March 05, 2008

Lisa: it's easy being green(ish)

I'm not going to try to justify my choice to use disposable diapers for Nora, but I will admit that I feel a guilty twinge every time we take a bag full of the little bombs out to the trash. I figure the least I can do is try to balance things out a bit by lessening our environmental impact in other ways. As we all know, white people love saving the earth without having to do that much, and I'm no exception. We're not single-handedly halting global warming or anything, but these things are super easy AND make me feel better about myself.

1. Reusable grocery bags. We have enough plastic shopping bags under the sink to last until we die. Last time I was at Trader Joe's, I bought a cute grocery tote made of oilcloth. It's super sturdy, and big enough to hold a decent amount of groceries. We're getting better at remembering to bring it to the store with us, too.

2. Seventh Generation laundry detergent. Our local market now sells high-efficiency Free & Clear detergent, which is fragrance-free and vegetable- (instead of petroleum-) based. I bought my first bottle the other day, and as soon as I try it out, I'll let you know how it is.

3. HP print cartridge recycling. When I was replacing the print cartridges in our Photosmart printer at work, I noticed that the new cartridges now come with postage-paid envelopes so that you can send in the old cartridges for recycling. I sealed those babies up and dropped them in a mailbox the next day. Easy peasy!

4. Reusable soap dispensers. Instead of buying new pumps for the kitchen and upstairs bathroom every time we use up the soap, I got some refillable pumps at Target and a giant refill bottle at Costco. I had a slight misstep with a metal soap pump that corroded from the inside out, but now we have two glass soap pumps (and a matching lotion pump for the kitchen) and all seems to be well. Theoretically, it's cheaper this way, too.

5. Refillable metal water bottle. I have a hard time drinking enough water when I use a cup. I don't know why--it's stupid, really. I don't mind the taste of tap water, but I just don't get around to drinking water out of a glass. When I was pregnant, I'd buy those big flats of water bottles at Costco, and have a bottle with me all the time--convenient and effective, but wasteful. It's supposedly harmful to keep refilling the same disposable bottle, and even Nalgene bottles are apparently leaching chemicals now. Then I read about SIGG bottles on ljc, and they were just so cute I had to go get one at REI ( Blake waited very patiently while I dithered around, choosing the perfect one). My only complaint is that the cap has so many threads that it takes forever to unscrew the silly thing. Ah, the sacrifices I make for my principles!

So, there you go. Five easy ways I'm being a little more responsible. What else should I be doing (within reason)? What do you do?

Posted by lisa at March 05, 2008 02:15 PM

GOOD FOR YOU LISA!!!! One thing I don't do is PAPER TOWELS! I think they are a waste and not good for our trees. So I get those giant packs of cheap washcloths at wal mart or wherever- just cheap white wash cloths and I use those and never buy paper towels. Throw them in with your regular laundry so you don't waste energy on a load just for them ;)


Posted by: Jen on March 6, 2008 02:05 PM
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