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100-Day Sprint to a Smaller Environmental Footprint


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Day 46....Get my devices repaired instead of buying new ones.

Outcome:  Reduce consumption - Save money

About a year ago, I bought a new mower to replace the old self-propelled banger that had served us for the preceding 12 years.  My first mistake was to overlook the type of work that our old mower was doing.

The new machine was cheaper, lighter and far less robust than the one it replaced...and my backyard is not manicured like most urban backyards.  It's more like a farm.

It turned out that I'd have been much better off to overhaul the old mower.

It's served as a lesson for me ever since.  While manufacturers would prefer that we replace items than repair them...and they design their products accordingly...you can often thwart their planned obsolence if you have the necessary knowledge and skills.

I know where my old mower went and I've enquired about getting it back so that I can - time-permitting - overhaul it.


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Day 47...Reduce vehicle use...talk about my truck being over five years old and still under 40,000km.

Outcome:  Save fuel - Reduce maintenance - Reduced emissions - Save money

My Mazda BT50 was bought new over five years ago...and it has still to reach 40,000km.  Living on an island helps keep the mileage down...but it still gets frequent use because we live at the opposite end of the 6 kilometre island.

The challenge is to arrange purchases so that fewer trips are necessary.

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Day 49...Adjust the thermostat on the electric hot water service.

Outcomes:  Save energy - Save money.

This was an easy one...lying right under my nose, so to speak.  By simply cutting back the thermostat on the electric hot water service, I save energy...and money.


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Day 50...Route the water from the washing machine to the back lawn.

Outcome:  Reduced wastewater.

It would be grandiose to describe our grassed area as lawn but we do harvest it for composting material so using the washing machine to water it.  I found a purple (greywater) hose in the shed so I'll connect that up to the washing machine and redirect the water.

Day 50...the halfway mark...the low-hanging fruit...the easy part...and, as it happens, Part 1 of 2.

WIth hindsight, a 100-Day challenge was probably unrealistic (particuarly given my current commitments) and I need to take time to consolidate my first 50 strategies...and to provide an update on their status.

I remain committed the project...but I also need time to generate some more ideas...things that I (a 70-year old male) can do to reduce my environmental footprint.  I mention that largely to avoid suggestions that are specfic to women and children.  All suggestions are welcome.

Then I'll resume the Challenge with Part 2...the remaining 50 days.

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