Sunday, March 28, 2010

of spring, the earth and ebooks...

The weather here in the Finger Lakes has turned cold again after several days of positively balmy temperatures. While I know this cold snap is simply Mother Nature’s way of reminding us it’s still March, I certainly enjoyed getting out into the garden and turning over the soil in preparation for this year’s planting.

Being forced back indoors has given me time for reflection instead of action. An ardent composter, recycler, turn-off-the-lights-when-you-leave-the-room nag gives me the environmentalist label in our household. I hang some of my laundry out to dry; I make paper from the lint. I grow a few vegetables. We’ve been using cloth napkins for everyday for years and use the wax paper from cereal boxes instead of buying it new (and believe me, we eat a LOT of cereal! My son seems to think there’s no other food group and would have it for all three meals and snacks if I let him). In spite of all the things we already do, I find myself asking, what ELSE? What more can we do?

And the answer is, “very little.” I need to sell a few more books before I can put in the solar electric system my husband has his eye on. Same deal with getting hybrid cars and solar heating. The tax breaks help, but the price is still high. We manage to only put one grocery bag’s worth of garbage into the landfill each day(our town charges by the pound and believe me, that gave us incentive to recycle even more things), but I’m constantly looking for ways to reduce even that amount. Buying in bulk helps reduce packaging – sometimes. I hate when I buy a big box of something, thinking it’s going to be less “stuff” and find inside that they’ve simply put two of the smaller size packages with all the wrapping still intact. Now I not only have what I would have if I’d bought smaller, but I have the larger wrap around it as well. Grrr…

Of course, buying ebooks is always a greener way to go (shameless plug). Although there have been some debates about the use of electricity vs. paper mill pollution, I’m inclined to think the ebooks win. They certainly win as far as storage is concerned. Less clutter means less dust means less pollution, right? That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!

Okay…so what are the ways you help the environment as the weather turns warm and we come out of our winter cocoons? Give me some ideas for my what ELSE?



Lynn LaFleur said...

Sounds like you're doing all the right things, Diana. My niece got on the recycling kick about three months ago. I'd already saved my aluminum cans, but now I save paper (sheets and shredded), cardboard and plastic for her. I take everything to my sister's every two weeks. My niece takes care of it from there.

I drive very little, so that saves on gas usage and pollution. Living in a small town helps that cause. I can get to everything I need within a four-mile radius.


Lynn LaFleur said...

Oops, forgot to say 95% of the books I buy now are ebooks. Love my ereader!


Diana said...

Combining errands is a wonderful way to cut down on gas use, Lynn. The town I live in is tiny so we spend too much time going back and forth to the nearest city (15 miles away). On Saturdays we do the "big loop" circling around and doing all the chores and errands in order so we don't backtrack and that helps.

And good on the recycling! :)