how can i be more environmentally friendly?

Discussion in 'The Environment' started by jennifericous, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. jennifericous

    jennifericous Member

    i understand the dangers of our huge levels of consumption. but what changes could i make in my life to help with the solution? i take public transport and recycle, is there anything else i could be doing? (besides donating money or sponsoring rainforests-not really in a position to do anything like that yet)
    i want to help!
     
  2. I'd say just be concious of your own actions. If you do that it'd be hard to harm the environment. Like think of what has to go into a producing something next time your in the store buying stuff...
     
  3. Myranya

    Myranya Slytherin Girl

    Yeah, pay attention to what you buy and how it's packaged... some stuff in the store they pack in loads and loads of plastic, stuff that's individually wrapped... or you can buy larger packages... of course don't buy in bulk if you aren't going to use it and will have to throw it out, sometimes smaller packages will turn out better in the end, but just thinking about it instead of just buying mindlessly will help some.
     
  4. Jabbawaya

    Jabbawaya Member

    Recycle
     
  5. Crystaleyez

    Crystaleyez Member

    Carry a travel mug with you and use it instead of those styrofoam and paper ones. Eat in when you can instead of getting it to go. Use cloth bags and backpacks for groceries instead of plastic ones. compost.
     
  6. artful_dodger

    artful_dodger Member

    Reduce the amount of meat you eat, or eliminate it from your diet altogether.

    Buy locally produced goods when possible, so that items don't have to be shipped.
     
  7. jennifericous

    jennifericous Member

    thanks guys, i will take those suggestions on board. except the eating less meat thing, i would love to, but its just not a possibility for me im a major carnivore. cant get enough of it. also someone told me to take holidays that are closer by because long haul flights cause lots and lots of pollution. but that saddens me too, cause the best places are the ones that are far away!
     
  8. stranger

    stranger Member

    reuse, refill water bottles and drinking things, buy from family stores if possible, and farmers markets. find other uses for shit you would normally throw away, for example, i use a water bottle as a vase for cuttings of plants to root in.

    make a compost heap, or if your lazy like me, just take All your veggies and fruits and egg shells and dying leaves from houseplants make a pile of them somewhere, and or break them up into small pieces and spread them around, and like the grass will fert your lawn and soil in that area. dont throw away grass you cut, it fertilizes your lawn if you just let it be.

    leftover meat, or meals... , can be left on your backporch overnight and will most likely be eaten by something when you wake up the next morning( but the animals do have tastes for certain things and wont eat everything, i learned surprisingly)


    consume less, give away stuff you normally throw away to a thrift store, shop at athrift store, and if your super into helping, go 'dumpster diving' and find good shit people throw away you can sell, use, or give away.

    use rags more than paper towels, and no more paper plates i think would help?
     
  9. jennifericous

    jennifericous Member

    wow i do lots of those things already and wasn't even thinking of it as environmentally aware. i was doing it out of stinginess! we have compulsory recycling where im from so theres an organic bin and thats like a compost that goes somewhere, i dont know where....yay! i feel like i can live up to my dreadlocks now! lol
     
