Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: the environment

This is the blunt instrument approach to the topic...

Ten relatively painless things you can do for the environment:

10) Renew, recycle, re-use. Any time you re-use something instead of replacing it, you are doing a world of good. "He who dies with the most toys, wins" is selfish: his descendants lose.

9) Children are the single biggest drain you can produce on the environment. If you're planning your family, plan small and you will make a gentler footprint.

8) Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescents. Your power bills will drop, and they last forever, so it's a win-win situation. And if you balked at the price tag when they first came out, reconsider... they've dropped.

7) If you're female, choose a reusable menstrual cup or washable cloth pads instead of the corporate drain on your household economy that is the commercial feminine hygiene industry. (Your tender naughty bits will be much happier without the chafing paper and plastic, anyway.) Cloth diapers, too. If you wouldn't wear it on your butt all day, why would you do that to a tiny baby?

6) Use re-usable bags rather than "paper or plastic."

5) Choose organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans when available and not crazy expensive. They're available and in many cases (but not all) they are measurably more healthy for the consumer.

4) Cut down on emissions by carpooling, traveling less, and biking or walking more.

3) Use less toxic household and toiletry items. Choose ecologically sensitive, biodegradable, or organic options where available.

2) Vote with your wallet and your tummy. Try to get away from fast food. For bonus points, go vegetarian, or better yet, resist factory farming. Not only will you be reading ingredient lists on labels, and probably making choices that include less revolting chemical, petroleum-based, and animal ingredients, but you will be avoiding a major source of pollution. Advanced "carbon dieters" will become locavores, eating only products coming from local sources (I think we used to call it macrobiotics.)

1) Get politically active. Write letters, call your representatives, sign petitions. It takes only an hour or two a week to have a conscience you can feel proud of. Vote for candidates who understand that the future is worth planning for. Press for more sustainable industrial options (fully electric cars, more sustainable fuels, no lead shot, whatever ignites your personal passions).

(I am not anywhere close to perfect... just putting it out there.)


Lithium said...

Great list!

Also: Have your kids later in life, and toilet train them early. :-)

Nathan said...

"5) Choose organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans when available and not crazy expensive. They're available and in many cases (but not all) they are measurably more healthy for the consumer."

That's wht cracks me up about Trader Joes. Organic fruit... in plastic. *claps*

Ducks said...

Wow, I haven't seen you two around in a while! Clare! [hug hug]

Robert Link said...

Reusable cup? Gack. Next you'll ask me to give up my flushable wipes. Besides, whatever doesn't kill us only prolongs the inevitable, right?

Ducks said...

Not to get detailed, because you could find bajillions of dedicated discussions online if you were interested, but the cup is a surprisingly un-gross item. Really! Agreed that the pioneer versions in the 1930s WERE gross... but silicone is sterile enough not to trip my radar. Hell, you can boil or dishwasher sterilize the sucker if it freaks you out. Pretty nifty.

I have to admit I'm not one of those people who can stand to put such items, sex toys, Crocs shoes, etc. into the dishwasher for sterilization, though. I think I would require separate home autoclaves by function, were that my tendency... I freely confess that I fear the multitasking kitchen!!

I can easily see how it has the power to squick.

On another note, it's damned easy on the pocketbook. Five years' use of a cup (conservative lifespan estimate) costing under $40 can save you anywhere around oh, say, I don't even remember, very conservatively $10/month for those five years. What can you buy with those $560ish dollars?

lady jane grey said...

You vote for numerous home autoclaves - but against disposable menstrual pads ? now this is silly !!!

Ducks said...

Well, I don't actually have autoclaves. That's what we call a joke in these parts. ;)

But I'll be dead in the cold cold ground before I dishwash anything intended for the other end o' me.