June 25, 2008

(It's Not Easy) Being Green

I spent my formative years in the 80s. I was, therefore, witness to the start of many inexplicable fads like Guess jeans, florescent t-shirts, consumption of Mr. Zogs Sex Wax, parachute pants, hair metal, and Molly Ringwald. So, yeah, I've seen one or two fads come and go. Lately, though, it seems like something a little more worthwhile has taken root almost everywhere and become quite a trend - going green. How else can you explain the booming fluorescent lightbulb business, increased sales and availability of hybrids, and even a green network?

All this exposure forced me to look at how I interact with the environment and what kind of impact I have. So I did a little investigating. Turns out that, according to my calculations over at carboncounter.org, I emit somewhere around 21 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Well, not me, bodily (that would suck), but our house and cars. We recycle. We're vegetarians. We buy organic when it's practical. We don't own massive, gas-guzzling cars and take them on road trips. We rarely fly. We don't stand over glaciers with hair dryers or flame-throwers, club baby seals or dump nuclear waste into the ocean on our trips to the beach. I'd say we're just about average - we're not going to single-handedly save the environment but we're not going to be responsible for ruining it either.

But what else can we do?

I'm all for taking on the big solutions. I want to put solar panels on the house, plant my own vegetables, take public transportation, buy a hybrid, use my mad plumbing skills to work out some sort of household gray water reclamation scheme, start composting, make my own shoes, buy goods and services only from environmentally friendly companies, and mount a wind turbine in the back yard. But those things are either a) expensive or b) a real pain in the ass. And I think that - being a pain in the ass - is what stops most people from taking action. Most of us (myself included) are materialistic to some extent and influenced by the concept of immediate gratification. There's nothing terrible about that. It's our society. But until we get over ourselves a little, there's a point at which we can't become much greener.

So how concerned about the environment are you? And what are you doing about it? What ways do you think we can all be a little greener?

Posted by Chris at June 25, 2008 6:24 AM

Very concerned. I get all focused and then loose interest and fall back into bad habits. It takes dedication and focus and a determination to change your ways. Making a determined effort to think differently and teaching your kids to actually think about stuff is important. I focus on water usage. Driving a small car. Walking when I can or taking public transport. Using fluro globes. Using lamps and not the hallogens that are all through our house, recycling water into the garden. Not printing stuff off at work. Turning stuff off at powerpoints etc. But I get slack and then need to refocus again. You have inspired me to get back on the wagon!

Posted by: Beth at June 25, 2008 6:42 AM

I'm concerned about the environment - I do the things one "should" do. Things that have me increasingly bothered is excessive packaging on goods I purchase. Here's the scene: I go run my weekly errands to a Target and the grocery store. I bring in my own reusable canvas bags and we load them up with the things we need. We get home and I take away all the packaging, the cardboard, the plastic wrapping, the bags that don't zip to keep in freshness and at the end of this exercise there is an ENTIRE bag of garbage/recycling. It's so crazy. This isn't the case in other places in the world where packaging is minimal at best. How do we change the packaging standards? This is the thing on my mind lately.

Posted by: Cass at June 25, 2008 7:10 AM

I'm terribly concerned.

But I'm lazy and selfish.

I'm kind of where you are, I guess. I adopt it if it's convenient. I take public transportation, but I would have anyway... My boyfriend (who is *very* concerned and much more active about it) started buying all natural cleaning products made with coconut oil or some crap like that. They work great, so I use them, but you can bet your ass that if they didn't work I would have dropped them, earth be dammed. (I don't do dirty. Even for the world.) I have cloth shopping bags, but it's not terrible inconvenient to take them to the store and use them. I also have compact light bulbs, but again, no real effort on my part.

Where we differ is you have plans and really *want* to be better. I'm pretty sure I'll keep up this "when it's good for me" attitude for quite some time yet. For which I'm a wee bit guilty.

