Contrary to what Kermit the Frog might have you believe, it's really not that hard being green. I'm living proof of that because even though I'm really quite lazy, I still manage to do a number of things on behalf of the environment.
- I recycle. I'm fortunate to have curbside recycling in my area, so I make a special point of recycling all the acceptable plastics, cardboard, paper and metal that we use each week. They no longer take glass, so my next goal is to find out where I can drop off my recyclable glass.
- I use compact fluorescent light bulbs. When I mention this, people frequently mutter something about the light quality. Seriously, the modern CFLs give off perfectly acceptable light for reading or anything else you'd need to do after dark. Beginning more than a year ago, as my standard bulbs burned out I started replacing them with CFLs. Not one of the CFLs has burned out yet, even though some of them are on all the time. It's well worth it.
- I've stopped buying bottled water. Have you seen photos of the amount of waste produced by discarded water bottles? Even though I always recycled mine, it still seemed ridiculous to buy water when I have sources of filtered water at home and at work. Now I use my new Nalgene bottle from The Onion.
- I drive a hybrid car. Yes, a hybrid costs a little bit more than a non-hybrid. However, there's a $2,500 Federal income tax credit, so that pretty much takes care of the difference. My Honda Insight gets about 55mpg on average and I spend approximately $50 a month on gas.
There are a few other green initiatives in the back of my mind that I haven't started yet. Here's my green to-do list:
- Start composting. I garden enough that it would be nice to be able to take my kitchen waste and use it to create compost. That would serve to reduce our household trash still further.
- Make my own yogurt. My husband and I eat a lot of yogurt and even the large containers stack up quickly and are not among the items allowed by our curbside recycling program. To take care of that problem, I've purchased a yogurt maker; now I just need to try it out.
- Further weatherproof our house. The next time I can afford it, I'm planning to get replacement windows throughout our 1950s-era house. Most of our windows are an unhappy combination of drafty and painted shut. With new windows, we'll be able to take advantage of the attic fan more often when the weather is nice, and we'll have less leakage of hot and cold in the summer and winter. While we're at it, we also need more attic insulation.
That's my list and I'd say there's nothing there that takes up an inordinate amount of time. Are you doing any of the same things? Do you have any other ideas that I can incorporate into my routine?