Last Saturday Enviro Girl returned home after a 6 day writers retreat in Baltimore. During her stay, she toured her friend’s terrific garden, ate significant amounts of those homegrown veggies, recycled a metric ton of paper and never once turned on the air conditioning. Despite traveling by plane (which jacked up her personal carbon footprint–although she’ll only fly twice this year), the trip wasn’t an eco-bust. Two words kept Enviro Girl’s trip lean, mean and green: Continue reading
Enviro Girl lives with boys who play on teams–and each team means a new team t-shirt. Over the years, the family has accumulated boxes of shirts–many no longer worn. We’ve also got bushels of old socks (many without their life partner), towels, undies and blue jeans. Instead of filling a landfill with old clothes unfit for the thrift shop, Enviro Girl cuts them into squares and gives them another life as rags. Old socks slit up the side are the perfect size for polishing wood. Old t-shirts work great on windows and glass. Old towels clean up sinks, tubs and toilets beautifully. And even old tighty-whitey Fruit of the Looms work great for swiping away motor oil or wiping on shoe polish (and then into the trash)! These days the only time Enviro Girl uses paper towels is to absorb bacon grease when making Sunday morning brunch.
The cleaning industry has pushed consumers into using disposable cloths and towels–it’s a huge money-maker for them, but it’s also a huge burden on our planet. The production, packaging and final toss into a county landfill take human “convenience” to a perfectly loathsome level of wasteful and toxic behavior. Rags are free, reusable after washing and most fabric fibers decompose over time when you finally do retire them to your compost pile or the local landfill. Reincarnating old clothes as rags is a step closer to Enlightenment–and a step away from further global devastation.
Love your planet–reuse your old clothes when tackling cleaning chores. Put that “Lakeville Youth Soccer” t-shirt back in the game–it’s got several seasons left in it playing a new position!
Last Wednesday Enviro Girl returned home after a 6 day retreat to Utah where her dear friend Nina pours delicious wine and serves up the best Italian food evah. During her stay, she bemoaned the fact that Park City doesn’t offer much in the way of recycling–typical of most mountain regions Enviro Girl has visited. Despite traveling by plane (which jacked up her personal carbon footprint–although it will be the only time she’ll fly this year), the trip wasn’t a total eco-bust. Two words kept Enviro Girl’s trip lean, mean and green:
1. Even on the airplane, Enviro Girl could carry her stainless steel water bottle and consume nary a drop of bottled water. She said “No, thanks” to the plastic cup of juice/water/soda offered during her flight. She said “No, thanks” to offers of bottled water by her hostess (concerned for her health during the dramatic altitude change). She drank tap water out of her water bottle or out of a glass.
2. Enviro Girl didn’t accept a shopping bag. When purchasing 4 souvenir t-shirts for Team Testosterone, she said “No, thanks” to the plastic bag and stuffed them in her own canvas tote. For the record, that was all she bought and brought home from her trip. She said “No, thanks” to everything except photographs–turns out those were the only souvenirs Enviro Girl needs and they’re not Made in China and wrapped in plastic!
3. Enviro Girl used one bath towel and one hand towel during her stay. She said “No, thanks” to the offer of more towels–which would, in turn, lead to more laundry, using more water and more electricity and more detergent.
4. She said “No, thanks” when her hostess kept offering to prepare more food. Insisting on eating leftovers meant less waste, less energy spent cooking and more time for visiting.
Being green is about reducing your use and Enviro Girl did her best on this trip–she recycled paper at the airport, drank locally brewed Polygamy Porter while in Park City, hiked along the mountainside for exercise and ate a mere three servings of meat. “No, thanks” is a polite and easy way to reduce and reuse even while you’re on vacation.
Speaking of reducing, remember that tomorrow is No Plastic Day. Visit the Official No Plastic Day Web Site to learn how you can participate–it’s as easy as saying, “No, thanks” to a plastic bag or plastic bottle of water!