But not guilty enough to be inconvenient.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 25, 2008 8:19 AM

Since having a kid, I have become much more aware. I cannot tell you of the guilt over all of the diapers that I have contributed to the landfill. *sigh*

That, and both hubby and I own trucks, me an Xterra and him a Frontier. However, they are used as such (we camp, canoe, etc., quite frequently) and found that my old Eclipse and his old Sunfire were just NOT cutting it, no matter how hard we tried to make it so. We aren't driving them because we think its cool, although I do love my truck. But whatever. I can try to justify it in whatever way I want, it will still piss someone, somewhere, off. LOL

That being said, we are maintenance freaks on them to keep them running efficiently. AND? The hubby cleans up the environment. That is his job. He's a Geologist, and he cleans up Big Oils messes,as well as cleaning up soils and groundwater on contaminated sites and stuff like that.

We have made the switch to fluorescent bulbs, we unplug most things that still draw energy, even when off. I even went as far as to get solar powered battery chargers for certain things. We buy local and fresh and try to keep packaged goods to a minimum. We garden, we recycle, we buy organic when possible...

Whew. I also Freecyle a LOT of stuff instead of trashing it.

So, we are trying! Not perfect. But making the effort at least!

Posted by: Jen at June 25, 2008 8:20 AM

We recycle here in our town. We also grow out own fruits and vegetables here.

Posted by: Maribeth at June 25, 2008 8:31 AM

Jack Handy said it best.

"I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex."

Posted by: William at June 25, 2008 8:40 AM

well, i rent and am poor, so can't do anything fancy. I have no garden and no drying space so can't compost food waste and use a dryer. for a varity of reasons we use disposable daipers and currently I can't afford the 'eco friendly' ones.

I do - recycle paper, cardboard, tin, glass and plastic (cardboard and plastic I have to drive to a recycling centre, the rest gets picked up fortnightly.)

I donate / pass on to friends all unwanted clothes, toys, books etc and recycle rags. I buy second hand wherever possible (a LOT cheeper to start with, and if it's at a charity store then I'm helping the charity too)

I'm fanatical about turning lights and anything else electrical off when it's not in use and putting jumpers on instead of the heating in the winter (where possible)

We live in town so walk to everything we can - basically if its under a mile, mile and a half, we'll walk it unless it's CRAPPING down or someone's ill or something.

We just try to have very little waste - reduce, reuse and recycle is my mantra.

We also share bath water (but doesn't everyone with kids do that?!) and the kids always forget to flush the toilet, which considering the amount of water it uses each time is actually a good thing. leftover drinking water I use to water the plants with.

At the moment we're especially watching the pennies so we really don't buy (and therefore consume) anything that isn't a nessecity.

Posted by: mamacrowl at June 25, 2008 8:40 AM

I'm very concerned, and very aware ... but I could be doing a lot more to help. Why is doing the right thing always such a pain in the ass and/or super expensive?

Posted by: Fraulein N at June 25, 2008 8:49 AM

I feel the same way you do. I do what I can do within reason. If it were just me with no kids I would likely do more but time, energy and lack of funds stops us.

I am very concerned about the environment and likely have been since I was a little girl and someone handed me a kiddie book, something about 25 ways to save the environment. I never knew what it meant exactly at that young age (I was 8) but I knew it was important.

I do believe it is starting with the little things like changing out your old light bulbs for fancy new ones that last longer (they really do last longer!), switching to rechargeable batteries, growing your own veggies, unplugging appliances when not in use, composting to reduce your waste (LOVE THIS and we do it and our trash can generally is about a quarter to a half full - we use the compost each year in our garden!) or buying into a CSA/buying locally/being aware of the goods you buy and where they come from. We would love to install solar panels on our house & do the rain barrel thing but it is very expensive and right now with a little baby on the way it is not in the cards.

I feel like if we ALL think about it and try doing little things both those on the right, left and everyone in between we can make a difference. That and our govt needs to be much much more supportive of these things (and will actually admit there is a problem) we can make a difference.

Posted by: Christina at June 25, 2008 9:02 AM

Interesting post! I have featured this at The DC Feed.

