Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 420074 times)

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1550 on: December 19, 2019, 03:49:12 AM »
It's a sunny day, so I opened the curtains on the south facing windows as soon as the sun came up instead of turning on the heating. The house was a bit chilly at first so I put on a sweater.

I've spent this morning shining our shoes and mending our clothes so they will last us longer. Next up is altering a dress so I can wear it to a Christmas party.

I'm having leftovers from a lunch place for dinner (there's an app in my country that allows you to buy leftovers from restaurants for 1/3 of the regular price) I will either walk or bike there to pick it up, depending on the weather.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1551 on: December 19, 2019, 06:07:15 AM »
Last night I had a Christmas dinner with my sports club. We had a handful of vegetarians, one vegan and one extremely complicated case of allergies. The host wanted to make seperate batches, but I stepped up and suggested a dish that would suit everyone with one minor tweak for the complicated allergy case. In the end everyone LOVED my dish (as in, literally fighting over the last bits) and we had about 25 people eat a full vegan 3 course dinner (although some desert options had dairy), being much more environmentally friendly than the original beef-heavy idea. 

mountain mustache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1552 on: December 19, 2019, 06:52:55 AM »
I ran out of raw sugar, so I took the jar I normally store it in, and brought it to my little neighborhood health food store. Turns out they let you fill your own jars with bulk products! (most places here will not, health code or something). It was barely more expensive per pound than buying the big plastic bag at Costco, and it feels so much simpler to just empty the jar and take it back to the store and fill it back up again. They have a huge variety of bulk goods too, bulk coffee and bulk spices. I am especially excited about the spices, as my last town had an apothecary with 100s of spice jars, so I've already transitioned to 100% refilling jars with bulk spices, and I'm happy to be able to continue that now!

Also I found that we have a little eco goods type store here, and they have bulk cleaning products, toothpaste, body wash, etc. They have the laundry and dish soap I already use, so I'm stoked to be able to just refill my bottles/jars and finally stop having to recycle those giant laundry soap bottles every few months

diapasoun

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1553 on: December 19, 2019, 08:54:47 AM »
The shop right next door to me has bulk sugar and spices and flours too. I love it. The spices are reasonably priced (and really good), but the bulk sugar and flour -- alas, very expensive. I still get it rather frequently because it's a 30 second walk from my house to a lovely little shop and I can just bring my glass jars instead of getting into a car and driving to a big box store to get a big paper bag of things, but one of these days I need to see if I can just order a 25 lb bag through them at wholesale price. That's what they empty into the bulk bins anyways. ;)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 09:03:33 AM by diapasoun »

Boofinator

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1554 on: December 19, 2019, 12:52:37 PM »
I'll take personal steps to lower my footprint the same as anyone else. The operative idea here is that they will be personal steps. They will be voluntary. I will not use the law to twist people's arms. I will let the demand for greener solutions guide the market to providing solutions, rather than creating incentives for abuse by entrusting the whole process to elected officials.

While I agree that personal steps are the best thing that you (or any of us) can do, they unfortunately are not the best things that society can do. This is the old tragedy of the commons, where unless everybody (or most everybody) takes the necessary steps, the status quo will not change, because there are personal economic incentives to maintaining the status quo. The most effective way to address tragedy of the commons scenarios is through government, as has been shown time and again (ozone layer hole, countless fisheries, etc.).

As for the global warming skepticism: It is understandable, for several reasons. But know this: there is a very simple physical relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and long-wave radiation, which results in global warming as surely as the greenhouse results in local warming*. Now, there are a lot of other variables in the global climate system that affect the details, but the main idea is an unavoidable physical truth.

(I'm sorry for going way off topic.... Feel free to PM me or start a new thread if you'd like to discuss further.)

*Consider that the Netherlands, of all places, grow tomatoes 24/7/365 with yields five times more than the next best-producing country (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/).

trashtalk

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1555 on: December 19, 2019, 02:58:24 PM »
Riding a city bus to get to an appointment instead of taking a private car

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1556 on: December 19, 2019, 03:39:17 PM »
I used a deodorant crystal rock for the first time. Felt weird to apply but seems to work.

Chaplin

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1557 on: December 19, 2019, 11:53:35 PM »
Used a new local all-electric taxi company to get to a Christmas party rather than a regular taxi. I probably use a taxi two or three times per year, but it's nice to have a local EV-taxi option for those times.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1558 on: December 20, 2019, 03:42:56 PM »
Used a new local all-electric taxi company to get to a Christmas party rather than a regular taxi. I probably use a taxi two or three times per year, but it's nice to have a local EV-taxi option for those times.

That is really cool!

I blew off the gym this AM. I had packed up the night before and everything but I woke up feeling tired and headachy and I have to pack for a trip tonight after work, and I knew I just couldn't do everything.

