Is going green falling out of fashion?
By now, however, many of us have realized that converting to an eco-friendly lifestyle isn’t easy.
These things take time, and we’re not ready to buy a Tesla or double-insulate the attic, not just yet.
Fortunately, there are little things we can do to green up, bit by bit.
Here are three practical things to tackle in 2011.
Think of them as green New Year’s resolutions. All of them are related to eating and drinking, things we do every day.
What: Bring a reusable tumbler to the espresso stand.
They’re prettier than the ugly, awkward travel mugs of the past. They’re also easier to clean. And they usually fit easily into car cup holders. Some are even made with recycled materials.
Why? You’ll cut back on the billions of disposable cups Americans throw out every year. That saves not only on the environmental costs of disposal, but also on raw materials and energy used to manufacture the cups in the first place.
Show the world that you’re thinking and acting green. Other coffee fans will see you doing this at the coffee stand and they might decide to do it, too.
How? See tinyurl.com/takeatumbler for a variety of cool cups to try to the espresso stand.
What: Bring a kitchen kit to work. If you find yourself using a multitude of throw-away paper plates and cups, and plastic forks, spoons and knives at work, this one is for you.
Skip the disposables — and the Earth-taxing manufacturing and distribution required for such items — by dedicating a set of cutlery, plus a bowl, a plate and whatever else you need, to work.
Yes, you’ll use more water, and a bit of time washing the dishes, too, but you won’t create as much trash. You might even considering bringing a fresh cloth napkin to work once a week.
Why? Reduce, reuse, recycle is the mantra. This is yet another way to walk the walk and raise awareness about waste among your co-workers.
What: Compost your food waste.
Americans throw away more than 25 percent of the food they prepare, about 96 billion pounds of food waste each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Why? This is not good. Food production is hard on the planet. We make matters worse when we waste it. In Snohomish County, we truck food waste, which is mostly water, to the landfill, 300 miles away in Eastern Washington. All we really have to do is let it rot.
How? If you have curbside yard-waste service offered at your home, you’re all set up to compost.
You simply need a pail or bin to collect it in your kitchen. Then you throw it in the yard waste receptacle. See tinyurl.com/foodscraps for food-waste composting tips and tricks.
Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037, email@example.com.