The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones ~ John Maynard Keynes
In this day and age our world is rapidly changing right before our eyes. Climate change is one of the most discussed topics of our time. The debate about whether or not climate change is man-made or not seems beside the point. We are all humans living on this beautiful planet and we feel it’s important that we all take steps in our individual lives to sustain the resources we have here. We encourage you to challenge yourself in your everyday life to be more mindful of your carbon footprint.
At TORRAIN, we are creating an inter-office challenge and we would like for you to join in! We want to create an open space for discussion. We have listed some ways that we will be trying to make an impact and we look forward to hearing your suggestions.
Stop junk mail – According the Center for New American Dream, each citizen in the U.S. will spend an average of eight months of our lives dealing with junk mail. What a waste! The Internet has truly slowed the onslaught of junk snail mail these days (thanks to that handy spam folder!), but we still get that pesky useless paper letter or catalog in the mail. An incredibly easy way to opt out of junk mail and phonebooks is through the company https://www.catalogchoice.org/. All you have to do is sign up and they do all the work.
Give up bottled water - Purchase a reusable water bottle (or decorate an existing one with stickers) that will make you excited to bring your water bottle around.
Along with reusable water bottles, we encourage you to use reusable cups, grocery and shopping bags and even rechargeable batteries if this is a possibility for you. Snowpeak USA and Klean Kanteen are great companies that make reusable products.
Simple ideas – use minimal amounts of toilet paper, use reusable cloths instead of paper towels, purchase cloth diapers for children, shop at thrift stares and donate items you no longer want instead of throwing things out.
Conserve energy – Did you know that only 10% of energy in a light bulb is used to create light? The other 90% of energy is used to create heat. A simple way to use 80% less energy is to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These light bulbs also last up to 12 times longer than conventional light bulbs, creating less waste in turn.
Simple ideas – unplug devices when not being used, close heating and cooling vents in rooms when not being used. These will help you save money and energy! In the U.S. heating and cooling makes up approximately ½ of an average home bill.
Conserve water – Sometimes, there is nothing better then stepping under a hot shower and letting it soothe your entire body, but it is important to be mindful of your water consumption. Water is finite resource that is quickly becoming scarce in places such as California. In the U.S. about 6,800 gallons of water is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four. 780 million people in our world lack access to clean water source. Keep these things in mind when you are using water.
Simple ideas – don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, use pool covers to prevent water evaporation, wash full loads of laundry and dishes, use of a bucket of soap and water to wash dishes and cars, use low flow toilets. Also, instead of decorative lawns, consider xeriscaping, which is landscaping in a style that requires little to no irrigation.
The first step in becoming a mindful consumer is educating yourself! There are plenty of great resources out there that discuss important topics in today’s world. Some of our favorite informative websites include:
Some more simple ideas:
eat local and avoid excess packaging
reduce, or don’t use at all, chemicals in your beauty, cleaning and house products
support local businesses
What ideas do YOU have?