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FJ Goes Green!


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That thread is very interesting! 

I changed many habits during the last year, some of the things I will write about, are a habit for many years, some I always did like that. 

- I drink tap water most of the time. Our water has a good quality, tastes good and I don't mind it. I never use straws unless I get a drink somewhere and it comes with a straw. Sooo I can't remember when I used a single-used straw the last time. A friend gave me two reusable straws and I have a brush for them, it works for me at home. Before I had these two, I just drank my smoothie without a straw. 

- I try to persuade Scrabblepartner to not use the Nespresso coffee machine we have. I does not work. Not yet. But I brew our coffee by hand when I am in charge of coffee-making. I try to persuade him to not use paper-towels. Most of the time he does use our normal cloths and towels but he insists on having the paper-towels at home. I don't understand why he uses the one or the other one, there is no pattern for me. I try to persuade him to not use the dryer. I persuaded him that we have enough plastic bags and that it is useful to always have some in the car. 

- we use recycling toilette paper. It took some time to figure out the brand that has the most soft tp.

- We use rainwater to water our garden (only the vegetables).

- I always take several bags with me, when we go groceries shopping. And I use these nets for fruits and vegetables. Honestly, we have enough plastic bags for our lifetime, these are some robust plastic bags... 

- I buy my clothes second hand. I started to reapair my clothes if it is possible, but honestly...normally I wear my clothes until they fall apart. I use a clothes drying rack instead of a dryer. 

- I have a library membership. If I buy books I mostly buy them used. 

- I use a wooden tooth brush (no bamboo I think), I use denttabs (with fluoride) instead of tooth paste. I do not use shampoo or conditioner or showergel, I make my own soap that I use and sometimes applecider vinegar for the conditioner. I love colorful eyeshadows... I feel like I have enough for years...so I try not to shop new colours... That's the point where I think I could do better. I sewed my own panty liners and I will never ever go back to buying them. It feels so much better. I had the materials for them at home and I was curious if it worked...and I was excited. I use fabric handkerchieves. I don't blow-dry my hair (shoulder-length). 

- I walk short distances and try to avoid the car whenever it's possible. 

Well, that got longer than I expected. 

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  • 4 months later...

@Daisy0322, could you post your cleaning solution recipe here too please? 

Does anyone have insight into using cloth napkins? I've thought about making the switch, but then I'm not sure if the water usage to wash them and the electricity needed to wash and dry them wouldn't be basically as bad as using the disposable that are biodegradable? 

Also does anyone have suggestions on what to do with clothes that can't be donated? Like holey socks and undershirts, ratty underwear, etc. I'm not crafty and don't sew. I suppose some could be used as dusting rags, but thought I'd ask if anyone has clever ideas.

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I have always been a champion charity shop/vintage sale/secondhand shopper. For me part of it is a fascination at what people will throw away! My mother volunteers in a charity shop in a wealthy suburb of Dundee and it's crazy what will be donated with the sales tags still on; designer clothing, brand new shoes and accessories. If I bought something and it wasn't the right size I would return it or find a friend who was willing to swap me something for it or give me money for it. I suppose the upside is that it's benefitting a charity but it seems crazy wasteful to me. That and I love vintage clothes and furniture and often items can be restored to an almost new condition with a bit of knowhow and TLC.

I try to limit how often I turn on my old fashioned, wasteful electric heating system. OK so I live in Scotland and we are not exactly known for being a warm country but we're not exactly living on the north pole either. If I am cold I will put on a jumper or dressing gown before the heating goes on. I am also careful with how often I turn on the elderly electric immersion boiler, it really only does me for the dishes. A large part of this is because I also do not have money to waste on fuelling an outdated and expensive heating system that really ought to have been consigned to a skip years ago. I would love it if they did an audit of rental properties here in Scotland and found out how many have a poor energy rating that could be improved with a bit of investment. There's currently no incentive for private landlords in cities like Glasgow to improve on their properties so many of them are given only very basic maintenance if any attention is paid to them at all.

I bought mostly second hand furniture when I moved here or brought from home the furniture that belonged exclusively to me. I think the only brand new items were my bed (never buy a second hand mattress full of someone else's potential filth!), a microwave because I was not certain my old one was still safe to use given it's a year younger than me, and a wardrobe because my old room had a built in one. I have a small coffee table with a lovely embroidery done by my nana circa 1950 something. The wooden table frame was made by my great grandfather. The table is a piece of family history. 

I also have my granny's legendary travelling ugly vases. They're two pastel vases with romantic printed images on them and crazy handles made to look like satyrs' heads. They're not worth anything but they have the best story, her grandfather cycled 10 miles with one under each arm when he was given them as a gift by his employer as he was leaving to get married. The fact that they have survived for decades through various moves and my incredibly rambunctious uncle makes me fond of them. Don't buy a bunch of new crap for your house, save the old stuff with the memories and help the planet while having a talking point for visitors. I also picked up a few items on freecycle, people want rid of stuff and if I can carry it home on the train I can take it off their hands.

I try to buy local produce where possible. This was easier when I lived in farm country but you can look at the labels on the things you buy and find out where they came from. Lidl is quite good at stocking Scottish fruits, veggies and meats so most of my groceries that don't come in tins or packets come from there. I don't eat a lot of meat because it's harder to store in a small kitchen and I tend to buy things like whole chickens, again from Lidl, because one can feed me for a week if I make it last by using every part.

I enjoy making things so am learning to make my own clothing. I've gotten pretty good at hats and scarves and they also make good Christmas gifts for people. It's better to make your own things and not feed the beast that is fast fashion. I also make things last by repairing them if they are damaged.

Because I'm pretty much a lifelong pedestrian it's public transport everywhere for me. It's also cheaper than owning a vehicle, although if I can pass my test I might rent a car for some things where it's less practical to get a bus or train. Long term I might get a small, low powered motorbike since I live alone in an area with limited parking and it's OK for me to wheel a bike into the drying green area for my block and chain it up. Since smaller vehicles use less fuel then this will give me an option of driving without consuming gallons of the stuff.

I've not had the courage to ditch the tampons yet. I might need to be tested for endometriosis and, without going into a lot of squicky details, I don't want to move away from what I have found that manages to keep any messes to a minimum. It's something I'm willing to consider later on once these issues are dealt with. 

I think I'm the only resident in my block who uses the recycling bins by the looks of things!

I am also aware that my small bit isn't having a mammoth impact but I'm trying my best. A good thing about my country is that there is more willingness to move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of energy, it's not perfect but it's a decent move towards less pollution. I will confess that I once wrote a grumpy letter to the council in my old home when they decreased the access to the recycling centre and the number of kerbside collections. Maybe it's a sign I'm becoming middle aged.

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I love this thread!! My contribution to being more green is my beloved insulated metal water bottle. I drink an insane amount of water, probably at least a gallon a day, and I hate how wasteful buying bottled water is. When we lived in the city, we had a Pur filter on our tap and I would use that for my drinking water. For road trips, I would save gallon water bottles and fill them with the purified water. Now that we live in the middle of nowhere and have pure, clean well water, I just can drink it straight from the tap. I do the same thing, fill up gallons to take on road trips so I don't have to buy bottled water.

We use our Prius for long road trips (on our way home from one now) and have been pleased with how fuel efficient it is! I also bought a smaller, more fuel efficient car and don't drive my SUV as much.

We also literally drive our cars until they die, rather than purchasing new cars as we pay them off (we drive Toyotas so that helps). My iPhone I'm using is 4 years old. Instead of buying a new iMac, I bought a refurbished one.

We live in the mountains so we don't have a lawn we have to mow regularly and water. Here in California, water usage is extremely strict and regulated.

When I go to our small town for shopping, I park in the middle and walk to all the stores instead of driving to each one (except when I'm injured).

One thing I need to change is tampons. I HATE the plastic applicators with a passion (I hate all plastic waste). I used to use tampax and they had cardboard applicators which were better but now all I can find are the plastic ones, and I only shop at a few stores and that's all they carry. I'm hoping for early menopause!!6d0761c4b5bf4f342f51a38fb61527dc.jpg

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@PumaLover that's a seriously funky water bottle!

4 minutes ago, PumaLover said:

When we lived in the city, we had a Pur filter on our tap and I would use that for my drinking water

This is something that I find hard to get used to, the idea of places where you cannot drink water out of the tap. I once stayed with a friend from the USA and he had some of those filter jugs for water because he just couldn't imagine drinking water from a tap, it's not something you can do where he is from. Happy to report that water here in Scotland is drinkable straight from the tap.

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@unsafetydancer, it's so interesting to hear how some thing are different in Scotland! Where I am in the USA (small town Midwest, about an hour from a city) public transit doesn't exist. Even in the nearby city, it's not as great of an option as in larger areas (NYC, etc). Also because of where I live, thrifting isn't as much of an option. So I have to focus less on upcycling and more on reducing waste! 

Our tap water is probably safe to drink. My husband grew up here drinking it. It just tastes weird to me, so I prefer to filter it. 

I do need to work on reducing clothing consumption. I have way too many clothes as do my kids. I need to do a big closet clean out and then be more conscious of what I purchase going forward. 

@PumaLover, I LOVE your water bottle! Way to go, drinking so much water too! I have always struggled to drink enough water but I'm working on it.

We use our phones, electronics, cars, etc until they die too. My husband recently had to get a new phone, and he got sooo many comments about still having an iPhone 5 which was the free model last time he upgraded. It was kind of annoying to deal with the salespeople joking about it. Sorry, we don't upgrade phones "just because"- partly because of budget and partly because it feels wasteful to us. 

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