First of all I want to say that I live in a post-Katrina area and recycling is almost nonexistent. I am able to bring newspaper to our local school for recycling. Parish (county) curbside recycling has been unheard of. Recently, I heard about a private company that does curbside recycling. When I got wind of this, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. Friday, I had my official second curbside recycling day. I felt so great about doing this.
Thank you to Phoenix Recycling in New Orleans, LA for allowing me to do this. Because of this, our weekly trash has decreased to about half. I do pay for this service, but the price makes no difference to me. With our previous parish curbside recycling, we paid through our water bill. I have talked to several of my neighbors about this and their reply was, “you actually pay for that?” What they don’t realize is that they paid for it before. The difference was that is was part of the monthly water bill and they just didn’t know it. As of right now, I am the only one on my block that has curbside recycling. I really hope this changes.
Now on to the other things I do to help the environment. I don’t feel like I do too much, but I guess every little thing helps.
Things I do to help the environment:
1. I try to use towels and cloth napkins instead of paper towels and napkins.
2. I try to avoid hitting the “print” button on the computer as often as I used to.
3. I am not much of a TV watcher, but I turn it off if the kids have it on and they are nowhere to be found.
4. I turn the lights out when I am finished. I am constantly going behind everyone in the house turning lights out.
5. I don’t drink coffee, by my husband fills his coffee mug with a lid before he leaves home and uses it at his office instead of using the disposable cups.
6. I have been replacing our regular light bulbs one at a time with CFC light bulbs.
7. I try to avoid using foil and plastic wrap and use glass or plastic ware instead.
8. I maintain the proper air pressure in my car’s tires.
9. I clean up after my family and me when we go out and about and do find myself picking up after strangers, too.
10. I try to explain to my 3 year old about recycling. I think she does understand because she remembers what does not go in the trash.
11. We reuse printed paper usually by giving it to the girls to cut, paste, and draw on.
12. We installed low-flow toilets.
13. We avoid fast food meals. I cook about 95% of all of our meals.
14. We change our A/C filter routinely.
15. Most of my laundry is done in cold water with the exception of a few loads that are washed in warm, not hot.
16. I try to purchase local grocery items such as fruits and veggies.
17. I recycle as much as I can.
18. When we refurnished our house, I bought appliances that were energy star efficient.
19. Our new A/C system is 16 SEERS and is energy star rated. We use a programmable thermostat.
20. Our lawn and garden is watered early in the morning.
21. We have oak trees in front our house.
22. I unplug appliances when not in use.
23. I try to remember to unload my car of any excess weight routinely.
24. I plan on buying a bike before the end of the year and actually using it.
25. We use filtered water from the refrigerator instead of buying bottled water.
26. I use recycled shopping bags when I go grocery shopping and other miscellaneous shopping. My daughter likes to remind me, “Mommy, don’t forget the bags in the car.”
27. I have been mending our clothes and items instead of getting rid of them.
28. I buy toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, cereal, dish soap, soap, toothpaste, dental floss, diapers and other things in bulk. I also remember to recycle the packaging.
29. I find myself buying and using more durable goods than disposable. For parties, we use all of the plates, glasses, cloth napkins, and other items we have instead of buying plastic and throwaway items.
30. I use my crock-pot at least once or twice a week (sometimes more during the winter) which in turn, I use the oven less.
31. I have joined Bog Action Day.