happy earth day!


I’ve managed to live car free for almost 6 months now (driving a hybrid Zipcar on occasion). Now I just need to improve my recycling habits! I get really stressed out about saving the earth, taking it one step at a time helps tremendously. How do you improve your earth-saving habits without getting overwhelmed? {photo from here}


  1. I have tried making small changes over time. First being diligent about recycling and now I try to always remember my Baggu reusable bags. Also, at work (a coffee shop) I try to get people not to use paper cups and other disposable products as often.

  2. i just ordered an indoor kitchen composter (not the automatic kind that requires electricity), so hopefully this will help reduce my trash. i also bought an upside down tomato planter (i should figure out how to make my own).

    having grown up in southern california, i’m always careful about water use and only keep the lights on that i need. hopefully a lot of little changes will add up to a sea change in thinking about how we live.

  3. I always keep two cloth bags in a pocket of my bag and I try not to buy anything with packaging that isn’t recyclable. I’ve been less overwhelmed since I went to Dubai – it’s got to be the least environmentally friendly place on earth. Reclaiming land from the sea for mass construction, bits of broken coral washed up on the beach, grass and flowers everywhere with massive irrigation systems to keep them green (ha!), everyone driving gas guzzlers and no recycling whatsoever…Since then I think I’m doing OK!

  4. Luckily I live in Germany, where recycling is maxed out. We have four different waste bins for compost, paper, garbarge and glass plus extra bags for plastic and aluminium which are alle put out and collected as they are. When you get into the habit of it it works easily. We used to have to take everything to the dump (except regular garbage) and we did!

    This what else we do in our household and getting there took us about five years!!

    COOKING: We cook and bake with gas as electricity is extremely inefficient. About 10 percent of the energy produced at the power plant can be used, the rest gets lost on the way or puffs up as warm air whereas a gas flame goes directly to the pan!

    KETTLE: We heat our water on the gas stove.

    MICROWAVE. Is a no-no.

    ORGANIC FOOD: Wherever possible!

    STORING FOOD: We only have a small fridge which is a very energy efficient one. (They have categories for efficient machines over here.)

    FREEZER. Is a no-no. We don’t buy frozen food but eat fresh stuff only.

    HEATING: We keep the house quite
    cool (19 degrees in winter) and wear a thick jumper instead.

    ENERGY: We get our energy from a Germany company belonging to Greenpeace (“Greenpeace Energy). It is 100% “natural”. We don’t have any appliances on stand-by except for the telephone/internet system.

    WASHING: We don’t use a dryer but hang the washing out in summer and dry it indoors in winter. This is very common in Germany. We do have a dryer since we live in the woods where it can get quite damp but use it maybe 3-4 times a year in emergencies. It was what we call a “Fehlkauf”, a “mistake buy”. We don’t really need it…

    SHOPPING. We have a pile full of linen bags. Plastic bags cost extra over here.

    That is all I can think of right now! If you see it all as a fun thing / a challenge then getting there is a real step forward and quite an enjoyment and pleasurable challenge.

    Love, Joanne

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