View Full Version : Ways to help the environment

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Aug 26th, 2004, 10:03 PM
Are vegans more eco-friendly? I think the answer is obviously yes- as animal welfare anwareness goes hand in hand with eco-awareness.

How many of you use your feet or bike instead of diriving - or if you have long distances public transport instead of private?

How many of you recycle? How much do you recycle? Even kitchen waste?

How many of you are water-savers and energy efficient light bulbs etc?

How many of you have veggie gardens of your own?


Aug 27th, 2004, 05:14 AM
This year, I celebrated Earth Day by starting a bottle and can recycling program at my work. I have made special boxes for the employees and visitors to put their empty drink bottles and cans into. When the boxes are full, I take them in to the local grocery store, and they send them away to be recycled. The money collected goes into a staff piggy bank and when we have enough, we'll decide what to do with it.

At home, I recycle as much as I can - however, living in an apartment building, we aren't supplied with the same recycling collection programs as the houses in the area :( (ie, cardboard and paper recycling). If I lived in a house, I would do all of that plus have a compost heap!

As a member of EarthSave Canada, I have become a lot more aware of the human toll on the environment, and have started to really look at the way that I live and how I can reduce my environmental footprint eg, water wastage, electricity use, using recycled paper products etc.

Yes, I agree - I think vegans do tend to be more ecologically aware than your average joe.

Aug 27th, 2004, 08:41 AM
I am a student so of course recycling without the facilities and a car is very difficult but I definietely want to recycle when I have my own place - paper, bottles, cans, etc an garden wste if i have a garden so that i can have some really nice veggie growing in home composte!

At the moment the best I can do is turn lights out wherever I go that arent in use - most students seem to take electricity for granted if they are not paying for it and I try to be mindful of water usage. I try to use minial cling film and alumiumI keep my heating down to a minimum and I always use my feet instead of th buses or taxis. If I have long distances to travel I have no choice but to use public transport as I have no private vehicle anyway! If and when I get my driving licence and a car - I would hope to run it on one of the more eco-friendly energy sources.

At home I cycle or walk everywhere - sometimes catch trains into the city. We have a fantastic recycling program - one bin for general waste, one for glass, and one for paper cardboard plastic milk bottle. The cans are steel instead of aluminium so they go in the general waste and are pulled out by magnets by the disposal poeple. There are lots of bottle banks everywhere and we have a local garden disposal place. Four times a year there is a collection for large objects. We have 2 rubbish, 1 glass and 1 cardboard etc collection a week.

Aug 27th, 2004, 09:42 AM
i try and do as much as i can to help the environment. our local recycling facilities are pretty poor, so i pay extra to subscribe to a recycling co-operative. i pay them to collect our rubbish and they recycle almost everything. they use an electric vehicle for the collections to reduce pollution and petrol usage. i try not to buy things with much packaging, always reuse carrier bags when i go shopping etc. i buy lots of second hand things and if i need to buy new things i try to buy those made from recycled material.

i only buy environmentally-friendly cleaning products, toiletries etc. as long as they're vegan too, which are quite easy to get 'cos as you say vegan often goes hand in hand with ecology.

i use low energy light bulbs in every room of my house, turn every electrical thing off when it's not in use, and i'm thinking about signing up to a green electricity supplier, it'll cost a bit more but like the recycling i think it's worth it. i try not to waste water, and have a few water saving gadgets around the house. i also compost all my organic waste, i've tried growing my own veggies in my small garden but they've all died due to the bad weather and air pollution :(

i don't have a car, so i always walk or use public transport. i don't fly any more, partly because i hate it and partly because of the impact on the enviroment.

hmmm anything else...i think that's about it! :)

Aug 27th, 2004, 08:11 PM
I admiree you and will use you as my role-model!

I also recycle any carrier bags that I get and refuse them unless I need them to line my rubbish bin!!! Most o fmy shopping being done in organic shop- they only give bag son request anyway

Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:07 AM
This being a small campus located in a small town, I find myself in a car maybe once a week, and at that, always carpooling.

