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OT: How are you going green?

There are some good ideas and some bad ideas out there at the moment, and I'm delighted to see the media calling out the bad ones with the term "greenwashing".

What ideas have you implemented in your life that you feel are worth the effort? What ideas have you tried that turned out to be unviable and even ridiculous (think: composting in a city apartment)?

I'll start: I joined Freecycle, which is a craigslist-style bulletin board where people who are getting rid of things match up with people wanting second-hand stuff.

Thu. May 1, 1:03pm

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I would never take a job I had to drive to. Public transit and cycling only.

Thursday, May 01, 2008, 1:30 PM

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I joined Freecylcle a few years ago, and it's not only saved a few items from the landfill, it's also helped me get rid of items I no longer needed without feeling guilty about throwing it away.

We've stopped using paper plates, paper napkins, and disposable wipes to clean the kitchen. I made a bunch of napkins from left over cotton fabric, and we use dish cloths to wipe the counters with cleaner.

We've become more diligent in our recycling. The town we live in requires that apartment complexes of a certain size provide recycling service, so it's been there since we moved in a few years ago. We just haven't been paying much attention.

Next, I'm making re-usable shopping bags. I'm also trying to convince my husband to get me one of those carts so I can walk to the grocery store, it's only 1.5 miles each way!


Thursday, May 01, 2008, 2:11 PM

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I use going green to convince myself to eat better - I'm much more hardcore about living sustainably than I am about eating healthily (baking soda rules my life - shampoo, toothpaste, household cleaning; I rinse with water instead of tp, etc, etc...I know I'm a weirdo). Happily, eating well and being green go hand in hand.

I've made a rule for myself that I won't eat anything that comes packaged in individual serving sizes, unless the wrapper is compost-able. (Not that I've started composting yet, but a worm bin is on my project list for this summer.) So bananas and tea bags are ok, but mini candy bars, those 6-packs of crackers and cheese, pudding snacks, overly-sweetened yogurt, etc are all out.

All that packaging/processing/shipping is bad for the earth, and all the stuff that is found in individual packages tends to be the highly-processed, fatty, salty, carb-filled crap we should be avoiding anyway, but which lurks in my office kitchen and in the checkout line at the grocery and drug stores and jumps into my hand when I'm not paying attention.

ps. I read a blog called No Impact Man - he has a great section on greening your lifestyle...check out his archives for how-to instructions on all the stuff I mentioned above, along with several posts about how living healthily minimizes your impact on the planet.


Thursday, May 01, 2008, 2:23 PM

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A lot of this green stuff seems like it is being pushed by someone with an agenda. A cleaner planet is in everyone's interest- I moved to a different place for cleaner air for myself and my family. But I look at a company like GE- their CEO has made a massive investment in green technologies recently- a massive bet. Of course we want green energy, but when I see NBC, CNBC, all the news shows pushing the green stuff, part of me knows that it is part of bigger effort to boost GE's sales.

Don't get me wrong, that is a great thing. Profits and innovation in combination drive progress. But I am very aware of the "sensationalistic" nature of the current conversation. Esp considering that global warming is being revealed as a hoax of sorts.

Thursday, May 01, 2008, 3:22 PM

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i agree with PP.

we should all do things to be a bit greener, in an effort to keep our earth healthy as it all benefits us. however, i see many companies cashing in as part of capitalism. like it's the trend du jour, how long will it last?

i for one have never bought into the global warming idea. the earth has cycles, it happens. there were tropical climates and they froze into ice ages with no interference by humans, as there were ice ages that melted, again with no interference by humans. the earth is an ever-changing organism that will do what it wants, when it wants. we have no control over these things.

like i said, there are things we all should be doing for sustainability and for a healthy earth to keep it changing the way it wants to.

Thursday, May 01, 2008, 4:43 PM

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