Friday, December 27, 2019

Intentions for 2020: Eco-Friendly Edition

I have been trying, for years, to lesson my impact on my local climate. I've been using cloth napkins only for almost a decade, and I've switched over to reusable straws. I recycle everything I possibly can, and drive a car with excellent fuel economy (at some point I will go hybrid or electric, but when I bought Sylvie, I was not in the financial position to spend more, and I will drive her until she can drive no more).

Since California's most recent drought, I have avoided bottled water on principle. Even now, if I want sparkling water, I buy it in a can, which has a better chance of being recycled.

And...while this may sound straight out of the Depression Era, I'm not ashamed to admit that I wash and re-use Ziploc bags. It's not that hard to wash them out with hot soapy water and leave them in the dish drain to dry completely. When my current box gives out, I'll probably buy the fancy re-usable ones.

For 2020, I want to up my game, so to speak. So a few days ago, I bought three new reusable shopping totes on Amazon. I've been using reusable bags for a long time now, before they started charging for bags at the stores. But my collection is starting to get a bit holey and worn out, so I invested in three sturdy new ones. I'll keep the old--they make great laundry bags when traveling, and have other purposes.

Another new thing I'm trying is reusable cloth menstrual pads. I read an article recently about menstrual cups, and for various reasons I won't go into here (you're welcome), they don't sound very practical for me. However, I do worry about waste. I'm at a point where my period-having years are waning, but I'm happy to give over to a new method of dealing with it. So I bought a set of the pads, and look forward to seeing how they work out for me.

This last year, I took four major trips that involved airplanes, and I know that does not help my carbon footprint. I'm still working on ways to justify my travel addiction with the obvious impact it has on the planet. That's a tough one; but I do feel that if I make small and large changes in other areas, it does mitigate some of that.

For a start, using less plastic.

Living in a condo, composting is hard, but I have been able in the past to make small amounts of it for my potted plants. I intend to do more of that in the coming year, and perhaps spread it around in the plants in the common area around my building. For that, I use eggshells (calcium!), fruit and veg discards, tea bags, and other food waste, keeping it in a seal-able container in the fridge until it's time to blend it into a mulch.

As with anyone else, I'm a work in progress, but I like to think that each step is in the right direction.