Going Green

We watched No Impact Man last night, a documentary about a family in Manhattan that lives a year making no impact on the environment. It made me think about what we're doing.

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I just don't find them to be helpful. But, I do take time to kind of inventory my life and remind myself that it's a good opportunity to make some slight changes to be a little better at this whole life thing. Resolutions are too much pressure, changes mean growth to me.

One of the things I really wanted to do was make the Hannemaniac lifestyle greener. We're pretty conscious of the environment compared to your everyday guy, I figure. But, are we??? And when I think about it, we probably aren't. Just saying you're an environmentalist and you believe in preservation isn't enough. So, here are some changes we've been able to make and stick to for the most part:

1. My office has sleeves of plastic cups for water and they are used at an incredible rate. I stopped using a plastic cup and brought a metal bottle from home. I figure I have saved over 40 cups in the last two and a half months. That's insane. If any of my co-workers are reading this... Ahem... The Alderman may have to come out on this one.

2. I've really been trying to bring my own bags when shopping. Trust me, I forget a lot, but I'm TRYING.

3. I'm only buying "green" cleaning products, which I know does not necessarily mean they are good for the environment, but it's the closest I can get.

4. I'm trying to turn off the lights. You're welcome, Mom.

5. Guess who started taking the train? Yup! It increases the commute time, however gives me some nice quiet time to read and a nice mile long walk between the station and my office.

6. We're doing some home improvement that will help us with controlling temperature, including replacing five windows and covering a basement window well with insulation.

7. Less meat. Cooking with less chicken and more tofu than I usually would. (I don't cook red meat, so this isn't a huge stretch.)

8. Only buying organic milk/yogurt and trying to stick to organic vegetables and fruit when they look ok. (Hey, Jewel, your organic produce sucks.)

Once we enter spring, I'll be composting and adding a vegetable garden to the list.

I know all of this might seem like nothing, but it's a start. If everyone does a little something, think of the overall impact combined. So, what are you doing to cut down the impact you're making on the environment?


Windtraveler said...

Well, we're not doing it YET, but we *will* be living "off the grid" more or less on our boat and consuming a TON less of everything (energy, water, food, crap)...and buying locally almost everywhere we go...:) Good on you friend!! Small steps make an impact!!

Kim Moldofsky said...

Rain barrels are a great way to capture water for your garden. So old-fashioned, yet so eco-chic.