in a moment (after I finish typing here).

JLR

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #623 on: March 16, 2018, 10:05:34 PM »
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....

JLR

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #624 on: March 16, 2018, 10:12:54 PM »
Another thing I do is whatever compostable waste I make at work -- banana peels, tea bags, used paper towels, whatever -- I bring it home at the end of the day and throw it in my compost bin.  We have recycling bins at work, but no compost. It drives me crazy to throw good compostables in a garbage bin.

Would you be willing to make a communal compost bin at work that you bring home each day?

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #625 on: March 16, 2018, 10:20:54 PM »
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....

Seconding the recommendation for Reva pegs.

Mine are going on nine years.

@marty998 thought I was insane for having a preferred brand of pegs.

Then I bought him a packet and ... he still doesn't really have an opinion either way. :D

marty998

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #626 on: March 17, 2018, 05:27:57 AM »
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....

Seconding the recommendation for Reva pegs.

Mine are going on nine years.

@marty998 thought I was insane for having a preferred brand of pegs.

Then I bought him a packet and ... he still doesn't really have an opinion either way. :D

Fuck I was embarrassed when you handed me pegs haha.

Reva are good 😊


Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #627 on: March 18, 2018, 05:33:26 AM »
Another thing I do is whatever compostable waste I make at work -- banana peels, tea bags, used paper towels, whatever -- I bring it home at the end of the day and throw it in my compost bin.  We have recycling bins at work, but no compost. It drives me crazy to throw good compostables in a garbage bin.

Would you be willing to make a communal compost bin at work that you bring home each day?

I sure would!  Great idea -- thanks!  Let me see . . . I'll start by watching the kitchen garbage can at work for a few days and seeing what my coworkers are actually throwing in there -- how much is compostable, what kind of things they are.   

MoolahLula

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #628 on: March 18, 2018, 11:45:04 AM »
I stayed home all day yesterday.  Recycled a bucket of water I had drawn when we were having a bad windstorm a couple weeks ago, when I thought my power and water might be effected by falling trees.  Today I used it to mop up some messes. 

deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #629 on: March 18, 2018, 06:23:58 PM »
My plastic pegs are breaking down and I need new ones. Any recommendations for wooden or metal pegs?

Not exactly what you are asking for, but I really love the Reva brand of (plastic) pegs you can buy from Woolies. Just the regular ones, not the heavy duty version of the brand. They are twice the price of the Woolworths Essentials pegs, but they've held up really well to 10 years of living in an extremely hot climate, followed by 4 years in a cold climate. I bet they would do even better if I didn't leave them outside all the time....
My wooden pegs have lasted at least that long, and  they stay on the line all the time. They are just normal wooden pegs.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #630 on: March 18, 2018, 09:15:50 PM »
* Picked up a bag of trash this morning in this weird high-traffic no-maintenance area near my house. Got some exercise, plus found $0.35 of recycling and a penny. The kids call this activity "plogging": "picking up litter while jogging"

* Rode my cargo bike to a bazaar organized by our local Buy Nothing group -- gave away some gizmos and children's books, came home with some collard greens, cake mix, more children's books, a gallon jug and a huge bottle of bubbles to entertain the kids.

* Made sourdough bread -- no packaging involved other than the recyclable paper bag of flour

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #631 on: March 19, 2018, 06:35:50 AM »
I hung three loads of laundry out on the clothesline.

Fishindude

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #632 on: March 19, 2018, 07:21:43 AM »
Built and installed (3) cedar wood duck nesting boxes yesterday.

gatortator

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #633 on: March 19, 2018, 03:31:54 PM »
love this thread and delurking now...

I gave up driving for lent.

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #634 on: March 20, 2018, 06:22:33 AM »
* Picked up a bag of trash this morning in this weird high-traffic no-maintenance area near my house. Got some exercise, plus found $0.35 of recycling and a penny. The kids call this activity "plogging": "picking up litter while jogging"

Ha ha Jengod -- in my family we call this "Rat" running -- From Running Against Trash. So sometimes I will grab a garbage bag and announce "I'm going for a rat run."

okcisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #635 on: March 20, 2018, 08:41:52 PM »
I love the terms for picking up trash while doing another activity. I always take an extra plastic bag when I walk my dog, just for aluminum cans. I got a couple of pounds today! I started keeping track of the loose change I pick up, too. I read a NYTimes article about a doctor who picked up almost $100/year from walking through the park. Inspiration!

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #636 on: March 21, 2018, 05:20:07 AM »
I read a NYTimes article about a doctor who picked up almost $100/year from walking through the park. Inspiration!

My teenage daughter finds money nearly every time we go somewhere.  It's eerie -- like the cosmic forces are sending money her way.  Yesterday on our run together she found a credit card.  We weren't able to find the person's name in the phone listings, so we cut it up.

