Thursday, April 22, 2010

every day.

(thanks for the picture.)

Happy Earth Day! Those of you new to my blog may be surprised to find that environmentalism extends WAY beyond reuseable shopping bags and compact fluorescent bulbs in my house, and that I make a serious commitment to reducing my carbon footprint as much as my time and budget allow.

What do we do, you ask? Here's a laundry list:

~ eco-friendly cleaning and paper products, (mostly Seventh Generation,) including recycled toilet paper, paper towels, and kleenexes, vegetable-based soaps, and reusables as much as possible (i.e., dryer balls, dish scrubbers, handkerchiefs, mini-towels to go, rags, etc.)

~ vegetable-based (and organic when possible) health and body care products, toothbrushes w/replaceable heads, organic cotton tampons, and again, reusables as much as possible (washcloths, body scrubbers, etc.)

~ reusable shopping bags AND reusable produce bags, as well as shopping from the bulk bins (bringing my own containers) as much as possible, also buying as much local and organic as we can (I'm psyched to hit up the Farmer's Market this weekend!)

~ packing lunches and eating at home as much as possible, including reusable bags, containers, silverware, and cloth napkins

~ obviously, we recycle :) (everything!)

~ eco-friendly, compostable cat litter

~ walking, biking, and/or bussing as much as we can

~ reusable water bottles, coffee cups, etc.

~ we eat a 100% vegetarian diet at home, largely vegan; Dan does eat meat occasionally while dining out, I do not

~ eliminating junk mail by getting off the "lists"

~ line-drying at least one laundry load per week, to save a little electricity (and money, since we run through quarters like no one's business!)

So . . . what are my Earth Day goals this year, you ask? I have three -- two simple, one a bit more complex.

1. I really need to get better about taking a travel mug with me to the coffee shop. I think if I keep one at work (for those impromptu trips to the co-op for an afternoon pick-me-up!) it will help a lot. I never take a "java jacket," but if I can eliminate the paper cup and lid, even better! (I rarely buy coffee out, but this is still a little thing I can do!)

2. I need to source a location that recycles #5 plastic -- I have those big yogurt tubs coming out of my ears these days, and I only need so many for the bulk items when shopping! Any suggestions?

3. I need to work on "greening" my wardrobe. How? I'm going to try to learn to thrift, even though I really, really, really HATE shopping. (Ugh.) I also want to source more stores that manufacture clothes in a slightly more sustainable way (i.e., at least paying their workers a liveable wage, etc.) Anyone have good suggestions for places to shop? I know about H&M and American Apparel, but any other ideas (real stores and/or websites) would be helpful! (Particularly, anyone know where to get decent petite size pants made in a sustainable way?)

What are you doing to to help the Earth -- today, or every day?

P.S. We're starting a weekly trash-pickup with our kidlets at work today, and they also want to plant a garden this summer. Wahoo!


Anonymous said...

I do just about everything you do too! And I bike to and from work (today and every day that it is not below freezing/raining/snowing).

Whole Foods (Minneapolis) totally recycles those yogurt containers! And all #5 plastic, in addition to the Preserve brand products. I walk there just about weekly (another way I am earth friendly, lol)--I will happily take your recycling there with me next time I go (an on a regular basis if you want) :-)


Regina said...

You might enjoy White Apricot - they have lots of special offers for sustainable clothing retailers.
As for yogurt cups, if you're in St. Paul, they're collecting at the Shirtz Unlimited on Snelling Ave: