I've been trying hard for years to change my lifestyle to be more environmental aware. I always like to throw around the line I am a hippie liberal, but maybe one time after some reflection felt how I lived wasn't so much.
I've done a ton of things (or so I like to think), which I will outlined blow the fold, but I still feel I am totally lacking. I like to think I will note a few things others here are not doing or have not thought of. But I KNOW others here are far beyond me and will laugh and say, "dude there is so much more you could do, then list those things." I would like that!
So without further intro, lets get to it.
I now have a large garden, raised bed. Made my own soil, no chemicals. Compost bin (not been very successful BTW). Just installed a rain barrel so I don't use "tap" water to water my yard/garden. Clearly recycle everything. I am down to less then a single full bag of trash a week.
I get about 70% of my food from local folks (meat). Heck factor out eggs, I only eat meat a few times a week (I realize eggs are in that meat but not meat zone). Trying to work with the city to put in a chicken coop, but there seems to be some "gray" area there and working through it.
I have a $40,000 German sedan (new, not worth that now) and I rarely drive it. I got my Cannondale mountain bike and saddle bags and I have figured out our bus and rail system, which is pretty amazing since I live in a rural area, not a major metro area. Now I will note I work out of my house, so this is easier for me then most, but if I didn't have to buy like 40 pounds of kitty litter or go on a date where I didn't want to pick up the women on a bicycle, I am not sure I'd need a car :).
Little things. Every light bulb in my house is energy efficient. Installed all low-flow toilets. Heck please don't laugh or mock me for this, but many years ago I used to buy pot from this 60s Deadhead. He had a sign in this bathroom that said:
If it is yellow let it mellow. If it is brown flush it down.Now I drink a ton of water, so my urine is often clear with NO odor. I don't flush my toilet after every use. People have found this strange, but alas I don't so much care.
One area I am really proud of, if just a little thing. I am somewhat OCD and I have "germ" issues. I didn't realize how much money I spent on household cleaning items. Much less paper towels. I now buy like a quart of bleach every few months. Water and bleach into a reusable spray bottle. Those tee shirts I've been wearing for 15 years that look like total shit with holes in them, well they would work as rags wouldn't they? I buy no Windex or other cleaners, much less paper towels.
But what I am most proud about is my power usage. My bill used to average throughout the year, around $160. Now it is $85. I had a low month in March of $65.95. I did this via in the winter dressing in layers and keeping the temp lower. In the summer I installed an attic fan. I have also become totally anal about my use of power. I mean totally anal. No light or something using power is left on for a second longer than needed. I never thought this would make a difference, but my gosh it sure does.
So that is what I got. I'd love to hear what other folks are doing. What I could do I am not doing. And if you have some basic questions, cause I am nothing close to an expert here, I might be able to offer something of value.