Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, December 2

Gapers Block

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Andrew Huff / April 22, 2009 12:08 AM

It's Earth Day, after all.

Steven / April 22, 2009 2:13 AM

Not having kids. Making my dogs use their peepads TWICE before I toss them out. Using Miso Pretty shopping bags to carry groceries in. Running the dishwasher with at least three place settings. Buying eggs from cage free chickens. Drinking tap water instead of bottled water (I don't bother filtering it; I WANT it to kill me). Bringing all my unwanted clutter to the Brown Elephant. Washing everything in cold water, not just colors. Using lemon and/or vinegar instead of bleach. Turning the thermostat down to 72 in winter. Squeezing my own orange juice. Using beet greens instead of throwing them away. Buying seedless grapes. Driving 75 mph on the Interstate (although it's not always humanly possible). Buying only 1 magazine a month. Shredding all my paper waste, not just stuff with personal information on it. Not feeding pigeons.

madachode / April 22, 2009 9:36 AM

After I change the oil for all 5 of my cars, I return the oil back to the earth from which it came from. It helps my "oil tree" grow.

Carrie / April 22, 2009 10:22 AM

I use reusable grocery bags. I'm a recycling nerd... I've even inspired a few people at work to recycle/bring their own coffee cup. I use reusable cups for coffee and water at work. I've been trying to be more conscious of the products I buy... lotions, shampoos, etc. and I try to support local businesses that use sustainable food/goods. I bring my lunch 95% of the time. I turn out lights when I'm not in a room and unplug (most)stuff that isn't being used. (I'm not real good about unplugging lights) And my grand prize for cleaning out my closet (and having a yard sale/donating) and rearranging my storage area-- a worm compost. I still need to do a little more research and find the right bin for me, but soon I will have nice little compost.

mary / April 22, 2009 10:29 AM

i use my own bags at the grocery store, and in the case that i dont have one with me elsewhere, i reuse the bag in my garbage can(s). i unplug everything i don't need that may drain energy. i reuse plastic containers and try to buy biodegradable products/packaging.

at work, i'm "green" in terms of printing (not unless it's needed, and then double sided) and recycling(pretty much everything).

i don't do anything above and beyond, but generally i'm just conscious of the decisions i make and how wasteful the result may be.

eee / April 22, 2009 11:23 AM

I recycle all my paper waste/garbage here at work. At home, we recycle everything we can. In our town recycling is collected free of charge, no matter how much you have on the curb every week. The city charges to haul away garbage, which just adds financial incentive to recycle. I love that when garbage day rolls around there are more blue bins than garbage cans in my neighborhood.

Michi / April 22, 2009 12:40 PM

I just created 1000 copies of my new CD, but instead of plastic jewel cases I had them made in paper wallets with "green forestry practices" by
I love the way they look too!

Pete / April 22, 2009 12:46 PM

Reading Gapers Block exclusively online, of course!

anon / April 22, 2009 2:40 PM

I live in an apartment building so I don't have a blue bin. I sneak around in my neighborhood and put stuff that can be recycled in the blue bins behind the single family homes.

annie / April 22, 2009 3:07 PM

When I was a kid I was so insane about the environment..wish I had kept that going, but I grew up and some things get harder when you're older. Anyway, I mean I was nuts, I thought everything we purchased encased in plastic would be the death of me and my kids; and I would constantly take this up with my parents by saying "what do you care, you'll be're leaving this mess for the rest of us" they would just shake their heads and say, "oh Annie, nothing like that is ever going to happen". Well, my mom listened and today, she is the biggest recycle advocate I know, she has a compost container and rain barrel collector in her back yard for her garden and flower beds and she re-uses everything! yay mom! I recycle, I don't drive, not out of financial necessity but b/c I don't need one and I know what those suckers are doing to us. I ride my bike when the weather allows me to, to most places otherwise I take the lovely bus! (Big trips I use I-Go)And while I do recycle and take the time to wash the glass ware or plastic I actually know that the city doesn't recycle nearly what people think they do.