This is a reduction in my environmental impact because I always drive to work if I'm going to the gym--it is awkward to bike to--but since I didn't go, I biked!

trashtalk

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What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1559 on: December 21, 2019, 12:42:51 PM »
riding the bus again; very excited about the not-driving and not-parking parts
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 06:51:14 PM by trashtalk »

Imma

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1560 on: December 22, 2019, 06:47:13 AM »
I altered a dress I already had to wear to a Christmas party tonight

HappyCheerE

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1561 on: December 22, 2019, 06:35:43 PM »
Quote
I used a deodorant crystal rock for the first time. Felt weird to apply but seems to work.
Just started doing this too. DH has been using for years on his feet and has broken bits I was going to try re-melting into a smooth whole but instead I'm applying them myself as-is. I was only buying underarm stuff a few times a year but avoiding entirely would be great!

imadandylion

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1562 on: December 23, 2019, 11:34:34 AM »
Got active dry yeast from the bulk section instead of the individual packets. Bulk yeast ended up being a better buy anyway because when trying to proof three packets of active dry yeast, they were all dead.

TrMama

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1563 on: December 23, 2019, 01:07:20 PM »
Vegan dinner last night. Biked to work this morning. Will bike to doctor appointment this afternoon where I'll switch my asthma meds to a version that doesn't use pressurized greenhouse gas as the propellant.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1564 on: December 23, 2019, 09:00:59 PM »
I am visiting my boomer parents and it's all paper napkins and Ziploc bags around here, but I am TRYING. For dinner tonight I took some of the leftover roast, two half-jars of gravy,* leftover mashed potatoes from both Christmas and Thanksgiving (in the freezer), and half a bag of freezer-burned mixed veggies and I made a delicious shepherd's pie.

My mom put the leftovers in the freezer to eat after her big surgery next month, which should save a night of takeout containers, too.

*Why were there two open jars of beef gravy? I have no idea. But I used them up and put the jars in the recycling.

Unfortunately, the shredded parmesan was not salvageable. I had already dumped some of it over the mashed potatoes when i realized it was moldy, and then I had to pick off a bunch of moldy cheese.

trashtalk

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1565 on: December 24, 2019, 05:35:55 PM »
I finally tried Japanese-style "furoshiki" wrapping with fabric; I used a thrifted Christmas tablecloth to wrap a large-size gift for a relative.

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1566 on: December 28, 2019, 07:12:04 PM »
Not today, but this year I did almost all of my Christmas wrapping in re-used gift bags, or using embroidery floss instead of plastic ribbon to hold boxes closed.  I also saved all gift bags I received to pack up and use next year.  I was also happy to see that my SIL wrapped all her gifts with newspaper, and my mom used only tissue paper instead of plasticized paper.  Several people have also mentioned wrapping in fabric next year.

mountain mustache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1567 on: December 28, 2019, 07:26:55 PM »
purchased mushrooms in bulk at the little health food store around the corner from my house, using a reusable produce bag. I'm sure most of you already do this, but for some reasons mushrooms have always been a thing I continue to buy in a big plastic container at Costco. They have a great deal for baby Bella mushrooms, but honestly I sometimes struggle to finish them all anyway...so I just purchased exactly what I needed to cook with tonight, and it was nice to have one less plastic container to recycle.

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1568 on: December 28, 2019, 10:30:18 PM »
I upcycled a bag from my pharmacy (they have a home delivery service and deliver in sturdy paperboard bags) and used it as a gift bag. I drew a menorah and other decorations on it and wrote "Happy Hanukkah!" and everyone thought it was great. :-)

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1569 on: December 28, 2019, 11:42:20 PM »
Lowered the thermostat at my parents' house during my Christmas visit (my mom always feels warm yet refuses to lower the temp). It will probably be set back to its regular temparature in a few days though.

Also avoided a car trip by suggesting a friend we could go for a walk and stop at a local coffee place rather than driving out of town for a coffee (why would one want that?!).

OmahaSteph

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1570 on: January 02, 2020, 10:37:21 AM »
Used an Amazon gift card to buy a set of travel cutlery (actually, two sets came in one neoprene carry bag). Keeping them at work so I don't need to grab plasticware out of the kitchen.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1571 on: January 02, 2020, 02:54:33 PM »
I've started shutting down my computers (the public desk, if I am at it, plus my personal workstation) when I leave work for the night.

okisok

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1572 on: January 02, 2020, 09:19:59 PM »
Rode to an appointment with a friend, then rode the electric streetcar and walked the rest of the way home (3 miles).

