Climate change is such a huge and terrifying issue, it’s easy to just ignore it and hope it will go away on it’s own. This obviously isn’t the way to go, though, so I know I have to do my part to help reverse the process. What can you do, though? Exactly! I don’t have the answers and in fact have been fairly lax on doing anything at all. Other than expressing my opinions politically when I vote, I haven’t been able to think of any big ways of helping with climate change. I have been trying to focus on the small changes, though, and here’s my list of our little 2 person 2 pet efforts:
1. We have a small, fuel efficient car that we drive infrequently (about 2x a week). The husband works close to home and I work from home so we have it fairly easy.
2. Reduce our consumption. Starting a small business has made them easy/necessary!!
3. Eat locally. So, we’re not 100 mile by any means, but we’re trying. Kamloops has a great farmer’s market and organic delivery service. We try to get the majority of our groceries from these sources and from the local farms, cheesemakers, brewers and distillers. Does eau de vie count as groceries? This spring we’ll be putting in a garden with the hopes of growing a large portion of the food we eat. We have a huge freezer full of berries, tomatos, and stone fruit, a pantry full of home made jam and pickles, and boxes of local apples on the back porch. Winter will mean buying more groceries from conventional grocery stores and the long delivery chains those entail, but our summer hoarding will put a little dent in that at least.
4. Compost. One of the most exciting things about finally having a house was that we get to compost. I know you can have a worm composter in a condo, and we tried, but vegetarian produce a lot of food scraps and one meal was enough for the worms for a week! Now we can compost to our hearts’ content and I’m taking advantage of it! Kleenex, fabric scraps, and worn out clothes are examples of some of the weird things that are going into our bin. As long as it’s organic (that is, not a chemical), it can and around here does go in the bin.
5. Kitty litter. Ok, this doesn’t go in the compost. But the stuff we use is made out of corn cobs, diverting them to a second use before their trip to the landfill. Tron takes things a step further and only goes outside, but Lucy is a little too picky for that. And Tron probably will be, too, once the weather heads into the double digits below.
Our bad habits?
– heat. It gets cold here and our house is old. I try to only turn the heat on for about an hour in the morning and then again between about 5 and 10. I don’t know how well I’ll be able to stick to this plan once we get in to those below zeros, though!
– crack bulbs. I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to 100 watt incandescent bulbs. The light from halogens sucks. Sorry.
– sugar and chocolate. Both of these come from way across the planet and not only aren’t that great for me, it’s not that great for the planet getting them to me. There’s no way I’m giving them up, though.
– plastic. I use enviro sacks, wash and re-use plastic bags, buy items with as little plastic packaging as possible. Still our garbage consists of about 75% plastic, 25% other (mostly cat litter and “bits”, and dust bunnies). I don’t know what the answer is to this. Ban plastic bags? Make them more easily recyclable?
To end this on a positive note, here are a few fun and environmentally conscious items found on etsy:
Clockwise from top right: Tree Branch Draft Dodger by Milly and Tilly, Cloth Panty Liners by April M Designs, Vegetable Bags by Wonder Thunder, Recycled Cashmere Pillow by Raging Wool, Ornj Shoulder Bag by David Shock Designs.
Do you have any great green pointers? I’d love to hear about them!