Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Walking the Walk

After the Project Front Yard press conference and awards ceremony and the Keep Louisiana Beautiful annual conference, I've been feeling inspired to DO more. I love writing and researching for the blog, but I'm feeling compelled to be more active out and about. It's not just about talking the sustainable talk, but about walking the walk.

So...here we go!

What I've Made a Habit (/Obsession)

Picking up more litter I come across. 
This is probably my biggest focus in the fight against trash everywhere. I was shopping one afternoon, and in two stores, I came across drinks left on the shelf. I mean, seriously y'all. If you bring a drink with you, don't leave it on the shelf! 
 
On my afternoon walks, I pass a pond, and one day, I found styrofoam cups floating near the bank. Even in a skirt, I went over, pulled the cups out, and threw them away. It was nasty. 
 

It's just ridiculous how much trash is everywhere all the time. I've found pedicure spacers in the parking lot of a clothing store. Why!?! 

And I take it upon myself to pick up what I can, because it's not just a job for inmates or store employees. It shouldn't be their job to pick up and throw away what someone is too lazy to throw away themselves. I look at it as a way of advocating for people to take some responsibility, if they see a random person like me picking up trash and throwing it away...taking an extra 10 seconds out of her day.

Using cloth bags at any store, not just grocery stores. On that recent shopping trip, I made multiple stops, and had a cloth bag for each one. It was awesome to not come home with a wad of plastic bags! I've started to keep some of the packable shopping bags in my purse, so no matter where I am, or if I'm not in my own car, I've got something to use.

Bringing my own and recycling as much as possible. 
Last weekend at Festival Acadiens, I only used a trashcan for my food trays (couldn't avoid those, dangit.) My drink cups were all recycled, and I brought water in my insulated Kanteen. I kept my fork to reuse, and brought a cloth napkin.


And I never forget my trusty Downtown Alive reusable cup! (However, some of the beertenders still fill a disposable plastic cup and then pour it into my cup, so that's defeating the entire purpose.)


Avoiding styrofoam.
Especially after watching Bag It! and listening to Marcus Eriksen speak at the Keep Louisiana Beautiful conference, I made a goal to renew my vow to use styrofoam as little as possible. I refuse to use a styrofoam cup, and will pass on items if they are packaged with foam.

Maximizing my fuel efficiency.
I've adjusted to driving a hybrid, and I'm working on getting my average miles per gallon as high as I can. I had been averaging about 46-47 MPG on a tank, but more recently I've been pushing it to 48-50, and the highest average I hit (for a day) was 53 MPG!

Getting involved!
I'm pretty sure we look like a stock photo for having fun while recycling, but cleanups actually do make a fun time. I pitched in recently with ReCover Acadiana and Project Front Yard on their Embrace-a-Space program and helped pick up litter along a Lafayette street.

 
Coming up next week, Keep Lafayette Beautiful is participating in United Way's The Big Event, spearheading a team on a park beautification project. With thousands of student volunteers coming together on one day, there will be a huge impact on Lafayette, from trash cleanup to beautification to service.

What I Want to Improve

Being more vocal.
I've got a few ideas in the works for talking to businesses and companies about ways they can easily be more sustainable. I just need to finish them and make some connections!

Beyond that, I just want to keep advocating for reducing, reusing and recycling, on my own and in conjunction with other awesome organizations.

 
Getting more produce bags.
As much as I use cloth bags at the grocery store, I always forget to bring my reusable produce bags. And when I do, I only bring the three I have, which never covers all the produce I pick up. So I ordered more this week!
 
Bringing my own to-go container to restaurants. I have still not gotten in the habit of doing this. Although we don't dine out often, and I don't usually have leftovers, I still want to at least have one in case. Or at least have one for my fiance to use.

I also want to get in the habit of bringing a more sustainable container to places that typically use disposable plates. I've got the drink container habit down, but not food.

Transitioning to more organic and natural beauty products and clothes. This will eventually be some feature posts, when I get to it. I have started researching and getting new chemical-free products, and it's almost been a success. (Two words: natural deodorant. One face: :( )


What sustainability habit do you want to improve on?

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