Captain Planet to the Rescue!

It’d be nice, wouldn’t it? But in the meantime, I’m doing what I can.

Canvas bags at the supermarket.
Farmer’s market in season, rather than the supermarket.
No out-of-season fruits. (I draw the line at green beans and broccoli.)
Organic foods with no chemical fertilizers, as much as I can afford. Reevaluating what “afford” means.
Taking the T more to my doctor’s appointments downtown, instead of driving.
Dishtowels and cloth napkins, instead of paper towels and paper napkins.
Switching from Dawn to biodegradable dishwashing liquid.
Not flushing the toilet if it’s just pee and there’s no company coming over.
Fragrance free laundry detergent.
Fragrance free everything, as much as possible.
Unplugging the cell phone charger when the phone’s not plugged in.
Not buying processed food– I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Pollan’s account of the amount of fossil fuels needed to make the nitrogen fertilizer to grown the corn to be processed into additives to be packaged into cardboard and plastic made from petroleum to be shipped by semi-truck to the supermarket, is truly horrifying.
Hats in bed at night in the winter, instead of leaving the heat up.
No heat before Nov. 1.
No heat over 70F, ever. Our (ok, my) sweatshirts get a real workout all winter.
The dryer on sturdy permanent press, the middle heat setting. A little dampness never killed anyone.
Cold water washes.
Walks within walking distance, not driving. (I admit this is the one I am most likely to fail.)
Making my lunch rather than buying it and throwing away the packaging.
Not buying coffee, but just making it at work into my brought-from-home-mug.
Shade grown coffee.
Using my mug and my water glass at work, instead of paper cups.
Same thing with a plate, bowl, knife, and fork at lunchtime.
Recycling my dry cleaning hangers– most cleaners will take them back, and if not, ask your recycling guy during the next pickup. Boston recycles the metal and paper hangers, though not the plastic covers.
Reuse the plastic bags from the supermarket for your CSA share veggies.
Recycle your plastic supermarket bags if your town accepts them, or take them back to the store for re-use or placement in their recycling bins.
More water from the Brita filter, less soda.

Please add your tips and tricks in comments, if you are so moved.

Duh, I forgot to add Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs. Thanks, Magpie, for the reminder. We are about half-compliant– as our old regular bulbs die, we put in the CFLs. I do, however, keep a few task lamps with full spectrum bulbs in them.

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11 thoughts on “Captain Planet to the Rescue!

  1. J Morgetron

    If you buy something with netting or a six-pack of something, cut it up so that it doesn’t get stuck around animal’s necks. Make laundry non-detergent. I’ll post a recipe later this week. Hmmmm… You’ve got a really good list here. I can’t say that I do everything on it … but I try. It’s expensive to be earth-friendly, isn’t it?

    Reply
  2. Jen

    I was going to say compact fluorescent bulbs, too.Nice list. I’ve been working at making many of these same changes. 🙂

    Reply
  3. adena

    great list! one think I do is belong to a CSA – a community supportive agriculture farm. You pay for a “share” upfront and then every week you get a share of what the farm is growing. It’s organic and it keeps you in sync with what is really in season… The one I belong to is called Brookfield Farm in Amherst, MA. They deliver to the Boston area.

    Reply
  4. jess

    i don’t know why i’m telling you this..but we don’t flush the toilet at our house either for just pee if no one is coming over. i’ve been kinda embarrassed about it, but glad i’m not alone.

    Reply
  5. BipolarLawyerCook

    Oh, NYJLM, you’re a better woman than me. Although I do pass the Keeper in the aisle at the market and feel guilty sometimes. That counts, right?

    Reply
  6. nyjlm

    lol. nah, don’t feel guilty. I found that if I used a tampon I got a terrible headache, and get very uncomfortable wearing a traditional pad for so many days, it was really a necessity to switch. And after cloth diapering it didn’t seem to be a big deal.

    Reply
  7. meridith

    I have to say, I hate the CFLs but I love the energy enlightenment. They just take so long to make the room look lit. If I weren’t so impatient, this wouldn’t be a problem 🙂

    Reply
  8. Pingback: Happy Earth Day « Knitting Interrupted

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