Thursday, August 18, 2011

Live simply, live green

Today's tips are for helping the environment while out and about.

1. Don't use straws. Really, do you need a straw and a plastic lid to sit at a table and drink? I suspect you do quite well without them at home! If you'll be taking your drink with you, consider keeping an empty water bottle in the car and pouring your drink in there instead of adding more plastic to our landfills.

Caught using a straw!

2. Park far away. Usually the parking lot is between the street and the store. If you park near the street, you are driving a little bit less. As an added bonus, you get more exercise!

3. Decline gas receipts. This one is a little risky, I suppose. If you want to keep it for your records to compare to your credit card bill, go for it. But if you just take it, read it, and toss it, why bother?

4. Avoid ordering "to go". First, this means avoiding the drive-through, which saves gas. Eat at the restaurant, or at least order that way. Orders prepped "to go" have extra packaging that you may not need (and WAY more condiments than any sane person uses). This is a case by case decision, though. Don't try to balance 10 hamburgers on your way back to the car!

5. No plastic bags. I know, this one has been publicized to death. But you still find plastic bags creeping into your home, right? Ideas:
                 * Keep reusable cloth bags in your car so you have them when you need them.
                 * If you forget, refuse plastic bags for small items you can easily carry with you.
                 * If you absolutely need a plastic bag, use it for the rest of your purchases that day.

6. Bring recyclables home. I admit that it feels rather odd taking your "trash" with you out of a fast food place, but it's for the planet! Don't you love your planet? :-)


  1. These are great tips! I always feel weird bringing my trash home with me too. Sometimes I even bring my compostables home, and then I catch people looking at me funny. Too bad more people don't think about that, though... we would save a lot from going into landfills.

    By the way, I love reading your blog! I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award over at Come over and check it out!

  2. Have hopped over to see you from Versatile Blogger Award
    Great tips; thanks for sharing. I take all my recyclables home; it no longer feels weird! It would feel more weird leaving it to be thrown in the bin or tossing it myself.

  3. Hey, here is an idea for you to both save money and create less waste. I'm not sure what kind of hand soap that you use (or perhaps you use bar soap, in which case, nevermind!) But I found this to be interesting, and I think I'm going to try it out!

  4. Great tips! I'm always looking to be more green. We also compost and have chickens, which the kids adore. I also saw your blog on tmuffin- what a great site!

  5. @Tmuffin: Thanks for the award! It was fun both to receive and pass along. :-)

    @mrs green: Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoyed your stay. ;-)

    @Donna: Thanks for the tip! That's a great idea!

    @Jill: Thanks for visiting! We've talked about having chickens, but haven't made the plunge yet.

  6. I have started declining receipts whenever given the option! It's less to keep track of and I can use online banking to keep my checkbook up to date.

    And yes, I've been known to bring recyclables home to add to our recycling!!

  7. Great tips! Related to ordering "to go": I try to choose restaurants that use real dishes or minimal wrapping. For example, Panera Bread uses real dishes for most items. When we go to a restaurant where we expect to have leftovers, we bring reusable containers so we don't wind up with a foam box or those cardboard Chinese boxes or something else that will be trash after one use.

  8. I like that you took the high road and didn't mention that drinking through a straw is a cause of gas. :) Though maybe if more people knew that, we really would ditch the straws!

    Thanks for linking this to Your Green Resource!

  9. @Megan: Thanks for hosting the link-up. What a great way to share ideas!

    @'Becca: Mmm, I love Panera. I hadn't thought of their dishes, but now I have another reason to go there! :-) Great link, too!

    @Andrea: Haha, I never knew that, so thanks for spreading the good news. ;-)

  10. Great tips! But, if someone likes to drink from a straw they could purchase a glass reusable one from BeStrawesome for around 10$! :)

  11. @Good Girl Gone Green: Thanks! I never heard of BeStrawsome, great lead. :-)