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April 23rd, 2009

Earth Day Resolutions

So, I spent much of yesterday reflecting on many of the "green" changes I've been wanting to make about the way we live. I've come up with a short list of things I intend to do this year:

1) Not collect another plastic grocery bag. I have several reusable shopping bags, but don't always remember to take them into the store, especially for shopping other than grocery shopping. Several months ago, I put some in the car so that I wouldn't have that "uh-oh" moment, but I still frequently manage to forget they are there and leave them in the trunk. I have a huge satchel of plastic bags waiting by the front door. Next time I'm at the store, I'm depositing them once and for all. I've been recycling plastic grocery bags for what seems like eons, but there's really no need to collect any more.

2) Create a backyard compost bin. At our townhouse, we had no place to compost. When we moved into this house, I was excited about being able to start a compost pile. Indecision about how and where to build it have kept me from doing so. A few months ago, I started countertop composting. I've decided that on our small, city lot, a self-contained compost tumbler is the way to go. It can live behind our potting shed and won't attract unwanted critters. I plan to start clearing that area and creating an appropriate surface next week.

3) Use more pure ingredients. For the past several years, I've been buying more organic products, not just organic foods. Some time ago, I switched to organic facial care and makeup. My skin thanks me. Recently, when purchasing new bed linens, I opted for organic cotton. While I've found it difficult to give up my favorite shampoo and conditioner, I've been making a greater effort to use eco-friendly cleaning products. Little by little, I'm replacing what we have on hand with healthier alternatives. I'm making progress, slowly but surely.

4) Recycle a greater variety of items. Currently, we recycle everything the city accepts--glass, aluminum, cardboard, chipboard, #1 and #2 plastics and newspaper. We reduced our newspaper waste by canceling our subscription several years ago, and I reuse what we manage to accumulate as paper for Bird's cage. It recently came to my attention that Whole Foods recycles #5 plastics, so I plan to check into that. I save many other types of containers, but they are piling up without specific uses in mind. Which brings me to probably the biggest item on the list...

5) Generate less garbage. If we didn't purchase so many packaged items to begin with, we wouldn't have so much packaging to dispose of or recycle. Reducing our amount of trash to one tall kitchen bag (or less) a week will be a good place to begin. I plan to start consolidating refuse from around our house on Sunday nights in an attempt to monitor this. Purchasing more bulk foods and veggies should help out, too--not to mention be good for our waistlines. And I need to stop using paper bathroom cups. I have them on hand for guests, but when they're sitting out, I tend to use them, too (for about a week at a time, until they fall apart). No more of that.

I'm sure I will think of many more things to add to this list as I step up my "green conscience". This is a good place to start.



The Inimitable Miss M

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