The below tips are from Susan Vogt.
Susan provides monthly tips on becoming eco-friendly in our everyday lives.
88. October 2: PLASTIC
EASY: To reduce single-use plastics (SUPS) carry snacks from home (fruit, nuts, etc.) in a paper bag or reusable bag.
CHALLENGING: Buy juices and soft drinks in cans or glass rather than plastic bottles. After use, recycle them.
89. October 9: ENERGY
EASY: Repair leaks around windows/doors. Lock windows to seal.
CHALLENGING: Repair hot water leaks. Insulate water heater (“blanket”) + hot water pipes (wrap).
90. October 16: FINANCIAL
EASY: When shopping, look for items made as close to home as possible to help reduce the carbon footprint of global shipping. Not only will you save money but also help preserve natural resources.
CHALLENGING: Also look for items that have a reputation for being sustainably made (compostable phone cases, sunglasses made from recycled ocean plastics, etc.).
91. October 23: BATHROOM
EASY: Dental care: Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
CHALLENGING: Consider a bamboo toothbrush. Try silk dental floss; many come in refillable glass containers. Check out toothpaste tablets instead of plastic tubes.
92. October 30: SPIRITUALITY
EASY: Reflect on your environmental hopes and concerns. Find a prayer or meditation in your faith tradition for our earth and environment.
CHALLENGING: Meditate on how this reflection applies to your life.
September 4: FOOD
EASY: Support farmers and reduce food miles by buying local produce.
CHALLENGING: Commit to a “hunger meal” once a week. This might mean skipping a meal or eating only 1 item (like an apple or simple vegetable.)
September 11: BUYING CLOTHES
EASY: When considering buying a new piece of clothing, evaluate whether you really need another “x”. Count how many you already have.
CHALLENGING: If you decide the clothing item really is necessary, evaluate the material it is made out of. Prioritize natural fibers rather than synthetics or acrylics.
September 18: NATURE
EASY: Take a hike in the woods. Listen to the subtle sounds of nature. How many can you identify?
CHALLENGING: In addition to a hike in the woods, “hike” through the poorest neighborhood of your city/town. Listen to the sounds. Are they any different?
September 25: EDUCATE YOURSELF more on Laudato Si’
CHALLENGING: Read the other 7 sub-chapters. It’s a lot to digest. Which of them calls you to action?
Optional Generic ECO-TIP
EASY: Find a newspaper article to read about what your city/town is doing (or not doing) to protect the environment.
CHALLENGING: Figure out a way to join those who are working to protect the environment.
- August 7: PLASTIC
EASY: For Community meals: Instead of plastic utensils, carry a metal collapsible cutlery set or a Spork
CHALLENGING: At home, avoid Teflon-coated non-stick pans as Teflon contains plastic. Invest in ceramic pans instead.
- August 14: CLEANING
EASY: Review my Eco-Friendly household cleaning products list at bit.ly/44rpb3C
CHALLENGING: Choose one new product to try.
- August 21: ENERGY
EASY: Turn off computers and other appliances when not in use.
CHALLENGING: Clean or replace filters for all appliances/furnaces/air conditioners that have filters.
- August 26: EDUCATE YOURSELF
EASY: Google Regenerative agriculture vs Industrial agriculture. Do you understand the difference? Then google “What are the pros & cons of Industrial farming?”.
CHALLENGING: Choose a Regenerative agriculture farming practice to support.
CHALLENGING: Purchase a fuel-efficient car such as a hybrid or electric car.
CHALLENGING: Try taking a shower in the time that your favorite song lasts. (The challenging part is choosing and playing a short favorite song.
CHALLENGING: Reduce your own purchase of clothing by mending the clothes you have or swapping clothes with friends.
CHALLENGING: Ponder the EarthBeat article. Decide what you agree or disagree with. Is there a faith congregation that you can propose an action to?
CHALLENGING: As a result of your reading choose one new action to implement in your life.
- June 5: FOOD STORAGE
EASY: Avoid plastic cling wrap, plastic bags or containers, especially if they can only be used one time and then discarded.
CHALLENGING: Consider alternatives to plastic food containers such as glass jars, silicone containers & lids, beeswax wraps, etc. Do some research.
72. June 12: NATURE
EASY: Spend some time walking, hiking, biking in nature this week.
CHALLENGING: Try to avoid using a car for one day (or at least one trip) this week. Learn what public transportation is available in your area and substitute it (or share a ride with a friend) to minimize car use.
- June 19: PLASTIC
EASY: Inform yourself about the U.N. Plastics Treaty (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoHCkniPt9w) by watching this 3½ minute video supported by The Story of Stuff Project. Ask yourself what you can do to support the treaty’s goals and passage.
CHALLENGING: If you can take the time and are willing to be disturbed, I challenge you to watch at least one of these 3 videos (each about 45 min.)
- The Recycling Myth (https://vimeo.com/665182954 – password: why22)
- We, the Guinea Pigs (https://vimeo.com/703665418 – password: why22)
- Coca-cola’s Plastic Promises (https://vimeo.com/662987000 – password: why22)
- June 26: EDUCATE YOURSELF more on Laudato Si’
EASY: Read Laudato Si’ Chapter 3 (bit.ly/3pCSCjE) on The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis (Section 101-136) which covers Technology, Globalization, and Anthropocentrism. After reading Chapter 3, figure out what “Anthropocentrism” means. Google it if you must.
CHALLENGING: Explain “Anthropocentrism” to someone.😊
Optional Generic ECO-TIP
EASY: Seek out someone impacted by global warming (a farmer, shopkeeper, or someone who has lost a job…) and listen to their challenges.
CHALLENGING: Learn about the brands you buy by reading Behind the Brands and consider whether you should change any ways you spend your money.