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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Day After Earth Day

Before yesterday's Earth Day Extravaganza, I felt like Joe and I were making a massive effort to be green. But then I read all of your posts and realized there are so many more things we can and should be doing.

At Sassy Britches post, I realized I should give more thought to disposing of medications. Wish I'd thought of that before I cleaned the hall closet. She also mentioned dryer balls, which I was not familiar with.

Hyacinth's post reminded me that we should be trying to run appliances at off-peak energy hours. We always wait until the dishwasher is full but then we tend to run it immediately.

I really appreciate Lora's willingness to speak up. Not only did she check to see that her fastfood container was recyclable but she then followed up by asking the restaurant why they didn't also provide a bin. Excellent point!

It's Frugal Being Green is an entire blog dedicated to greenness. I can't wait to dig around there and am so glad to be aware of the site.

I'm very fortunate to live in an area that offers extensive curbside recycling. We don't have to sort and they take a wide variety of items - plastics, glass, paper, even small chunks of cardboard. And we live within five miles of a major recycling center where you can take large cardboard, phone books, etc. We also have a hazardous waste center not too far away that will take lightbulbs, paints and about a million other things.

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to start working on our household cleaners and some of you provided great information. As I use things up, I'm going to replace them with safer alternatives. Two other things that I've decided after yesterday is that I'm going to ditch my daily can of soda at lunch - it's bad for my reflux and even though I recycle the cans, aluminum is a very unfriendly material. And I also need to work on ditching the paper towels - I use them conservatively (while Joe will use half a roll to mop up a small spill) but we have plenty of rags that can be used instead.

Something else that I think is worth mentioning is that while it's awesome to recycle, that's only part of the solution. We should also be cutting down on what we're taking in. Joe almost always puts two full recycling bins at the curb each week and I feel good about that - until I wonder if maybe we shouldn't be consuming that much stuff to begin with (this is what started me thinking about my aluminum cans). Also, we should make an effort to buy products made from recycled materials. When we bought file folders a month or so ago, it was a little more expensive to buy the ones made of recycled paper. But if there's more demand for these products the price will come down. And if there's no demand for these products, they won't be produced which will dry up the market for purchasing the recycled materials from the places that collect them. Nasty cycle.

Hope this post didn't come across as preachy though I suppose if there's one thing I'm willing to be a little "nutty" over, this isn't a bad topic. I really enjoyed all of your posts yesterday and thank you for participating.

And so now, finally, it's time to announce the winner. Here's our random.org results:

Congratulations to Tori! I love that she won because her post really makes an important point. Earth Day should be every day. And every little bit we can do counts. That's really what it's all about.

P.S. Tori - I can't email you through your profile so drop me an email at showmyface@gmail.com when you're ready to claim your prize.

15 comments:

Donnetta said...

Congrats, Tori!!!

Thankfully we don't have to sort our recyclables either! Just throw 'em all in together.

You, girl, are Wonder Woman! No way I can ditch my Diet Coke. No way. No How!

Sassy Britches said...

I am so on board with REDUCE as well as the other R's. Good for you for pointing it out to people!

Lora said...

I'm a HUGE fan of reduction. There is a girl in my office who is an effing recycling Nazi but she drinks about 10 beverages each day that come in plastic bottles or cans. It irks me to no end.

blognut said...

Congrats, Tori!

Most of my recycle bin is Diet Pepsi cans. I don't know if I can commit to reducing that.

Grand Pooba said...

Wow, now you've got me thinking and feeling a little guilty. But that's a good thing!

Intense Guy said...

Congrats, Tori!

..and thank YOU for hosting this!

Call Me Cate said...

Donnetta - I missed my soda today at lunch. I think tomorrow I'll try to remember the Crystal Light packets.

Sassy Britches - I think sometimes we all forget it's THREE Rs and not just the one. I'm also big on "reuse" and have been making more of an effort to donate or resell instead of trashing items.

Lora - Yep, that's exactly it. I don't think we get awards for recycling MORE if we could just do without it to start.

blognut - It might get ugly if you have to go without your diet pepsi.

Grand Pooba - a little guilt never hurt anyone, right?

Intense Guy - you're welcome!

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Congratulations to Tori!

Preachy? Not at all. You make valid points, as did everyone yesterday. It was nice to read about all the cool stuff I wasn't even thinking about (like the dryer balls - I KNOW! How cool is that?) and get new ideas.

Tori_z said...

I won? Really? WOW! I didn't think I'd win. There were so many fantastic posts out there about ways to make your life greener that I was sure it would be one of those.

This challenge has been an interesting one, and very educational.

OK, will e-mail you right away.

TMC said...

Not preachy! Some of your points are so simple and easy and they're always new to somebody and so always bear repeating. Nicely done!

Always a Southern Girl said...

I learned today while watching the "Today" show that the number inside the little triangle on your styrofoam and plastic containers, actually mean something when recycling. Who knew? I am gonna be doing better.

Melissa B. said...

Congrats to Tori! And congrats to Mother Earth, who has so many people pulling for her...

Deb said...

ugh, the paper towels are my weakness. i do use good cleaners (vinegar, water/dishwashing liquid, etc)..

i need to check out that green site, myself

H F W said...

You don't sound preachy! And I love reading about all of the things we collectively do because it reminds me that collectively we are making progress.
Wanted to mention that you can buy some really Earth-friendly cleaners through Shaklee. www.shaklee.net/lovebugsco
Some things are hard to make -- like dishwasher detergent. We have begun using Shaklee products and really like them.
We also use vinegar to clean, though. It works well for us.

Call Me Cate said...

RAS - I order dryer balls yesterday. They should be here Monday.

Tori - Congrats!

TMC - I was excited to pick up new tips so hopefully others did the same.

Always a Southern Girl - I think our recycling will take 1-7? I'm not sure. I save everything on the counter and let Joe take care of them.

Melissa - Yes, yay for Mother Earth!

Deb - I haven't given much thought to the paper towels before but it is probably better to use rags.

HFW - I'll check out Shaklee, thanks! I definitely don't want to screw up my dishwasher!