By Diana Saufley
While I have not always considered myself extremely good at leaving a smaller carbon footprint, several years ago I embarked on an attempt to do just that. Our family does recycle everything that is recyclable, to the point our recycle bin overflows. But what about all those cans, water bottles and other items that are temporary installments of reprieve for future headaches of mountainous waste?
I have begun, in small baby steps mind you, practicing ways to leave the world less a mess. We are all so busy these days and this may feel like just one more thing to add to the “to do” list. However, if we all take the time, maybe there will be less worldly messes to deal with. As I step down off that soap box (yes I will try to recycle it), I am passing on a few things that you can do to leave smaller, less visible footprints on the future.
Recycle everything that has the recycle logo on it. Look for the logo on everything, and remember newspapers too.
Use empty cardboard egg cartons, fill each chamber with dryer lint then, into each chamber pour wax you have melted in any wax melting pot, on top of the lint. Let the wax cool completely. Take your “lint/wax carton” on your next camping trip as a fire starter, breaking off one chamber as needed to start your fire. It might smell nice too if you use a fragrance candle…but don’t use a food fragrance unless you like bears, raccoons and lots hungry wildlife.
Take your cling free dryer sheets, cut them in half and use less than a whole sheet per load. When your dryer sheets have done their job, collect them in a small jar or container. When you have a handful, lay them out flat and tie a string of yarn around the whole bunch. Use this in the kitchen as a pot scrubber or in the bathroom to scrub the bathtub.
Coffee filters are so versatile:
- After you make coffee, take the filter with coffee and put in a compost pile.
- Use to clean windows instead of rags (that have to be washed) and compost the filters.
- Sort crafts, dry food ingredients, and snacks for kids (instead of large paper plates or bowls that need washing).
Water bottles and sports drink bottles can fill up landfills and last longer than many of us will. They have also been charged with possibly leaching out chemicals that can mimic estrogens or cause cancer. Most all these beverage bottles are sold as “single use” not reusable. Check to make sure anything you use is BPA free. So purchase a refillable container such as the Klean Kanteen.
Turn off everything electrical that is not in use. Actually you need to unplug most items to totally reduce all electricity flow. It will reduce your electrical bill too, so it is a win/win for you and the environment!
What are some ideas you have to reduce your carbon footprint? Please share them!