Maybe I didn’t save the world in 2010, but I did make a number of earth-friendly changes in my own slow inching towards sustainability. Odds are good that if you’re reading this, you did too. So although they might seem pretty paltry and insignificant against things like ocean acidification and mass extinction, well — we need some encouragement to get us to continue making more changes, bigger changes. These are some of the things I acomplished last year. You?
Things I made instead of buying
- cat toys (bet you never knew dried up twigs were fun)
- kitty litter bags from newspaper
- cleaning supplies
- sugar facial scrub
- almond milk
- ‘nut milk bag’ (i.e. square of cotton muslin)
- orange juice
- ceramic bowls
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- candied citrus peel
- a whole lot of other food. This was my year for cooking.
- frozen dinners (thank you, leftovers)
Things I replaced with better things
- cloth dishrags in the kitchen instead of paper
- clothesline instead of dryer (whenever possible)
- baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice instead of bleach and ammonia
- all natural skin and hair care instead of chemical-laden products
- cloth pads instead of disposables
- plant-based milk instead of resource-intensive dairy milk (some of the time)
- organic produce instead of conventional (wherever I have a choice)
- local honey instead of imported
- bulk bin items instead of packaged foods (rice, beans, salt, flour, polenta, oatmeal, popcorn, olive oil, etc.)
- reusable produce bags instead of plastic ones
- glass tupperware instead of plastic
- reused packaging supplies instead of new.
- recycled tin foil for regular
- biodegradable kitty litter instead of strip-mined clay litter.
Things I learned to do without
- Single serve anything. It’s a waste of packaging.
- Having every appliance plugged in all the time and ready to go.
- New clothing. I may have gotten one or two pieces last year. The rest was all used, and it was fine.
- Buying shoes. I really only wear two pairs anyway.
- Cushy toilet paper. Virgin forests deserve more dignity.
- Conditioner. My hair is fine without it.
- Shopping for the sake of shopping.
- Driving for the sake of driving.
It’s likely 2011 will bring more changes as I think/learn more about my actions and how I’m part of the problem. Now it’s your turn. What changes did you make in 2010?