Actually, It Can Be Easy Being Green

Recently I have a renewed desire to live as green as I can.  I want to leave an impact on this planet when I go but I don’t want it to be in landfills if you know what I mean.  I am not asking anyone to go Freegan here, but there are small changes we call can make to lessen our impact on our mother earth.  Here are just a few of the ones that I have adopted:

  1. When you are drying your hands in a public place use 1 less paper towel.  There are signs in the bathrooms as LAX that give you a statistic as to how many trees can be saved if you only use one less paper towel.  Of course I can’t remember that number but I will have to try to remember to write it down in September.  When drying your hands at home use reusable towels instead of paper.
  2. Don’t buy bottled water, instead use reusable bottles.  Try sticking to those with the numbers 2, 4 and 5 inside the recycling symbol on the bottom of the bottle for your own safety.  If you do end up having to use a bottled water reuse the bottle for the day and then recycle it.  This is what I do when I am at races and have no choice but to use a bottled water.
  3. Switch your home cleaning products to those that are not petroleum based.  I recently switched over my dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent to products that are earth friendly.  I am happy to report that they actually do a better job than the stuff I used before.  I am not the best at pre-rinsing dishes before tossing them in the dishwasher and almost always have one bowl with something that I had eaten crusted onto it.  That problem has been significantly reduced since switching to this new detergent.
  4. Sign up for a junk mail reduction service.  Of course everyone notices my add for Green Dimes off to the side here.  It really has helped me reduce my every day junk mail.  So not only do you lessen your impact from the amount of junk mail you toss (or recycle, see item #7) but you also lessen the stress on yourself by how much junk mail you see day-in and day-out.
  5. Slow down!  When the light turns green and you stomp on the gas you use more gas in the long run.  If you slow down your acceleration and obey the speed limit you actually use less gas.  This is better for our planet and easier on your pocket book.
  6. Take your own bag to the grocery store.  I purchased some unbleached cotton bags off of Amazon and I take them to the grocery store with me when I go.  Not only do you limit the number of petroleum based plastic bags that end up in the trash (or recycling bin, again see item #7) but most grocery stores will give you a kick back for saving them money.  You don’t even have to go online to purchase these bags because most grocery stores now sell them right there in the store.
  7. Recycle, recycle, recycle.  Can’t say it enough.  Find out what recycling programs your community supports and participate.  Don’t have one or have items that you can’t recycle locally?  Look into programs like Terracycle.  This is something so easy to do and it has a lasting impact.
  8. Buy recycled products.  Look for items that declare themselves as being made from recycled materials.  It helps promote #7 and limits the new resources used in making the items you use every day. 
  9. Turn off the lights.  I have made it a habit to turn off lights as I go.  I had a bad rep for leaving them on while I ran from room to room, but now I don’t care what I am doing as I leave one room and enter another I flip the switches as I go.
  10. Use compact fluorescent bulbs.  I have been converting my light bulbs over one-by-one as my old bulbs have died.  They use less energy and last for years!  My first one burnt out a month ago and I bought it my first year of college.  We are talking 1996 here people!
  11. Unplug appliances that are just sitting.  Even your toaster oven will soak some juice if you leave it plugged in.  If you aren’t using something unplug it.  This is hard to remember, but I am getting better and better at it every day.  (Did I unplug after toasting my bagel this morning?)
  12. Limit your showers and turn off the water as you brush your teeth.  My mission for this week has been to try to limit my showers to 10 minutes.  I always turn off the water as I brush my teeth so that water doesn’t just run down the drain.
  13. Donate your old clothes and shoes.  I already take my old clothes to goodwill, but in addition I am going to start taking my running shoes to the local running store.  There is a bin out front where they take old shoes and either send them to Africa for budding runners or send them to the local homeless shelter.  I have about 8 pair that I need to get out of my closet.

I am sure there are things I missed, but these are just a few things to get some ideas going in your own heads.  If I had the money there are two big things I would love to do: 1. Get a tankless water heater and 2. Install solar panels on my roof.

On to workout stuff!  Last week I road 14 miles on my recumbent bike one day out of desperation caused by bad weather.  I felt so much faster during my run the next day I couldn’t believe it.  I think it really ecourages me to pick up my turnover when I run.  This morning I again jumped on my bike for 7.50 miles after I finished some strength training.  We will see how it impacts my run tomorrow morning.  If it works out well I think I will make the bike a regular part of my routine as so many of my running friends already do.

3 Responses to “Actually, It Can Be Easy Being Green”

  1. Marcy Says:

    Ahhhhh there we go! Thanks for stopping by . . .again. Last time I stopped by and tried to comment I was thought I needed to be on WordPress, when all I really needed to do was sign up 😛

    Anyway, this is a REALLY good list. I need to adopt some of these things as well. Every little bit helps 🙂

  2. K80K Says:

    Hey Marcy! Glad to have you stop by. When I first brought up the blog I had created a post about how to comment, but it has since been lost into the archives. I decided to create a link to it and add it to my links on the right under “My Stuff”. Hopefully that will help eleviate some of the confusion. 😀

  3. patmonahan Says:

    Very good list. I like to live green too.

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