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Kelly J. Cooper

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A Little Greenery [Nov. 18th, 2007|03:05 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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Following istemi's lead, I wanted to document some of the small changes I've been making recently to be more green.

1. I bought, washed, and started carrying two cloth napkins. One is the tablecloth, one is for my hands/mouth. I don't take paper towels or napkins anymore.

2. We've started refilling our ink cartridges for the house ink jet printer.

3. I switched my bedtime drinking container to a glass canning jar. (I have to take pills before bed & when I wake up; an open cup of water would definitely get spilled; I was using a plastic container, but I'm not so sure about any plastics anymore, so I switched to glass.)

4. Left the furnace OFF until late October, and didn't bring it up from a set constant temp of 66'F until a couple of days ago, when I moved it up to 67'F.

5. I picked up a small plastic bottle for packing juice into a lunch bag. I've tried taking my lunch into work. We don't have a fridge or microwave, so there aren't many things that'll work - the best thing is cooked soba noodles with a separate packet of shredded, dried seaweed for sprinkling and a container of dipping sauce (which I can pour over the noodles rather than having to dip them). Unfortunately, the various tupperware-like containers that I've tried using for sauce have all leaked. Since this is designed for liquids, I'm hopeful that it won't leak.

6. I put my comics in paper bags to protect them on the walk/ride home. But, I bring them back and reuse them until they fall apart, then recycle them. As I write this, it occurs to me that I should make some sort of reusable cloth holder thing. Hmm.

7. I carry a cloth bag with a plastic bag inside into which I put my lunch when I pick it up. Given how often I pick up a sammich on my way into Harvard Square, I've probably failed to use/abuse somewhere around 100+ plastic bags. Since I've been doing this (starting in the fall of 2005), I've replaced the plastic liner bag twice, maaaaybe three times.

8. More than half the time we water the garden, it's from our rain barrel.

9. The red wiggler worms in our basement eat a LOT of our kitchen scraps AND shredded credit card offers/old bills.

10. The worm poop (vermicast) is our primary garden fertilizer.

11. I recycle everything I possibly can and reuse lots of stuff I can't recycle (until it gets grotty, then I throw it away).

That's most of it. There's a couple of other things I'm doing, diverting materials from the waste stream and reusing them. If anything comes of it, I'll talk more about it.

What (small or medium-sized; or even BIG) changes are you making in your life?

We must be the change we wish to see in the world. - Gandhi

[User Picture]From: istemi
2007-11-18 10:06 pm (UTC)
Not as much as I should, unfortunately. I sent a note to Kleenex.com, explaining that I was ending our decades-long relationship because I won't cut down trees to wipe my nose, or anything else. I kept it humorous. They claim they'll send a personalized response, and I'm curious how they'll take it. Not that I expect to have much impact. It's twice as powerful to tell them why I'm switching, as well as switching, and maybe someone will notice.

I'll get a rain barrel for the garden next year.

Interesting idea with cloth napkins. Where did you get them? Most napkins - the fancy ones, anyway - don't absorb anything.
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[User Picture]From: laurenpburka
2007-11-18 10:07 pm (UTC)
Did you get your furnace cleaned? We had some plumbing/heating guys in, and they said ours was filthy and probably running about less than 75% efficiency. A big tip they gave was that people affiliated with the gas or oil company may not actually do a good job cleaning your furnace, because they'd rather you burn less efficiently and spend more money. But they're not all dishonest, and it never hurts to ask what they're doing and watch them work.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2007-12-10 09:38 pm (UTC)
I keep forgetting to answer you. YES! I got the furnace cleaned last year. It's pretty new, purchased in 2002 I think, so we don't need to get it cleaned too often. We also change the filter regularly.
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[User Picture]From: metagnat
2007-11-20 12:23 pm (UTC)
I'm not doing enough in this regard. I keep saying we should compost, but then I don't actually, y'know...DO anything about it.

I have a lunch kit with a cloth napkin which I try to use, but often I forget, and then it's paper, for me. I do try to keep people in my office from using little packs that contain a napkin and a place-setting of plastic-wear when all they need is a napkin (after I saw my supervisor go through 3 or four in one lunch meeting and then throw all of the plasticwear away).

I also collect recycling under my desk, since my office does not recycle (LAME).

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