Are you making any changes to reduce impact in light of climate change?
In the wake of the coverage of Greta Thunberg and the ongoing massive horrible fires in Australia I have been thinking about how to further reduce my (our) environmental impact. We aren't big consumers but we do buy and consume and every decision has an impact. My recent reading has confirmed that there aren't easy answers and individual action has minimal impact - but, and this is a big but, if millions of people changed their individual actions the big companies and government would notice and have to change too. There are two things I have seen trending online related to overall reduction of consumption - 20 for 2020 and No/Low Buy Year. 20 for 2020 is focused on only buying 20 new items of clothing and/or makeup. Now that seems like a lot but for many people it is a reduction. I'm thinking to try to limit my clothing replacements to 20 at most and make sure I really need the item before purchasing. There really is a huge excess of clothing produced in the world and much of it ends up being trashed. No/Low Buy Years tends to be focused on debt reduction and/or consumption reduction? If you aren't driven by financial needs would you do a No/Low Buy Year to reduce your environmental impact? Of course everyone buys food, medicine, etc. and pays their bills so none of them are total No Buys. Everyone sets their own rules. I'm thinking to try to do a very low buy but then today I bought a used book and some plates at Goodwill. Hmmm.
One blog I looked at said they did a Low Buy Year and used the money they saved to have amazing experiences. The general guidelines for their experiment was to not buy any non-consumable goods during the year. Non-consumable meant: clothes, shoes, furniture, home decor/furnishings, books, toys, electronics, etc. Consumable items that were okay to buy were things like food, printer paper, soap, makeup, and things that could be used up completely. If a non-consumable item broke, or wore out, it could be replaced with one similar. (But worn out shoes weren’t a green light for a shoe-shopping spree). They also set out to better use the items owned, and organize and get rid of things not loved or used. Another new trend at least in Europe is to avoid plane travel do to the amount of fuel used and its impact. Of course they have other transportation alternatives that are efficient such as good train systems. And then there are the good old standards. Drive less. Avoid plastic packaging. Eliminate food waste. Reduce your water, electricity and other utility use. I have notice that since we aren't billed directly for our water in this home (and therefore have no idea how much we are using), we have slacked off on conserving. What I have started or resumed doing:
1. Cut the number of cleaning products down to the bare essentials and using non-toxic ones except for grout mildew remover and toilet cleaner. There must be a good substitutes for those - I'll have to research it.
2. Invested in e-Cloth scrubbing pads instead of the standard sponge scrubbers and also their stainless steel cleaning cloth which works well on the sink instead of spray. I already had and like the glass cleaning cloths and floor mop.
3. Reusing produce plastic bags until they are skanky and then using them as poop bags. We have used reusable grocery bags for years.
4. Recommitting to getting books only from the library or secondhand from friends or the Friends of the Library bookstore - and then returning real books to the same bookstore after reading them.
5. I'm using up dryer sheets and then will start using dryer balls for softening.
6. Trying to turn the computer off midday or when I will be gone. No need to have it running in the background. The printer is off unless being used.
7. Using our window shutters to help control inside temperature depending upon the sun, wind and outside temps.
8. Planning errands to reduce driving.
9. Not automatically throwing clothes in the was after wearing. We don't sweat in the winter and I am using silk undershirt with a lot of my tops so I can wash less. Not ready to join the never wash your jeans club lol.
10. Continue with essentially no food waste. We do love leftovers and try to save them in a washable container rather than plastic wrap covering.
What I can't or won't change right now:
1. Our soft water makes our dog sick so she drinks bottled water. And she eats canned food (as we do some) and there are those plastic poop bags. We do recycle the plastic jugs and cans.
2. We are required to put our trash out in plastic bags so simply can try to make sure they are full and minimize our trash.
3. We have year round allergies and do use paper kleenex.
4. Plastic toiletry, laundry and dish soap containers.
5. We don't know our water consumption as it is not direct billed so will simply have to try to minimize without feedback.
I've got a mental list of things I want to do and/or try. Has anyone else been thinking about and acting on this? What are you doing?