Fishindude

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #637 on: March 23, 2018, 11:00:35 AM »
Just hired an excavation contractor to totally rebuild an old run down pond on our property.   The dam had blown out of it decades ago, prior to our ownership, lots of trees and brush grown up, etc.
When complete, should have a 1/2 to 3/4 acre pond about 10' - 12' deep.    Hope to stock fish by late summer.

frooglepoodle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #638 on: March 23, 2018, 03:46:20 PM »
Today marked the third week in a row of having only one, not-even-full bag of trash for trash pickup day. :-)

Poundwise

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #639 on: March 23, 2018, 08:15:20 PM »
Just hired an excavation contractor to totally rebuild an old run down pond on our property.   The dam had blown out of it decades ago, prior to our ownership, lots of trees and brush grown up, etc.
When complete, should have a 1/2 to 3/4 acre pond about 10' - 12' deep.    Hope to stock fish by late summer.

Ooo, I have always dreamed of having my own pond with fish in it!!  Good luck!

I have not had a dryer for almost 3 months!!  Weirdly, our utility company reports that our gas usage was identical to Jan and Feb of last year.  This can't be right-- in ordinary times we do at least 10 large loads of laundry a week. We submitted a meter reading last month, however, and they say that it was the same as their recorded value.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #640 on: March 24, 2018, 12:59:52 PM »
I took a bus halfway to my local gun control march. The connecting bus only comes every 90 minutes on Saturdays and I was going to be late if I waited for it so I Lyfted the rest of the way. Will try to transit part way home as well.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #641 on: March 27, 2018, 03:22:15 PM »
Technically it was 2 days ago. But instead of buying a weighted blanket for my son, I upcycled fleece blankets from Goodwill. I did have to buy the pellets new (boo) but at least I saved fleece!

Trifele

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #642 on: March 28, 2018, 02:13:33 PM »
Just hired an excavation contractor to totally rebuild an old run down pond on our property.   The dam had blown out of it decades ago, prior to our ownership, lots of trees and brush grown up, etc.
When complete, should have a 1/2 to 3/4 acre pond about 10' - 12' deep.    Hope to stock fish by late summer.

This is completely awesome.  Ponds support all kids of creatures, and that will be a great size! 

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #643 on: March 29, 2018, 08:14:24 PM »
Our gardener hasn’t shown up lately (for reasons unclear) so this evening I went out there with our manual/reel lawn mower (purchased used at an estate sale) and mowed, and then cleaned up the odd bits with a vintage Craftsman sickle I once trashpicked out of a pile of scrap metal.

Anyway, no carbon emissions plus chop-and-drop “grasscycling” to build soil vitality long-term.


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Imma

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #644 on: March 30, 2018, 08:52:04 AM »
- Dried laundry outside
- Will turn various vegetable odds and ends into a delicious stew
- Cleaning and decluttering and will go through our winter clothes to see if there are any items that need mending or should be donated

Holyoak

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #645 on: March 30, 2018, 10:01:17 AM »
Rather than simply opening the hot water tap at my sink, letting cold water run down the drain until hot, I collect it and use it for laundry day to fill the washing machine.  I also collect the basically clear rinse water, and use it for the next wash load.  Old washing machines had a feature along these same lines.  Will hang dry as much as possible allowing for conditions.

I also use a full flow shower head in conjunction with a shutoff.  This way I get a nice satisfying shower during wet-down and wash-off, but save a ton of water while lathering up, leaving it off or at a very reduced rate.  I'm also a super conservative garbage producer, maybe producing one 13 gal bag a month.  My ratio of recycling to trash is many, many orders of magnitude.

I also sweep up many piles of sunflower seed husks produced at my feeders, and turn them into great mulch.

My all gas (heat/stove/WH) breezy/practically un-insulated 1955 2 BR rental home in the heart of the Lake Erie Snowbelt, had a $54 bill last month, and it was plenty cold.

I take the city bus as much as possible, which I enjoy even more since it went to CNG.  Just looked, and I have only driven 1200 miles since June of last year.

I reload all ammunition I shoot aside from rimfire, this save a ton of $$$ not to mention resources, especially when I use bullets I cast from scrap lead, and can get many, many firings from the brass case.  When the case is beyond use, it gets recycled.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #646 on: March 30, 2018, 10:13:56 AM »
I was craving ice-cream and decided to try one of the new Ben & Jerry's dairy free ones that were on sale :)

csprof

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #647 on: March 30, 2018, 07:05:02 PM »
Broke out the hot glue gun and managed to 90% fix an umbrella that was on the way out.  (Little end-caps that hold the nylon material on kept coming off whenever the umbrella was closed).  It won't last forever, but it should get me through spring without needing to buy a new one.  Yay!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #648 on: March 30, 2018, 08:03:06 PM »
Giving away and receiving items on Buy Nothing this week.

As always, line drying all laundry including cloth nappies.

Mulching my garden to improve water retention.

Mostly vegan and vegetarian meals this week.

Baby's food is all cooked from scratch, no overly packaged "convenience" foods for him.

Traditional Easter takeaway tonight will be wrapped only in paper, no plastic or plastic-coated cardboard.

jmwagner5

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #649 on: March 30, 2018, 10:00:49 PM »
I basically did nothing today besides run and read a book.  By doing nothing I feel like I did something for the environment.  That makes sense, right?