I already posted 10 Green Goals for 2012 last week. But today, I'm going to focus on some additional very modest resolutions related more directly to energy usage and climate change.
1. Cancel catalogs.
Last year I published a series of posts called Goodbye, Junk Mail. After ordering a few things around the holidays, though, I am receiving a few unwanted catalogs. I've been saving the address labels in a special spot and now I just need to actually cancel the catalogs. Should take far less time than writing this post. Looking back at my Cancel Catalogs post, I also realize that I neglected to take my own advice and order from a live person whenever possible so that I could tell the representative "Do not send me catalogs. Do not share my information with others." Any other tips for dodging unwanted catalogs?
2. Use fewer paper products.
Yes, I already use cloth napkins and rags instead of paper towels. I am pondering what to do about tissues and toilet paper. Do I want to cough up the money for recycled paper products, or just switch to reusables?Yes, folks, some people use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper! I already wipe my two potty trained kids' bottoms with cloth wipes (a natural extension of cloth diapering really), so really it's about what the adults in the house use. I've also used reusable tissues (a.k.a. handkerchiefs -- we used mini single-use-before-washing ones from cut up T-shirts), but was not thrilled with them. Please share your favorite alternatives to conventional TP and tissues.
3. Turn off power strips at night.
Easy to do. Easy not to do. Since our power strips are carefully tucked away behind cut up cardboard boxes and furniture, this actually does require a modicum of effort. Maybe I should buy some of those "Smart" power strips. How do you avoid having a "phantom energy load"?
4. Eat a lower-carbon diet.Did you read the Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health, published by Environmental Working Group last year? I was surprised to learn about the large carbon footprint of cheese. We already eat little meat, and we try to insure that the meat we eat is organic, local and humanely raised. But we could still stand to up our bean intake and lower our meat/cheese intake. I only recently switched to organic cheese, and it's so much more expensive than regular cheese that I've naturally reduced consumption some already (and monitor waste like a hawk!). Still, I'd like to be more conscientious about our family's cheese consumption and also get a bit more creative with beans. What is your favorite bean recipe?
5. Sign lots of petitions.
Although I believe individual action is important, what we really need with respect to climate change is collective and political action. What are your best suggestions for effective online activism?
How will you fight climate change in 2012?