I consider myself an environmentalist. Unfortunately, when some people hear that term they equate it with someone who chains herself to trees in old-growth forests to prevent cutting or who takes a spray paint can to Hummers. I have never taken part in such activities nor ever would. I'm a good girl who obeys the law. To me, being an environmentalist can involve the simplest of actions by each person that, when taken together with the small actions of thousands or millions of other people, could make a big difference in the health of our planet and ourselves. Here are some examples:
1. Walk or ride a bike to destinations when you can. Fellow Bandita Kirsten bikes to work, and I've walked to get my hair cut because my stylist lives in the next subdivision over. Not only are you preventing putting more carbon dioxide into the air we breathe, but you're also saving money (have you seen the prices at the gas pumps lately?) and improving your health. It's a win-win-win situation.
2. When considering buying a car, at least consider going for the smaller, more fuel-efficient model. I drive an older Nissan Sentra with a lot of miles, but it's still small and gets more than 30 miles to the gallon. And it passes my city's emission standards every year by a good bit. Another benefit -- I can fit into parking spaces others can't. Hee hee. (Though not as small of a space as if I had a Smart Car.) If you have children and need the extra space not provided by a small car, there are still options for better fuel economy. Even if you don't go with something like a hybrid SUV, do some comparison shopping regarding miles per gallon before plunking down your hard-earned dollars.
3. Recycle. Many cities have recycling pickup now. And even if you live in an area where you don't, there are likely drop-off points somewhere in or near your town. Don't make extra trips (gas, you know) to drop off recycling, but collect the items in boxes or tubs in your garage until you're going to be driving past the drop-off point anyway.
4. Remember how your mom always told you always turn off lights when you left a room? It really is a good idea! And while you're at it, replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescents. My husband and I have done this and hardly ever have to buy light bulbs. Plus, the compact fluorescents don't give off heat like regular incandescent bulbs.
5. Get a programmable thermostat for your house. They're more energy-efficient. We have two, and we can program them according to when we'll be at home (and need heat or air) and when we're away (when we don't need as much heat or air).
If you'd like to know about living green, one of the places to explore is Yahoo!' Green.
So, do you consider yourself an environmentalist? What things to you do to lessen your negative impact on Earth's resources?