Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today is Earth Day. I doubt I will have the chance to do much to commemorate the day, except I haven't turned on the desk lights at work and have opened the blinds instead (thanks to a gloomy day without glare). Instead, I think it's better to think about small changes we can all make all year to help reduce our carbon footprint. I've made/ am making a few, but have others in the works.

  1. We've been slowly swapping all of our bulbs out for Compact Flourescents. This is a sacrifice for me because I hate the delay in turning the lights on and the poor quality of light they produce, but I'm doing it. I feel like our kitchen table is a surgery table thanks to the flourescent quality of the light.
  2. We're putting in our own garden with the hopes of growing at least some of our produce. More to come on this as we've come a long ways. The added bonus of this is the muscle fatigue that our garden prep has produced has, in turn, making trips to the gym less important lately.
  3. Only running full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and laundry in the washing machine.

What can I still do?

  1. I make a lot of short trips - the grocery, the craft store, the yarn store, the mall, restaurants, farmer's market. The majority of these are easily bike-able from my house. So I will try driving a less now that the weather is warming - unless I'm picking up large items that don't fit in my bike basket. Hopefully, my winter gym routine will make the transition to my bike less painful (but I will always hate the big hill by my house).
  2. The gardening. Again, this is a work in progress and will likely have its share of failures along the way. But after reading Michael Pollan's piece in this weekend's New York Times (thanks to the Inadvertent Gardener for pointing me in this direction), I think it does make a difference.
  3. I leave lights on. I need to pay more attention to this. It adds up, I'm sure.
  4. Plant some bee friendly flowers and help the bees out this summer. I hear they're having some troubles.
  5. Determine how, and if, I can extend our growing season. Perhaps a makeshift greenhouse over the garden beds or a coldframe to grow some greens?
  6. Composting. We compost yard waste, though not with a lot of success as of yet. But perhaps, a compost tumbler would help motivate me to use the inevitable kitchen waste (i.e. egg shells, vegetable leftovers). My grandma always had a bucket next to her sink for the "compost heap."
  7. Reuseable grocery bags. I used to have myself convinced that it was ok to get the plastic bags at the store because we reused them multiple times as makeshift bathroom garbage bags, dog poo, etc. I no longer think this way, and have accumulated some nice reuseable bags. Of course, I almost always forget them. Must make a better effort to remember.

Next up, a garden update. You remember how I used to knit. I need to do that again.

3 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Chelsea said...

I forget my bags all the time. I hope to get a couple more so I am more likely to have them in my purse or pocket when I go to the store. I would love a new bike.

I know there are so many more things I could do, but the problem is integrating those things into my daily life.

Knittripps said...

I think my earth goal for 2008 will be eliminating the plastic bags at the grocery store. I've justified it for the same reasons (dog poo, bathroom trash can liners). No more!

Debbie said...

Both of your lists are great. I can see how gardening could take over your life. Perhaps it's not such a bad thing that I don't have a yard!

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