Best everyday ways to help the environment? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-21-2005, 09:17 AM
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I was just wondering.. what are some of the everyday things you do that help the envrioment? I mean, even the littlest things. Thanks very much
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#2 Old 02-21-2005, 09:45 AM
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I don't eat animals or thier secretions.



I recycle.



I don't own a car.



I am a Sierra Club Member who participates actively in clean-ups and the like.



I volunteer in my community.



I buy used clothing/household items whenever possible.



I borrow items instead of buying new ones, to reduce consumerism.



I eat a whole foods, vegan , organic diet. (cuts down on pollution/waste/packaging/suffering!)



I am frugal and buy only what is truly needed.



I educate others on how to do all of the above and more!
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#3 Old 02-21-2005, 12:59 PM
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Try to not waste drinking water. I don't know where you live, but I follow a hydrology course right now, and it appears American citizins use 700 liters of drinking water each day on average. Half of it for outside uses, like swimming pools and gardens..

This really surprised me, cause it's a lot more than even in European countries, where we use a lot of water too..

And, water is likely to become a large problem in the future...
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#4 Old 02-21-2005, 01:49 PM
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- Not having kids

- Working at home (no commuting!)

- Growing some of my own food

- Buying organic when possible

- Planting trees

- Saving rainwater in big tanks

- Trying to restore my little patch of worn-out land

- Being a member of Bat Conservation International http://www.batcon.org/
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#5 Old 02-21-2005, 01:52 PM
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Some of the little things I do include:



Using a refillable water bottle

Using a travel mug for coffee/tea

taking transit and carpooling whenever I can

I take a really short shower every other day

I use a mixture of water, vinegar and essential oils for cleaning, instead of using harsh chemical, commerical cleaners.

I write really small at school so I can use less paper

making sure to turn off lights when a room is empty

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May the whole world be joyous'
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#6 Old 02-21-2005, 02:07 PM
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I'm going to hijack this thread just once to gripe about certain packaging: When I buy DVDs from Costco, they're enclosed in long cardboard boxes even though the DVD case is half the size. That's a LOT of paper waste. (When CDs first appeared in the stores, that's how they were packaged, so they could be displayed in what used to be display racks designed for vinyl albums. When people started complaining about the waste, the packaging was abandoned and the display racks were redesigned for the CD format). I don't see why the DVDS have to be displayed this way in Costco. They can be displayed differently, without enclosing them in cardboard boxes.



Now back to our regularly scheduled thread...

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#7 Old 02-21-2005, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludi View Post

- Saving rainwater in big tanks



Do you use that to water your garden?
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#8 Old 02-21-2005, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synergy View Post

Some of the little things I do include:



Using a refillable water bottle

taking transit and carpooling whenever I can

I take a really short shower every other day

I use a mixture of water, vinegar and essential oils for cleaning, instead of using harsh chemical, commerical cleaners.

making sure to turn off lights when a room is empty



I do all of those things as well!
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#9 Old 02-21-2005, 03:54 PM
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~recycling

~my husband and I are moving closer to our jobs (right now we commute 40 and 55 miles respecivly at the moment)

~bought a more fuel efficant car (not a hybrid though)

~teaching my students to reuse scratch paper for notes and to use both sides of the paper

~buying produce from local farmers

~using a reusable water bottle and a travel mug for tea

~we are moving close to Palm Springs which uses wind energy! (well we would have moved there anyways because of our jobs but I just had to throw it in because I think it is cool. )
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#10 Old 02-21-2005, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Do you use that to water your garden?



Yes. We also have it for emergencies - if our well fails, or for firefighting.
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#11 Old 02-21-2005, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeah_itspiggy View Post

Do you use that to water your garden?



Actually, it's for all your water uses. My parents live in central Texas and have two 5000-gal tanks for rainwater collection. Since the house and garage have a "footprint" on the land, the water that would have been runoff becomes all purpose water. They don't use well-water unless drought conditions demand it, so they have as little an impact on the Edwards Aquifer as possible. For drinking use, the rainwater has to be filtered, but I think that's it. No water softening needed and no buildup of minerals in the water pipes.
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#12 Old 02-22-2005, 07:33 AM
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-Programmable thermostat

-Motion-sensing lights

-Ask for no bag at stores

-Buying two-liter bottles of soda to save packaging over cans and bottles

-Carpool
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#13 Old 02-22-2005, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludi View Post

- Not having kids

- Working at home (no commuting!)

