Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

I try to use Earth Day as a resolution day, similar to New Years (except that I rarely make New Years resolutions for some reason). It's good to have a reason to reevaluate how I'm actually living my life, and how that reflects how I'd like to be living my life. I'm a little bit limited, still, being a renter and a student, but there are always things I can do to improve. On the short-term this year, I should start working on:

- bringing a mug with me to the coffee shop instead of using their styrofoam cups. I should also probably have some reusable plates and cutlery in the office in case someone brings in food.

- remembering to bring my own bags to the grocery store, and getting more canvas bags so that my entire order can fit into reusable bags instead of just half.

- buying more locally-grown foods and paying attention to how far things have traveled to get to my table.

- buying more recycled paper products for the bathroom -- the Seventh Generation tissues aren't as rough as I had expected!

Since last year, I have made a few improvements:

- We've started recycling all of our plastic packaging, like the plastic bags used for packaging bread and toilet paper. This stuff piles up if you start keeping track!

- We moved into a much more energy-efficient apartment and have the added bonus of much lower energy bills.

- We've been focusing more on Organic foods and made an initial attempt at a stoop garden.

On a longer term, I hope to have some drastic changes once I manage to own a home. We'll be gardening, adding solar panels if we can, replacing all our light bulbs with more energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, etc. But that sort of thing will have to wait until we manage to buy.

I also want to look into carbon-offset purchases; I know that the majority of my personal "footprint" comes from all the flying and driving I do. I'd like to be able to offset some of that damage, but I'm not sure what I think of all these services and how the process works (and whether it actually does any good!). I'll have to do some research when I get some time!

No comments: