Sam's Eco Challenges And Small Earth Friendly Changes
(Milwaukee, WI, USA)
Just me enjoying an afternoon in the park near my home.
I live in Milwaukee, and when I think of green things, I really don't think about my own downtown apartment! Living green is for people living out on the farms or maybe out in the suburbs, not for people living in the heart of the city, right?
The truth of the matter finally struck me when I started living alone and realizing how much trash I created. One day, I took a look at all of the plastic bags, plastic bottles and cardboard boxes in my apartment, and decided that enough was enough!. I was tired of hauling that stuff down to the recycle bins, and more importantly, I was simply tired of being so wasteful. They never tell you how much energy it takes to produce that much trash, let alone deal with it, and I was sick of it all.
That's how I started looking for ways to try to reduce and reuse in the middle of the city, and while I couldn't make a compost pile or keep bees, there were still plenty of options open to me. I'm a pretty lazy person, so the changes I made were small, but it was so much better when I actually made them.1.) Cloth bags to the store
I live within walking distance of a pretty nice grocery, so rather than making one trip a week by car, I make three or four trips a week on foot. As you can image, I was soon swimming in plastic bags. I gave in and sewed myself two cloth bags to carry with me. A friend, taking my example, crocheted her own. We both agree that this is much better than simply tossing those plastic bags out.
2.) Everything gets used again
Another grocery tip involves looking at the containers of the processed food that I eat. Things like lunch meat often comes in containers that can be used again, and after they are used a few times as cheap tupperware, they can be recycled. Remember that not all plastic can be recycled; if your plastic needs to be sorted, check the bottom of the plastic for a number; that should tell you whether your area recycles it or not.3.) Cooking for one
I eat a lot less prepackaged food these days. It makes less mess when I don't need to worry about a box, and then I can put the vegetable peelings into a stock box. This step is perfect for making soup later, and food that I cook myself (after I got over the habit of overcooking everything) tastes much better too.
My eco moment of truth was realizing that green living wasn't just for people living in green places; it is also essential for city dwellers and even small changes from everyone will add up!