TrMama

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1573 on: January 03, 2020, 10:36:35 AM »
This is a small thing, but I finally ran through my Costco sized box of tea bags. This means I've been able to switch to loose tea. I can't believe how much better the basic Earl Gray from Bulk Barn tastes. I wasn't expecting that, so it actually feels like a big upgrade. Plus, now the used tea is fully compostable and I'm not generating plastic teabag waste.

LWYRUP

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1574 on: January 05, 2020, 10:31:16 AM »
I selected Wednesday as our Amazon Prime shipping day.

I can be patient enough to wait a couple days to increase the likelihood that packages get shipped together in one box, reducing packaging waste, and to increase the likelihood that packages come via ground rather than air.

(https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2019/10/09/be-good-to-the-earth-ship-using-my-amazon-delivery-day/#3f21535fa36c)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1575 on: January 05, 2020, 02:11:21 PM »
I selected Wednesday as our Amazon Prime shipping day.

I can be patient enough to wait a couple days to increase the likelihood that packages get shipped together in one box, reducing packaging waste, and to increase the likelihood that packages come via ground rather than air.

(https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2019/10/09/be-good-to-the-earth-ship-using-my-amazon-delivery-day/#3f21535fa36c)

I've been doing this, too! Bonus: I switched my Amazon Delivery Day to the weekday when I don't work to decrease my risk of porch pirates.

So far it hasn't helped much, but one can hope. I did notice that the all-plastic bubble wrap mailers can be recycled where you drop off plastic bags at the grocery store, so minor win.

draco44

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1576 on: January 05, 2020, 06:42:26 PM »
The inner cooking pot of my rice cooker eventually started peeling like crazy after a decade of use, even using only the plastic rice scoop rather than metal utensils. Instead of buying a whole new rice cooker, I contacted the manufacturer and had them mail me a replacement inner pot (I paid shipping). So I saved the cooker itself and the lid from the garbage.

diapasoun

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1577 on: January 06, 2020, 11:56:08 AM »
My partner and I have been turning the heat off completely at night, since we're snug under the covers in bed.

Also opening all the blinds in the morning and closing them at night.

gatortator

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1578 on: January 06, 2020, 01:23:38 PM »
I have made it the entire year now with making and using my own sugar wax for hair removal.  Yeah-  less to plastic to buy and store in the bathroom.

because of waxing,  I have been able to switch to Tom's from the previous Clinical Strength deo.  good stepping stone towards being able to make my own or use the crystal.  I am really excited by this.

onto the 2020 challenge-- toothpaste-- make my own.  If any has a recipe they like, let me know.  I will be experimenting month to month with this one.  See what works.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1579 on: January 06, 2020, 05:04:19 PM »
I bought loose mushrooms instead of pre-packaged.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1580 on: January 06, 2020, 05:25:39 PM »
I shoveled the snow off the driveway by hand.  It was nice and sunny so not only was there no snow, the asphalt dried up and doesn't need salt.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1581 on: January 07, 2020, 01:17:22 AM »
I picked up a bunch of items from BN: food, a backpack, party supplies, a card wallet. I walked everywhere.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1582 on: January 07, 2020, 07:17:43 AM »
I booked our family vacation last night.   We will be traveling by train.   It is going to be way less stressful than driving and flying.   We can walk to the station from our house. 

Raenia

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1583 on: January 07, 2020, 07:29:46 AM »
Has anyone tried these bamboo toothbrushes: https://us.toothcrush.com/?  I'm trying to decide if it's worth the added cost - I currently get my toothbrushes at BJ's, but there's so much packaging and I know we don't change out our toothbrushes often enough.

trashtalk

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1584 on: January 07, 2020, 09:18:45 AM »
Has anyone tried these bamboo toothbrushes: https://us.toothcrush.com/?  I'm trying to decide if it's worth the added cost - I currently get my toothbrushes at BJ's, but there's so much packaging and I know we don't change out our toothbrushes often enough.

We pay a premium for paper-wrapped toilet paper and bamboo toothbrushes. We can afford the price difference and I'm glad to do it. We compost all the TP rolls and wrappers in our home compost system. The toothbrushes are a pain because I have to cut the heads off (the bristles are non-compostable) and then we put them in the city green bin. (Bamboo composts slowly.)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1585 on: January 07, 2020, 01:31:11 PM »
Has anyone tried these bamboo toothbrushes: https://us.toothcrush.com/?  I'm trying to decide if it's worth the added cost - I currently get my toothbrushes at BJ's, but there's so much packaging and I know we don't change out our toothbrushes often enough.

We pay a premium for paper-wrapped toilet paper and bamboo toothbrushes. We can afford the price difference and I'm glad to do it. We compost all the TP rolls and wrappers in our home compost system. The toothbrushes are a pain because I have to cut the heads off (the bristles are non-compostable) and then we put them in the city green bin. (Bamboo composts slowly.)

