One of the goals I have with becoming a high school biology teacher is that hopefully I will have the chance to help kids learn to enjoy science. I think that is sometimes the beginning of learning to care for the environment. In my ninth grade biology class we did "Seton Spots," where each student had to pick a location in nature to spend a series of visits sitting and observing their surrondings. I loved and still love the opportunity to do just that. I hope that my enthusiasm and dedication will be contagious.
As for the little things I referred to in the post title, I thought I'd mention some of the things I do (both consciously and subconsciously) to keep my carbon footprint down. Sometimes all it takes is hearing someone say what they do and why for the lightbulb to go off in your own head. It's easy to overlook the obvious. There are lots more things I could be doing or could be doing better, so I'm always on the look-out for inspiration. Got ideas? By all means share them!
- I am passionate about recycling. The county I live in does well with recycling. It kills me that in this day and age recycling isn't mandatory. When I lived in Florida, no one recylced. But even here many people still don't understand what is and what is not recyclable. Toilet seat? NO!
- I try to avoid buying things that are bottled in containers that are not recyclable (numbers other than 1 or 2).
- I only run the dishwasher and washing machine when I have full loads.
- I wash most of my clothes with cold water.
- I often have only one bulb lit in the whole house (living room).
- I use as many of the energy saving light bulbs as possible.
- I wear many of my clothes more than once (especially pants and sweatshirts) between washes.
- I donate my old clothes, shoes, and what-have-yous instead of just throwing them in the trash.
- I love the Farmer's Market and support the idea of buying local (this I could improve on!).
- I return all of my bottles and cans and support the idea of an expanded bottle bill for non-carbonated beverage containers.
I'm sure I've forgotten many of things that I meant to mention, but perhaps they will come to me and I can add them later.
One of the many things that I do that bothers me is the length of my commute. Due to the nature of my job and my schooling, carpooling is not an option, nor is mass transit. I can only hope and pray that after graduation I can find a job that is closer to where I live.
I would also like to start composting at some point once I get settled into my new house and figure out the best way to do it for my yard and my neighborhood.
I believe that protecting our environment is not just something good to do, it is the right thing to do. And I feel very strongly about right versus wrong.