Somewhat related to my post a few days ago (Best and Worst) , I’ve been thinking about some of my other favorite possessions that over the years have reduced my impact on the environment. You see, I’ve been an environmentalist since long before it was fashionable. Frugality and stepping lightly were part of my upbringing by parents who lived through the Great Depression and simply don’t know any other way to live. I didn’t change these things over a conscripted period of time, but have pursued this lifestyle for as long as I can remember. As I said in my earlier post, I’m not perfect – who is?
In any case, these are a few of my favorite things:
DivaCup (possibly a little tmi for the gentlemen out there, but let’s just say I’ve not bought any tampons in years) / combined with cloth pads made from hemp fleece – makes for happy and green monthlies.
Nalgene Waterbottle – which I fill up evey morning with ice water and carry with me everywhere I go. If there is one thing I despise, it is disposable water bottles. Every time I work on a creek cleanup, we find them by the dozens floating down toward the sea. This bottle is made of polycarbonate and is extremely durable and does not pick up unappetizing smells or taste, even after years of use. There is some controversy on the use of these plastic-based water bottles (should one morally use something made from plastic at all, even if it is re-used over and over?; are there harmful chemicals leaching from the plastic into your water?), but I’m sticking to mine because the alternatives (glass? constant water fountain seeking?) is not viable to me.
IKEA clothes drying rack (aka FROST). The one household chore I (sort of) enjoy is laundry. And it’s easier all the time to green it up. For one thing, use cold water rather than hot. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water(!). Second, use a small amount (half the recommended amount is usually fine) toxic chemical free powdered (powdered is less energy-intensive to transport) detergent like Biokleen. And finally, hang your clothes to dry (hanging indoors works just fine). It’s the new hot thing – even the New York Times says so: To Fight Global Warming, Some Hang a Clothesline
What are some of your favorite things?