Friday, August 10, 2007

How to Get Started

Lighter Footstep has a great articles for those just getting started on becoming environmentally aware. It lists the first 10 steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle. Here they are with my commentary on what we've done:
  1. Compact Fluorescents (CFL): When we built our house a few years ago, we put in CFLs in many places, but still could have more. Garage and basement have incandescents, but we will probably move to CFL there as well. Garage may be an issue with the cold in winter.
  2. Thermostat (LF advice: Up 2 degrees in summer, down 2 in winter): We haven't done this, but have programmable thermostat that we monitor quite often.
  3. Clean or replace your air conditioning filter. Our thermostat control includes reminders to clean/replace filters. In fact I need to do that this weekend.
  4. Unplug idle appliances and electronic devices. Haven't done this too much. We have too many computers running too much. I like the idea of turning off appliances with powerstrips. Just need to be careful with some that have internal clocks.
  5. Buy a low-flow shower head with a shutoff valve. Our showers all have dual controls for flow and temperature, so it's not a big deal to turn off water mid-shower (although we rarely do it). They're all low-flow though.
  6. Drive smarter: Keep tires inflated (check - most of the time), don't idle (check), drive less aggressively (check - I think).
  7. Get an annual tune-up for your car. Need to look into this ($300 sounds like a lot)
  8. Ride your bike. I've been riding my bike to work most of the summer. It's great (especially early in the morning when it's not too hot yet).
  9. Go meatless once a week. We did this a while, but got away from it. May make a veggie pizza tonight, though.
  10. Buy local; buy in season. Went to the local farmer's market earlier this summer, and was disappointed - all the stalls had largely the same 5-6 different types of produce at pretty high prices. We do belong to a meat CSA so most of our meat is local. We buy milk that is from a local dairy and is delivered in reusable glass containers. We also grow a fair number of our vegetables ourselves (anyone need any zucchini?)
What about you? What have you done?

No comments: