Friday, August 8, 2008

Be a winner

Alright, I promised a contest so you’re getting a contest. Earlier this year I was a lucky winner in one of the drawings on Allie’s Answers in which I received a copy of the book Green Chic. In the spirit of the book and of Allie herself, I decided that I would pass it along through a contest on this blog.

That was forever ago.

I’ve sort of been waiting for Courtney to read it before I recycle it to one of you, but, let’s be honest, my inherent laziness probably would have kept me from getting this done before now anyway. Maybe if I finally designate it for assignment, though, she’ll give it a skim. It is, after all, a book geared for the environmentally conscious woman, or at least women who are considering becoming environmentally conscious. In pointing this out, I don’t mean to scare off any guys from entering this little contest, because the big picture of the book, and most of the details, are applicable and relatable to anyone. Dudes just might want to skip the sections on pedicures and tampons. I didn’t because I like to consider myself well-rounded.

Anyway, here’s the contest: Just leave a comment telling me what you’ve been doing this summer to reduce your impact on this finite little planet of ours. It doesn’t matter if it’s something I’ve already mentioned here or a repeat of another person’s comment. It can even be something that you’ve been meaning to start doing but haven’t gotten around to yet. I just want to see your ideas, no matter how small. I’ll put the names of the people who share on little pieces of paper, draw one at random, and the lucky winner will receive a lovely little green book in the mail. If you don’t want the book I want your comments anyway, so just tell me you don’t want the book. You’re chances of winning are really good, too, now that I’ve chased off my formerly robust readership with my apathy of late.

Just a couple caveats: The winner has to pass the book on to someone else. Also, I’ll be needing your mailing address when I pick the winner, so there goes anonymity (But seriously, I’m barely motivated enough to hold this contest, let alone put on my hockey mask and hunt you down.) Courtney and Allie are not eligible to win, but I still want to hear from them.

To get things started, here are a few things I’ve been doing recently that, in my mind, make me a better person (and that’s the whole point, right?)

-We keep the thermostat pegged at about 80 or 81 degrees. It’s summertime. It’s supposed to be warm. You get used to it. I feel bad about using the AC at all, but we’ve got to keep the fish tank cool. It’s all about the fish, I swear.

-When it’s 80 degrees inside, a cold shower feels really nice. The water in our pipes right now is around 77 degrees, and that feels pretty good. By not using the hot water, I’m not using any extra energy to heat the water up. It’s better for your hair and skin anyway, and I’m all about looking my radiant best.

-While in the shower, there’s no need to run the water when you’re not using it. I know in shampoo and soap commercials those weirdos stand directly under the spray while lathering up, but I know I’m not alone in my tendency to step out from under the water while soaping up. Otherwise what’s the point? So while you’re loofa-ing or whatever you do to get off the filth, turn off the water until you’re ready to rinse. And don’t repeat. It’s not necessary.

-And while we’re talking showers, just don’t take one if you don’t need one. I only bother if I’ve been sweating profusely or I’m just seriously overdue. If you’re not dirty then you’re already clean, right?

So what the hell have you guys been up to?


JustinS said...

I started smiting my enemies instead of just keeping a list of them. I figured that the best way to eliminate the impact of a single person is to just eliminate that person altogether.

Oh, and I bike to work from time to time. I was already doing the public transportation thing as far as I could, but I now pedal in occasionally as well. Not only does it keep a car off the road, it's getting me in better shape so those enemies can't escape as easily.

Will said...

I've been carpooling and i no longer have a an eternal syrofoam flame in my yard.

Noelle said...

I'm already perfect, so I didn't have to do anything new this summer...

Oh alright, I guess I've been driving with the windows down when I'm not on the highway. And that is unpleasant, so it must be good. Also, I pack up my car with my lunch and my gym clothes and whatnot and bundle my trips through the day so I don't have to keep going home to get stuff. That has a nice side effect of also avoiding the my landlesbian.

The Modern Gal said...

I've already won Green Chic from another blogiveaway, but what the hell. I can do my own giveaway, I suppose.

I've been walking to the grocery store which has not only saved gas but also prevented me from buying extra crap I don't need since I have to carry it.

Chris said...

Justins's answer made me laugh out loud. And really, what's greener than eliminating undesirable members of the population?

