It’s the little things you do.

I started this post way back before my trip to Alaska. I’ve never been one to really save a post as a draft and post it later (partly because it does this weird spacing thing). So I forgot about it, and it got lost a bit. But I found it today after thinking about this kind of thing all day. I watched my brother recycle his drink holder from Burger King, and used my bags (two weeks with out getting a single bag who hoo!) and thought that’s all good. Hey did I ever post that post? Anyway I know some people are really not into environmental issues, (my dad: "who cares I’ll be dead") so if that’s you just skip it and please no nasty comments.

I’ve been thinking about all the little things I try to do to make the world a better place. I thought I would make a little list and see if any of you had things you could add to it.

-Keeping a bucket in my shower to catch water (I water my flowers with it)
-We don’t water our lawn
-We use a push mower (okay, okay Bj does most of the pushing)
-Energy saving light bulbs in most of our fixtures (some of the older ones don’t take them, and you can’t put them in dimmer lights)
-Buying lots of used things instead of getting everything new
-Using as little plastic as possible (glass food containers, etc)
-Always carrying a little bag or basket with me so that I can use it when I shop (have had the Mini Maxi Shopper L for a while, recently got the Mini Maxi Shopper as well – super tiny. I’ve blah blah blahed about Reisenthel before, but I do just LOVE this company).
-Using more paper to pack my orders instead of all bubble wrap
-Currently knitting this for my produce (I have soooo much freaking cotton yarn after Sciarrino and I went crazy buying cones of it from Elmore Pisgah.

-Using bar soap instead of pump soap. Ugh I don’t like pump soap anyway and this uses way less packaging.

-This might be weird to say, but using O.B.s also way less packaging than normal tampons.


-getting things from the library instead of purchasing another book. Like this super cute Candy Tots Kristin told me to check out. How cute is this?



Would like to get better at:

-riding my awesome bike (dude what is up with these stupid spaces?)

-getting winter ready (storm windows need to be put on and I want to make draft stoppers do you use beans or rice for those? Anyone made one?)

Care to add to the list, I’d love to hear your ideas!!!

Join the Conversation


  1. Amber, that’s awesome you are doing all these things! I too try to back on my plastic consumption, you know me the recycling nazi! I think one of the biggest things people can do is to use their own bags at the store, like you mentioned. It’s easy and costs very little. Reuse the plastic bags you already have (I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have 50 of these flying around their house), or get something that is reusuable, it is so nice carrying your groceries in a sturdy bag! Another thing is bottled water! Soooo much energy goes into the transportation of water when most people have perfectly good, cheap water flowing in to their houses already. Something I didn’t realize until recent years is that city water is required to undergo all sorts of tests and meet strict standards. Bottled water has few if any regulations, and many times is just tap water stored in potentially harmful plastic bottles for weeks or months. Not to mention all those plastic bottles many people don’t recycle. Earth2O actually has small amounts of arsenic in it!! You can go online and see what your city water is tested for and how it measures up. Lead can be an issue in older pipes…Amber you should get your kitchen faucet tested if you haven’t already. Let me know if you haven’t and I can get you a deal. Sorry for taking over your post, I’ll step off my soapbox now!

  2. Ha, my original reason for posting was to tell you that my mom made those door blockers with sand in them, but that was back in the day, I’m not sure what the best material is, but they work well with sand.

  3. Ohhhh Erin, no good comments! People who drink four water bottles a day and throw them away drive me crazy, what the hell people?!?! I want to get one of those Sigg bottles, Sciarrino swears by them. No I haven’t had my pipes tested, I should because it comes out brownish at first. I was fine with it, but Bj made me get a Brita when he moved in. Okay I just got your other post, I was thinking sand, but that sewing that would be a bitch (I can just picture myself getting sand all over my machine)

  4. Two Thumbs Up!
    I too thrive on the militant recycler routine. And YES to not taking plastic bags.
    Try this. I swear. I will NEVER. EVER. Go back to tampons.
    Are you composting your organic waste?
    Water butt in your garden?
    Using peat free composts?
    erm…well you seem saintly already…not much more to suggest.
    And actually according to new data – it’s likely to affect our (mine and yours) lifetime. The Northwest passage is open.

