Thursday, August 28, 2008

Going Green By Accident

Ok, maybe turquoise and maybe 'accident' is not the right word. How about 'without planning.'

Let me explain.

I'm not a tree hugger, or a Green Peace hero. I don't 'Save the Planet' on a regular basis, but awhile ago, I came to the realization that conserving energy, and not trashing the big blue ball we call home were probably good ideas.
Not wanting to do anything radical, I made a couple simple changes. I bought a pack of those curly fry looking light bulbs, bought a battery charger and rechargeable batteries and got a bin for recycling from my local trash man. The recycling bin is what put me on the path to "going green by accident".
Here in Greenville, the Sanitation commission will recycle plastic bottles, cardboard, and paper. I got my bin and started separating my trash. The first week, I had very little in the bin when it went to the curb on Friday.
Tonight, two weeks later, when I set it out, I realized I might need another bin. Now, I'm not drinking more soda or unpacking more boxes. What I have discovered is how much we actually throw away and how so much of what we call trash could instead be recycled.
Yesterday, I finished a box of Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal(which by the way is right tasty) and started to drop the box in the trash can, when it hit me that the box is cardboard so I can recycle it.
Ok, now before you think, "Duh!" I just had never thought about the box. It was my cereal container and when it didn't hold cereal, it served no purpose and what do we do with things that hold no purpose? We throw them away.
So the cereal box led to paper towels which led to memo pads.
So I recycle more now, but it didn't stop there.
The other day, I needed to write down a phone message and my note pad was nowhere to be found. What was in front of me, was a roughly torn open envelope holding my power bill. I grabbed it and wrote the message on the back.
Then I took the bill out and left the envelope by the phone to take other messages instead of simply chunking it in the trash and buying a new memo pad.
This led to me thinking twice about how I can use scrap paper, or partially written on paper. I realized that I waste a lot of paper.
I'd scratch a number on the front of a note pad sheet and then throw it away or the fax machine would print out a report telling me why the fax didn't go through and into the trash it went.
Now, I use it all up and then throw it the bin.
I've even gotten other people recycling without bull horns or After School programs, just example.
When a friend who works with me stopped by tonight, his 3 yr old son dropped his soda and spilled what was left on the ground, so my friend made sure the can was empty and then walked across the parking lot and dropped it in my bin. He did this, not because he's buddies with Al Gore, but because it is becoming a habit he's picking up from being around someone else who is doing it.
So my little efforts are having positive results, maybe not cooling down all this global warming, but a little step in taking care of our home.

So let's all trip into some Green

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