I know that there's all kinds of Earth Day stuff going on. It borders on the Hallmark holiday...we can all return to our bad behavior when it's over, so it seems. One thing I should tell you is that I have pretty intense recycling guilt. I recycle my paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic. I save my coffee grounds for my garden. I'll carry an empty bottle around with me until I can get it into the appropriate recycling container (for anyone wondering what those empty water bottles are doing in my office). My neighbors across the street just bought a hybrid and I can't wait to tell them "good for you". I worked for 2 different environmental groups when I was in college to raise money for lobbying for bills like the Superfund Act. It's not a political issue for me. It just is how it is.
My perspective on things have less to do with what Al Gore talks about and more to do with a humble desire to leave things how I found them. I AM that person that wipes down the sink basin in the airplane bathroom. My aunt, whom I adore, requested that I look at both sides of the global warming issue and I still love her. That's called compartmentalizing and I am very good at it.
My recycling guilt reached a peak recently. Part of it was spring cleaning, part of it was just spending some time thinking about it since I just bought a high efficiency washer and dryer and part of it was Oprah. I know how incredibly uncool it is to admit that. Last week, Oprah had a show on going green. As much as I pride myself on avid recycling, the reduce and reuse aspects of the equation have escaped my attention. I'm going to feel much better about myself when I fix that.
So I am not going to link to a bunch of stuff, because the intent of this blog post is not to be all preachy. It's really more one of those "if I say it out loud, I have to do it" things. But if you perhaps find something on here that you could easily make work in your life, that's all the better:
The paper plates I have in my possession are the last paper plates I will have in my possession (make them last, girl)
I will use one paper dinner napkin a day, at most. The cloth ones feel kind of posh anyway
I will phase out my use of bottled water and utilize filtered water and a washable drink bottle
I will carry my cloth grocery bags into the store with me and use them.
I will use up my current cleaning supplies and then choose from the numerous green options when I need to replace them.
No more paper towels
When choosing between two products, all other things being equal, I will choose the one with the lighter packaging, even if it's more expensive
I will stop falling asleep on the couch with the TV on all night
I'll set my thermostat to 65 degrees when I go to bed
When seasons/availability permit, I will buy fruit and vegetables produced locally and/or organically (there's a place a few miles away that has vegetable that are ridiculously good)
That is about it. I'm going to see how I fit these into my life. It's not perfect...I am doing other things that have a negative impact but this is a start. And I just said it out loud.