Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earthday !

Ok two things.... 1. I'm totally stealing this post idea from Bezzie, I was only barely aware that Earthday was coming around this year and 2. I don't want to get into the whole 'more environmentally friendly than thou' thing... because I would totally fail that contest!

But here are a few of the Earth-Friendly things that I try to do.

Transport - I used to take the bus to work. This wasn't so much of a choice as a requirement since my work doesn't have nearly enough parking. But I moved closer to work and now I walk to work. I also try to take public transport when convenient. I don't take it absolutely everywhere... but if I'm just going downtown for fun - I'll take the bus more often than not (especially if there's going to be drinking involved).

Energy - I signed up for "Clean Source" with my energy company. It's not the greenest option, but it's a combination of wind-energy and other renewable sources of energy. It's a little bit more expensive, but not that bad because of the other things I do. For example, I live in an apartment. Apartment living in a city just takes up fewer resources than living in a house.

I keep my thermostat down pretty low too. Normal is around 50F. If I get cold I'll turn it up to 65-70F, but only for a few hours. There's no reason to be heating the house all day if I'm not home. Plus, knitting & quilting & a big-ol' furry cat keep me pretty warm.

As my light-bulbs burn out I've been replacing them with flouresent ones. So far - they work just fine.

I use recharable batteries in my camera. They don't last as long as I'd like, but for around the house pictures, I can swap them out whenever I need to.

Trash - little plastic grocery bags used to take over my entire kitchen. I tried to reuse them, but just brought way more into my house than I could get rid of. So a few years ago I switched to canvas bags.
These are clearly not the uber-chic new shopping bags that have come into vogue - but they work just fine. I picked these up at the Goodwill and garage sales pretty cheap. I keep in the trunk of my car. It's cut down drastically on the number of plastic bags I use... although every once in a while I do bring one home, it gets re-used as a trash bag.

I'm fortunate enough to have full recycling at my apartment complex. I don't sort out every single scrap of paper, but I do recycle my bottles, cans, papers & cardbord.

And just last year I bought a compost bin for my organic waste. It's going well so far.I mean... it takes up a solid quarter of my garden, which is far more than I need, but this was the smallest one at the store. If I were a cheapass superstar I'd make my own... but nope - I took the lazy way out.

Here's the decomposing goodness!
At times it's gotten as much as 3/4 full with leaves & garden debris, but it always compacts down pretty small. I don't think I'll be generating any really useful compost anytime soon. But instead of letting this material fill up the landfill, it's feeding worms and bugs and spiders - it's it's own little eco-system and that's what Earth Day is all about right?


Bezzie said...

I dig your compost bin. It's pretty space age looking--like it's going to blast off into the wild blue yonder!

Magatha said...

I spent the day indoors as the air quality was too bad for me to be outside. That's our Earth here in Nevada.

T said...

We got a compost bin just like yours with the new house. it has cut down on our wast a ton. We also ill be able to use it in our garden this summer which is pretty cool!

Rebel said...

Bezzie - huh, to me it just looks like a big ol' upside down garbage can.

Mags - clean air, one of the many reasons I love Oregon... seriously you should come visit just for the air.

T - it should really help... it might take a year to get really good & composty but by next year it would be awesome.