Small Ways to be Green[er]

Well, it’s become pretty clear that neither my finances nor the condo association will let me install even a small solar power system (come on, how cool are these solar patio covers?), much less a very discreet small wind turbine. And much as I love the idea of composing, I don’t have a backyard and the idea of having worms and decomposing food (other than the stuff at the back of the fridge) anywhere in my very small kitchen scores pretty high on the ick factor.

But I’m constantly reminded that there are things well within my budget and power to do that can make a small but definite difference (over the course of my lifetime, if nothing else). Here are two that I came across this week that I want to try.

  1. Ditching the shampoo. Shampoo (whose etymology goes back to Sanskrit) can actually be pretty bad for the environment in a number of ways. The more you use, the more plastic you consume. Not only that, the more  chemicals you’re exposed to (some of them pretty toxic), the more go down the drain as well. I’ve heard baking soda is a good hair cleanser, if you don’t mind the lack of bubbles, and that not shampooing — at least not every day — is actually better for your hair.
  2. Bringing my own utensils to lunch. I debated this morning between a plastic fork and a stainless steel one and realized that my inclination to go with the plastic was due solely to the fact that I didn’t want to lose the nice one.  I dug a mismatched metal one out of the bottom of the drawer and stuck it in the lunch bag instead. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.

The next big hurdle: plastic sandwich bags!


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