I am the only Texan male in my twenties that doesn't drive a 10mpg jacked up truck. (honda civic)
I don't litter & I turn off the water in between brushing my teeth and shaving
Instead of using lights at night time I try and adapt my eyes like a cat. Sometimes I try using the force as well but it hasn't worked so great.
Oh, jeez, where do I start...
-Minimize driving (which can be hard when I'm in the countryside visiting family- by definition, practically nothing is walking distance)
-Don't buy stuff unless I really think I will use it on a regular basis (secondhand goods are largely exempt from this rule, though even then I tend mull it over for a while)
-Unplug anything that's turned off to avoid "phantom" power drain
-Minimize consumption of meat
-And a bunch of other things I can't think of right at the moment.
However, as someone who is technically an environmental scientists, I should point out that all of the above is not going to save the planet- we need much deeper systemic change to how we operate our civilization. But every little bit helps.
Thanks for the great question! For the last 4 years I used bike and the bus as my primary methods of transportation. Just recently I bought a used car, and before that I occasionally drove my 1980 orange biodiesel station wagon (but it was super unreliable so I'm now selling it).
I mainly stick to a vegan diet (occasionally I'll eat vegetarian/pescatarian) which reduces the demand for meat in the market (it takes ~10x the amount of land to feed an animal that feeds you X amount of calories as it would to feed you X amount of plant based calories). http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/06/27/155527365/visualizing-a...
I do my best to buy locally and organically even if it costs more because I believe that "food is thy medicine" and I do my best to steer clear of GMO's because of the very negative (and possibly non-reversible) environmental effects (http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/GEessays/Why%20You%20Should%20Be%20Conc...) but it's really tough in this country to avoid GMO's entirely in this country (other countries have banned GMO's)
Buying locally saves on obvious things like shipping fuel and refrigeration energy .. etc.
I recycle as best as I can and I'm about to start composting in our backyard!
Most everything I wear is secondhand & I <3 thrift shops.
I keep the cosmic perspective in my intentions everyday... knowing our tiny speck is all we've got inspires me daily to respect our planet :)
I'm always aspiring to do more to minimize my carbon footprint because I do travel by plane frequently.
it's been great reading your posts, they have given me inspiration to unplug more :)
I recycle as much as possible (even when certain pesky apartment complexes don't cooperate by putting recycling bins in the complex due to "high costs"). I drive my recyclables to the nearest recycle bin a few times a month. Incidentally, I feel like these larger coorporations and organizations are the ones who should be reading this! They are the ones doing more damage than a single person can undo!!! (Sorry for the rant.) :)
I carpool with friends when organizing events as much as possible and ride my bike to campus. (That's also because I don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for crowded, unreliable campus parking, though!)
I always carry a water bottle with me and refill it as opposed to buying throw-away drink bottles.
And as others have noted, I also minimize my meat consumption as well as my consumption of toiletries and cleaning products that are non-biodegradable, and contain sulfates, parabens, etc. This also includes purchasing recycled toilet paper and paper towels (even though they are quite expensive!) :(
Julia, I like your "keeping a cosmic perspective" idea. I never thought of it that way but I think I do the same! I try to stay aware of my actions on a daily basis. I hate watching people pollute, throw away recyclables, eat out and pile up paper and plastic waste, and put toxic chemicals into our lakes and rivers. That makes me really sad. But I think watching the big conglomerates produce those bottles, one-use fast food containers, and chemicals en masse is even sadder. I think that's where the most dramatic and urgent change should take place.
I ALWAYS turn off the switch after watching TV and after using laptop which is still not a common practice in my country Bangladesh. In Bangladesh most people they do turn off the switch after charging phone or after using oven but in most houses they do not do so after using TV or laptop never mind how educated they claim to be! However,luckily more people are being aware of their duties to preserve energies and whenever I get opportunities I remind and en-light others to do the same. :)
Currently I don't drive--and have been taking public transportation for a number of years. (It hasn't been easy but I have gotten used to it.) When I computed my carbon footprint it was much lower than the average person (in California) --and not driving seems to be the primary reason.
One of my favorite activities is to take the bus to the Bozeman airport- the bus leaves downtown at 7:10 and drops off people about 1.5 miles away in Belgrade (I'm guessing the taxi cab lobby is preventing a direct run to the airport?). Then, I walk the last part, which goes by one of my favorite bakeries, New Day Bakery. Fortunately, it's about halfway, which is a good break when I have some luggage to carry.
The best part is the last stretch before getting to the airport. I cut across a huge field with a beautiful, backlit view of the Bridgers, usually around 8:30-9:00AM. With a coffee in one hand and a donut in the other, it's probably the best unintended airport commute ever!
I compensate the CO2 emission all my flights - although it feels a little bit like an indulgence fee. Even better is to avoid flying. Night trains are often a good alternative. The shaking of the train usually makes me sleep like a stone..
What a fun discussion!!!!!!