Leggo My Eco

The ozone layer is a part of the atmosphere way up high that helps shield the earth from the sun’s most harmful rays. A couple of decades ago, scientists realized that some of the chemicals we were using in our industries and homes were finding their way into the upper atmosphere…and destroying it…They sounded the alarm bell, the international community responded with the Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone-depleting substances, and today the ozone layer is gradually healing itself.


And that’s what Al Gore said in An Inconvenient Truth. Things can be done. From time to time I’ll see a list of “things you can do to save the Earth/Environment or to curb global warming” and one point of pride I have is that I’m usually already doing most of them. Instead of just cutting and pasting some generic list I’m going to write up my own personal one. For you. Right now.

I’m amazed at how many people don’t recycle. Actually I’m amazed at how many people litter, but that’s a different topic. It’s not hard. They make it incredibly easy for you. And it’s even easier than they tell you because here’s a little secret: You don’t have to wash everything. They don’t care. They melt all that crap down, and your baked beans will be burned away. Nobody is going to knock on your door and call you on it. There isn’t some old lady hand washing all the recyclables (and if there is – she’d be sad if she got fired because all the stuff came in clean). Everyone has access to recycle bins. If you’re in the Vancouver area you can get one free of charge – see http://www.gvrd.bc.ca/recycling-and-garbage/blue-boxes.htm

Chilliwack: http://www.chilliwack.com/main/page.cfm?id=661

The rest of Canada, type “blue box recycling” and the name of your city into Google and see what pops up.

USA: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/whereyoulive.htm

2. Turn out that light! (duh) This goes for TVs, DVD players and other things on “standby.”

3. If you’ve got a choice between two products that are otherwise equal, buy the one with the least amount of packaging. Buying in bulk is not only cheaper, there’s way less packaging.

4. Buy energy efficient bulbs. There is no downside to this – they may seem more expensive, but they’re not. Same deal with rechargeable batteries.

5. Walk! Or if you’ve got one, ride a bike. You may actually enjoy it.

6. Wrap gifts in reusable bags or suchlike. Anyone who has ever received a birthday or Christmas gift from me knows that when I do wrap, I wrap it in newspaper or flyers. And I’ll draw a picture on it or whatever. It’s kind of my signature thing, but I won’t be offended if you make it yours too. You can get your scented candle, and do the crossword puzzle on the wrapping paper too!

7. I don’t throw out paper that’s only printed on one side. Why would I? It goes in a box next to my printer. That goes for all those letters from Hedy Fry and the Flying Wok Grand Opening Sale. On the back of new D&D character sheets are old D&D character sheets. The only thing that doesn’t work with is resumes. Actually, scratch that – that’s a good idea and I should apply to the Ministry of the Environment and get a cushy gov’t job.

8. Don’t fill the kettle with more water than you’re going to need.

9. Wash your laundry in cold. Is there even a reason not to? I haven’t used hot water in the washing machine in…ever. But maybe I’ve got low maintenance clothes. Besides, heat just makes the stains set.

I never really understood the whole “take showers instead of baths” tip. I take pretty long showers, especially when I’m lost in thought or singing, I kind of figure I use a lot of water. I guess the test is to put the plug in the next time I have a shower and see how much the tub fills up.

I’m not including all the stuff that probably doesn’t apply to you – like putting an insulating jacket over your hot water heater or buying a fuel efficient car. Because if you haven’t done that by now, you’re not going to before you forget about this blog post. Baby steps. You may find that easing slowly into a lifestyle of less impact isn’t really all that awful. It can make you feel good and then later on when the big stuff comes up, you’re in the right state of mind.

ps – (10) – Buy fresh, local food. Like it says on the IT site, transporting and freezing food takes way more energy. I never thought of that! See, I’m learning!

12 Replies to “Leggo My Eco”

  1. Amen! I have come to realize that most people are lazy ass motherf#%&ers.

    Also, take your own bag to the grocery store. If you don’t have a canvas one or something then I know you have a million plastic ones under the seat.

  2. RE: (10) I’ve taken to buying my groceries online where I don’t have to go to the grocery store and waste gas (I don’t live downtown) and they’re all organic and local, they deliver them to me. One truck delivering for hundreds of people instead of hundreds of people all driving to get their food. Also, there’s very little packaging because everything come bagless in reusable bins that go back next time they deliver. It’s lazy and efficient!

    Definintely try the shower with the drain plug in, you’ll be amazed how little a shower uses even for long showers. This is assuming you have a decent showerhead that isn’t just like a garden hose pouring water on your head.

  3. Hear hear! It’s all so easy, yet people still struggle against it and act like they are being dragged into Guantanamo when asked to recycle. I live in a sixplex and my two neighbours downstairs don’t recycle. One is a totally dysfunctional family who can barely take their dogs for a walk, so okay, they’ve got other issues. But the other is a hipster reggae musical “collective” that are very political. They seem like nice people but how the hell can they just be leaving out giant bags of trash filled with cans, plastic bottles, etc.? I really need to say something to them.

  4. You leftie hippie tree hugging kitten cuddler! Pave the world and srew the grandkids!

    Actually I think Bev. and I score 99% on your list and that’s barely trying. We still feel guilty that we are lazy assed about being serious. So if a couple of old, lazy farts can do it, the rest of you younglings best get into action!

  5. Weekly we gots more recycling than we do garbage; that’s a good feeling. I recommend composting too – so easy to do, and the worms love that shizzaz, and cuts down on loads of garbage…. And buying used in the first place – thrift stores are AMAZING.

  6. You also forgot “encourage other societies to educate their women”.

    This is because societies with educated women have markedly lower birth rates, and even if we all cut our consumption/garbage production in half (ha!) in 20 years we’re going to have twice the population anyway.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, stop resisting genetically modified foods. GM foods grow far more per acre which means less deforestation and more efficient usage of landmass.

  7. “Two heads are better than one!” As seen on the back of a Monsanto seed bag….. ;-p

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