Posted by: The Editor at June 25, 2008 9:19 AM

Very concerned and I know I am not doing enough. I am slowly switching over to compact flurescent bulbs, but only as the current ones burn out. I invested in a bunch of canvas tote bags for shopping but only use them half the time because those plastic bags are so useful for cleaning out the litter boxes. I am a freak about turning off lights, tv's and anything else when you leave a room. I would love to buy a hybrid but its not in the budget right now. We have no reliable public transportation where I live. Its too far to ride my bike to work. I only run our a/c at night during the summer when its really hot. Otherwise we open the windows and turn on a fan. I know I could and should be doing more....

Posted by: Lisa at June 25, 2008 9:21 AM

Not as much as we could but we try.

Planted a small garden.
Recycle (easy because our garbage is separated and recycled by the city). We've begun making compost out of coffee grounds, etc.
Share a car with my friend and use it only for shopping (once or at most twice a month) and medical appointments.
All the "correct" light bulbs which are turned off when not in use.
We have a swamp cooler and fans instead of air conditioning. Amazing the difference it makes on the utility bill anedd with a small house it does a good job.
Try to wash and dry during off peak hours.
Water only on watering days.
Cook double or triple quantities, freeze them, and use the microwave to heat portions instead of the gas oven.

There are probably a few other things but I can't think of them at the moment.

I'm guilty of using plastic grocery bags but our stores take them back for recycling. With once a month shopping, it's just too much to bring my own. And my computer stays on. Shame on me.

Posted by: Ann Adams at June 25, 2008 9:33 AM

I am very concerned. I have done one super easy thing. I put two empty tubbies in my trunk and they are now my grocery bags. I still get looks at the check out when I say no bags please. But the groceries go straight back into the cart and then into the tubbies. Tubbies into house and then back to trunk. Easy peasey. We've also replaced all our light bulbs and in two years when it's time to give the old Hondo to the kid and buy myself a new one it will be a hybrid. Now if I could just figure out to get grid-tied solar panels on the house, I'd feel really liek I'd done something. But they are wickedly expensive! We also use popsicle molds to make our own, bake our own cookies and spend as little time on the center aisles in the store as possible, to eliminate as much packaging comsumption as we can. Never buy a single use container if possible. Like juice boxes, etc. Convenience has become a four-letter word. For good reason.

Posted by: OS at June 25, 2008 9:42 AM

You know, I really do what I can in a lot of the same ways you expressed. But my main reason for NOT doing some of it is definitely money. When I first started dieting years ago, I noticed that it cost more to eat healthier (unless you JUST eat vegetables). It seems now most of these new "green" things are way expensive. (Hyrbids? WOW). I really do care about this earth and want to make an impact but I know that nothing much will change unless a very large amount of people do the same.Eventually prices will drop and people will really care. Or at least, I'm hopeful

Posted by: claire at June 25, 2008 9:56 AM

Remember Bruce Banner? Another 80s creation. He became greener until he turned into the Incredible Hulk, which resulted in horrible 21st-century movies. I think there's a lesson there. Somewhere.

While I agree mostly with much of the environmental blah blah, they tend to remind me of an excerpt from a book by David Foster Wallace, where a character had a poster above his desk that showed a care-worn king slumped on his thrown with the words, "YES, I'M PARANOID. BUT AM I PARANOID ENOUGH." I recall this poster sometimes when I listen to the latest pronouncements of doom.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at June 25, 2008 10:17 AM

Oh, good question. My wife works as an environmental engineer so it's a big topic around our house.

For transportation, we have a hybrid. I recently bought a motorcycle which isn't great as far as emissions but gets like 60mpg. So we'll be dropping the second car, carpooling when the weather is bad and when it's not, I commute by motorcycle. Gas savings and realistically, the emissions are probably only as bad as your average older car.

Around the house, we've switched most of the lightbulbs to the greener kind. We have most of our electronics on surge protectors so we can shut off all the devices with the flick of a single switch (because they still draw power even when off). We compost and recycle. I don't think you mentioned it, so I highly recommend composting. It's very simple... you basically just pile stuff up and let it rot? Not hard, eh? And we've massively cut down on trash since we started. Cardboard, food waste, yard waste can all go into the pile.

