sup dog, go green



I want to preface this with a warning. There can be a lot of pressure to go "all-in." I don't want to make you feel that way. I understand that life is a pain in the ass as it is, and major paradigm shifts don't tend to make it easier. I propose that you, gentle reader, use this reference to make small changes when it's possible and makes sense to do so. For me, an initial driver for this was to save money. Reusable products are a no-brainer for saving money, even if the initial cost is high, the returns tend to be pretty quick. For instance I spent 26 dollars to get silicone bags, contrasted with the price of disposable bags, the outlay is 4-5x more, and now I only have 12 bags! That being said, I haven't had much need for additional plastic bags since I made that purchase, and I've easily saved $5 in disposable bags in the couple months that have passed, and over the course of the next 10 years I expect I'll make that money back 100x easily.


Baby steps:


Consider the waste. Do you really need a bag at 7-11 for the drink that's going to hit your cup holder as soon as you reach your car? Probably not. Sometimes you do need a bag, and that's okay, but if it's an option, you should probably try to go with paper.
Don't just consider the waste when it comes to something like plastic bags. What are your egg cartons made of? Are they paper, or foam? Is there a good reason to choose the potatoes on a foam tray and wrapped in plastic, when you could simply grab a couple of baking potatoes instead?
Consider switching from body wash to bar soap. Body wash pretty much requires the use of a plastic container that is one-use-only. Conversely, bar soap can be easily found in cardboard cartons that are easily recycled.
Don't buy unitaskers for your kitchen unless they'll really see heavy use. Do you really need that tomato slicer? What about that dedicated juicer? Unitaskers all seem to actually have a second task they're all great at, ending up in the trash heap after years of gathering dust.

Simple substitions:


Consider if you can swap out something disposable for something reusable. There's obvious options, like coffee cups, plastic straws, and water bottles, but there's also some items you may not have thought about, but can add up for a noteworthy impact.
How about cotton swabs (q-tips)?
Or plastic bags for food storage?
The straws, obviously
What about your sponge?
No more disposable plastic razor blades, fully recyclable here!

Not so simple substitutions:


Electric cars/motorcycles (or for the rest of us) Plug in hybrid cars

Increasing energy efficiency of your home:


Consider some blow in insulation, it's pretty much the easiest way to add insulation to your home.
Double pane windows with an inert gas between the panes are an expensive upgrade, but can save hundreds of dollars per year.
Smart switches with a smart hub. This one is a bit harder to conceptualize, but this combination can allow you to do some awesome things like set lights and fans on a timer, or turn them on and off remotely to prevent energy waste. Even less obvious, a smart lock for your front door. How the hell does that save the environment? Well provided you're using rechargeable batteries, you have a pretty much waste free system that allows you to minimize the number of keys for your house. This is an obvious benefit for security, and also allows you to open up the house as needed in case of emergency, all without the extra cost, energy consumption, or waste.
Solar! This is a sort-of big layout, but not really for most people. I went solar 4 months ago, and so far it has cost me -300 dollars. I paid 0 upfront, recieved a bonus check from the solar company because I didn't require the smart thermostat etc. My first payment will come out in a few days, and it is less than I have been paying the last few months for just electricity. People talk about the 'return on investment' etc, but really, I already have to pay for electricity, and I plan to live in my home for at least 10 years, so it was a no brainer for me.