Jump to content

100-Day Sprint to a Smaller Environmental Footprint


GaryD
 Share

Recommended Posts

Day 24 of the Envrionmental Challenge - Use natural light – open up your blinds or curtains and let the daylight in.

Outcome:  Save energy - 

It's too early for me to say how thrilled (or otherwise) I am about this.  I was still trying to dial the brightness down in my retinas an hour after I jacked up the roller blinds.

There is no question that turning all of the lights off during the daylight hours will save energy.  I just have to reconcile the benefit we'll get against the cost we'll incur.  Previously, I preferred to work in semi-darkness...dimly light conditions.  If I can adapt to sheltered daylight and remain productive and comfortable, it will be a useful change to make.  

If I struggle to create a useful writing environment in full daylight we may need to see where compromise is appropriate.  

Otherwise, I'm in...for a day or two...until we get slighltly more optimisitic feedback from my eyes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Day 25...I stopped wasting words and cut back the title...Shop locally

Outcomes:  reduce barge trips...Reduce fuel - reduced operating costs - reduced consumption

It costs over $100 to do a return barge trip...then the spending starts on fuel and other vehicle costs.  By the time we return home, we will have felt the financial impact of the trip.  Buying on the island is more expensive (because everything comes by barge) but we have to balance out the added cost of buying on the island against the barge fees and other costs.

This is timely because I've been thinking about this very thing.  I have to say that any excuse not to go to the mainlaind suits me.   Deliveries to and from the island are improving because of increased building activity.

One of my first tasks in this area will be to investigate what our options are and to cost them out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 26...Stop using plastic garbage bags.

Outcomes:  Reduce use of single use plastics.

A couple of days ago, I found myself caring for an impaired neighbour and, acting on here instructions, I removed a plastic drawstring bag and put it out into the collection bin.  That was alredy fully of similar bags.  When I returned to the kitchen, I found a replacement plastic bin liner and put that it place.  The effect of this was that we were use a better-grade of plastic to seal up lesser grades of a mixture of plastics...and what ever smearings of organic matter and chemicals to make each of them its own little toxic dump.  While my own situation is not quite so desparate, it gave me a glimpse of what most people do and it still invites improvement in my processes.  

Interestingly, this is the first active date of new Queensland legislation banning the use of single use plastics in the catering industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Gary,

I've been following your progress and previously looked at Ande's original thread on this...I find your little initiatives interesting.

Personally I'm doing my bit in a different way with my solar panels and solar battery but this still rquires a different way of doing things, for instance, stack the dish washer and put it on during the day when you won't be using the battery, rather the sunlight as opposed to puting it on at night and letting it do it's thing while you are sleeping. I find it amazing the financial savings you can make whilst looking after the environment as well.

Same as you I guess but different.

Keep up the good work mate.

Cheers.

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 27...Educate others...in growing food.

Outcome:  More people growing food = happier planet.

This was an easy one and I'm happy to grab it.  I've been writing about small-scale food production for over three decades.  If anything, the pace of writing is likely to become even more pronounced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, bigdaddy said:

Hi Gary,

I've been following your progress and previously looked at Ande's original thread on this...I find your little initiatives interesting.

Personally I'm doing my bit in a different way with my solar panels and solar battery but this still rquires a different way of doing things, for instance, stack the dish washer and put it on during the day when you won't be using the battery, rather the sunlight as opposed to puting it on at night and letting it do it's thing while you are sleeping. I find it amazing the financial savings you can make whilst looking after the environment as well.

Same as you I guess but different.

Keep up the good work mate.

Cheers.

This was intended to be a purely personal journey...tailored to my specific circumstances.  Everyone will be different.

I'm hopeful that a solar system is on our horizons, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 28...Get to know my Garbage Bin.  Do a waste audit on the bins.

Outcome:  More effective waste separation.

This strategy had its origins out in the garbage bag one of a couple of days ago.  When I think about it, I need to refresh on what goes in what bin and I'm probably overdue to work how much of everything we throw away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 29...Expand my use of Cruise control

Outcome:  Save fuel - save money - more focussed driving

This is something that I began to play with sometime back.  Indeed, my interest in cruise control in vehicles began with my last speeding infringement notice back in the days when cruise control was just starting to get fitted to cars and trucks.  Over time, i've developed the ability to use it safely and confidently...and I know that it's a means of keeping me actively engaged in the driving process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 30....Reduce use of aerosol cans

Outcome:  Reduced use of ozone-depleting propellants

A couple of days ago, I finished off an aerosol can of spray disinfectant.   While I can't be certain that I can eliminate all aerosol products, I can certainly reduce the variety of products...starting with spray disinfectant.  

I'm amazed at how many products with such deleterious environmental impacts have inserted themselves (without scrutiny) into our daily lives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 31...Make meals from scratch - don't buy processed food.

Outcomes:  Save money - better nutrition - reduced packaging

I find that even when cooking for oneself, I'm often reaching for the packet, jar or can when, with a little more effort, I can make the entire thing myself...and it tastes better, too.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 32...Hang my clothes outside and try to use the clothes dryer less.

Outcome:  Save energy - 

This is a trap for me.  I have a washer and dryer...and I succumb to the convenience of the dryer too frequently.  The best solution is to get rid of the dryer...but it's already there...and it's very useful during sustained periods of wet weather...so the better option might be to not replace it when it no longer functions.

For now, I'll make a greater effort to hang my clothes rather than just throw them into the dryer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 33...Buy sustainable clothing made of natural fibres...cotton, wool or hemp.

Outcome:  Reduced use of plastics...sustainable fibre production

The price of the small amount of hemp clothing that is available probably puts it into a fashion category where it is beyond many people...me included.  But that will change as quality hemp cloth becomes available in large qualities.