I have been wondering about the relative merits of recycled plastic toothbrushes vs. bamboo. Both are available at Sprouts. Does anyone have thoughts?

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1586 on: January 08, 2020, 03:17:00 PM »
I continue to walk always in my neighbourhood.  It's good for the mind, body and the environment. 

I packed up some plastic bags in my cupboard as they were getting overwhelming and put them with my camping stuff.  In the summer I'll pack up all our backcountry supplies in these super study bags with ready made zip locks. 

I may start using these bags to freeze beans too as they are a bit easier in the freezer to cram places.  However, they have no window like glass so I'm torn.  I also like thawing in glass and this way I'd have to chunk off frozen and sometimes it's one big clump...although I do drain off the juices. 

Question - do anyone do a good job of storing their veggie stock for later and any tips and techniques??

I just freeze it in Costco-size re-purposed jam jars. I leave plenty of head space and don't put the cap on until after freezing. I also have a couple of #5 plastic containers that used to contain soup from Chinese takeout, which are also ideal for the purpose.

I did once have a jar break after freezing. I just ran the thawed soup through a coffee filter to make sure there was no glass in it.

HappyCheerE

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1587 on: January 12, 2020, 03:59:40 PM »
Instead of buying laundry detergent, I use the Simple Dollar's recipe. I gather up random bits of leftover/broken/hotel/etc. bar soap, and we're only halfway through the boxes of borax and washing soda I bought more than a decade ago. I mix it in a recycled biscotti container and decant into a re-used jug. No extra plastic to recycle, no transportation (esp. of water, which is heavy!), it's low-suds, fun to make, and it also saves a ton of money!

Chaplin

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1588 on: January 13, 2020, 10:25:41 AM »
Visited the new local Zero Waste Emporium so we can plan what items to no longer buy in their own packaging. I was impressed with the selection and hope that this can complement what we’re already doing.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1589 on: January 13, 2020, 02:34:12 PM »
I rode my bike to Sprouts instead of driving, where I bought milk in reusable jugs, then came home and started a batch of yogurt in the Instant Pot with the aforementioned milk.

I bought unpackaged broccoli and green onions, but the blueberries were in a clamshell and the meat was in styrofoam. I should lobby them for self-tare machines and more bulk meat.

diapasoun

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1590 on: January 13, 2020, 05:37:58 PM »
Got split peas, marjoram, etc in bulk in my reusable containers (old pickle jars and tiny Tupperwares). Huzzah!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1591 on: January 15, 2020, 10:43:36 AM »
Switched from liquid soap to bar soap in the bathrooms. Keeping liquid soap in the kitchen because blech.

trashtalk

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1592 on: January 20, 2020, 03:08:41 PM »
Worked on propagating our native oak and walnut species in hopes of creating a healthier local ecosystem.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1593 on: January 20, 2020, 03:46:26 PM »
Switched from liquid soap to bar soap in the bathrooms.

I recently did this too!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1594 on: January 21, 2020, 01:22:24 PM »
OK, it was a few days ago, but I set up a recurring donation to the National Forest Foundation for tree planting.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1595 on: January 21, 2020, 02:24:35 PM »
I made pickled beets with leftover beets from a dinner a couple of nights ago.  And I figured, since I was cooking some of the beets in the instant pot, I might as well cook the whole bag.  Unfortunately they came in a plastic bag.  But they were local Ontario grown.  And they were cheap - 2kg for around $3.  That is a lot of nutrition.  So now we can take a good long time to eat them.  We have already had them for dinner three times and everyone is getting tired of beets every night.

I swept the floors instead of vacuuming.

chaskavitch

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1596 on: February 12, 2020, 01:36:15 PM »
I found some floss!  Yay!

Radius organic floss, found at Sprouts, probably also available at Natural Grocers or Whole Foods.  It's made of silk waxed with candelilla plant wax and is biodegradable, comes in a cardboard package, and doesn't have a spool, as far as I can tell.  I've been looking for a while, but the only biodegradable flosses I've found until now are all only available online, which = shipping and packaging, or are sold in plastic wrap, which defeats the purpose for me. 

I'm pretty excited :)

Dollar Slice

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1597 on: February 12, 2020, 02:16:53 PM »
Thanks a lot for that tip. I floss every day but somehow it never occurred to me to wonder what floss was made of :-/ Next time I have to stock up I'll remember that.

Hirondelle

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1598 on: February 12, 2020, 02:37:54 PM »
I've been paying more attention to close the window when turning on the heat. My house is already poorly enough insulated by itself (and as I renter I can't do much about it) so I don't need to make it even worse by letting the freshly warmed up air out again.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #1599 on: February 12, 2020, 02:44:46 PM »
I am wearing a toque instead of turning up the heat