The following is a list of quick easy and good green things you can do this November that will contribute towards reducing your/our impact on our planet and saving you some money.
1. For the book-worms, you could go paperless and start reading ebooks (if you haven’t already). For those who say that the whole thing about reading a book is holding it and smelling it etc… I say try something new for the planet… I used to be one of those who needed a proper book to read from, however I gave ebooks (kindle iPad app and apple bookshelf app) a shot and found that the benefits are great and include:
- Never losing your page. Whenever you reopen the book/file you will automatically find yourself where you left off. No need for bookmarks, dog-eared books and forgetting your spot.
- The Kindle app has a thesaurus. This is great, even bespectacled book-worm like me (sometimes) need to check the meaning of words
- You can highlight phrases and sections without permanently damaging the book and you can see what phrases etc that other readers have found interesting and highlighted.
- You can have all your books with you are the same time without having to lug an entire library around with you. This is particularly great for travel!! And also for reference and when you forgets parts of stories.
- Ebooks are often cheaper than “real” books.
- you could also recycle all your old books and donate them to a library, charity or educational facility.
2. Recycle yours and other’s wardrobe’s. You do not always have to buy a new pair of shoes, item of clothing or jewelry. Simple changes in your wardrobe and fashion related buying habits can save a great deal of resources, energy and emissions etc. A few tips are:
- Re-sole and re-heel your old pair of favorite shoes. I often get really upset when an old favorite pair of shoes starts to look a little worn or old or needs a new heel etc. Until I found a really good shoe repair place. I have just recently had one of my wardrobe staples re-heeled and re-soled and they are back to perfect and I didn’t have to worry about having them replaced!
- Old jeans can be cut to make shorts or bermudas.
- Maxi dresses can be hemmed or cut and turned into shorter summer dresses.
- Shirts can be taken in or modified to suit the new season trends.
- T-shirts can be dyed, tailored, and tweaked with the help of lace, glitter and paint (lead free of course) etc
- Scarves can be used to accessorize outfits and change looks
- Raid your aunt’s, uncle’s, mother’s, mother in-law’s, granny’s, sister’s wardrobes and jewelry boxes for vintage pieces that can be used to add a bit of flair to your wardrobe. I have found many a gem in my mother’s and mother-in law’s wardrobe!
3. Instead of buying fresh flowers to brighten up your office or home grow your own flowers. Cut flowers even though regarded as “natural” have a significant impact on the environment. One has to look at cut flowers from a holistic perspective and consider things such:
- Carbon and ecological footprint of the cut flower industry
- Water use for growing and storing the flowers
- Costs and emissions associated with the refrigeration and transport of the flowers.
- Costs associated with maintaining the optimal temperature for the growth of the flowers (if grown in hothouses)
- The use of Genetically Modified seed
- The reduction of biodiversity in areas that grow the flowers often in mono-culture fields or hot houses etc.
However, one should also bear in mind that the cut flower industry does in fact provide employment and economic benefits to the areas in which the flowers are grown. As a result the issue is not the kill the industry but rather to nudge the industry towards greener production methods. So until the cut flower industry is able to reduce its negative impact on the environment you could reduce your consumption of cut flowers by the following:
- Grow your own indigenous flowers and use the flowers to make your own flower arrangements. The indigenous flowers in your window box or garden will use less water and attract pollinators as well as increase the biodiversity of the area.
- Grow your own indigenous plants and have statement pot plants placed strategically throughout your home or office. The indigenous plants will also contribute to the biodiversity of the area while creating an aesthetically pleasing focal point.
Getting you hands dirty by growing plants and gardening is also a great and cost-effective way to de-stress and get/ stay in touch with the nature.
Have a great November!