Not buying something is always better than buying something that is environmentally friendly.
If you buy only what you need you won't clutter your home with junk and you preserve more resources for others.
A tried and true method to stop buying things is to write down all of the things you want to buy before you buy them.
I personally like putting this list in my Amazon.com cart (saved for later) or wish list, but you can also type them up or write them down by hand in a notebook.
Keep the list and then look back over it in a month or two and you will find that many things you wanted to buy you don't want to buy anymore. Therefore you can cross it off/delete it. After a while you will see what you really want/need.
Instead of focusing on shopping, buying and using energy- check out these ideas for the new modern free fun:
1. do someone's hair- brush it, trim it, braid it, put it up, put clips in it, etc.
2. draw or paint a picture - hang it up
3. read a book alone or with someone and discuss it
4. run outside
5. bike to a friend's house
6. play a sport with friends or family
7. play a board game
8. play a party game
9. play an outdoor game
10. pray or meditate
11. brainstorm a problem
14. make something from materials you have on hand
15. give and receive a massage
16. line dry clothes
17. walk to the library
18. chinese or regular jump-rope
19. put on a play
20. practice an instrument
21. paint toenails
22. organize your closet
23. learn sign language with your spouse so you can communicate in secret
24. play tag
25. hide and go seek
26. race someone
27. make a blanket fort
28. organize your outfits
30. make a card
31. write a short story by hand
32. clean with your family and share a treat after
33. look at photo albums
34. take a walk with someone
36. exercise or try gymnastics
37. read outloud
38. walk to a local park and swing or roll/sled down a hill
40. learn something or teach something
Any other ideas?
1. Our housekeeper balked at my suggestion for her to use natural (green)cleaning solutions; such as, baking powder, lemon juice and white distilled vinegar.
2. I tried to put my foot down, but my husband thought I was being ridiculous and went out and bought a bunch of toxic cleaning chemicals and paper towels (at her request) for her to use.
3. A few days ago my son spilled orange juice all over the kitchen table and floor. He wanted to use paper towels, but I insisted that he clean the spill with reusable rags.
4. I walked into the laundry room and grabbed for a clean washrag on a high shelf. The rags were sitting on top of some of the housekeeper's chemical cleaners, one of which was Pinesol.
5. As I grabbed the rag, the Pinesol tipped over. The lid had not been put on tight and it spilled all over, some of it getting in my open mouth.
6. This is a taste you never want to experience. I ran to the sink and tried to spit it out, but it was still all over in my mouth.
7. I ran to look at the bottle and it said: TOXIC! Don't ingest. It said to drink lots of water or milk.
8. I started to drink water, but it seemed like I was just washing more of the toxic Pinesol down my throat.
9. I went to the computer and looked up Pinesol. The search came up: Death by Pinesol in various different versions!
10. I realized that there was nothing that anyone could do. I had the worst taste in my mouth mixed with lots of worry about what this crap was doing to my body.
11. Later, when I brushed my teeth my mouth was sore and swollen everywhere. Everything hurt. Who knows what the long-term effects might be.
12. The housekeeper has been fired (for other reasons as well- not just this). I clean my own house now.
13. Now I am left with a boat-load of toxic cleaning chemicals that I can't just pour down the drain. Any suggestions?
14. Moral of the story: Green Cleaning Is BEST! Toxic stuff is never worth it.
Some things I am trying to do include:
Turn off lights. I am always turning off lights, TVs, etc. that are left on in my house. I try to never leave the house unless everything is off. Unplugging appliances that are not being used is also something I try to remember.
I work from home, so no commute. This is not possible for everyone, but if it is, look into it.
I recently took a bag of collected batteries to a recycle center. What I need to do is buy all rechargeables. This is expensive so I am doing it little by little. I also collect ink cartridges for recycling.
I am also slowly replacing our light bulbs with CFLs as the other light bulbs burn out.
I try to hurry with my shower, so I don't waste water. Although I do give in to a hot bath once in a while, especially when its cold out- a guilty pleasure.
I try to cut down on using our spring water dispenser and store tap water in the fridge to drink. My husband loves the spring water dispenser, so it's here to stay. His argument is that in case of an emergency it is a good water supply. He has a point with this.
I need to walk more and drive less. I used to be better at this. I do walk my daughter to school every morning. Its nice to get outside everyday.
I try to remember to purchase organic products- soaps, shampoos, lotions, food, detergents and clean with vinegar and lemon juice. Also I try to remember to buy in bulk.
I am going to set up an account so 10% of my income automatically goes to a charity of my choice. This way I won't "accidentally" spend it.
