Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Time for October's Mini Eco-Challenge

September has been a long month. It seems  like much more than just a few weeks ago that we had our waste less food challenge. But the end is in sight, and it's time to get ready for next month's mini eco-challenge.

Since October is going to be Green Saves Green month around here, the month's challenges will have not only benefit the environment, they will benefit your pocketbook, too.

If you're new around here, let me explain a little about mini eco-challenges. If you're familiar with them go ahead and jump down to the challenges. 

About Mini Eco-Challenges

Many blogs give month long environmental challenges, and they are great. But they can be overwhelming to those who are just starting out trying to be green or just not possible for a person's individual situation. So I devised week long mini eco-challenges that last only one week. They usually run the first week of each month, and most of the time there is more than one to choose from. You can choose one or all of them. 

My goal here is to help people realize that some of these things that may seem overwhelming are doable. I know it is much easier for people to make a one week commitment than a month long commitment. But what I've found is that many people who have taken some of the challenges have ended up implementing them permanently because they discovered that it was easy to do so. 

So, if you're hesitant to take one of these challenges, remember this - you only have to choose one, it's only for one week, and we're very non-judgmental around here. If you don't do the challenge perfectly, no one will give you a hard time. 

Now, On to October's Mini Eco-Challenges

1. Eat six meatless meals this week - two of them must be dinners. Why is this green? The production and distribution of meat uses a lot of resources and creates a lot of waste and green house gasses. Why does this save money? Meat is really expensive. Pasta is not.

2. Don't allow your car to idle. Why is this green? Idling wastes gas and creates pollution. Why does this save money? You'll use less gas which costs a whole heck of a lot of money.

3. Cancel all (or most of) your catalogs at Why is this green? Over 3.5 million tons of paper are used in the U.S. for catalogs and about 95% of it is virgin paper. Why does this save money? If you don't know about the absolutely fabulous, will make your life perfect, brown suede boots in the catalog, you can't buy them, can you?

4. Hang dry  your laundry for the week. Why is this green? The average dryer puts out 5 pounds of green houses gasses each time it is used. It also uses energy to run. Why does this save money? You'll use less gas and/or electricity so your bill will be lower.

5. Wear the same pair of pants at least three days in a row. Why is this green? You'll do less laundry and save some water and detergent. It will also make the pants last longer since laundering clothes weakens the fibers. Why does this save money? The less your washing machine is run, the more money you'll save. The more slowly your clothes wear out, the less frequently you'll have to buy new clothes.

These are five very simple challenges that shouldn't interrupt your life at all, but will make a small dent in the environmental problem. Every little bit is good. I'll take challenges #1 and #5 - I'm already doing the other three and have been working on #1 with varying degrees of success.

How about you? Will accept a mini eco-challenge this week. Let me know which one in the comments below.

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Allison said...

I'm in. I love your ideas. As you know my goal for October is everyday tell about how I save green while being green. I will be posting later about it. (My attempts to make a simple banner for the theme are going sour. My version of Photoshop is old and cranky and won't open pictures. I will try today and see what I come up with.)

Janine said...

I signed up for catalog choice (finally) and put on one catalog I know I get, unfotunately I have to wait for others to come so I know what to take off. At least I'm on the way:)