Filed under: Waste + Recycling | Tags: clotheslines, compost, dirty, disgusting, environment, toilet, trash, worms
Photo Credit: Doranan
Using compact fluorescents is an easy way to save money and reduce energy use. Turning off your lights when out of the room is a simple action that makes a big difference. Bringing canvas bags to the grocery store is gratifying on a personal level. Biking around town reduces carbon emissions and is a great workout. Eating organic food is a tasty, pesticide free alternative. Buying clothes made from organic cotton is fashionable and smart.
Using a composting toilet?
Protecting the environment can be smart, cool, fashionable, gratifying, and so on. But there are some efforts that are just downright gross. Lets look at a few.
You know the phrase: if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down. Water usage is a grave problem. In Kansas here, the fossil water in the Ogallala aquifer is draining at alarmingly high rates and not being replaced quickly enough to match consumption. One thing you can do to reduce water consumption is to not flushing your toilet after you… uh, urinate and instead saving that flush for more, uh, solid waste. There are not a lot of people on the fence on this; you either swear by it or hate it.
Composting should be relatively easy, but nobody wants to go outside to dump their organic waste, especially when it’s cold. People who compost tend to have another bin indoors for organic waste that is regularly dumped. Where I live, we seal the compost bin because it smells so bad. Everyone cowers when it is opened. And then there is the worms…
Of course, composting is a good way to ease waste flow, reduce the need for landfills, and make great soils. Did you know landfills are so airtight that organic matter will not break down inside? Check out the Radiolab act “The Greatest Hits of Airtight Garbage” for some fun examples.
Ever try hanging your clothes out to dry? There is legal prevention on a local level to prevent individuals from doing “unsightly things” like hanging wet clothes out to dry. However unsightly, this is great way to reduce energy and water usage.
The list goes on from here and I encourage you to include more examples in the comments. On a whole though, I think there is a greater number of attractive ways to help the environment than disgusting ones. Disregarding the environment usually means more trash, contaminated food, and pollution. Caring for the environment means less of these things. Getting dirty in your garden is much different than dirtying up your water supply.
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