  5. Lately, I’ve become very aware of this stuff as well, and am doing whatever I can . . . and trying to educate my kids on green issues, as well. Since, after all, it’s the mess they are inheriting. I’ve stopped buying bottled water, and instead use a Sigg bottle and refill from the tap. (Listen to Sciarrino – Sigg bottles are awesome!!) I also use my own thermal travel mug when going to Starbucks or elsewhere for java. I don’t use plastic shopping/grocery bags anymore, either, and have gotten used to the odd looks I get when I whip out my own cloth bags at the store. LOL. We use cloth napkins at home now, instead of paper. The kids think that dinner is extra fancy! I’m really enjoying the paradigm shift we’re going through, and love the challenge of trying new ways to think about sustainability. I’m working up the nerve to try worm farming . . . but that may take awhile . . .

  6. Good for you, Amber. Being “GREEN” isn’t a big trend here in the midwest like it is on the Pacific Coast, but I am seeing a turn towards that, albeit ever so slowly. My family moved to the midwest from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and it was a little shocking to see how little was happening here as opposed to what we were used to in Louisiana. The tide is turning here, but it will take some time.

  7. I recommend Lunapads and the Diva Cup. I won’t use throw away pads and tampons again!

  8. great post amber!
    i’ve been really trying to be better…
    i took my own bag to winco monday night . . .
    i check out books from the library . . .
    i recycle a LOT (even scrapbook paper scraps) . . .
    i’m slowly switching to glass storage containers (for fridge stuff).
    but i can do more, and more importantly i WANT to do more.
    i’ll be back to read more comments…
    there’s some good ideas out there!

  9. Grant and I now ask for paper bags at the grocery store–when we forget to bring ours back for re-use, of course. We compost, carpool sometimes to work (or I’ll just take the bus), and I’m sorry, but I looked at that mooncup thing–NO THANK YOU! I’m sticking to my cardboard tampax–still good for the environment. Hooray for clean hands during your period! Ok, maybe T.M.I… 🙂

  10. noteworthy to share with your blogging audience after such a post as this:
    paper is better than plastic, but we can top that!
    oh and I’m currently experimenting with alternatives to wrapping paper (though I LOVE it!)… being that the holidays are coming up. I do believe that out gift bag swap is an excellent idea—HEY! we should mark on them “to” & “from” plus the date of exchange.
    Add to your list: less Internet time more fresh air!

  11. I don’t feel like I do near enough for the environment, but I’m trying to become more aware of it. I do save my plastic grocery store bags and use them to take my lunch to work, and then save them and turn them in to the recycling bin at the grocery store. I do recycle all our cans, plastic bottles, and newspapers and mailing catalogs.
    Amber, I made some of those draft stoppers. I used leftover fabric that is the lining for my roman shades, and just sewed a big long tube inside out, turned it right side out, and filled it with rice (I bought a large bag at COSTCO) and then hand stitched it closed. They are awesome, except for the time my dog tried to eat through the fabric to taste the rice!

  12. Hi I am Megan, Erin G’s friend, she introduced me to your site a while back and I have been reading it periodically,I love the creativity and the reminders of home while I am stuck in Ohio for a spell! Thought I would introduce myself and comment on this one because I am a fellow environmentalist 🙂 I took an environmental chemistry class a few years ago and we looked at the amount of energy/pollution it takes to make both plastic and paper bags,although both are really horrible, paper is actually worse than plastic. so if you forget your bag or you buy more than what your bags can handle then plastic is a bit better than paper. here is a link

  13. Hi
    I just came across your lovely blog and I wanted to say hi! I am very into green and as a result have just written a book called “Gorgeously Green” which is being published by Harper Collins (May 08).
    So I’ll keep checking in with you and if you get a chance, visit my website:
    keep up the fantastic work!

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