  10. Gaiam.com has loads of enviromentally friendly products. Here are a few suggestions:
    1. Switch to compact flourescent light bulbs. They use less energy and last a lot longer than traditional bulbs.
    2. Put a jug full of water in your toilet's tank. This reduces the amount of water used.
    3. Buy organic whenever possible! Produce, clothing, food, meat, bedding, etc. Go visit Muir Glen, Stoneyfield Farm,or Earthbound Farm websites for coupons.
    4. Switch your papergoods to recycled, and your cleaners to natural based. Seventh Generation has a great line of these products. Vist their website for coupons. Or, buy a book that has recipes for natural cleaners. Baking soda, borax, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt are all wonderful cleaners.
    5. Buy the National Greenpages. You can purchase it at www.coopamerica.org It is a comprehensive guide to "green" businesses. My copy from 2004 was 224 pages long.
    6. Switch to organic tampons, the keeper, sea sponges, or reusable pads. these items can be found at www.gladrags.com
    7. Avoid shampoos and other products with ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate www.aubreyorganics.com has a listing of ingredients to avoid. Switch to all natural shampoos, soaps, cosmetics, etc. Burt's Bees, Kiss My face, etc. are all excellent companies.
    8. Use cloth diapers!!! www.ecobabyorganics.com, www.mamasearth.com, www.babyworks.com, californiababestuff.com, etc. are excellent resources.
    9. Before you recycle think of ways you can reduce or reuse your trash. Can't think of a way to reuse your trash? Ask a grandparent, they'll probably know a way. Also, many charities except old items such as cell phones, eyeglasses, computers, etc. Call around to find out. Remake your old clothes into new ones. Compost. Make homemade paper out of the used stuff. Buy recycled paper products, and recycle them again. www.seventhgeneration.com has a huge line of cleaning produts and recycled items (toilet paper and such). www.greenlinepaper.com has earth friendly office supplies
    10. Use only non-toxic paint, and buy furniture that use only sustainably harveted wood, with non-toxic paint. www.beanproducts.com, www.furnature.com are both excellent resources.
    11. Transport yourself in this order: Walk, bike, public transportation, carpool, personal vehicle.
    12. Do not over harvest flowers, etc when out in the wilderness.
    I think the other basics have already been covered.
     
  11. Myranya

    Myranya Slytherin Girl

    A word of caution for this one; if you're on an older sewer system, or otherwise have a pretty long horizontal stretch in your pipes, you may not want to do this... Some places like this need the whole lot of water to push it through or it'll get plugged. (and yes, I speak out of experience :p)
     
  12. purcolekraze

    purcolekraze Member

    It's not what you and I can do but it's what the whole world has to do. If we want to save this planet we have to do it together. One person can't make hte difference. If everyone in the world could take a minute and think of how everything could be better with a safer friendlier environment then maybe the problem would be saved.
     
  13. I wrote a mini guide on my website about ways to recycle.

    Recycle every scrap of paper! Got old notes from the last school year lying around? Collect them all in a plastic storage bin and every time the bin gets full, take it to the recycling centre so they can turn it into something else. Gypsy Rose uses recycled paper for all of their catalogues, and I expect they most likely recycle the catalogues as well! So when you've got a huge stack of paper sitting around the house, collect it all up and it'll soon be turned into a cool clothing catalogue or, heck!, pair of shoe laces. Recycle all your bottles and cans as well. As stated in my other rant, instead of having to buy multiple 24-packs of drinking water, you can buy just one bottle and re-fill it every day! When you get home, rinse it out, pour in new water and freeze it over night. Throughout the next day, it'll melt and won't be gross and warm! Or, if you're a crafty person and have several glass or plastic bottles piling up, sort your beads and put a different colour in each bottle. You can store hundreds in there, and they don't take up any room at all. Also, as with the paper, collect all the extra bottles (plastic and glass) and cans and at the end of the month you can exchange it for money. It's not much, but over time, the coins roll in. Over here in California it's 10 cents per bottle/can. If you drink a lot of soda, juice, or (shame!) beer, and/or have a big family, that really adds up. You're saving the planet and earning a few extra bucks each month. And with big families, every dollar is important for food, clothing, etc.

    Recycle your rain water. I got this idea from the latest Gypsy Rose catalogue. Their advice is to buy a big 55-gallon drum and place it outside to collect rain water. It's extremely great for your plants, and saves water and your water bill. If you live in some place such as Israel, Tennessee, any of those southern states, this is great because they have higher risks of droughts. If you haven't any plants in your house or garden, my mom says she used to collect her rain water, put camomile oil in it, and wash her hair with it. It made her hair very very soft, and once again, it's saving a ton of money and resources.

