My Top Eco-Friendly Choices Of 2009, By Grace

by Grace

I know, I know - I'm in Violation here in this photo! <br>I was at a family cookout. I normally use an eco friendly stainless steel water bottle! <br><br>

I know, I know - I'm in Violation here in this photo!
I was at a family cookout. I normally use an eco friendly stainless steel water bottle!

I work at home, so a lot of the situations that might turn into an ecologically related choice for me don't come up. After all, working where you live means that you mostly eat in, don't drive much, and don't have to worry about all the other day to day choices most people make. But that doesn't mean I don't make decisions that affect the environment. After all, I'm the one who controls whether my office paper gets recycled - not corporate policy. Here are my top ecologically friendly choices of the past year.

1. Shopping for food locally - This year I was part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) vegetable program, and did a lot of my other food shopping at the local farmer's market. Buying local means taking a lot of miles off the distance that food has to travel before it gets to me. Participating in an organic CSA gives me a connection with the people who grow my food that I won't get buying organic food from California. In both cases, I also ate a lot more whole, unprocessed food, which further reduced the amount of fuel expended getting my produce to me. If you have never heard of CSA's, here is a quick video summary:

2. Avoiding animal products - Meat is one of the most inefficient foods we eat, in a lot of ways. The land it takes to produce a hamburger could have produced a lot more in the way of vegetable crops, and ecological standards for farming are pretty poor, as well. By eating fewer animal products and more vegetables and grains, I was able to increase what I can personally get out of a given amount of land and energy, which helps me feel like I am living in a more eco friendly way.

Bonuses include the fact that good animal products are expensive, so I saved money, and the improvement in my health. There are some ingredients that you would not think are from animals. This video helps raise awareness of those unknown animal ingredients.

3. Walking more - Not everyone can walk wherever they go, and for some activities, I can't either. But I do live in an area where most day to day requirements are within a thirty minute walk. That might seem like a long time, but with traffic, it takes half that time to drive the same distance and find parking. Walking is better for me, lets me buy gas about once every month or two, and keeps exhaust out of the atmosphere.

4. Getting rid of my air conditioner - I don't like being hot more than anyone else. In fact, my ideal temperature is about sixty-five degrees. But I've noticed that when I have a window air conditioner around, going outside is a trial, because I'm not used to summer temperatures. So, this year I got rid of my A/C and spent more time outside. I got more exercise and used less energy, too.

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My Top Eco-Friendly Choices Of 2009, By Grace

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Cutting Down On Driving For Conservation
by: Jake E

Wow, you certainly put forward an ambitious plan here. That's a lot of positive changes you've made, and when everybody can put forth that kind of commitment and effort then huge changes can result.

One of the major things I will be trying to do with my own life is to walk more and drive less, which is one of the things you mentioned. Living in the DC suburbs, traffic is ridiculous, and you're right it takes almost just as long as when you walk around!

If I lived downtown I might ditch the car altogether, but as of now I at least need it a bit. But with walking and biking I am certainly cutting down.

Many cities also have car sharing and renting plans that give you access to a car on those special times when you need it, but then frees you up from that when you don't, which is great for the environment and your wallet.

Good luck keeping up all of these positive changes. I might never stop eating meat, one of my only my eco unfriendly indulgences...


But I certainly will be using the car less!


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