We also go to the farmers market out in Leesburg on a regular basis and, at least in the summer, buy all of our produce and meat locally. Extra bonus: with the increase in prices at the grocery store, we now break even on this financially. It used to be more money (like $10-15/week) to buy at the farmers market. Now it's the same price.

Still, we want to do more. I'm looking forward to getting rid of our second car. The hybrid is my wife's car so I'm not looking forward to not having a car but we really don't need two considering she drives by my office on her way to work. I'm trying to grow my own vegetables but so far, I'm failing miserably at my attempt. Someone else mentioned freecycling so I've been looking at that recently too.

Also, we try to eat less meat. I know you guys are already vegetarians but that's a huge bonus for the environment. Look it up! Factory farming contributes massively to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

Posted by: Garth at June 25, 2008 10:30 AM

Concerned. I used to design electric and hybrid vehicles for a living, and wish I still could. We just moved to be closer to our workplaces, and my car gets over 50MPG. Funny how when I bought my car and was designing electric vehicles, oil was really cheap, and green was not fashionable. Hopefully this trend is here to stay.

Posted by: Intergalactic at June 25, 2008 10:40 AM

Very concerned. When I was a kid, we took it for granted that our rivers, creeks and such were clean and safe to play in. I feel those days are changing.

I recycle a great deal and am a nut about many things and here are just a few of the many that I do daily:

rechargeable batteries
use cloth bags and recycle plastic bags
turn off lights/change bulbs

I bought an new SUV recently as I couldn't part with the size of my vehicle and couldn't justify the extra $10-15K that a comparable sized SUV hybrid would have cost. People will change their habits, but they need an incentive to do so. Make it easy and bring the costs down and I feel more of us will recycle and get smarter about things.

Future plans are installing a tank less hot water heater, checking out adding solar panels to the roof and investigating green alternatives. I'd like automatic faucets as I can only imagine what is wasted daily.

Posted by: Diane at June 25, 2008 10:41 AM

I do those things you do and want to do more as well. I joined a CSA this year (community supported agriculture) because for as much as I want to grow my own veggies, I have horrible soil and no green thumb to speak of. What I do have is is a little bit of money to support a farm who will grow them for me! (And we get to go squash and pumpkin picking in the fall!)
The other thing I did recently is joined Carrotmob. http://www.carrotmob.org/
They are still in the development stages, but looks to be sort of cool...

Posted by: Katie at June 25, 2008 10:43 AM

I agree that I would do more if it was easier. For now, I do what I can. We've been walking to the pool instead of driving. (Dude, with 3 kids and almost a mile - it's sooo much easier to drive.) We have a garden. We prefer organic. We support our local Farmer's Market. I don't throw away batteries - we keep them in a giant pickle jar and take them to chemical round-up days that our town sponsors.

I think the environment is important and I think there are ways we could do better. Somebody needs to figure out how to make diapers that are green and don't cost 8 bagillion dollars. Because I am currently unwilling to do cloth or spend the kids college funds on diapers. So I guess I still suck in that arena.

easy = participation

Posted by: sunshine at June 25, 2008 11:01 AM

I'm doing the best I can reasonably. I take the bus so that's my HUGE contribution to the environment...but that's more for convenience than for the environment, really. I also shop with canvas bags most times and refuse to take any bags for a few items. And I recycle bottles and cans. That's about it.

One day, I do want to compost and grow veggies if I have a backyard or a patio like my old apartment. I have a black-ish thumb but I kind of enjoy planting things to see them grow. The gardening genes I have from my grandmother, I guess.

Posted by: oakley at June 25, 2008 11:08 AM

Very concerned. So far we have:
Hybrid car
Low emission lightbulbs in every room
Recycle -- our borough only takes glass, metal, and plastic; but we have found locations that we can take paper and recycle it and benefit the boy scouts
Water filter on the sink and reusable bottles with ice sticks so we cut out the bottled water
Buy local produce at Farmer's markets when they are around...tried growing our own but the bunnies in the yard ate it.

