And back to Oprah’s challenge –
First I am going to share with you the positive things that Sig-ot and I did this gorgeous weekend to promote Living Well.
First, we cancelled our day trip to the country and headed in town. This saved us literally $40 in gas (which we use on plants…keep reading) and we got a lot of work done in the yard instead.
We bought two tomato plants to grow our own tomatoes! This is exciting. We are also growing cucumbers, chives and rosemary on our little porch. And we have two new hanging plants. While we were shopping (and yes, I realize that this means spending money) we asked the cashier to place all our items into the plastic bucket we were buying, to save the plastic bags. Unfortunately cashier’s IQ was 4, so she didn’t understand and we felt bad explaining to her the 3rd time, and just took our bags and left.
We browsed in a book store but admitted we needed no books we couldn’t get for free at the library.
We washed our cars outside in the driveway to save money – and we used a hose with the special attachment so that water wasn’t dripping and being wasted.
Sig-ot took shorter showers AND made the bed this morning.
I waited as long as possible and final broke down and did two loads of laundry (Monday night) so I did wait till the very end of our long weekend. No laundry for almost a full week is pretty good – but no more clean towels (even if we reuse for a few days) is an issue.
Where we are still lacking – and I am going to be honest – so please no judgment!
1. Paper towels – created by the devil and so insanely easy to grab and clean whatever mess you made (see Almond Cake recipe)…Paper napkins too. We don’t buy them, but we have some leftover from some parties that we keep using (although, we should just use them up, right?)…
2. Styrofoam cups for iced coffee (although I DO reuse these cups at home until they wear so thin you can’t use them anymore). I totally didn’t think yesterday when I got the iced coffee. Really need to work on that or get a t-shirt that says “Don’t give the model Styrofoam!” or something.
3. Spending money. We bought BARE necessities (including toilet paper – no, not recycled). But we still spent money we probably shouldn’t have, including a fabulous night out Saturday evening consisting mainly of Bellini’s. Cheers!
Obviously these are weekend specific events. Daily, I want to point out a few things to convince you that I am a superior person and environmentally friendly. I carpool to work – did I mention that? I do! Every day! I bring my own coffee mug from home and I use Kiehl’s face and body products. And I adore them. Very lovely products for sensitive skin and allergies!
A few more ideas from Oprah today – some ideas on going green:
A Mug of Your Own
Every year Americans throw away 25 billion polystyrene cups and 25 billion individual water bottles, most of which end up in landfills. Instead buy a reusable to-go mug and a bottle that you can refill with filtered tap water. Bring your own (to a coffee shop, a meeting), and you cut down on Styrofoam.
Want a Lick?
A cone beats a cup. Why? “You’re eating your silverware instead of using plastic,” says Matthew Modine, a passionate promoter of earth-friendly policies. “It’s all about consuming less, using fewer of the resources needed to make products and packaging.”
Clean Without Chemicals
Natural cleansers like vinegar and baking soda do a great job without harming the planet. “And,” Matthew says, “a little vegetable oil and lemon juice makes a great wood polish.”
Get reusable cloth bags for the grocery store and the dry cleaner. More than 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away every year.
Stop Junk Mail
Every year 100 million trees are chopped down for junk mail sent to American homes. Contact the direct marketing association at dmachoice.org/mps to remove your name from mailing lists of their members.
A Better TP
Recycled toilet paper is scratchier that three-ply, but it’s much softer on the environment. “It’s like switching from whole milk to skim,” says O writer Aimee Lee Ball. “After a while the beloved original seems over-the-top.”
How Many People Does It Take To…
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use four times less energy than incandescent ones. If every American family substituted five CFL bulbs for incandescent, it would be equivalent to taking eight million cars off the road for a year. Ball says “They cost a little more up front, but they last up to 15 times longer.”
De-Lint the Dryer
Lint builds up after every dryer cycle, reducing the machine’s efficiency. Removing it does a lot to decrease its usually massive energy use
Pick Safe Paints
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, architectural coatings such as paints and varnishes are the second-largest source of fumes from volatile organic compounds, substances that evaporate at room temperature and react in sunlight to form photochemical smog. Look for cans with “No VOC.” We’ll all breathe easier. (If you don’t use the whole can, you can find out how to recycle the rest.)
The average computer left on all day uses nearly 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, producing more than a ton of carbon emissions. So turn off your computer anytime you’re not on it, and eliminate the screen saver function, which uses more energy than the sleep mode.