Meager as these seem in comparison:
-I also turn off the water while soaping up in the shower.
-I'm still refining my hypermiling skills, with my primary focus on timing the redlights so I don't have to stop. (In town, slow down to 25 or 30 way ahead of an approaching red, and chances are it will turn green before you get there.)
-Also, I continue the never-ending quest to cool down my upstairs to a livable summertime temp without having to buy a second AC unit. This weekend's project: a radiant barrier goop that you mix with paint and roll inside your attic. I really hope it works.
-Other likely projects in the near future: composting and rain barrels for the vegetable garden that I keep saying I'm going to plant.

I'm really sick of the word "chic", but I suppose I could still give the book a scan before throwing it into the big tire fire behind my house... er, I mean re-gifting it.

Sarah said...

I just moved to a new part of town where I can walk just about everywhere I need to go.

For a mere $8, I bought a canvas Casiotone for the Painfully Alone bag (which features a ghost trying to get money out of an ATM, for some reason) which I use to do my grocery shopping.

I have tried, but I just can't give up the air conditioning. I'm sorry. I am hoping to compensate for it by using minimal heat in the winter.

Beej! said...

I a shower or two. Also, when not sharing a shower, I am limiting to 5 minutes.

I am not, as a rule, eating meat during the week.

I have taken the train to work more often.

I buy mostly local produce, grow some of my own, and consume what I buy - mostly.

Courtney said...

I know I'm ineligible for this particular contest, but you said you'd like to hear my comment, so here I am.

I've started using rags made from cut-up old T-shirts for cleaning the house. I like that we can just toss them in with the laundry and reuse them again and again instead of using paper towels or those Clorox wipe things.

We've eaten far less meat lately, finding other ways to get protein. We've pretty much cut out red meat altogether.

Of course, I don't have to drive anywhere for work anymore, so that helps.

I guess I have to read that book this weekend, huh?

Allie said...

Well, you already know most of the stuff I do, including the fact that I rub baking soda into my armpits. And pretty much worship at the alter of baking soda in general.

Our new showerhead has a setting for soaping up - it turns the water down to a trickle while you're getting sudsy. Not a bad feature.

TravelingEm said...

Well, I figure what I did this summer was pretty much negated by the flights, but, here goes:

Spent 2 weeks on an organic farm helping to educate drunk tourists about the community they were partying in.

Back home in Moscow, I'm saving the water that would normally get dumped down the sink (like when rinsing out a glass or first turning on the water for the shower) to water all my plants.

I showed the new hires where they can go to buy local produce.

Yesterday I planted lettuce.

I also turn off the water while soaping up.

And my non-existant a/c is never on - though, I wouldn't turn it on if I had it either... it's only 70 here anyway.

PS -If I win, I have access to a local address so don't let the fear of international shipping hold you back ;)

nancypearlwannabe said...

Oh, lots of things!

For one, I bought a bike and I ride it instead of driving whenever possible.

I started buying the Seventh Generation house products. I've been buying produce at the local famer's market. I've also started recycling, which is surprisingly hard to do in the city when you have an out-of-state license.

I know, it's terrible.

I've been using the green bags or no bags at all at the grocery store instead of plastic or paper. Sometimes I use my backpack, even, when I'm riding my bike. I don't use the plastic vegetable bags anymore.

I bought the eco-friendly lightbulbs and I am planning on putting them in very soon.

I also put a self-imposed ban on chains like Starbucks. I've long had a ban against Wal-Mart and haven't been there in over a year. I try to go to local places when possible.

Do I win yet?

Rachel said...

I know I'm too late for this, but that's OK because everyone else is kicking my ass at this whole "green" thing.

--Whenever possible, I walk to the grocery store with my nifty re-usable bags.

--I haven't yet given up air conditioning, but I shut it off and open the windows when it's bearable outside.

--I use my Brita filter to re-fill old water bottles instead of buying bottled water.

Nothing spectacular, but one step at a time, right? I dig Courtney's T-shirt idea and I may just steal it.

Julie said...

I convinced Matt to let me put a light blanket on our bed instead of the big comforter so we don't have to keep it as cool at night.

I, too, turn off the water while sudsing and since I require warm water, I keep a bucket in the shower to collect the fresh water for my cucumber plants.

I turn off lights when I leave a room.

I turn off my laptop every day while at work and every night and unplug it to save energy.

I have improved my gas mileage from 22 mph to 27.5 mph by starting slower and cruising to a stop.

Pet peeve alert: I realize that you don't have to use the force of the water to blast germs off your hands at the sink since we have this thing called soap and so use a much more environmentally responsible trickle of water.

Are you convinced of my awesomeness yet?