There are recycling bins conveniently located in the breezeway on my floor in the res halls, so I figure, "I'm headed down that way to empty the trash can anyway, why not put papers in the paper bin and bottles in the plastics bin?" When I buy enough on a shopping trip to require a bag, I use that in the trashcan rather than purchasing a roll of trash bags, and whenever I can get away without needing a bag, I tell the cashier I don't need one.

And it could be that we're just weird, but my roommate and I constantly forget that we *do* have a ceiling light in our room, so that's rarely used. She was raised without TV; I use my small set only to watch DVDs (and soon will be able to eliminate that tangled-cord-mess setup when my DVD rom-equipped laptop arrives).

One of the big things that really gets me is that due to the way our student accounts are charged for printer usage, before the actual document comes out, the machine spits out sheet of paper with our network username all huge at the top and nothing else. Major waste, but I use them as scratch paper. Apart from that our campus is very pro-recycling; just the other day the dining halls handed out dry erase boards and mugs made of recycled plastic to discourage the use of paper for writing little notes, etc and the use of styrofoam cups. There were even recycling tips printed on these items.

Sep 2nd, 2004, 07:15 AM
I heard it mentioned elsewhere today that in Japan, after washing their hands in a public bathroom, many people carry a handkerchief to wipe their hands dry, rather than using paper towel. Infact, it was said that most public washrooms in Japan do not supply paper towels.

I don't know how true it is - as I've never been to Japan. Anyway, I thought it was an excellent idea and I am going to start carrying a handkerchief to wipe my hands dry. Cutting down trees for paper towel seems quite stupid when I think about it in this context!


Sep 2nd, 2004, 03:10 PM
That's an excellent idea Roxy. I will definitely start doing that as well. It makes me mad when I'm in a public bathroom and someone uses like 10 paper towels to try their hands. WTF is that? I've oftened wondered how much electricity the blowers used, but it seems like the trend is switching back to paper towels. Now to find me a fancy handkerchief! :D

Sep 2nd, 2004, 07:52 PM
thats always a dilemma for me - to use the air blower or paper towels??
both are wasteful of different resources.

sometimes, i use a couple of extra squares of toilet paper (soft...and clean of course!) and just dab my hands with that and then flush it. i figure if i've used some paper originally, a couple of extra squares to flush is ok.

either that or i just really shake my hands and wipe them on my jeans :rolleyes:

Sep 2nd, 2004, 10:03 PM
If i have dark shorts or jeans then a little wipe of water doesn't hurt

Sep 2nd, 2004, 10:22 PM
thats always a dilemma for me - to use the air blower or paper towels??
both are wasteful of different resources.

either that or i just really shake my hands and wipe them on my jeans :rolleyes:

My dilemna exactly! So my solution is the that of wiping on my clothes too!!!! :cool:

Nov 20th, 2004, 01:34 PM
I've been trying to be as environmentally conscious as possible lately. What things do you all do?
I'm going to stop using paper towels and use only recycled paper products when I use them at all (like toilet paper). I'm ordering reusable mentrual pads and limits my energy usage. I'm recycling as much as possible and tyring to reduce the packaging on things I buy. I'm getting organic hemp shopping bags for groceries.
One thing I'm stumped over is facial tissues. I barely use any as I'm never snotty anymore. I hate hankerchief's though. I have an ex-boyfirned who used one and it was disgusting. I think I've settled on just washing with water after sneezing.

Nov 20th, 2004, 02:33 PM
You know, this is a great idea for a thread, because some of us may do some things that others haven't thought of. It'll be awesome if we could all get more ideas!

I am very similar to you. I recycle plastic, glass, paper bags (from the grocery store), and cardboard. Unfortunately, I don't have anywhere that I know of where I can recycle paper (copy paper), and if anyone has ideas, please let me have it!

I use Gladrags, but I still sometimes use tampons.

I buy organic whenever possible, probably 95%.

I have to drive a lot sometimes for my job, and as of yet, I haven't done anything to lessen those effects, but one day, I will get a hybrid vehicle!! :)

I buy unbleached, partially recycled toilet paper, paper towels, and parchment paper.

I use environmentally-friendly cleaners, such as dish soap, laundry detergent, and bathroom/household cleaners.

I buy vegan cat food for my cat, although right now I am giving her 50% vegan and 50% cruel prescription food, as she has UT problems.