Trying hard, but I'm sure there's more we could do.

Posted by: Krush at June 25, 2008 11:11 AM

Buy less shit. My college geology professor told me something profound one day. He said, "The guy driving a 1972 pickup truck blowing smoke and throwing a beer can out the window every two miles does less damage to the environment than most Americans, because he built one house to live in, bought one truck to drive forever, and doesn't require any more resources than that."

I was reminded of that in last month's Wired magazine cover that essentially said the same thing. Buying a new hybrid just takes more resources from the world, and you've increased the imprint on the environment instead of kept it steady.

Posted by: Brad at June 25, 2008 11:11 AM

I am concerned too... We do a lot of the things mentioned here: cloth bags, recycle/reuse any plastic bags I do get, use CF bulbs, programmable thermostat (allergies are too bad to have windows open for very long), bought a share in a CSA (Bull Run Farm for those of you in Northern VA) and recycle. But I know I can do more!

Posted by: Sue R at June 25, 2008 11:19 AM

We've been trying to continually make small steps towards being more green. Most of them have become habit, and then we can do more without feeling totally deprived. Our current green list is:

Eating vegan as often as possible (always vegetarian)
Shopping at the farmer's market and buying organic
Bringing our own shopping bags to the farmer's market, grocery store, Target
Using eco-friendly cleaners
Using eco-friendly bath and beauty products (shampoo, face cleanser, mascara, etc.)
Buying toilet paper and paper towels that are post-consumer recycled
Avoiding disposable plastics wherever possible
Reusable stainless steel water bottles
Purchasing renewable power from our energy company
CFL bulbs in every fixture
Low flow shower head (1.5 gallons per minute)
Buying green gifts and wrapping them in reusable bags (great kids gifts from Green Toys, Inc.)

Our car gets 39 MPG highway, but parents and grandparents have Priuses (Prii?), so we don't get bragging rights with that one.

There are definitely days where I wish I could eat a hot dog off of a paper plate, use fancy non-biodegradable conditioner, and have the soft, cushy toilet paper. But in the end, the impact just doesn't outweight the reward. There's still a lot more we could be doing, but hopefully we'll get there eventually.

Posted by: Rachel at June 25, 2008 11:23 AM

Other than replacing all my light bulbs with fluorescent and driving a small vehicle, I really haven't done much. I agree that the pain in the ass part comes in to play for me, but I am also a cheapskate so expense plays a major role as well.

Posted by: Jeff A at June 25, 2008 11:49 AM

I had a loooong response written out a few hours ago, and it vanished, and so I'm trying again - I'll condense myself.

I'm VERY concerned, and I really feel our family does a lot. We recycle as much as we can and try to buy things with minimal packaging (buying my music online is a huge dent, I think - because I buy A LOT of music!). Working from home cut the amount of time I drive from 60 miles roundtrip, 5 days a week to just venturing out for errands. I use canvas bags when shopping, I have been swapping my lightbulbs with CF lightbulbs as they've been burning out, and only buy energy star appliances when the existing ones conk out.

I wish local governments made it easier for people to adopt green lifestyles. Here, a proposal for a recycling center closer to all of us was nixed because it would cost taxpayers $25 a month each (a sum that I felt was worth it, but many others obviously didn't). However, the township found the money to paint our water tower and put a stupid decorative stage coach in the middle of town. Can't help but think that money would have been better funneled towards the recycling center vs the stupid kitschy stuff that doesn't really do much good.

Posted by: sarah at June 25, 2008 11:49 AM

One of the things on your list that falls into the much-less-of-a-pain-in-the-ass-than-you-think category is composting. We built a drum composter, but it can be a simple as just making a pile in the far corner of your yard (not too close to the house, trust me). You can get rid of so much more than food waste that way and it seems even lazier to me than taking out the garbage, which is a plus in my book!

Posted by: Melissa at June 25, 2008 12:15 PM

I'm wearing green (colored) underwear. Does that count?

