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Old 03-13-2007, 10:11 PM   #1
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I just finished taking my trash and recycles out. I was just wondering what the rest of you do about recycling. My teen years were the late 60's early 70's and I remember the focus we had on ecology then. I even had a green American flag sticker on the back of my Mustang window.

I remember the slogan YELLOW is MELLOW if it's BROWN flush it DOWN.

Angie and I save all soda and water bottles for our church school. They use the money for supplies for our youth.

During the week we separate our cans/bottles/plastic for one container and all of our newspapers (I take 3) for another container. Then we smash all of our cardboard and set all these out with the trash for recycle. We also have green waste containers here.

We take all of our batteries, paints and oils to the reclaim center. We pick up free mulch and compost for our yard at the recycle plant.

We try to save as much water as we can. In fact nephew Ron tries to single handily SAVE THE WORLD of all it's water shortage by not showering!

WHAT DO YOU DO TO SAVE THE WORLD?
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:22 PM   #2
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You mean aside from working in the environmental clean-up industry while studying to be a teacher?

I recycle, I buy organic produce from an independent farm's co-op, I drive an old, beat-up car (although the gas mileage is starting to trend toward iffy territory). I buy in bulk, when I can, to reduce packaging. I wear my clothes until they're threadbare and Freecycle those I shrink out of. I shop at thrift stores instead of big boxes, when I can. I recycle my electronics.

Always, there's more to do, but I'm focused on doing what I can instead of freaking out about what I'm NOT doing. (And I'm less of a hippie than I sound.)

My next big eco-challenge will be to ditch my car and rely solely on public/bicycle transportation. I'm not there, yet, but it's coming.

Barring that, I want a greasecar. (I also want a strawbale house or an Earthship, but the Other Human nixed those ideas, so greasecar it is.)
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:16 PM   #3
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We recycle everything, but it's hard not to when it's all laid right out for us at our apartment complex. Instead of getting rid of any of our electronics and computers, hubby fixes them up and gives them to friends and family that need them. I take the bus to work every day and never even bothered to get a driver's license. I carpool home most days or take the bus.

I really think living in Eugene,OR it's hard NOT to be environmentally conscientious. It's practically done for you already.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:45 PM   #4
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Oh MAN yes, this is really a dear subject to me.
I try not to waste anything - not just recycling paper but using it if it doesn't need to be shredded - for lists, for personal use printing (use the other side) -
Instead of the "paper or plastic" question, I alternate my requests at the store, and as a result, I have a supply of garbage bags. Put the plastic one inside the paper one, and put my trash in it instead of buying trash bags. Yes, Cinderly, I wear my clothes forever too! And my car gets an avg of 40 mpg (city and hwy, including sometimes using the AC) And I have a real ceramic bowl for food at work so I don't have to use disposable. I'm sure there are other examples, but it's so automatic I don't even think about it much. I'm sure I screw up sometimes though, or could do better....I should bring my own containers for doggy bags at restaurants. And I'm sure there are about 92374 other examples. But I'm sleepy.....
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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I recycle, shut off all lights when not in a room, don't turn on lights during day and raise shades on windows. When I am not sharing a bathroom I will let my yellow mellow 2x if possible. I'm not getting into details. I also try and buy organic produce.
Eh, I'm not saving the world, but it is some type of effort. I would go solar panel and buy a hybrid if I could afford it. Sometimes being green is expensive (organic produce a prime example).

I once saw this little news story on the BBC that featured this reallly green Japanese family. They even had a toilet that had a sink and faucet on the top of it and when the toilet flushed the faucet would spout out water so you could wash you hands in the water that would then fill up the toilet again. I am not totally convinced of the hygiene there though.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:50 AM   #6
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Geez, I feel like a fat lazy wasteful American! My only contribution is reading the news online instead of buying and then tossing newspapers and that's moreso because I'm too cheap to buy the paper. Public transportation in Detroit / Metro Detroit is horrible (city planners felt it would be better to have everyone buy a car to boost economy instead of making it easier for people to get to work) so I drive every day.

Hmmmm, I need to make more of a commitment to not being wasteful.

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Old 03-14-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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Moving to Tennesse was like moving back in time when in comes to environmental consciousness....go figure...the state from which Al Gore came. Anyway, nothing is made easy around here. At home (in KC) recycling was required...here, it's a JOB. I have to keep containers in the garage and then when they're full I have to drive across town to deliver them to a recycle trailer. And that's new! Before that we COULDN'T recycle. Still, I can't get used to the garbage services not doing it for us. Also, there is no cohesive public transportation here in the suburbs and no parking station closer in. It makes no sense. I do drive a gas friendly (if it exists) car but with 4 kids a hybrid just isn't feasible. Lights stay off...toilets flush only when necessary....clothes dry on the line, mostly....dishwasher runs ONLY when LOADED to the hilt and no heated dry....clothes get worn then used as cleaning cloths if they're too bad to donate....those are a few of the things I do.

Before I moved here I felt I was much "greener" (even my job was green!) and I'm sad about who I've become in that regard.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:25 AM   #8
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We recycle everything which is a pain because we don't have curb side pick up for glass so have to save and then transport it. Not too horrible though as the bins are in the grocery store parking lot so just have to remember to actually get the recyclables into the car before we leave.

Speaking of cars, we probably only drive about once or twice a week, on average and those are short trips. I walk just about every where I go or take the train (sort of draw the line at the insanity that is the bus service around here - seriously the driving is so maniacal I have literally gotten off the bus and vomited into a near-by trash can!) My husband commutes by train every day.

I take advantage of those charity bags that come along and will donate things like clothes, shoes, eye glasses, toys, books and whatnot.

