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Mixed Bag of “Green” Goodies

April 14, 2007

So, I have spent the ENTIRE day (seriously) attached to this silly computer, being dragged from one eco-friendly website to another.  I am completely addicted.  And somehow cannot pull myself away, except for making us some wonderful little Almond Cakes to go with our coffee/tea this morning (more like afternoon), which were absolutely delightful!  I just continue to learn more and more and can’t stop.  Realizing very quickly how much there really is to this whole concept of green living.   Over the course of the day, I have discovered some really great websites and blogs that are devoted to this subject alone. 

I probably should have spent part of the day participating with The Sea of People in the Step It Up 2007  rally taking place in the city.  However, as much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t convince myself to go stand in a “sea of people” on my one day off.  After living in this city for a few years, my inclination to hang out with crowds of people is dwindling (which is sort of a shame, I think).  So, I did the next best thing…stayed in and continued to educate myself on the importance of living and thinking globally…hoping to do my part by passing along this newly gained knowledge on to the loyal readers of One Sweet World.

The message of today’s rally is to draw the attention of the leaders in this country to help make a change and stop global warming.  The word leaders to me means any of America’s powerful people, whether in the political or business sector.  Businesses (public and private) have just as much influence and clout in this country as political parties.  In the end, it’s all tied together.  Therefore, we need to push for change in public policy, as well as, business practices.  Hell, I still work for a company who doesn’t even recycle…which I have been (and still am) trying to change.  This should not even be an option at this point in time.  It should be mandatory.  Business of all shapes and sizes should be held responsible for their impact on this earth.  Period.  But I’m going to stop there before I get up on my soapbox!

This marathon reading day started pretty much after I decided to catch up on what was happening with No Impact Man, which I heard had been on the Colbert Report  this week.  How cool!  From there, it just kind of spun out-of-control…leading me on a wild goose chase around the net.

Besides recommending that you go check out No Impact Man  (if you haven’t already), I would also take a minute to check out Green as a Thistle.  Vanessa, the author, is making one environmentally friendly change a day over the next year…pretty great idea!  So, after reading through her list thus far, I decided to take a tally of what I have personally done and am doing to change my impact.  I have taken her list and posted it below, making note of where I stand, which I have written in green.  All of the points highlighted in yellow reflect changes that I still need to make.  This is a good way to see how you measure up.  I encourage you to test yourself, recognize what changes need to be made and check back often to see what new ideas she has.  I’m going to keep this list running on a separate page, in order to update changes that I’m making and continue to add new ones. 

GREEN LISTED

Here’s a running tally of all the green changes I’ve made so far:

  1. Switching to 100% recycled, unbleached paper towels – JUST REALIZED I HAVEN’T
  2. Giving up my electric heating pad – N/A
  3. Banning all styrofoam (no excuse for delivery or take-out, either) – TRY TO AVOID
  4. Switching to Preserve recycled toothbrush
  5. Turning down my thermostat – CHECK! (Victor always complains that it’s cold!)
  6. No more bottled water (only tap water, using Nalgene/stainless steel bottles) – HALF WAY THERE…REUSE…REUSE…REUSE WITH TAP WATER & THEN RECYCLE ALL BOTTLES
  7. Switching to organic conditioner
  8. Switching from disposable tape-based lint rollers to classic felt ones – CAN’T SAY I EVER USE ONE
  9. Eating ‘locally’ (within Canada and the U.S., restaurants and alcohol not yet included) – WORKING ON…NEED TO DO BETTER!
  10. Making all my bills electronic only. – CHECK!
  11. Checking tire pressure on my car. – DON’T HAVE A CAR!
  12. Not buying a microwave (yes, disputable, see the post for comments) – DON’T HAVE ONE OF THOSE EITHER.
  13. Switching to all-natural, biodegradable handwash with recyclable container – MADE THE SWITCH TO MR. BRONNER’S
  14. Switching to non-toxic, phosphate-free dishwasher detergent – DON’T HAVE A DISHWASHER, BUT HAVE CHANGED TO ECOVER DISH SOAP.
  15. Running outside only (no treadmill) – CLEARLY, SEE RUNNING ENDEAVOR.  I DO WORK IN A GYM, BUT HAVE ONLY BEEN USING THE ROWER (SELF-POWERED)!
  16. Using tote bags, no more plastic bags – REALLY TRYING.  REFUSE PLASTIC BAGS ALL OF THE TIME!
  17. Switching to 100% recycled toilet paper – CHECK!  (Victor & I actually had bit of a discussion about this last week in the grocery store…I WON!) 
  18. Cancelling my cable, using TV only for watching movies – THAT MAY NOT BE HAPPENING ANY TIME SOON.  I SPENT 3 YEARS WITHOUT TV AND CABLE…DOES THAT COUNT?
  19. Switching to corn-based, biodegradable cat litter – WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT!!
  20. Giving up disposable tissues, using only handkerchiefs – USE TOILET PAPER, BUT SHOULD WORK ON THIS!
  21. Using only all-natural, organic body lotions
  22. Permanently getting rid of any aerosol cans at home
  23. Changing over to all-natural glass and surface cleaner
  24. Signing up with my local Freecycle Network, making my first exchange
  25. Making sure all the lights are turned off before I leave home – CHECK!  I’VE BEEN AWARE OF THIS SINCE I WAS A KID…THANKS POP!
  26. Switching to 100% natural body wash
  27. Using chemical-free, reusable cloth static-cling sheets in the dryer – RARELY USE DRYER SHEETS
  28. Unplugging all appliances, equipment, chargers, wall warts etc. that aren’t in use – CHECK!  HAVE BECOME A BIT OCD ABOUT THIS!
  29. Refusing to use any disposable plastic cutlery or plates – TRYING REALLY HARD
  30. Not driving my car on weekends – AGAIN, NO CAR!
  31. Putting away my humidifier for good to save water and electricity – N/A
  32. Only using a thermos for take-out coffee and tea – TAKE COFFEE IN A THERMOS TO WORK EVERYDAY…AND EVEN REUSE (YES, REUSE) TO-GO CUPS IF I HAVE TO BUY COFFEE
  33. No more gift wrap, other than newspaper or magazines from around the house – HARDLY EVER NEED…BUT WILL MAKE A SWITCH WHEN NECESSARY
  34. Changing all my light bulbs to CFLs – CHANGING ONE AT A TIME
  35. Switching to Eco-Dent floss, which comes in a recyclable paper box
  36. Only drinking fair-trade, organic (and locally roasted/distributed, if possible) coffee – HAVE BEEN FOR OVER A YEAR!
  37. Using only beeswax candles; or soy-based, as long as there’s no paraffin in them – NOT A BIG CANDLE PERSON
  38. Returning my wine bottles to the Beer Store for a deposit so they’re recycled properly – WE JUST DON’T DRINK MUCH ANYMORE…BUT WHEN WE DO…WE ALWAYS RECYCLE!
  39. Switching to all-natural toothpaste
  40. Changing over to a natural laundry detergent – CHECK!  MADE THE SWITCH LAST WEEK
  41. Eating only free-range, organic, hormone-free (and if possible local) meat, restricting my intake of beef and chicken to no more than once per week
  42. Not buying any more petroleum-based bath poufs and loufas – N/A
  43. Signing up at GreenDimes.com to block junk mail and plant a tree every month
  44. Being conscientious about how much water I use; only turning on the taps at a “trickle” when washing hands or brushing teeth and keeping showers to five minutes – CHECK!  ANOTHER THING THAT HAS BECOME A BIT OCD!  EVEN MADE SURE WE HAVE A “LOW-FLOW” SHOWERHEAD!
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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2007 12:26 am