Posted by: GreenCanary at June 25, 2008 1:10 PM

I have recently decided that we need to drastically cut down on the number of plastic bags coming into our home and then leaving it via the recycling bin, so just last weekend I started to make reusable shopping bags out of old t-shirts. They turned out really well, so now I'm scouring the local Value Village and Goodwill stores for t-shirts with pithy sayings and/or pictures. My next plan is to make infant and toddler shirts into smaller bags to put my produce into instead of using those rolls of plastic bags they provide you with at the grocery store. I'm having fun reducing my carbon footprint!

Posted by: Procrastamom at June 25, 2008 3:20 PM

I think we're pretty green. We often eat vegetarian, sometimes vegan and always organic. We buy "green" energy, recycle and drive a tiny car (VW polo), use environment friendly cleaning products... Even our cats litter environment friendly :D

I know we could do more. Perhaps collect rainwater to use it to water the garden.

I'm a little concerned. If the water rises because of global warming, there will be flooding. And I live in a country build below sea level.

Posted by: Nadine at June 25, 2008 5:03 PM

Over the past year, we have been taking baby steps to going green.

We started with just trying to waste less of everything.

Then we started recycling (paper, cans, plastic, glass, batteries, electronics, etc).

We only use re-usable grocery bags - never needing to use plastic or paper bags again. They actually hold more groceries and keep everything upright in my car! We keep several in the car and even use them when we go into other stores (Target, Walgeens, Lowes, etc.)

Along the way, we also decided to lower our paper usage (kills trees and fills landfills). We used to go through a roll of paper towels every few days, but now we can make one roll last over a week (for the whole household). We use junk mail envelopes for the girls to draw on and do projects with, we use both sides of the paper, and then we recycle every bit of paper that we can.

We built garden beds this winter and then planted our spring vegetable garden in March. We grow our own beans, carrots, beets, okra, eggplant, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, and lettuce.

Lastly, we built a compost pile/bin this past weekend so we can use it for the vegetable garden next spring. We found a website that listed 163 things you can compost (even dryer lint!) and we have once again lowered the amount of trash we are dragging down to the street for pick-up.

Most of our neighbors put out 2-3 trash cans twice each week. We put out one can only 2-3 times a month. With two small kids, that is hard work, but worth every bit.

I, personally, and not a fan of the new "green" lightbulbs everyone is rushing to go out and buy. They have mercury in them, and should not be put in our landfills, but 95% of consumers will just throw them out with their regular trash. That is alot of mercury leaking into our groundwater. The EPA states that if you break a bulb in your house, you should open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes, then clean it up using disposable gloves and sticky tape, then to double bag it and dispose of it properly. This just doesn't sound like something I want in my home.

Posted by: Jen at June 25, 2008 5:14 PM

Very concerned.

I don't do enough.

Sometimes, when I look into my 10 year old's brown eyes and my 5 year old's blue eyes, I lose sleep over it.

Posted by: Mindy at June 25, 2008 5:59 PM

glad to see you're still employing the clubbing baby seals joke.

Posted by: Caitlin at June 25, 2008 7:37 PM

I would love to put in solar panels. That's one of my big goals down the line. I also want to put in water barrels this year for watering the garden. I already grow vegetables, recycle up the ying yang, try to buy from local growers (which is huge around here), and avoid ANY superfluous driving.

Honestly, I'm more concerned about the big items, like solar panels, than the small items like lightbulbs. Plus, those energy efficient lightbulbs suck. (Hey, I'm just saying what everyone else is thinking.) This is also a hard economy right now; I'm all for going green but green is often expensive. I will probably not be giving out green gifts to people. However, my hair dye is vegan and eco-friendly. (No idea what my eye cream is like, but I'm not giving up my eye cream!)

Until the overall economy has more options at less cost (and I do think we're slowly moving that direction) I think we all have to balance our environmental concerns with our paychecks.

Posted by: the weirdgirl at June 25, 2008 8:57 PM

I do all I can. Thankfully I live in the city limits, and we have a good recycling program. I'm a huge fan of the compact fluorescent bulbs. But one of the things that frustrates me, is that a genius like Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway transporter and a few other things, has come up with an incredible water purification system, yet it's not yet been put to good use here in the US.

