Things That Could Be More Green

Sometimes an idea comes to mind.  A small idea that would make less waste or one that is just simpler.

  • Okay, so this is an out of date idea, maybe, but why do you have to get prints or CDs when you bring in disposable cameras.   I have 5 sitting here needing to get developed but I just want to load them into the cloud and not deal with the clutter of prints and CDs.  Why can’t I bring in the cameras and they 1) all be put onto one CD or 2) be added to a flash drive or 3) email me all of the prints.   Any one of these options would be simpler for me, create less waste for me and less to store for me.  This maybe isn’t a huge deal since disposable cameras will soon be extinct anyways but Walgreens shot down all of my ideas when I called them.  Bummer.   I understand that mostly this is because the cameras are shipped off location to get developed.

*UPDATE – I went to Walgreens and they said that I had no choice to get prints.  The CD was optional.  I left and went to a local grocery store where they said I do not need to get prints and all 5 disposable cameras can be loaded onto one CD.  Score!

  • Receipts are just like plastic bags.  They are given to me by obligation (or default) but I never (rarely) use them.  They just pile up in corners, pockets and desk drawers for me to look at and wonder why I still have it.  Why can’t they ask if I want a receipt instead of printing and handing me one or offer to email me a copy.  Some companies do this, like GAP and Banana Republic, but more should have this as an option.

Do you have any  ideas on how companies could modify their processes to be more environmental?

Reduce Waste and Save Money

I put on a pair of slipper socks the other day and I realized that I have had those socks since I was in elementary school.   This is 20 years.  This got me thinking to what else I have held on to without replacing.  I see a lot of us wanting to get the newest and greatest thing when it comes out.   Here is my golden list of things that I have had for a LONG time.

  1. My car.  It is a 2000 Saturn and has just over 90,000 miles.  I barely drive and bike as often as possible.   It would be cool to get a new car, but that would also mean a car payment and possibly higher insurance.
  2. My cellphone.  Verizon told me that I have had my cell phone since January 2011.  I do not have a smart phone.  I am okay with that.  My phone is much cheaper and it does what I need.  I am online enough, I don’t need another distraction.
  3. My slipper socks.  20 + years old.  I actually don’t think I have bought socks my entire adult life.
  4. My tennis shoes.  I found a picture with them that was over 4 years old.  I don’t run and they fit like a glove.
  5. My winter coat.  I think I got it in 2000.  It’s showing it’s age, but I love it, it doesn’t look like it belongs to a homeless person yet, I will hold on to it a bit longer.

Replacing things frequently costs money and I don’t like spending money.  Plus, lots of things that are replaceable generally still have life in them.  Consider holding on to your things a bit longer to reduce waste.

Gift of Love

Valentine’s Day might be over but it is never too late to show your love to your significant other.  I did this for my husband a few years ago and I wanted to share it.

Literally all you need is a box (I had one laying around), paper and pen.  I wanted to pack this box with as many reasons that I love my husband so when he opened it, it exploded.  *Which I hear it did.  I put it in his lunch box so he saw it while at work.  Who doesn’t like mid-day surprises like this?

All you need is $0 and a bit of time and you will have a wonderful keepsake forever.

Resolutions For an Environmentalist

I think of myself as an environmentalist.  I am conscience about reducing, reusing and recycling.  I make purchase decisions that come in recyclable packaging and I also enjoy reading advancements made in the green industry.  I think that qualifies me as being an environmentalist.

I have been very busy in my job, working a lot of overtime.  It is hard to find the time to blog regularly.  I have a lot of projects that I want to work on.  I hope to blog more often once the busy season is over.   I also want to focus on more writing on how to be a better environmentalist too.

I did have time to think about some New Year’s resolutions, and here they are:

1.  Be more generous.  I have reached out to the local food bank to see if I can volunteer a few hours here and there.  I am going to try to schedule something this week.  I also love a local no-kill animal shelter here in Fargo – CATS Cradle.  I plan to play with lots of kitties and donate stuff there.

2.  Be more green.  We can always do a little bit more.  I hope to find something new that I can do to be greener.

3.  Purchase less crap.  I can look around my house and see a lot of clutter.  Clutter  creates additional work, thoughts and stress.  Plus who doesn’t like a cleaner house?

4.  Clean more.  I have started to organize all of our cupboards and drawers and threw away lots of unneeded stuff.  I hope to continue this soon.

I feel like my eating habits are okay and I have been exercising regularly for years so I felt that they didn’t need to be put on my resolutions list.  Plus, that is the resolution that is easiest to break.  The only diet thing I have been working on is limiting my sugar intake.  It makes me feel better to cut back, and it makes me look better.  This is a constant struggle, so I didn’t want to feel guilty if I broke it, if it was my resolution.  The resolutions above are ones that are attainable if you want them enough.  I look forward to trying new things, and making a difference!

Inspiring DIY Green Projects

I am sorry that I haven’t crafted anything lately.  It is so hard to start something after a long day of work; where all you want to do is sit on the sofa and nod off.  I have lots of projects that I want to start.  I have a garden ready to go in and a house that I need to empty.  We had our house on the market since August last year at least and no offers.  We heard about someone who wanted to rent so we are about to hand over the keys.  At least we will have a few less bills, for now anyways.

I also had someone from the city come to our house and mark all of the underground wires and pipes so when I want to dig up my yard I know where to avoid.  These are a few of my weekend projects.  I do also want to start some of my projects that I have been saving things for.

Until then, I found a few websites/projects on the web that were an inspiring way to use trash.  I hope you enjoy them.

DIY Broom made out of pop bottles.

Candy wrapper handbags.

Plastic bag basket.

Light bulb terrarium.

Jean pocket cat bed.

Ok, so I threw that last one in there for the heck of it.  Wasn’t it cute?  If you don’t know me, one thing you will find out is I LOVE cats.  Like, crazy LOVE.  Right now I have my 22 lb orange kitty Milo on my left, and my black angora kitty kneading my leg on my right.  Across the room, my girl kitty keeps her distance.  She is a little skiddish.  Milo is the only one who knows his name.  The other two I just call kitty.  At age 9, it is probably too late to teach them their real names: Hansel and Gretel.

This weekend I plan on getting started gardening.  I would like to put in a lilac bush by our kitchen window, and I plan to dig up an unused portion of our yard and put plants in.  I want to cut down on time and gas used on mowing that section, so why not put in some weather resistant grasses and such?  I can’t wait until weekend…