It's easy to burn out in the face of the gargantuan hurdles between us and a sustainable society, but if we believe we are too small to be of consequence, we will become too weak to change even ourselves. Do what you can, sustain yourself, and envision the world in which you want to live.
Do You Know Where Your Bike Is?
Bicycles are the most efficient forms of transportation on the planet. They are a fantastic way to get exercise, easy to repair, and you can always ride them guilt-free. Stillwater is a certified bike-friendly community, and OrangeRide offers low-cost rentals and repairs. Visit OSU Parking at the Multi-Modal Transportation Terminal (MMTT) to obtain your free bicycle permit.
Bottled Water Alternative
Want an easy way to conserve energy, water, and money? Consider committing to a reusable water bottle, preferably one you already own. OSU has several refill stations around campus, so it's easy to stay hydrated and kick the trashy bottle habit. Not convinced? Check out some of these staggering facts about the bottled water industry.
Worried about chemicals but still want your house to be clean? Then vinegar might be your new best friend. Distilled white vinegar is considerably cheaper than all-purpose cleaners, is environmentally-friendly and safe and has a plethora of applications. For recipes for do-it-yourself vinegar cleaners, go to vinegartips.com.
Cook All Local
Try cooking an all local meal! In the winter this might be a winter stew with root vegetables; in the early summer this might be a salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, and peas. By knowing what's seasonally available at different times during the year, you can identify which products were trucked or flown in from California, Mexico, or Chile and have racked up the miles, even if they are not labeled. Take a look at the local food guide published by Sustainable Stillwater and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
Don't forget to check out the Stillwater Farmer's Market!
Protect Yourself from Vampire Electronics
Many appliances that are plugged in suck electricity even when they are turned off. If you hook them up to a power strip, it's easy to press the off switch after using them to save energy.
Start a Compost at Home
Composting is one active way to create a reciprocal relationship with the environment. Instead of sending your table scraps to the landfill, where the food decomposes in trash, you can let your your apple cores and coffee grounds mature into a rich compost, which then returns their nutrients back into the earth. To find out more about how to compost and how to build compost bins from the DEQ . You can also let worms eat your garbage!
Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
Looking for an easy way to save energy? ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. In fact, if every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, enough energy would be saved in one year to light more than 3 million homes.
Vote With Your Dollar
Buy products that are sustainably produced. Whether it be recycled content, environmentally-friendly production, or simply choosing durability over convenience, every dollar you spend on these goods or services is a vote for them to be produced over less sustainable options.
Online Item Exchange
There are a number of ways to lessen your impact on the environment by choosing to reduce and reuse old items. By using an online item exchange like Freecycle you can pass along items you no longer want to people who can use them and prevent waste from going into the landfill!
Adapted from Northland College by Reese Tipton