Whenever I find it suitable, I tell people of the effects of factory farming and pesticide use.

Nov 20th, 2004, 02:35 PM
Oh, yeah, I buy recycled toothbrushes.

I bought trees as memorial gifts from www.treesforlife.org and will now only buy recycled jewelry, and some of the Christmas gifts I send will be made from recycled glass.

Nov 20th, 2004, 05:08 PM
I buy recycled toothbrushes with the heads that can be popped on and off to reduce waste, recycled razors for myself.

I used baking soda as a cleanser often, it's great for gettting rid of stains and grime. Use environmentally-friendly/vegan household cleansers (love Dr. Bronners) and laundry detergent.

I would LOOOOVE for the babies to only wear organic cotton but it is so expensive, no way can afford it. Also wish we could use regular diapers but not enough time or space (no washing machine or dryer) so they wear non-chlorine bleach, wood pulp based disposable diapers and non-alcohol based baby wipes made with aloe vera. Organic, vegan baby wash and shampoo as well. No OTC's for them, homeopathic teething gel and colic remedy (when they were teeny), tea tree oil in a humidifier for their first colds).

Cat eats dead animal but use PetGuard which allegedly does not tests on animals and uses no by-products.

We recycle EVERYTHING. Actually, it is mandatory here which is fantastic. Our apartment complex has separate bins for regular trash, paper and aluminum/glass/plastic.

I would LOVE not to have to drive so far for my job (40 miles a day+) but am stuck with it right now. As hybrids become better-designed and we get some money (should only take a few years), that would be my car of choice.

What we don't do for the environment: still use regular toilet roll (husband loves one brand), don't recycle the cat food cans because the smell grosses both of us out, drive too much, too much plastics between household items and baby toys, need kinder lighbulbs but they are a bit pricey and the list goes on ... :(

Nov 20th, 2004, 05:13 PM
Are you talking about light bulbs that last longer? If so, they actally save you money.

It's great that you're apartment complex is like that. The nearest recycling center here is 100 miles away!!!

Nov 20th, 2004, 05:31 PM
Yeah, I used to only have to drive 3 minutes to recycle everything (except copy paper), and now I have to drive about 15 min. each way. It sucks.

Nov 20th, 2004, 06:33 PM
Yeah. Well, today I had to throw away 8 phone books, bags of perfectly recyclable paper, and tons of recyclable plastic!! Even the one 100 miles away doesn't take glass!

Nov 20th, 2004, 07:57 PM
We use recycled toilet paper and paper towel (use minimal paper towel).

We also recycle all of our drink containers (our apartment building doesn't provide recycling bins - we have to take them in ourselves). There is no where around here that takes paper or cardboard. A while ago, I started a recycling program at work (because we go through heaps of water and pop bottles there).

We use environmentally friendly cleaners such as Seventh Generation.

I buy from an organic grocery store (only place where I can really be assured of getting organic) but it is 20km away :( However, because of the distance I try to only go over there once every 10-14 days.

We use environmentally friendly/cruelty free personal care products.

When I'm not working at night, I try to walk to work as much as possible.

Still though - I feel like there is still a lot that I can do to lessen my impact on the environment. Next on my list is to give those new light bulbs a go :)

Nov 20th, 2004, 08:19 PM
Also, turning unplugging appliances when not in use is good. I'm trying to do that more. I just sold my TV, but if I get a new one, I'll hook it up to a switch that plugs into the wall to turn the power to it on and off, so I won't have to reach behind the TV everytime.
I keep the fridge and freezer down to the lowest temperatures. From now on, at present giving occations, I'm going to ask for eco-friendly things, including gift certificates for online organic cotton and hemp clothing free trade stores.
I also use old water bottles and fill them with self filtered water.

Nov 21st, 2004, 04:22 AM
I've been trying to be as environmentally conscious as possible lately. ... One thing I'm stumped over is facial tissues. I barely use any as I'm never snotty anymore. I hate hankerchieves though. I have an ex-boyfriend who used one and it was disgusting. I think I've settled on just washing with water after sneezing.