Posted by: coolchick at June 25, 2008 9:52 PM

ooo, forgot to mention energy efficient light bulbs and eco friendly cleaning products (I have three - multi surface cleaner, toilet cleaner and washing up liquid - thats it)

we absolutly MUST cut down on the batteries we use - we have wind up torches which are ace - tho you can recycling them now too.

Posted by: mamacrow at June 26, 2008 5:06 AM

I do what I can. I also do the flourescent bulbs. I don't keep unnecessary lights on, not only for the environment but mainly because I can't afford the big electric bill. I buy all green cleaning products mainly because I love the way they smell and I do not think all that crap in our ground and water can be good for us. I also have a small car, not a hybrid but a corolla. When I was first married we took public transportation everywhere so I am not above public transportation I just currently don't work in a area that it's feasible. We take canvas bags grocery shopping and I try to limit all my errands to one day to eliminate a lot of running around. I do what i can.

Posted by: Dee at June 26, 2008 6:40 AM

There is more I could do most definitely but I started using canvas shopping bags six years ago and still do - actually, I have too many canvas and recylced-material shopping bags now. They are becoming their own nemesis.

I try to buy house and laundry and dish cleaning products that are 100% environmentally safe. Food stores have gotten great for carrying not only one but several lines of 'green' and organic products.
I like the Method brand an awful lot, and for the first time bought Mrs. Meyers Clean Day laundry detergent and love it- very concentrated, fresh and lasting scent (lavender this go-round), gets out stains)

I buy toilet paper and paper towels made from recycled paper. (Seventh Generation)

I buy Stonyfield Yogurt both because I love it, and because they work in conjunction with www.recycline.com to create products from recycled Stonyfield containers that can be sent postage-paid back to recycline to be recycled again. Recycline will now even accept your used and boxed up Stonyfield products containers from your house if your community does not recycle that grade of plastic.

I just ordered 100% biodegradable trash bags and animal-waste disposal bags from www.ecoproducts.com.
My boyfriend's house uses lots of disposable dishes and bowls and I ordered some biodegradable made-from-sugarcane plates and bowls from ecoproducts to try out. Maybe I can convince them to switch if I supply the goods! ;-)

My cats absolutely love the World's Best cat litter. We've been using it for over two years now and it clumps wonderfully without putting harmful chemicals in the litter box, has excellent odor control, and one bag with two cats lasts almost a full two weeks.

I try to buy meat and eggs (when I buy them) free of added hormones and antibiotics from places that claim to allow the animals to roam.

I try to throw my old breads and veggie peelings, etc, out into the woods knowing something is bound to feast on it, and to buy personal products from companies that do not test on animals. St Ives stuff is great. So is Tom's of Maine. I am mixed on Burt's Bees stuff.

I am sure I could have as long a list stating the things I could do better.

This is cool! I love to get new ideas about this stuff.

Posted by: Karen at June 27, 2008 10:13 PM

I try to pick up trash (litter) when I see it too. It seems so damned futile sometimes that I give up but always make myself start again. After all, every little bit counts, right? and if each of us picked up one or two pieces of litter a day and people stopped littering... right?

The energy-conserving light bulbs give off a light quality I actually greatly prefer now.

And on a slightly different subject- Raw sugar.

Someday when you think of it, go read up on how white sugar and --even more disgusting- artificial sweeteners are processed to become what they are-
how many and which chemicals they are run through.

I used to consume Equal and then Splenda like a crazy lady. Now they look like packages of nasty chemicals. Even processed cane sugar kind of does.

Down off my soapbox NOW!

Posted by: Karen at June 27, 2008 10:22 PM

I'm not really concerned so much for the Earth. She'll survive. It's us silly humans that need help!

Posted by: derek at June 29, 2008 11:41 PM

According to my analysis, billions of people all over the world get the business loans at well known banks. So, there's a good chance to get a credit loan in any country.

Posted by: NicholsonIna24 at August 8, 2011 1:19 PM