Rhymes With Fuchsia

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

It's not that easy being green. Old habits die hard. In honor of Earth Day on Thursday, however, today's Ten on Tuesday is ten ways to be green. I don't have anything new here, and I do some of these, while I'm still working on others.

Ten Ways To Be Green
  1. Whenever possible, carpool in the highest-mileage vehicle available. Grant and I work about a mile apart about 15 miles from home, and we started carpooling about five years ago in an attempt to be at least slightly greenish. This also saves us money on gas, but not a whole lot, and gives us an hour each carpool day of uninterrupted adult-conversation time, which we didn't even think about but which turns out to be priceless.
  2. Better yet, work from home. Of course this one isn't feasible for everyone. My employer unfortunately frowns on the practice, but I do work from home a few hours a week, more at crunch times. Grant has been working at home on Fridays for a year or so.
  3. Don't eat meat, or don't eat red meat. When I went on the Diet From Hell I started eating red meat again; with all the dietary restrictions it was just too hard not to. Now that I've been able to bend the diet here and there it's probably time to stop again. I've read that chicken takes three times as much energy to raise as vegetables, and pork five or six times, but beef takes 20 or more times as much and also pollutes more than anything else.
  4. Buy local produce whenever possible.
  5. The rest of my items are relatively small potatoes, but, hey, every little bit helps. For example... Lower thermostats at night and when no one is home. We have a timer on one of our thermostats, and we should get one for the other one.
  6. Do laundry in cold water. Most of the energy used in washing clothes goes to heat the water, and most laundry doesn't need warm water. I save up stained items and whiter-than-whites until I have a full load's worth.
  7. Hang laundry out to dry. I don't use the dryer unless the snow is deep or we've had no sun for three days. (My son the Random Laundry Generator seems to pick rainy days to need five changes of clothing, but I suspect that this is the same phenomenon that makes it seem like you get stuck behind a Sunday driver only when you're in a hurry.)
  8. Unplug anything you won't use for a while. Apparently power strips and a lot of appliances draw some power even when they're turned off.
  9. Make as few trips as possible. We usually do shopping and errands on the way home from work.
  10. This one sounds really stupid, but it does count: use energy-saving light bulbs, and turn them off when leaving the room.

Now I have to go read what everyone else said and see what I missed.


  • Something that's obvious to you might be a new idea to someone else - that's why it's great to write these lists!

    By Blogger Carole Knits, at 5:38 PM  

  • We have curbside recycling. It makes it easy to go green.

    I COULD take the bus to work. It would take an hour and a half longer eachway if I catch the express. aotherwise, add another 50 minutes. I'm not prepared to be that green.

    Grass-fed beef is a whole different animal from feed-lot beef when it comes to resource comsumption and pollution production.

    By Blogger Roxie, at 2:38 AM  

  • Don't forget to compost. I feed my indoor worm compost every day - nothing to show for it yet, but no one said composting was fast. It does make me feel good though! Anne H

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 PM  

  • Actually air drying your clothes on a clothes line or clothes drying rack is very beneficial. From most of the information that I have read, 6-10% of domestic energy use in the USA comes from drying clothes. That is huge potential savings.

    By Blogger Mary Q Contrarie, at 9:08 AM  

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