I’ve never been an “environmentalist”, by any stretch, but I do know that we can do things better without stressing ourselves out. As a mom of 4 boys, I have a LOT on my plate, so finding highly effective ways to help is really important. Which is how I stumbled on the air filter subscription service which personally delivered the new air filters I ordered from their site for my house. I bet that everyone, deep down, wishes they could be doing more, they just don’t have the time or energy!
Did you know that:
If you don’t rinse out your beer/coke bottles, they won’t be recycled?*
If you leave the lid on your milk carton, it won’t be recycled?*
One energy efficient washing machine can save per year what the average person can drink in a lifetime?
* Can vary slightly, depending on where you live.
My brother, who goes to school outside of Seattle, says that it wasn’t until the last year or so that his eyes were opened to how much more we can easily be doing to conserve energy and increase sustainability in our nation. Call me stupid, but I also didn’t realize that we don’t just recycle to reduce waste, but also to increase sustainability, reducing our need to make “more”.
In Seattle, apparently, composting isn’t just a suggestion, it’s the law. And people deal with it. Changes aren’t easy until they become habits!
Here in SLOcounty, we have a ban on plastic bags. Stores, even places like Home Depot and Target, are required to charge 10-15 cents per paper bag that they supply. It was hard to remember my reusable bags for a while, but it has become second nature since the ban went into place last summer. Things like plastic bag bans don’t seem like a whole lot, until you realize that the world produces 1 million new plastic bags every minute, at a cost of 2.2 billion dollars of oil a year!
Here are 5 easy resolutions I’ve come up with. Feel free to add more!
1. Rinse all bottles and recyclables (otherwise, you might as well just throw them in the trash and save yourself the effort, honestly).
2. Consider replacing your car. Obviously, not many people are able to run out and buy a new car whenever they feel like it, but shopping for one with a better mpg when the time comes isn’t just about the price of gas at the pump. Sadly, even buying a Toyota Corolla isn’t a sustainable way to go, it’s just hurting the earth at a slower rate. But it doesn’t hurt to stall for time while car companies work on making electric cars more affordable! The low mpg on many large vehicles is so bad, it’s embarrassing. Even Henry Ford’s original Model T got 25 mpg (given all the technology over the past 100 years, how did we go BACKWARDS?)
3. When it comes time to replace your appliances, upgrade to the energy efficient ones. Most places give a hefty tax credit, offsetting the extra cost. Did you know that some of the newer refrigerators use just the amount of energy of one lightbulb in a day? Our energy efficient washer spins the clothes so fast at the very end that our dryer only needs to be on for 20 minutes to finish the job!
4. Compost! This one’s definitely on my 2014 list. Apparently, it’s not that hard either! You’ll be saving on trash waste, and you’ll be replenishing the soil!
5. Challenge yourself to only buying local. Only buying locally made/grown products would cut down on so much waste, it’s not even funny. You could be composting and driving a Prius, but if you buy tomatoes that are from Florida? You just undid most of your hard work 🙂
Anything I’m missing? I’d love it if some of my Seattle/Northwestern friends (ahem, you know who you are!) could chime in!Related posts
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