    Hey, cool! I’m blushing over here, seeing my little green list adhered to by a fellow blogger — looks like you’re doing just about everything so far other than a few products here and there, but I’m totally impressed… I think you actually qualify as greener than me because you don’t have a car, a pet, a dishwasher, etc.

    The green blogs can be totally addictive, but they can also make you feel like you’re not doing enough. You, however, are clearly doing way more than Joe Average, which is awesome (although Joe Average pretty much sucks at being green to begin with). I’ll have to check out the rest of your blog… seeing as I have a sweet tooth, I’m sure I’ll love it 🙂

  2. Pop Wolny permalink
    April 15, 2007 12:54 pm

    Sweet Lara – Scrolled down the green list, do not give myself passing marks. I will say shutting off lights came to me from my parents who lived the depression. Not much has been said about their generation. But the depression brought about the early makings of recycling.

    That training carries on today, just check out your grandfather. He lives it everyday.
    Just when I start liking the treadmill and watching Sportscenter at the same time – its on the green ban list !!!
    May God Bless, POP

  3. April 15, 2007 7:24 pm

    Hi Vanessa! Well, I can definitely say that you are much greener than I…and you are absolutely right about how all of this info only makes you feel like you are still so far behind. Thanks for such a great list and wonderful idea. I’ll definitely be checking in on you regularly…and hope you’ll do the same!

    Pop! All I can say is…do what you can. You don’t have to sacrifice everything…especially not something that is so good for your health! Keep going strong on the treadmill, while enjoying Sportscenter. Maybe you can makeup for it somewhere else. Thanks for keeping up with the blog! Miss you guys so much…XOXO

  4. April 18, 2007 10:11 pm

    Not driving your car on the weekends?!?! What the heck is it for then? Going to work?

    All in all, very good tips. Andrew has forced me to use Dr. Bronners for awhile now. A bit medicinal in my book, but I’ve gotten used to it. Thanks for the tips!

  5. April 19, 2007 9:06 pm

    I hear you Kelli! I guess it’s a little backwards for us…that’s exactly when we’d use it. Which is probably OK…since it’s 2 days vs. 5-7, right!

    I’ve changed over to Dr. Bronner’s as our hand soap in the bathroom. I think it’s going to become more of a all-purpose staple around here! Good work guys…every little bit helps.

  6. Abby Caputo permalink
    April 30, 2007 12:23 pm

    Lara, Thanks for the green checklist…I have to say that I get a failing grade, especially since the kids came home. I told Louie this weekend that I was embarassed by the number of paper towels that I use and that my current stash is the last of the paper towels our household will be buying. I think I can make it using cloth rags. Anyway, I am going to get going on some of the other things. I, like you, am switching our lightbulbs one at a time. Also switching to natural cleaning products one at a time. I’ll get there one of these years.

    I don’t have time to do the research that I should about the changes that we can make in our household, but so I’m loving all the info that you share on your blog. Keep up the good work, my friend. Oh, and I did sign up for the NYC lottery, so hopefully I’ll see you at the race (you’ll probably blow right past me!)! Love you, Abby

  7. greenchick permalink
    June 6, 2007 3:21 pm

    Thanks Lara. I had not seen this list from GreenThistle. I might post it on my blog as well. I also find myself scanning the eco-net for hours at a time. That is probably not very green is it?

Trackbacks

  1. A checklist for being “green” | StinkyTofu | Andrew M. Lin

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