- Growing some of my own food

- Buying organic when possible

- Planting trees

- Saving rainwater in big tanks

- Trying to restore my little patch of worn-out land

- Being a member of Bat Conservation International http://www.batcon.org/



Off topic (sort of), but Ludi - What do you use to collect rainwater? I'd like to make my own rainwater collection barrels this summer. Any tips?



(Also - bats are cool! )
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#14 Old 02-22-2005, 09:38 AM
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Recycle and reuse products whenever possible. I take my own reusable bags to the grocery store. I try to avoid using disposable products.



Conserve water. Little things like turning the water off in the shower while I'm shampooing my hair.



Adjust the thermostat to a minimal level when not at home and at night.



I try to run all my errands in one trip to save on gas.



I grow my own veggies and use compost as a natural fertilizer.
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#15 Old 02-22-2005, 11:36 AM
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The two best things people can do for the environment are:



1. Go vegan or vegetarian



2. Have a family size of 2 children, less, or none.



Recycling bottles helps, but in the larger view of the planet it is a bit like trying to get out of debt by approaching strangers in restaurants to avoid having to buy a 25 cent newspaper when at the same time you are spending a much larger amount of money to eat out every night at the restaurant.

My Blog: beforewisdom.com
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#16 Old 02-22-2005, 11:40 AM
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We make our own compost with a wormery in the back garden. We feed them our scraps and they turn it into rich compost. Thanks worms!



Don't own a car



Buy locally produced foods wherever possible



Buy organic and fairtrade wherever possible



Non-bio household cleaning products or homemade



Recycle



Insulation



Take my own shopping bag to the shops



Switched my energy supplier to a 'green' one



The list goes on!
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#17 Old 02-22-2005, 12:48 PM
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I'm glad this thread is here. It reminds me that whatever I already do for the environment (recycle, use my own grocery bags, etc.), I can always do more.



I was thinking about buying a bicycle so I could use my car less AND get some exercise, but I have no clue about what to look for and I need advice. However, that's another thread.

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#18 Old 02-22-2005, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qetta View Post

Off topic (sort of) - What do you use to collect rainwater? I'd like to make my own rainwater collection barrels this summer. Any tips?



Here's a good article about how to go about it, including from starting small to full home systems - Harvest the Rain



Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

I was thinking about buying a bicycle so I could use my car less AND get some exercise, but I have no clue about what to look for and I need advice.



When I can afford a "second car" I would like to get one of these quadcycles. Here's their showroom.



Hope that helps some
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#19 Old 02-22-2005, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
What do you use to collect rainwater?



Big ugly black polyethylene tanks:



http://www.watertanks.com/category/6/
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#20 Old 02-23-2005, 08:04 AM
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I use all environmentally safe, toxin free products from household cleaning to personal care.



I don't drive unless I have to...I work from home. I work for the company who makes these products - setting up customer accounts.



I try to conserve electricity whenever possible, switched all our bulbs over to energy efficient light bulbs.



And we grow our own vegetables in the summer.
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#21 Old 02-23-2005, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for the links, kentauros and Ludi!
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#22 Old 02-23-2005, 01:51 PM
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I won't have children until I am 30 and I won't have more than two. (Having them later in life means slower population growth)

I recycle and I drive a Prius.
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#23 Old 02-23-2005, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beforewisdom View Post




2. Have a family size of 2 children, less, or none.



I am interested in adopting 2 of the 3 children I hope to have, I guess that counts as 2 or less.
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#24 Old 03-08-2005, 03:27 PM
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I don't have a car and I don't intend to have one.



I usually walk home from college rather than getting the bus.



If I have to go somewhere far away I use public transport like busses or trains which are making a more efficiant use of energy than travelling in a car alone.



Hopefully I will be able to walk to work (when i actually have a job)



Foxy you are a really good role model for how people should live their lives.

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#25 Old 03-09-2005, 08:48 AM
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I eat at home or the leftovers from the meal we served at work most of the time.



I email job applications when possible rather than using paper, stamp, and envelop to send via snail mail.



I wash and reuse Ziploc bags.



I take my own cloth bags to the store when grocery shopping instead of using the store's plastic bags.



I think the Tightwad Gazette is really cool and can spend a long time reading their archives (book style) at the library.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#26 Old 03-09-2005, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

I'm going to hijack this thread just once to gripe about certain packaging: When I buy DVDs from Costco, they're enclosed in long cardboard boxes even though the DVD case is half the size. That's a LOT of paper waste. (When CDs first appeared in the stores, that's how they were packaged, so they could be displayed in what used to be display racks designed for vinyl albums. When people started complaining about the waste, the packaging was abandoned and the display racks were redesigned for the CD format). I don't see why the DVDS have to be displayed this way in Costco. They can be displayed differently, without enclosing them in cardboard boxes.



