Sunday, April 11, 2010

Save the Planet Sundays

Living a green life is not always easy. In my case, it's made more complicated by living in a third world country! On the one hand, my 'footprint' is probably lower than it would be if I were living in a western city - I don't ever have to drive very far, there are no malls or shopping plazas with air-conditioning that I can go to, no pre-packaged sandwiches I can throw away the wrapper to, no junk mail (actually there is no mail delivery system at all...), no Chinese takeout!

But on the other hand, there are no recycling facilities in this country (sigh), so all my trash goes straight to a landfill, even glass and paper. There are no public transportation options, and cycling around town as a white woman can be dangerous and certainly not something I risk my laptop for! With limited choices (only 3 supermarkets) I don't always have the option to buy organic or fresh - I certainly can't just pop down to the local health food store and press my own peanut-butter like I used to do when I was studying in Montreal! And of course, environmental consciousness is just NOT a part of people's mentality here - we're still talking throwing plastic bottles out of car windows, and trash bags into rivers, people. *Sigh*

Will this be a regular feature? Maybe, maybe not. But for today, here are 7 every-day things that I do to help save our Earth.
  1. I use my reusable shopping bags every time I shop, and carry one around in my purse so I never have to take home a plastic bag!
  2. I take water in my own bottle to work every day, and refill it at lunch, so I never have to buy a plastic water bottle!
  3. I consciously try to avoid buying products with too much packaging, especially plastic or styrofoam.
  4. I turn off the shower when I don't need the water e.g. when shaving.
  5. I turn off all the lights and appliances in my house whenever I am not using them or am not in the room.
  6. I car-pool whenever possible, and my car is pretty fuel efficient.
  7. I compost all my organic waste and use it to fertilise my garden.
My footprint is still a lot larger than I'd like it to be - but for today I'm celebrating these small steps and all the improvements I've made in recent months.

What about you? What every-day Earth-friendly things do you do?


  1. Composting and cycling I think are my biggest two.

    My worst two are always forgetting reusable bags and the dreaded flying (although I haven't flown anywhere since October 08 so i am getting better!)

  2. that sounds wonderful! I think the fact that you're growing your own food will greatly reduce the need to buy other foods at the supermarket :)

    I need to decrease the amount of water that we use here. I wonder if our consciousness for water is tied to how easily accessible it is for us...

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog, La Gitane! I think it's wonderful that you're doing what you can. We all do what we can, right? That you don't drive is a big one to begin with. We live out in the country and have to drive into town just about everyday ... something I feel bad about often, but one must work.

    I wonder how I would do in a country where I couldn't just go and buy organic food or get fresh-churned peanut butter? I'm sure I could handle it ... but the idea of not having such things accessible is strange.