(For women) I used to have a Diva cup and it was great, but then I thought it would be a good idea to boil it for sanitary reasons, but it ruined it. I'm having a hard time spending the money on a new one- since it's expensive, but I need to do that. It really saves a lot of money in the end and eliminates a lot of trash. If you buy one, don't ever boil it! Use a disinfectant spray like this one- between periods and let it dry thoroughly. Wash with soap in-between daily uses.
Recently I started getting tired of rinsing out all of our cans and bottles for recycling when the idea hit me that I could just put them in the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes and put them in the recycling bin afterwards. Easy! Just remember to remove any paper off first!
I try to check the thrift store before a regular store for things I need. I also try to donate to the thrift store often.
What are you doing?
-I eat vegetarian whenever I go out to dinner. I limit meat at home to 2X per week.
-I buy organic dairy and produce as available, and other organic, earth-friendly products
-I buy organic lotions, shampoos, detergents, deodorants and cleaners
-I cook and bake from scratch with organic ingredients as much as possible
-I try to consume less of everything- food, soaps, detergents
-I wash and reuse plastic bags- I try to limit use
-I buy clothes and other items from a thrift store. I try to steer clear of the mall or department stores unless I need to
-I donate, sell or recycle excess clutter in my house
-I give virtual or consumable gifts (i.e. restaurant certificate, coupon for an activity, tickets to an event, I-tunes gift certificate, etc.)- instead of gifts that will clutter people’s homes
-I grow vegetables and flowers in pots on our deck
-When I do shop, I try to support socially responsible companies.
-I recycle, by separating our food waste from our recyclables.
-I take short showers.
-I switch to CFL light bulbs when my others burnout. I recycle batteries and ink cartridges. I reuse paper and limit printing too much.
-I use rechargeable batteries.
-I turn off the water when I brush my teeth
-I wash my clothes in warm water - I use cold sometimes, but I don't think it gets my clothes very clean. I always rinse in cold. A few of my loads I hang to dry.
-I only blow-dry my hair 1X per week
-We have organic bedding. I felt it was worth the expense.
-I try to stockpile food so I don't need to take more trips to the store
-We stopped buying small boxed cereals. We buy the largest size cereal boxes or bags to reduce waste. I also eat everyday from the large plain oatmeal container.
-We don't buy packaged snacks or meals as much as possible
-I use ceiling fans so I can turn up the thermostat in the summer and try to wear sweaters, so I can turn it down in the winter
-I try to never idle my car
-I never run the dishwasher unless it is full (although my kids don't always)
-I try to make sure we eat all leftovers to reduce food garbage (although my family doesn't always comply-i.e. my four year old)
-I try to keep lights off and use natural sun, I also turn off lights when not in use
-I buy recycled paper products (paper towels, napkins, toilet paper) but try to always use cloth towels and cloth napkins over paper towels
-I try to wear my clothes more than once before washing to reduce laundry
-I just ordered from gladrags.com- we'll see how that goes
-We unplugged our extra freezer -We stopped using bleach and dryer sheets in the laundry
-We save glass jars and store clean water for emergencies
-We have a closet devoted to food storage and emergency supplies
-We use the library, paperbackswap.com and swaptree.com instead of buying new books
Over- Consumption is Destroying Everything List
1. Is this purchase something I need?
2. Do I already own something that will serve the same purpose?
3. Can I borrow one instead of buying new?
4. Can I make something that will serve the same purpose?
5. Can I buy a used one?
5. Would someone be willing to split the cost and share this with me?
6. Can I buy or commission one made locally?
7. Can I buy one that was made with environmentally responsible materials?
8. Can I buy one that serves more than one purpose?
9. Can I get something human powered instead of gas or electric?
10. Can I compost or recycle it when I’m done with it?
11. What is the impact on the environment of the full life cycle of it?
12. Does the manufacture or disposal of it damage the environment?
Mindfulness is really the answer to a lot of problems in people's lives.
There is a storm brewing and pretty much everyone is on board our faltering ship.
The debate is over.
We are near the end of cheap oil. Maybe not as grim and bleak as this picture shows, but something is going to happen unless drastic changes and new innovations rise up to meet this challenge.
Oil demand is rising quickly, in places such as China, India and the Middle East -combined with the already high demand in all other developed countries around the world...
Meanwhile the supply is diminishing-(Oil is a non-renewable resource- no one is making more dinosaurs).
In the past, the International Energy Agency and the USs Energy Information Administration have forecast that oil supplies will increase with rising demand. They are not optimistic anymore. Recently the IEA conducted a large study of the 400 most important oil fields to determine the ability of the oil industry to keep up with the demand. The result is a "sharp downward revision of its oil supply forecast." Click here to read it.