    Use cloth pads (if you're a girl) and cloth diapers on your kids. Cloth pads save so much and are so much healthier for you. With the disposable ones, you're wasting tons of cotton, tissue, and polluting. With cloth pads, you only need maybe 6 and you can reuse them over and over and you'll never have to waste. You just toss it in the washer and there you go! The same goes for diapers for your little ones. They're a little expensive at first, but hey, better than having to be embarrassed and asking your boyfriend/husband/dad/brother to go pick up a box of pads in the middle of the night for the next 30 years! Those things are about $6 for a pack of 20. That lasts about three months. That's $18 a year (at least!) for about 40 years. In the long run, who would want to pay over $200 when you can pay maybe $50 that'll last for several years. I've read that there's nasty chemicals in pads and diapers that dry you out and disrupt your pH balance! I don't use cloth pads yet (for I am only 16 and can't order things over the internet because of a lack of credit card rights. And no way in hell am I asking my mom to buy me some, she'll find some way to say that the disposable ones are better; the cloth ones are proven more efficient) but when I've got the connections for purchasing them, I'm stocking up! You can't really call cloth pads or diapers gross. You'll stick a piece of plastic in there and pull it out all bloody, but you won't touch a piece of cotton cloth and toss it in the washing machine? Women used good ol' cloth for thousands of years until all of a sudden the disposable things just appeared. And besides, if you're switching a cloth one in the middle of the night, there's no embarrassing crinkling noises coming from the loo, and you don't have uncomfortable pieces of plasticy stuff sticking in odd places.

    Not going to eat that bag of chips at lunch? Got a few cans of soup floating around in the kitchen? Don't throw them away! Gather all the food you're not going to eat and instead of throwing it away, donate it to a homeless shelter or orphanage. Not only are you not wasting much-needed food, but you're making someone very happy. That's the irony in this country. We have so much extra food (a recent study told that the serving proportions at average restaurants for one person in the US of A can easily feed three people in a place like India or Saudi Arabia) but everyone throws it in the trash, makes themselves throw it back up, and starve themselves in attempts to be thin. Someone in Qatar would be so grateful to have a great abundance of food in their house, however much food they want at whatever time they want, but over here we have way more than what we need yet we take advantage and most women are upset at having a round, voluptuous zaftig figure. Eat your food and be proud of your round breasts and hips and if you have extra, give it away so that someone doesn't have to go hungry.

    Got bit of fabric laying around the house? Don't you dare throw it away, for it could come in handy! If you've got a large quantity of fabrics lying around, don't just toss it out. Let it build up and when you've got enough, make a really cool quilt. Just cut the pieces into squares or rectangles (or triangles if you're well-versed in sewing) and patch 'em all together and voila! A one of a kind blanket. If you don't like it, give it to a friend or a charity that helps out cancer patients.

    I already hit on recycling paper and cardboard, but I'll add a bit more here. If it's the holiday season or birthday time, save boxes, wrapping paper, and news paper. Stores like Macy's usually give out boxes for putting their clothing in, so if you get a few of those piling up after Chanukah or Christmas, save them for next year. Save your wrapping paper, too. You could always cut little squares out and make a patchwork effect on the wrapping of a box, which would go down really well with the relations. Or, just use the old trick of wrapping presents with newspaper. If you have a bunch of paper left over from the holidays and simply don't know what to do with it, either give it to the reycling centre or use it to start a fire in the fire place (or a BBQ out on the grill). Another cool idea I had was to recycle your old journal pages. I had about four journals from about two years ago that I wrote a bunch of stuff that I didn't want to stumble upon in the future. Instead of tearing the page out and using them as kindling, I tore each sheet of paper to pieces. I realise now that I could have easily used it for something else instead of pollution (woops). If you're crafy, there are tons of uses for scraps of paper! Mix some flour and water in a pot and make a delicate jewelry box, or if you're Mexican make papier mache calavera for the Day of the Dead. If you can't think of any papier mache items you'd like to create, learn how to make colourful paper out of scraps of old paper (it seems quite easy, but I forgot how to make it. I think you just get all the pieces wet and press them together and get a little blob of glue wet and spread it over every week for so many weeks and just repeat until it's one solid piece of paper). Add some cool stamps such as a phrase in the Russian alphabet (or language if you're fluent; even if you don't know the language, you can figure out the alphabet and write your favourite phrase using that alphabet as a sort of code) and hang it somewhere in your house or use it as a birthday/greeting/thank you/holiday card.

    Carpool to work/school!
     
  14. TheLizardQueen

    TheLizardQueen horny for knowledge

    Of course, you should try to reuse things as much as possible, and try to buy previously used clothing and other items.
     

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