20 Years of Trying
I've always despised litter - I kept asking people, when I saw them throw something on the ground, "Would you s**t where you eat?" (I don't see a diplomatic post in my future!)
Anyway, I think litter was my starter point. 20 years ago I started recycling newspapers, aluminum and tin cans, and plastic bottles. Over the years, I've added magazines, phone books, cardboard, plastic bags, batteries and Styrofoam. I've also cut down on a lot of waste by opting-out of receiving unsolicited junk mail (you can do it too at www.optout.com, which also reduces your risk of identy-theft). I've updated applicances and A/C and installed a tankless water heater. I've caulked, insulated and sealed. I've reduced the mowable area of my lawn to a small patch before my front door by planting perennials and trees and laying down miles of weedblock and thousands of pounds of pine needles. My actual lawn is now so small that 2 years ago I abandoned the gasoline-burning lawn mower for an old-timey non-motorized reel mover. BTW, my yard looks like a mini nature area instead of a structured, manicured testament to man's ability to conquer nature. I find my natural, little spot on the earth to be very soothing; a refuge. I have rainwater collection barrels which have been a life-saver for my perrenials and trees during the severe drought in the southeastern U.S. I drive a non-guzzling car, but really want something more efficient.
I feel like I'm keeping my carbon footprit to a minimum, but what's truly incredible to people that I know, is that my utility bills have remained virtually the same over the last 20 years. What's incredible to me is that most of the people who are so impressed by my environment/money-saving success, aren't inspired to make any changes in their own lifestyles. I do know 2 people with very small lawns, who switched to reel mowers. So, there's 2 small steps..............