So what we are looking at is...
no more cheap gas, cheap food, or cheap products (that use oil in their manufacturing). It means bankrupt businesses, and a depression..
and forget vacations and other air travel- this problem will ground planes (three major
This pending emergency will affect how we produce food, how we conduct commerce and trade, how we travel, how we acquire and spend money. It will affect every area of our lives from health care to feeding our families to our kids education.
The time to act is now-
1. Buy or grow food closer to home. Local farming. Start paying attention to agriculture. Learn fast.
2. Support the build up of creative, small urban economies/communities. Local shops, local suppliers. Local everything. Suburban sprawl needs to be retrofitted into sustainable communities. Do business over the Internet. Support industries that use and/or create renewable energy resources.
3. Move. Live close to where you work, shop and spend your time. Walking/ biking distance to everything. Small homes. High-rises. The mansions need to house more families.
4. Use less energy . Learn to live and be happy without dependency on energy and shopping. Read books, garden, eat raw, use solar products, cook from scratch, make homemade products. Lower consumption. Use thrift stores. Reduce. Recycle. Reuse. Read about the survivalists . Consider adopting some or all of their ideas.
5. Fix the passenger rail system. Improve all public transport.
6. We need to switch over to electric-powered or hybrid transport of all kinds, such as small cars, electric scooters and small buses.
7. Trucks and trains need to be converted from diesel to natural gas.
8. Farmers should run their equipment using biodiesel.
9. Everyone needs to focus on inventing/engineering new solutions. Invest in solutions.
10. When disaster strikes, don’t expect the government to save you. Learn how to self-sustain. (Check out this house) Be prepared.
The MAJOR concerns:
Pressure on government leaders over rising oil prices may cause the following (dangerous) actions , instead of the above
1. End the longstanding ban on drilling in environmentally sensitive areas including
2. Resort to dirty coal. Therefore abandoning lower carbon emissions goals, causing carbon dioxide levels to sky rocket to dangerous levels, setting the course for catastrophic, irreversible climatic disasters later on.
3. People will be unprepared, will play the blame game, and will get very angry. Public disturbances, riots, fights, etc. will cause communities to break down.
It will be a hard transition. Better start now.
Great Resources to check out: A Crude Awakening - The Oil Crash
The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream
What do you think? Do you have any other resources to suggest?
I live in a big city and oh how I love to breathe in that dirty polluted air....
|Rank||Vehicle||ACEEE Green Score|
|1.||Honda Civic GX||57|
|3.||Honda Civic Hybrid||51|
|6.||Nissan Altima Hybrid||46|
|8.||Chevrolet Cobalt XFT/Pontiac G5 XFE||45|
|10.||Chevrolet Aveo/Aveo 5||44|
|11.||Toyota Camry Hybrid||44|
Source: ACEEE's "Green Book: The Environmental Guide to Cars and Trucks"
Sustainable living is a lifestyle change. It is a new self-image.
What To Do When Your Spouse (Best Friend, Boyfriend, Parents, Neighbor, etc.) Isn't Sustainable and How To Influence Others
Sustainability: Spread the word, man...
You've been doing great and then...
- LOWER STRESS
- IMPROVED LIFE QUALITY
- LIFE GIVING
Harvard Biologist E.O. Wilson hypothosized that we thrive in the presence of nature and suffer in its absence. Proof of this theory is that nature is reflected in the modern world in art, where people want to live, the plants and animals we keep indoors with us, and desired vacations to natural environments.
Some people believe that the natural world and spirituality are linked. Studies show that a view of nature outside a window is good for health, being out in nature can lower stress, pets are also good for health and improve quality of life.
It is also obvious that we need clean air and water for happiness and survival.
In my own life, I long to live near a lake with trees and mountains or by the ocean. Nature is calming and restoring. Currently, I spend time taking walks and looking out my windows to take in what I can. Even the sound of rain outside my window is appealing.
In order for future generations to have access to the nature we enjoy today the world must change its current path of destruction toward a sustainable future.
Ecological sustainability will require a change in our economic focus away from consumerism and towards a new green economy.
Americans are so rich compared to much of the world. We have so much purchasing power. This power can have long-term hazardous effects.
We often don't see water as the precious resource it is....
Another reason water is declining is the widespread use of fresh water for various human uses (water mixing with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, chemicals, cleaning agents, etc.). This has led to polluted groundwater systems which ultimately leads to a decreased water supply.
The Ogallala Aquifer Depletion (
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and ) Nebraska
Funny how I am trying to conserve water at the same time I am trying to drink more of it!
-use rain barrels at the end of downspouts to water gardens or other needs (i.e. washing car)
-turn off the water when brushing teeth
-don't rinse dishes before the dishwasher and never wash dishes by hand
-use water conserving appliances
-use environmentally friendly cleaning solutions (such as vinegar and lemon juice)
-don't use chemicals