Thursday, March 26, 2009

Greenies in Training

To begin, let me say that this post is entirely out of intrigue for the recent GO GREEN fads we're seeing everywhere - from tv shows, to magazine articles, radio shows, and celebrity trends. I understand it all, and I certainly see the benefit in "going green" and living a more sustainable life. But if you're anything like me, you kind of don't really know where to start. And I do feel bad sometimes. I leave phone chargers plugged in, lights on when I leave, and stare into the fridge for minutes at a time hoping something new will miraculously appear. Recognizing my faults, I'm trying to do better and be a little more proactive.

Several of my friends are Greenies, and they've inspired me to at least do a little extra research to support my self-improvement project. Baby steps people...I'm trying. Some things I can do, but others I just can't - for instance, I would love to shop for groceries with re-usable bags, but then what will I use to pick up the dog poop? Until someone can show me a biodegradable poop bag, it's plastic for me, please.

But I have stumbled across a few resources to get me started and here are few tips I've uncovered along the way. Perhaps they will help some of you GIT's (Greenies in Training), too.

Save at the Pump. Use the lowest speed on the gas pump trigger. The slower you pump, the lower the energy rate and fewer gas vapors are expelled. It will take longer to fill a tank, but you'll actually get more gas for your money. Also, try not to pump gas from a station that has JUST received a new shipment of fuel. Typically, the newer gas is filled with more dirt particles due to tank stirring - which is bad for your engine and gas mileage. Tip seen on the show Stuff Happens on the Discovery channel Planet Green.

Bag Re-Use. When you buy toilet paper, try to buy the double roll sizes and buy in more bulk. You'll be consuming less cardboard by buying fewer rolls but still receiving the same amount of toilet paper. You can also cut a small hole at the top of the bag, so that when you run out of toilet paper, you can re-use the bag as a bathroom trashcan bag (or a doggie bag on walks!) Tip taken from Green Living for Dummies.

Surf the Net. A great website I've found is associated with the tv channel Planet Green. This site is stuffed full of Green tips from fashion and beauty to container gardening, sustainable products, green recipes, volunteer opportunities, and re-use ideas for your old junk. It's a pretty good website for us beginners, and I recommend you browse it in your free time. A few of my favorites from the site:

- Healthy Green Dog Food Diets - Feeding Man's Best Friend

- DIY: Crafty Green Projects - Using scratch supplies

- Eco-Friendly Food Quiz - Test your trivia skills

- No Green-Thumb Needed - Gardening tips for all levels

There's something for everyone and any beginner can take a tip or two away from this. From skin care, to laundry, and travel & tech tips...browse for just a minute or two and you're sure to find some improvement you can make to be a better GIT.

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