Sunday, June 08, 2008

My footprint

In the past 636 days I have changed approximately 3816 diapers. I did the math.

Do you know how bad I feel about that? Every time I stick a diaper in the garbage I feel awful for polluting our earth. However, cloth diapers would have been just as bad with the water usage required. Remember our drought? Well we're now at Moderately Dry in our area, which is better than Extreme Drought, but still dry.

So I'm sitting here trying to figure out what else I do that isn't "green." I've come up with a list.

Throwing jars out occasionally instead of rinsing them out and recycling them
Using too much toilet paper
Using paper towels frequently
Paper plates
McDonald's Breakfasts (styrofoam containers for the pancakes)
Shaving legs with shower running
Not cleaning up after my dogs in the back yard
Clay cat litter instead of pine or paper based (but who the hell can afford that???)
Smoking cigarettes (butts in landfill)

That's about it. I could do better, huh?

Here's a list of things where I'm actually ok:

Leaving lights off all day and relying on sunlight
Setting thermostat at 76 (it should be 78, I know, I know, but it's better than 72...)
Recycling all cans and plastic
Not flushing every time I pee (TMI, I know)
No dryer sheets
Low wattage flourescent light bulbs
Run washer only when it's an extra large load
Run dishwasher only when full
4 cylinder vehicle
Make popcorn on the stove instead of microwave bags

So there you have it. I know I could definitely be doing better. 
How about you? Are you good at this or only so-so?


Nina said...

Um, I don't have a car. I recycle plastic and glass. I take three minute showers and I take so few of them that most of you would be grossed out if you really knew. (Dry skin, clean sweat, plus I don't care). So far this year, I haven't turned on the A/C (but that's because it is broken anyway). I will not discuss my toilet flushing habits because you'd be grossed out.

On the other hand, I drink too much bottled water and diet soda, which means I am recycling too many bottles. I don't turn off my computer and unplug it when I am not using it. (I am pretty much always using it, however). Worst thing I do is live in the most crowded city in the world, but i am not sure how bad that is. Oh! I bleach my sheets and towels. That has to be bad.

LAS said...

Came here by way of Nina...I also use way too much paper towel and tp, clay cat litter, shaving legs with the shower on, also brushing teeth with the water running...I am sure there are a bunch more. And it's next to impossible to recycle here in Chicago so I produce a ridiculous amount of trash which I do feel bad about. I did just switch to other types of cleaning products and cleaning cloths though (so no more paper towel) and I bought reusable stainless bottles from Klean Kanteen so no more plastic water bottles. There is a lot that I could do, but for some reason it seems so hard to me.

Cyn said...

I take long showers, hey I have cut them down to only 8 minutes during the week. Use to take 45 minute ones in college. Let me see, I am painting now, probably bad. Not sure about ferret litter, recently switched brands.

I recycle most everything. Take the bus to/from work. My lights are mostly off during the day. All appliances except TV and microwave are unplugged unless being used. The fancy light bulbs are in all my lamps. Run dishwasher when full. Have lots of plants. I also use Method hand soap.

Hey what is wrong with dryer sheets?

Annie said...

Oh, I do a whole lot of bad things, take long showers and use too many paper products, but I do
recycle what my town will take which is limited a bit. I also never had a car until 9 years ago, so that has to count for something and I do not drive much. I use cold to wash clothes and I always turn off everything when I am done using it. I also make it a point to use products that have the least packaging.

jennyquarx said...

That's how many diapers????? That truly is depressing. I thought about cloth for about fifteen seconds and realized I didn't have it in me. I recycle most everything, have the good lightbulbs, also don't flush every time, turn the water off when I'm brushing my teeth, but I am the paper towel queen. You would die if you knew how much we use. And clay litter, and a whole bunch of other non green things.

Em said...

I'm not even a little bit green. I don't even know how to be green.

LizB said...

I'm so-so at this. Your post prompted me to write about greener sex -- it's all your fault. Seriously, though, I've been working on this for a while now: lights are off during the day, fixed settings on the central heat/air, fancy lightbulbs, some recycling of aluminum and paper, etc. I buy recycled paper products. As a family, we're eating less meat and growing more of our own veggies. I think my biggest sins are my gas-guzzling Trailblazer, and collectively, the water we use as a family. The kids take really long showers, and we wash a lot of laundry, albeit in cold water. Personally, I believe if you're consciously doing ANYTHING to help, then you're part of the solution.