I reuse my grocery bags. I get odd looks sometimes when I plop them up on the counter but a few times, people have said "way to go". I want to actually start collecting a stock of "bags for life" so I don't have to use anything else. If you don't want to reuse your plastic grocery bags then at least recycle them.

I try to wash my dishes by hand instead of running the dishwasher and I try to hang most of my laundry to dry instead of using the dryer.

I unplug all appliances that are not in use because even if it is switched off, it still uses power.

We have replaced all our bulbs with energy-efficient ones. They're pricier so it took us a few months to get them all changed over but it's done now.

I compost kitchen and garden waste like veggie and fruit left-overs and peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, tea bags, grass and plant clippings and what-not. My big mistake was setting the composter up at the back of the garden so often times my husband will (rightfully) complain about the big bowl of decomposing veggies I've got stashed under the sink waiting to go out!

I buy Fair Trade items when they are available (like mostly mangoes, bananas and coffee at the moment as I'm petitioning our local grocery to stock Fair Trade sugar and tea). This isn't necassarily eco-warrioring but it is my attempt to be a good global citizen.

I'm all for saving water by turning it off while brushing teeth and doing dishes and stuff but I have to draw the line at leaving any sort of waste in the toilet, whatever the color. I want hubby to install a water butt (that makes me giggle) in the garden for outdoor use.

Turn down your washing machine by just a degree or two and that will also make a big difference, too and wash on the shorter cycles.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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I thought of a couple more...because these are things ANYONE can do no matter where you live...

I no longer buy books..but strictly use the library...I have found that even if they don't have it (we live in a small town) they will order it for me.

I have requested all bills to be sent to me electronically rather than paper bills in the mail.

When I get junk mail that have the return envelopes (for whatever they're wanting you to apply for or buy) I use those envelope....They work fine when the crap is covered up with a big label! haha
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:32 AM   #10
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I would LOVE to compost! Great idea. I'm just not sure how to begin. I'm going to check into compost bins right now!

Also, I try and buy mainly from local farmers when produce is in season (unless it's something I grow myself like herbs, tomatoes, and some peppers). We also use the energy efficient flourescent bulbs, reuse grocery bags, shower rather than bathe, etc...

Great thread! Keep the ideas coming. I find this very encouraging!
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:14 PM   #11
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At my old house we did some composting--but mostly just the yard clippings. The recycling wasn't as extensive as it is at my new house.

Now we recycle just about everything.

We have 3 "garbage" cans: 1 for garbage (that rarely even gets half full), 1 for green waste (yard clippings, etc.) and 1 for recycling that always gets heaping full.

I use some cloth bags for grocery shopping, otherwise I recycle the bags.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:44 PM   #12
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Tricia, I agree that it's a pain to haul the recycling cross town, but I can't imagine the guilt I'd feel at not doing so.

For those of us who are non-composters, we've had incredible response on both Freecycle and Craigslist for lawn clippings and bagged leaves. Folks who go to the trouble, even here, are thrilled to come and get the leaves, particularly, to use as mulch.

Along a similar line as the library books, I've taken to selling off a bunch of old books and CDs to a local used books shop. They'll give me either cash or in-store credit AND help me declutter without clogging the landfill. Anything they won't take goes into the Bookcrossing box.

I've thought about making reusable grocery sacks, but haven't researched how they do with the self-checkout stands. (Anyone know?) In the meantime, we'll keep recycling the plastic ones.

Another minor change we made was switching our video rental practices. Instead of driving to the store -- or more than one if the movie we were after was unavailable, we're doing the Netflix thing. Beyond eliminating the car trip (mail's going to come, anyway), I'm not sure how green this is.

There's a campaign on the radio, right now: "Alaska Youth for Environmental Action invite you to take the 3-2-1 efficiency pledge!" The idea is that you replace 3 incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, turn your thermostat down 2 degrees, and unplug 1 appliance when it's not in use.

What I like about this pledge is that it's based on simple, painless steps each of us can take to better our world. What I don't like about it: I don't WANT to set my thermostat to 66 degrees! BRRRRRR!

Another fairly easy thing you can do (although not ultra cheap) is replace your existing thermostat(s) with the programmable kind, if your heating/cooling system supports it. Greener AND saves you money (vs leaving the thermostat set to the same temp all day & night) -- and we love ours, since we no longer come home to a chilly house in the evenings.

I'll think about this a bit more as I'm avoiding work, today.
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:22 PM   #13
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WOW! You gals are awesome! As if I didn't already know!

I have picked up a few tips for sure. One thing I do with those envelopes ROYALSFAN1 ~ is that I take everything out of the original envelope and put all of it, envelope included, back into the pre-paid envelope they send ~ that way they can have MY junk mail back and they can recycle their own junk into their area of the world. It also helps to keep jobs for my two friends that are postal carriers

I swing from the other side of the plate on politics and I don't believe in all the hysteria surrounding global warming but I will support Al's next movie:

3 FAT CHICK'S SAVE THE WORLD ~ 1 DEGREE AT A TIME
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:44 PM   #14
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Gary, you may not believe the hysteria, but I know that in Anchorage, it's been topping 85 with 85% humidity in August in recent years.

When I was a kid, we were begging my mom to let us play in the water at 50 degrees. She made us hold out until 60, since it rarely got above 70. (Her reasoning.) That was in the mid-1980s, so not SO long ago.

I'm just saying.

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the Hippie Liberal (although my boss calls me a less family-friendly version of same.)
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:53 PM   #15
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CINDERLY ~ How did I know you were going to be the first to respond back to me! I seriously love some of your ideas, even if we see things differently! Heck I could even go with the greasecar...if I got hungry on the long drives i could pull over and fry up some chicken!

You are a good friend!
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