buy less food

photo by phuc long

Picture this: farmer plows and plants seeds, waters, protects, and harvests plants. And more, I’m sure. The harvest gets shipped to a grocery store. You buy fruit/veggies/meat/cheese and take it home. Time goes by. Food rots in fridge. You throw it away. Sanitation worker takes it to landfill.

How to change the end of this sad story? Buy less every week and commit to eating what you have.  What could be easier? For those of us who aren’t perfect, make the compost bin plan B.  

bag reduction

photo by silvie tittel

If you can’t go cold turkey and never use another plastic bag, reduce when you can. Keep a couple of reusable shopping bags in the car so you’re always ready.

Think you’re the only one packing your stuff? Look around at the checkout counter- you could be pleasantly surprised. Or be the trailblazer in your community. If others see you doing it, they might too!

borrow or rent

Photo by Alexandru G. Stavrica

Why buy and store that chainsaw/steam cleaner/rototiller you use once a year? I know, it is nice to be prepared. That’s what I tell myself when I look at the 15-year old generator that’s still wrapped in plastic in my garage. On the other hand, if you borrow a neighbor’s power washer and accidentally set it on fire, you should replace it. Just saying.

And if you’re the one with the garage full of tools and stuff, thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

The Car You Hate to Love

Yep, this one is mine.

Owners will privately admit it: the minivan is the Car You Hate to Love. Believe me, I was not an initial fan. But we have lots of family members to transport. Kids to carpool. Stuff to haul. When we had a little ole pontoon boat, we’d hitch it right up. The minivan does it all, and with better gas mileage than most SUVs.

Here’s the secret to saving gas: commit to driving more often than your non-van friends and family. Because you can. And you’ll take 1-3 cars off the road every time you do! If for some reason you feel super-uncool, just tell people it’s a loaner or your grandpa’s car as everyone piles in for the office lunch/football game/guy’s weekend. It ‘s the most comfortable party car around.

Dead set against owning a minivan? When you buy your next car, give priority to those with higher gas mileage. And carpool whenever you can. I’m happy to give you a ride.