Climate Change Resolutions


This month the Green Moms are blogging about Resolutions to Fight Climate Change. Check out Strocel.com on Monday, January 23 for links to all the other submissions. 

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?

10 comments:

  1. fantastic link to the 'meat eater's guide'- i also had no idea cheese has a large carbon footprint! I'll definitely be heading over there to read up.

    Unfortunately I have no ideas or suggestions to share w you. I'm also not a fan of hankerchiefs, but we've found some tissues that are made with recycled fibres that aren't that much more expensive.... Not sure if that would be the case in the US though....
    L

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  2. Wonderful tips! In addition to Catalogs, one can get off other "junk" mail by signing up here:
    http://www.directmail.com/directory/mail_preference/Default.aspx

    Phantom loads ... anything that shows the current time is using energy so we went around the house and unplugged those items. We also unplugged our phone charger ... it's another phantom.

    We love beans in our house. One of my favorite dishes is posted here:
    http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com/2010/02/vegan-recipe-skillet-white-beans.html
    It's yummy! There are several others on my Vegan Recipe on my blog.

    I've been contacting my local representatives about various Eco-issues. I also frequent the "take action" section of Care2 ... I think there is power in numbers.

    Thanks, again, for a wonderful post!

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  3. Hello! Well, since I have a vegetarian blog... here is a link to my bean recipes: http://allamericanvegetarian.blogspot.com/search/label/beans

    My current favorite bean dish is Mulligatawny Soup. Perfect for chilly winter weather!

    Great suggestions on ways to improve...not sure about cloth wipes instead of toilet paper, though ;) But, I am a household which definitely uses too much paper products, even though I buy recycled ones or ones that are part of sustainable tree farming. I want to switch to cloth napkins, just have to remember to buy them!

    I also did the same thing as you with regards to cancelling catalogs - it always happens when we move to a new home and still receive the previous owners catalogs. Insane how many catalog companies are out there and the amt of waste - paper, time, and money!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    ~Rebecca

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  4. Great list of resolutions! I really need to work on turning off our power strips. Everything is plugged into them-just need to take that next step and flick the switch. I keep canceling all of my catalogs and they keep showing up. It's very frustrating. I think it would be a full time job to get them all to stop!

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  5. Thank you for the comments and recipe links! All-American, you can find some great cloth napkins on Etsy, but that's no necessarily the cheapest route. I would recommend 100% cotton ones -- or just not synthetic -- my cotton/poly blend ones don't absorb well, which really bugs me (that napkin needs to double as a towel when someone spills her milk at dinner!).

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  6. I use some very affordable cloths from Reuseit for tissues- http://www.reuseit.com/store/reuseit-hemp-organic-cotton-napkin-p-2943.html?slave_id=2808 They also work for cloth napkins but I feel like they make nice tissues and I have TONS of cloth napkins so that's what I use them for. Now when I have a cold I break out recycled tissues because well you can only keep so many cloth tissues around.

    We use recycled TP, 7th Gen from Amazon so no plastic. I would use cloth for #1 but not sure the husband would be up for that haha. He is pretty understanding so not sure I will push that one yet. :)

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  7. Lisa, thank you for the recommendations! I am going to watch for those napkins to go on sale and then stock up -- they look like good ones.

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  8. Great recommendations! I have been doing the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart and have not missed meat at all! I plan to continue eating mostly Vegan/Vegetarian, but I need some meat/fish because of low B12 levels.

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  9. A few months ago, I cut up a pair of my husband's ripped pajamas to use for handkerchiefs. I cut the pieces large enough to use multiple times; so far, my son and I are the only ones who use them. We still keep one box of tissues in the house--as Lisa Sharp says, when you have a cold, you just need more tissues handy, and my hubby is less keen on the handkerchief idea. Also, I don't really expect guests to bring their own handkerchiefs, or use ours!

    I don't know if you like spicy food, but here's a super easy lentil recipe which makes a filling and super-cheap dinner (I serve it over rice; you can add other veggies to it if you like): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-masoor-daal/

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  10. I love all of these suggestions to fight climate change - and they are all things that anyone can do. I really want to do a lot, but so much depends on my health and the choices of others. :)

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