Now back to our regularly scheduled thread...



My pet peeve is mechanical pencil lead. It comes in an overly-large plastic container that is itself packaged in paper and more plastic so the lead comes with 20x its weight in packaging.



I'm vegan. I recycle. I try to buy stuff in larger portions to cut down on packaging (not because it's cheaper or anything). I carpool with my sister. I don't buy tons of stuff I don't need. I wear clothing and shoes until I put holes in them. I download handouts instead of printing them. I'm seriously considering not having biological children.



I have to admit though, I'm an electricity and water fiend. Nor do I buy organic like I should.
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#27 Old 03-15-2005, 10:47 PM
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Wow. I've gotten some really good ideas from you guys.



What I'm doing right now:



-I take cloth bags with me when I go grocery shopping or to any other store.



-I don't live in the city, so they don't offer recycling. But I'm going to buy bins to sit outside and collect all the recyclable stuff and take it to the center when they are full.



-We only have one car. I wish we could switch to a hybrid, but we can't afford it.



-I'm going to be getting a bike soon, I hope. I don't have my driver's license so I'd like to have a bike or something like it to go around town.



-I reuse my water bottle



-I use all-natural household cleaners



-I use all-natural body wash, shampoo, makeup, etc etc



-I don't use a lot of water when I take a shower, try to turn it off at certain times, too.



-This may not really count or whatever, but I have a large dog and I scoop up his feces and put them in the shrubs and whatnot as fertilizer, instead of using chemical fertilizer. :/



-I only buy organic veggies. My family buys the regular stuff because it's cheaper.



-The 3/4 pairs of shoes I have, I've worn them FOREVER.



-The extra body washes, shampoo/conditioner, perfume and the like that I don't use anymore...I don't throw them out. I collect them all up and give them to other people to continue using so they don't have to buy stuff and then I recycle the empty bottles.



-I don't shop at Walmart



-I'm vegetarian



-I don't use much electricity and I turn off all the lights in a room whenever someone isn't in it.



-Instead of taking a shower everyday like I used to, I go 1 or 2 days without.



-I donate instead of throwing away.



-I use every bit of paper, as scraps, as 'bookmarks', etc.



I think that's it. Maybe that seems like a lot, but I really think I could do more and better things.



I'd like to get a rainbucket and collect rain water for watering plants and whatnot. I'd also like to get my own vegetable garden and herb garden going but I need some expert help on that. And the composting with the worms is something I've been interested in - I just started reading about that.
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#28 Old 03-15-2005, 11:18 PM
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What I do:-



* Recycle

* Buy local / vegan / wholefoods from a co-op with reused bags

* Take cloth bags shopping

* grow some of my own vegies

* get my bills emailed to me rather than posted

* have a "no junk mail" sign on my letter box

* use natural cleaners (vinegar/bicarb/lemon/eucalyptus)

* use planet ark washing powder

* use earthchoice dishwashing liguid

* use natural cleansers etc in the shower

* switch of and unplug appliances when not in use (there is such a thing as passive electricity use-proven to me by an electrician friend)

* I don't drive (I walk to work and get public transport elsewhere)

* buy recycled paper for uni notes

* give unwanted stuff to charity

* buy very little to not promote consumerism

* buy second hand where possible

* give donations to places like oxfam / world vision on behalf of others in place of christmas/birthday/whatever gifts





what I want to do:-



I am about to switch to green electricity

buy a compost bin

buy a rainwater tank



oops:- forgot to add..I must buy energy efficient light bulbs



and somehow I want to involve more of this into the workplace....
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#29 Old 03-15-2005, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MnVeggie View Post

-Programmable thermostat

Interesting..is this for your hot water system? how does it work? does it mean colder showers..or shorter showers? How did you go about organising it?
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#30 Old 03-15-2005, 11:44 PM
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In EVERYTHING I do, I keep the thought that I should make the best decision to reduce my ecological footprint in the back of my head.



Don't measure the impact of each little thing one by one, but see it as a way of life and how over the years, and with many people doing them, all these little things add up to a pretty significative thing.



I also try to inform the people around me better about environmental issues, and I write letters to newspapers and TV news (had about 9 letters published in a national newspaper and some on the TV news).
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