I have a lot of clothing...far too much in some categories...but as clothing has to be replaced, I'm going to opt for 100% wool and cotton...and hemp when it becomes a commodity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 34...Eat less meat.

Outcomes:  Reduced emissions....cost savings...animal welfare considerations.

There was a time...perhaps about eight years ago...when this post would have seemed inconceivable...such was my affection for meat of all kinds.

It would be hard to identify the major consideration in my decision to eat less meat.

A bout of throat cancer in 2014 left me with changed mouth conditions, so while I still like the taste of many meat products, chewing mouthfuls of beef, lamb or pork is a much drier experience than it used to be. 

I'm not so persuaded about the need to get rid of all farmed animals...in fact, I think it's a nonsense.  I'm completely calm with the idea of getting rid of all cattle feedlots and intensive piggeries and poultry operations.  I'm strongly committed to the idea of people raising their own food...particularly the meat that they will eat...using small-scale waste transformation farming methods.

I find that I'm increasingly using meat, fish and poultry as a minor ingredient in meals...almost like a condiment where it's used to influence flavour rather than be the main ingredient that it typical of western-style meals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 35...Stop junk mail delivery

Outcome:  Reduced paper waste - 

This morning, I'm headed to the hardware store to buy a couple of those little "No Junk Mail" stickers for the mailbox.

I don't know why it has taken so long for me to switch onto this simple waste reduction strategy...but anyway today's the day!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 36...Use reusable containers instead of cling wrap or plastic bags when storing food.

Outcome:  Ridding my space of single use plastics - reduced waste stream.

The convenience of plastics is undeniable and insidious.  If I look in my cupboards and storage spaces, I'll no doubt find glass or reusable plastic containers with lids that will satisfy my food storage needs.  They've been bought at some time and then been displaced by a roll of clingwrap.

I'll make a more conscious effort to rid myself of clingwrap or other single use food storage products.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that I'm just over a third of the way through my 100-day challenge...a couple of observations:

The first thirty strategies have been 'the low-hanging fruit'...those that are easy or cost nothing to implement.  Things are going to get much harder before this challenge ends.

BTW, I'd welcome any suggestions for practical actions that I can take - as a 70-year old male - to underpin my own sustainability.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 37...all screens off at 7pm

Outcomes:  Saves energy...provides for better sleep....reading affords enjoyment.

This strategy is one that I've used successfully before.  Like other lapses, this one falls victim to my addiction to convenience and laziness. Successfully reducing one's environmental footprint is more about the cultivation of good habits...and developing a greater sense of self-discipline and self-awareness.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 38...Disposal of small batteries

Outcome:  Safe disposal of a hazardous waste 

The use of small batteries (AAA, AA, button and phone batteries, etc) has ballooned with the technology that it drives.  It's insidious...you don't realise how dependent we ar on these things until you start to isolate them and treat them as a specfic category of waste.  Batteries have been ingested by animals and toddlers with fatal results and garbage trucks have burst into flames due to old rechargeable batteries.

While some batteries (alkaline) are able to be put in with general household waste, I'm going to use the disposal service provided by the supermarket chain Aldi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 39...Avoid using Styrofoam.

Outcomes:  Reduced waste stream

Expanded polystyrene foam is obnoxious in the making and even more so in its disposal.  It has a huge (and destructive) presence in our lives as single use packaging.

I'll do some research and see what can be done with the stuff.  I've read that mealworms will actually eat Styrofoam but I'd be concerned about the toxicity of what they leave behind.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 40...Don’t buy things I don’t need

Outcome:  Save money - reduce consumption

I'm off to the mainland again today (for professional appointments) so it will be a good opportunity to monitor my spending.

It seems silly to say but we are so assailed by marketing nonsense that is directed at making us buy...so it requires a conscious effort to avoid just buy based on habit.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 41...Track water use...and develop habits to reduce.

Outcome:  Save water.

Actively monitoring water use is the first step to conserving it...so I've dragged out some water bills so that I can begin to track our use.

I have 10,000 litres of rainwater capacity (full at the moment) that can be more effectively managed.  Indeed, I'm considering a small change to the plumbing so that I can connect the rainwater system to the house to enable me to switch from the mains to the tanks as required.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 42...Create enough food for leftovers and prepare meals in batches.

Outcome:  Saves time - saves energy.

This started off easily enough.  I like reheated mashed potatoes and vegetables so I began peeling extra potatoes.   I'm slowly looking at other leftover possibilities (some foods are not well-suited to reheating) and I'm now looking at cooking several meals at the one time so that I can put some in the freezer.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 43...Track energy use and develop habits to reduce.

Outcome:  Saves energy - saves money.

On Day 41, I committed to tracking water use and developing habits to reduce...and doing the same for energy is no less imperative.  I'll drag out recent energy bills and see what my energy consumption has been...with a view to adopting different practices. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 44...Cover food when cooking on the stove top – this traps heat and can help cook your food faster reducing the amount of cook time.

Outcome:  Saves energy - reduced cooking time...and spatter.

This one happened by accident.  Originally it came to light when I started to make greater use of lids on pots to contain the mess that inevitably accompanies my cooking efforts...with the perceived benefit that I would spend less time cleaning the stove and the splashback.  The realisation that it has added relevant benefits just adds to the excitement of it all.  😉

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 45...Open doors and windows – to facilitate passive climate control.

Outcomes:  Saves energy - saves money

I live on a sub-tropical island so that means that I get spared most weather extremes.  If I dress to the weather there's little need for active climate control but, lured by convenience, it's easier to throw a switch than dive into the cupboard for a sweater.  Time to double down.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share




×
×
  • Create New...