Friday, April 21, 2017

Reducing & Reusing

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Ways I try to reduce my impact on the environment:

1. Be cognizant of packaging. Plastic is bad, no matter how you spin it. I avoid things packaged in plastic when I can. Do I need produce bags? No. So I don't use them.

2. Don't use paper plates and plastic cups unless we have a large crowd. Which is hardly ever anymore.

3. Tote groceries in bags kept in trunks. I only accept plastic bags when I need trash can liners. If I'm only buying a few things and don't have a tote with me, I say I don't need a bag, thanks. We don't need the plastic bags.

4. Pack lunch foods in reusable bags. These babies can go in the dishwasher.
5. Keep a set of silverware at work so I don't use plastic. I was just reminded I wanted to do this by Steph in one of her zero waste kitchen posts so I'm new to this practice. Since we use more utensils in a house of two people than all the Duggars combined, I didn't want to bring any from home to leave at my office permanently so I got these from Amazon.

6. Glass or stainless steel straws. Sarah got me a glass straw for Christmas a few years back. I added another as well as a set of stainless steel straws so now I'm not throwing them out all the time. The stainless steel ones I bought last year came with cleaning brushes too.

7. Hang clothes to dry. I hang a majority of my clothes to dry instead of using the dryer. When we have a large yard, they'll all be hung out to dry.

8. Group errands together, walk, or use public transport. I schedule my errands for one day instead of multiple days polluting the atmosphere with my car. I take the asshole train to work, and at the shore I park my car and walk or bike everywhere until I leave. I also run as many errands as I can at the shore since I'm on foot or bike and during lunch at work since I'm on foot then as well.

9. Carry drinks in a reusable bottle. I love the S'well bottles because they keep drinks cool all day on the beach even when left in the sun. I detest plastic water bottles. If you are traveling via air, just make sure your reusable bottle is empty until you get through security.

10. Vote for people who know science and climate change are real. 

11. Pick up trash I see on the beach. Enough shit is in the oceans, we don't need our trash washing out there.

12.  Use cloth napkins, cleaning cloths, and hand towels. Paper towels are for dog accidents only.

13. Look for ways to reuse items or donate them instead of trashing them. I do put shore furniture out on my curb at home, but that's because it doesn't last for more than 10 minutes before a picker snaps it up.

14. Don't let the water run. While brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc. etc.

15. Compact fluorescent bulbs. Even though they're ugly.

Areas I need improvement on:
-To go coffee cups. DD doesn't make a reusable cup big enough to hold a large. DD, are you listening? I'd like a reusable cup that holds a large.
-Composting. I don't do it, but I should.

What do you do in your daily life to be more environmentally friendly?


  1. You are an ace. Continued Goddess speed. I must do more.
    Proud of you to infinity and beyond. You walk the walk. Love. Your. Momma.

  2. Those reusable bags are GORGEOUS! I have been wanting to try some, we use cloth diapers for my daughter and one of the sites I've purchased from has them. But I wasn't sure the dishwasher would for them (I despise dishes).

    I use reusable water bottles and hardly ever use plastic silverware. Could definitely be better about USING the fabric bags I have for groceries, and need reusable silverware for work. Hoping to convince hubby to build me a clothesline this summer (it will save on electricity and keep the house cooler...which he cares about more than the environment, but it works).

  3. I always use my own coffee mug instead of a paper cup at work. I keep silverware in my cube as well. I need to get better about using my re-usable shopping bags.

  4. I try to be more mindful of reducing my waste. I always have my reusable water bottle with me. I always try to have a packable tote in my bag when I go shopping. I'm always like I don't want that tissue paper or that bag! The amount of tissue paper stores give out drives me batty.Then they look at you like you have ten heads.

  5. Amen to all of the above! I hid the paper towels. They are only for dog accidents, but if I leave them out, John will use them for anything and everything. So they're in hiding :) Gotta do what you gotta do!

  6. Just looked up the s'well cup... will buy. I do most of the other things. (but I also use paper towels for nose-blowing. I do a hearty nose-blow that a kleenex does NOT handle!)

  7. LOVE this post and this girl is excited for Earth Day! I've always been an avid recycler, and I'm huge on using minimal lights in the evening and turn water off when not using while brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc... I absolutely cringe when I see cans or water bottles in the garbage :-P

  8. I'm bad about paper towels. I need to use more cloth. Total confession there.
    I need to buy some new grocery bags - I've lost mine through the years. To me, they are so much easier toting in groceries & keeping them from tumping all over the back seat.

  9. I need to get some of those reusable sandwich and snack bags, thanks for the link. I'm bad about using a million ziplocks. We're really good at using reusable bags at the grocery store (Austin banned plastic bags, so that helps!). I hate plastic water bottles, so I take my yeti or camelbak bottle with me everywhere...saves a gazillion dollars when traveling!

  10. We got solar panels last year from Vivint Solar. They paid for the panels we let them use our roof. We lock in a lower rate and pay them for the energy we get off the panel its a win win. Luckily our house is also positioned in such a way that you can't tell we have solar panels until you look from the back. Also want to get a hybrid car once I need a new one but hopefully that wont be for another 10 years ;)

  11. These are all great! I like those pretty re-usable pouches. One thing I do: if I am at the grocery store and I change my mind about a perishable item, I actually go and put it back in the appropriate spot. At one store where I worked in the past, I found so much food everywhere...chicken breasts behind magazines, cheese in candy bar boxes, frozen dinners on open shelves, etc. All of it would have to be thrown away. People should either put it back or give it to an employee.

  12. I need to cut our paper towel and napkin usage OUT. That will be my next step. Justin will love it as much as he loves our low-flow shower head, I'm sure ;-)

  13. i have a whole BIN of reusable bags in my trunk. i'm also glad that my stores charge $ for plastic bags.

  14. I try to do a lot of these things but I need to work on my paper towel usage. I use way too many. I am cleaning the house today and maybe I'll start today using rags instead! I love using those reusable bags at the grocery store, not only are they better for the environment, but I fit so much more into each bag and don't have to worry about handles breaking, etc!

  15. I recycle paper (mainly junk mail), aluminum, glass, metal, and plastic. I use a reusable insulated cup for drinks, try to be mindful of turning off lights that are not needed, keep the thermostat set at a reasonable temperature year around, donate old clothes, donate clothes to charity, sell gently used clothes on eBay, use old t-shirts as dusting cloths and wash them for future use, use plastic grocery bags for liners, use a lunch box and reusable plastic containers, and drive a car that gets close to 40 mpg.

    I need to get better at not using plastic utensils or straws and finding a way to reduce the amount of junk mail I get in the first place.

  16. No kidding about #10.
    We try to limit running water, recycle everything we can, and use towels or cloths to clean and wash. We're still pretty bad about paper towel usage, though.

  17. We just got a small composting bin for the kitchen and we have 4 different gardens in the neighborhood that we can drop our stuff off weekly. It's odor free and I LOVE it. Our goal is 2 garbage bags a month in a smaller can. Now that the food scraps have a better spot, I think it's doable. I love this list though. I always grab produce bags, but I don't know why. Time to change.


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