Earth day seems like a good time to take stock of what I do, and would like to do, in regards to taking care of this planet. One of the things I miss about living in California is the widespread emphasis on taking care of the environment. We were no Seattle, but it was WAY better than here. Anyhow...
First of all, I am cheap and usually broke, so this actually helps in the whole environmentally friendly thing. I've always bought many of my clothes used, reuse and repurpose things all the time (why buy boxes or padded envelopes for shipping when I can reuse? And I, and many future generations, should never have to buy a gift bag thanks to the stash in my attic...) and get most of my books from the library. I've always recycled (when I worked in an office without recycling I'd take the papers home and recycle them at home!). I keep my heat temperatures low and my airconditioning temp high, and would do this even more if my husband didn't sweat profusely in the summer and wear shorts all winter. I used cloth diapers for The May Queen (and LOVED them! I would be happy to regale you with their greatness if you're interested... e-mail me). We've always used cloth napkins and shunned paper plates. When I'm done with something I pass to a friend or a charity as much as possible.
Recently I've begun using my own canvas bags - all of which I already had from various conferences, etc - when shopping (when I remember to take them in to the store! Keeping them in the car has helped. A little) and using rags instead of paper towels 98% of the time (I've hidden the paper towels behind the rags, so I have to really work to get to them). I've placed jars full of water in my toilet tanks to lessen the amount of water used each time we flush. I've bought CFLs to replace my lightbulbs as they die (but i really need to find the ones that look like little flames, as many of the lights in my house require those). When replacing appliances we've purchased energy star ones. I'm not leaving the computer on 24 hours a day. I'm buying recycled office paper. I'm using more natural cleaning products (hello, white vinegar!).
But there are things I'd like to add to my list. I'd like to stop using chlorine bleach. I'd like to move to all organic lawn and garden fertilizer, weed and pest control. I'd like to buy more organic and locally grown food. I want to look into solar panels for my roof. I'm also working on giving up soda. Because even though I recycle the cans, wouldn't it be better if I didn't use them at all? (and really, soda is just terrible for me, so giving it up would be good for the planet AND good for me. Which really, I suppose, is the point, isn't it? It's all much, much better for me, and for The May Queen, and for the generations that follow... and look, I'm getting to the heart of this post, and it's all in a parenthetical...)
How about you? What are you doing? What would you LIKE to do?