I have been thinking about the other ways I try to help save "our mother" and other than bio friendly cleaning products and not using paper towels, unplugging when not in use and using high effecient light bulbs, going to the "green" cleaners and washing in cold, etc. I'm really not that great and need to work on that. For starters, I smoke and I run on a motorized treadmill to work out, shower at the gym and I can't imagine they have some low flow water pressure, plus the amount of towel washing that place does, I should be ashamed to pay them as much as I do. But perhaps the biggest offender of all is the fact that I actually sit here year round with a space heater on to keep me warm and cozy, sometimes I double it up with a heating pad b/c my place of work is freezing and makes me crabby Oh and the wine bottles that I essentially throw out monthly is not only not getting recycled b/c of the kind of glass it is, is probably causing severe liver damage. I have, however, stopped getting bottled beer when I'm out....It's the least I can do, right?

ballpeen / April 23, 2009 12:33 AM

today, i am raising pollywogs.

David / April 23, 2009 2:24 AM

*Being vegan.
*Keeping most of the lights off in my home, and keeping the temperature cool in winter/a little warmer than I'd like in summer.
*Using reusable bags.
*Buying organic and (often) local food.
*Assigning as few printed books as possible in classes.
*Doing activist stuff.
*Those kind of things...

Spook / April 23, 2009 11:00 AM

Well I'm calling on Steven, annie and Dave to do more
to help conserve natural resources and the environment,
Because I'm just kinda lame, but I promise to do more, besides not having kids. I use to actually disdain "environmental activists" because I felt it was easier to care about the environment as opposed to human rights. Then I grew up and realized they are one in the same

Mucky Fingers / April 23, 2009 11:09 AM

I ride a bicycle whenever possible instead of driving, I buy all my groceries local, and I maintain a largely vegetarian diet.

Of course, I do NONE of these things for the environment. I do them for reasons of thrift.

Chris / April 23, 2009 11:56 AM

I let it mellow if it's yellow.

annie / April 23, 2009 12:07 PM

Hey, Chris I do that I can add that to my sad little list.

jaime / April 23, 2009 2:18 PM

as much as it sucks to be broke/in crazy debt (thanks, college), it has accidentally made much more environmentally conscious. when i started thinking about all the ways i could cut costs in my life, it became clear that pared-down living was eco-living as well. i don't have a car, i reuse all my glass bottles & jars after i've finished with the food inside, i get my bills emailed so i don't have to buy stamps or envelopes & i carry my groceries in my backpack (which not only reduces plastic bag waste, but makes me very aware of what it is that i'm buying & how it's packaged so that i don't wind up buying more than i can carry home). i also don't have a microwave, which means i buy very few packaged/"convenience" foods. those products have so much plastic wrap involved in them it's unbelievable.

i also use those tree hugger lightbulbs, but i hate them. i mean, seriously. if i wanted to see myself in such ugly lighting i'd just go to work.

Amanda / April 23, 2009 2:51 PM

I have found that without a car, it is impossible to recycle. How are you supposed to get your stuff to the recycling centers?

annie / April 23, 2009 3:21 PM

Amanda - you can toss all of that in an IGO car!!

A / April 23, 2009 3:54 PM

I use the library to fufill as much of my reading list as possible. When I do get rid of a book that I've purchased I sell it to "Cash4Books" or some similar website. The amount of money I earn is paltry, but I feel better knowing that the book is making its way to some other college/grad student who will use it, rather than junking up a Salvation Army shelf (where it will probably get tossed eventually).

PMan / April 23, 2009 9:04 PM

Since I read about the Pacific garbage gyre, I've tried to cut back on my plastic use. I keep leftovers in saved storage containers rather than baggies and I refuse shopping bags whenever I can.

Spook / April 23, 2009 10:53 PM

"I let it mellow if it's yellow"

Man, I'm sorry, but that's just disgusting , I dated a women who said and did that and it was just gross.

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