Jan 17th – Investigate how to obtain, or go buy, a compost today… or get a “green bin” through your city.

This has been on my list for a long time.  With Spring/summer on their way, I am going to get my compost now, so that hopefully I will have some great soil to use for planting when it starts to warm up.

There are amazing options to compost, even “odorless” ones for condo’s and apartments.  Many towns/cities offer free composting classes and the ability to buy composts at a discount, so it’s worth looking into if you are up for this ‘change’ today.  If you google ‘composting’ and where you live you should be able to find some information.  If you live in LA, here’s the info… http://san.lacity.org/solid_resources/recycling/composting/

If you are not up for the task of having your own compost, foods such as fruits, veggies, coffee grounds and grains (no animal based foods) can go in your green bin (where you put your grass clippings/leaves, etc.).

According to a report on CBS Sunday Morning, it is estimated that up to 40% of food produced in the US goes right to the trash, and according to the EPA, yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 23% of US municipal solid waste stream.  What a difference in our landfills if we composted instead.

Helpful website on composting info… http://www.composting101.com

Jan 16th – Let 3 people go in front of you today and pay it forward.

Open the door for someone, let them pass in front of you in the car lane, hold the door open at the elevator.  Simple things to be more kind is good for all of humankind… and I believe in karma.

And if someone seems rushed and unappreciative, remember, we have no idea what is going on at that moment in their day… just be thankful that you have the time, self-worth, and physical, mental and emotional ability to do something good such as this.

Jan 15th – Create a zero-waste lunch today.

What is a zero-waste lunch? Just as it implies, nothing is wasted and thrown in the trash – all items are either eaten, composted, reused or as a last resort, recycled.

If you want to spend the cash for a sit-down lunch (with no throw away packaging), no problem, but that can get expensive and time-consuming especially if you are pressed for a quick lunch.  Packing lunch for the day can be your healthiest and most cost effective option.  Start with a reusable bag or box in which to pack it; utensils that can preferably be washed and used again (vs. recycling plastic forks and spooks), a reusable water bottle and containers to hold your food (Bento boxes and things like LaptopLunches are fun, but any reusable containers will do), a cloth napkin, and just the right amount of yummy food and drink to fill it up.

According to Nubius Organics, over 50% of items thrown away each day come from food waste and food packaging.  Your zero-waste lunch makes a difference.

Find more GREAT information on waste reduction at: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/ReduceWaste/

Jan 14th – Turn off any lights that are not absolutely necessary. Have a romantic dinner by candlelight?

Easy to do, easy to forget. Needless to say, it saves energy.

The amount of energy and money saved differs depending on what types of bulbs are being used (Incandescent (no!), Halogen, CFL, LED).  Ironically, CFL (compact fluorescent light) lighting is beneficial to be left on if it is going to be fewer that 15 minutes, but that affects the longevity of the bulb, though it still saves energy simply being off.  So it seems the best solution to avoid having to think about this would be to just keep all of them off as much and as long as possible.

We might go really crazy and try to keep all lights off today!

If you want to get an exact calculation of the cost/dollar amount you can save, there is a fun calculator at:   http://www.csgnetwork.com/elecenergycalcs.html

Also, you can read more about turning lights off at:  http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/when-turn-your-lights

Jan 13th – Refrain from using any paper towels today.

This is startling, but 51,000 trees are cut down EVERY DAY to make paper towels. 13 BILLION pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year.  If every American used just one less paper towel a day, we would save 571,230,000 pounds of paper in one year.  These numbers are astonishing and this is an easy “change” to do.  Some ideas to share:

  • Wipe your hands on your pants to dry (best solution esp. when you are out!)
  • Use rags at home instead of paper towels to clean hands and messes
  • Check out these two videos on ideas of how to better our habit…

-Cool idea called Jimmy Towel just got funded through KickStarter.com (a new product they are going to produce in the U.S., yay!) great video:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/166525302/jimmy-pocket-towel-saves-trees-and-reduces-waste

– Joe Smith, Lawyer, active figure in the Oregon community, and advocate of proper use of paper towels, shared some of the above listed statistics in his TEDxConcordiaUPortland speech in March of 2012 http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_smith_how_to_use_a_paper_towel.html

Jan 12th – Do an activity out in nature.

Hopefully the weather agrees with our ‘change’ today!  Enjoy a moment outside and following yesterday’s One Change Daily of remembering how lucky we are to be human, remind yourself today how lucky we are to have nature and the gifts of a blue sky, green grass, and fresh air to breath.  Doing the activity you choose should require you to take a few extra deep breaths, taking in additional oxygen, making you more alert as you admire your surroundings… it can be rejuvenating.

 

Jan 11th – Share a meal with a friend today and reconnect with another human – in person.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner or an extended coffee… you don’t literally have to share your meal, but break bread with a friend and reconnect with someone on a personal level.  We rely so heavily on technology for our communication, amongst having too many things on our ‘to do list’ that it is easy to forget the importance of face to face relationships, AND sitting down to enjoy the food we are so fortunate to eat.

So, since it’s Friday, stop to have an fabulous conversation with a friend, enjoy your yummy food, and remember how lucky we are to be humans and not a computer or cellular device.