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What Are You Using Too Much Of?

Most of us have some habits we aren’t too proud of in an environmental sense. It may be that you feel you aren’t doing enough recycling, reusing, that you use too much electricity, that you shop too much, etc. But whether you’re light green or dark green you can keep working on those habits.

Shopping is the one I suspect is one of the most common bad habits have even when they mean to be environmentally friendly. We’re in a very consumeristic culture, and giving up those habits can be difficult. It can be of mixed benefit, such as green consumerism helping to drive the production of more green products while still encouraging people to buy things they don’t exactly need.

Along those lines, one of the more difficult habits to pick up can be buying and using reusable bags for your shopping. This can be made more difficult by the fact that many store employees aren’t used to people using such bags, and so they can sometimes bag items anyhow for you, or even throw out the rejected bag.

Batteries are another topic near and dear to me, as a mother of two children who are all too fond of electronic toys. Rechargeable batteries are quite a delight once you get past the initial investment. They’re a huge savings overall.

Another tough area can be cutting the paper napkin and paper towel habit. Some people may include paper plates into this mix of hard habits to break, but for me it’s the paper towels. When you have small children it just feels so convenient to use a paper towel for the chronic small spills. But my paper plate use is down to when there are just more people around than I own dishes for, which I figure can’t be too bad.

Repairing broken electronics rather than simply replacing them can be quite a tough decision. It makes more sense environmentally, but with the current low costs of electronics and high costs of repair I can see where many people feel that it is not worthwhile. However there are things to do other than just throw out old electronics. Some places will take them as donations, for example. You can also search online for repair tips when something breaks down.

Similarly, take proper care of your electronics and your car. Clean them and keep up with any maintenence required. If it’s worth it to you, even consider buying a service contract when you buy electronics. Sometimes it will be worth it (mine on my computer certainly has been), but other times you’ll have to decide if it will pay for itself in terms of how often the item will need repair during the contract term.

Cutting down on how much you consume is a big part of being more environmentally friendly.Sometimes it’s not the most comfortable thing to do, but you can build up good habits over time.

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