Like all of you, I try to recycle as much as poss. However, sniveling child, in my view if you're not using tissues, then a hanky is important. If you sneeze or cough without covering your mouth and nose with a large hanky, you're spreading millions of microbes around the place. It's rather annoying when talking with people in a room, and somebody sneezes without covering up. In fact recently I was in a meditation room, and someone had a cough or cold, and kept coughing out aloud without covering. I don't suppose there's anyone on this forum who lived through WWII, but at school and in work, there were notices that said 'coughs and sneezes spread diseases'. I guess that stayed with me! :D

Nov 21st, 2004, 12:02 PM
Well I always cover with my hands, then wash. I don't know about you, but I've rarely been able to grab a tissue in the .1 seconds before I sneeze.

Nov 21st, 2004, 06:29 PM
We use recycled TP and buy paper towel where you can "choose the size", so you're not pulling a huge sheet off for wiping your mouth during dinner. I'm thinking of buying some washable napkins, but that's for partly selfish reasons. (I bought some embriodery patterns and I need something to put them on! :p )

Our city has a curbside recycling program, so we recycle newpapers, glass, plastic, and cans. At work, I throw all my paper in a cardboard box and take it to the baler when it's full. The bales are recycled.

I still have a lot of cleaners from before-vegan, but Trader Joe's makes it so affordable to buy enviro-friendly products that I will be able to replace them as they run out.

I also have lots of pre-vegan lotions and perfumes. I threw some of them out, and kept just the ones that I use a frequently. When they run out, I will buy vegan. My makeup is all vegan. (mascara, powder, and chapstick)

I drive to work (it's 45 minutes away!), but I may have a new job closer to home that I can bike to during warm months.

Nov 21st, 2004, 08:49 PM
anyone who is thinking about using energy-saving light bulbs, i can definitely recommend them. i've changed over all my household light bulbs, and they may be a bit more expensive in the short-term, but they save you so much more money over the life of the bulb. :)

i recycle everything possible, but the council only collect newspaper from the kerbside so i carry all my glass etc. to the bottle bank and pay a local recycling co-operative to take away things like plastic, which the council don't take at all. it doesn't cost me that much, and i think it's worth it, but i'd be grateful if the council would give a tax discount for people who use the co-op, as it reduces the trash they have to collect :rolleyes:

i have a compost heap and don't use any chemicals on my garden, or in my home. i buy a fair amount of organic food. i always turn appliances off at the wall and have a go at my boyfriend if he leaves anything on standby ;) i have my central heating on as low as possible, and heat only one room if i'm going to be staying in there. i'm considering signing up to a green electricity supplier, and i'd love to get solar panels installed on my house but that is an expense that is way out of my budget unfortunately ;)

i try not to buy new things, preferring second-hand stuff if possible, especially clothes. if i really need an item of clothing that i can't get second-hand, i try to buy organic cotton or hemp. other goods like toilet roll, kitchen roll, computer paper etc. i always buy recycled.

i use biodegradable sanitary protection at the moment but i'm going to order some washable ones soon.

i do not own a car and probably never will, as i like walking and i'm lucky enough to have a great bus system around where i live and work, any further afield and the trains aren't too bad either.

there's probably other stuff but i can't think of anything else right now ;)

Nov 23rd, 2004, 05:41 PM
I recycle aluminum, plastic, glass, cardboard and newspapers. No office paper recycling site nearby though I use some of the tons of paper I get in the mail and at meetings as scrap paper (the backs are blank). I'm in the process of setting up a bin at work for aluminum and plastic drink bottles. I requested recycled paper notebooks from management but so far haven't gotten them. I'm saving up to buy organic, fair trade bath towels to supplement what we now have. I mainly buy clothes from second hand shops. I buy about 50 percent organic food. I use Seventh Generation, Dr. Bronner's and similiar household and body products. I drive 30 minutes one way to work :-( I compost kitchen waste. I've started a tiny garden at my house. Just found out about a new organic farm nearby!!!
Am planning on getting a pet door to the uninsulated laundry room where the litter box is. Right now we have to leave the door cracked. I wash clothes on cold. Try to only bathe every other day or every three days but that is hard!!! Plan to buy some of the "good" light bulbs.
I think really long and hard before buying new stuff, try to reduce my wants.