Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth resolutions

Admittedly, I'm not the most eco-conscious nor eco-guilty people. I live in an eco-friendly city, but I'm not one to put enough effort into doing things that contribute to a greener planet, and it's not just because I'm lazy (I'm not). It's sometimes a matter of not thinking about it enough. But I think Earth Day is a good time to think about environmental resolutions. 

When I graduated from Cornell, I signed the graduation pledge. I certainly haven't forgotten about it. I still have my card and the bookmarks I made to promote the cause. As soon as I am employed with an organization, I hope to be able to contribute to that employer's green side in simple and effective manners. But the pledge is also personal, and I think it's easy to forget some of the simple ways that I already do think consciously about my environmental impact and the ways I can do better.

First and foremost, there are things Erik and I do do that take into account the environment. All of our light bulbs are  compact florescent, for example. We don't buy bottled water because we have a perfectly good tap and filter. We have one car because I rely on public transit in Austin. We buy our groceries at the local chain that is close to home, as well as mostly filled with products that are moderately local. We have few lights in our place and only turn them on when needed (or I end up doing it when someone forgets he doesn't need the kitchen light on when he's in the living room). When I lived more centrally and on my own, I only used recyclable grocery bags since they were easier to carry. We are also big believers in donating our unused or unwanted stuff to Goodwill, saving it from landfills and allowing it a second life. We use environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies that don't add to the chemicals in the air. Lastly, Erik and I have been committed, as I mentioned in an earlier post, to reducing our collecting of stuff. 

We know there's a lot more we can do. 

As of today, Earth Day 2009, we're pledging to do better. What we can do to improve our planet is so easy, but it's also easily overlooked. Some of our resolutions include: 
  • Recycling our empty cans -- as diet coke drinkers, we often throw the cans out because recycling them requires a lot of effort on our part living in an apartment complex. But it's not impossible, and it's something so simple we CAN do.
  • Bringing our reusable bags to the grocery store -- I did it before, but since we use a car now, we don't think to do it. 
  • We're cutting cable, reducing our electrical use of a television.
  • Eating seasonally -- I have a wonderful cookbook that focuses on eating foods that are in season, and it's something I'd like to try. As convenient as it is that we can get blueberries any time of the year, there is a major environmental impact on that in terms of transporting and growth.
  • Reusing broken or old items in new ways. 
  • [here's your tmi] Actually using my diva cup rather than having it there and relying on tampons
  • Purchasing items with the least amount of waste
All are simple but are effective some how, even if it's effective only because it reduces our load on ourselves. 

What are your eco-resolutions? What are you doing to help motha' Earth?

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