All this talk about the environment and global warming has me thinking about my part in the play called life.  What do I do to “Go Green”? Am I really making that much of an impact? How can I do better?

The answer to the first question? I recycle – some.  Have you ever tried to sort recyclables in an apartment that doesn’t really have space for a trash can? This is my life. It also pains me to admit that I sometimes grab a new water bottle from the fridge instead of refilling my aluminum bottle that sits on my desk.  The coffee table is a good recycle bin for magazines. When the pile is tall enough that it starts to block my view of the TV I load up a sack and haul it all away. I try to do the same with cardboard boxes, but that is easier said than done. First, you flatten them, then struggle to keep them flat, and finally find somewhere to stack them. It all comes down to one BIG PAIN.

The answer to the second question isn’t easily found. I often ask myself how one person could alter the fate of the world by deciding to recycle. At first it seems impossible, but by doing lots of thinking I’ve come to this conclusion.  If I recycle and I make a big-ridiculous deal out of it, then 5 of my friends will feel guilty enough to start recycling in their homes. The goal in the end is for people everywhere to recycle, right?  If everyone tried to outdo a friend, then ultimately we would impact not only the environment, but the lives of everyone around us. Screwed up as it sounds, it works.

So… ideas for improvement? One super-easy option is to sign up for E-Statements. You might ask how one piece of mail will help in the grand scheme of things. Look at it like this: if you can eliminate at least two pieces of paper for each account (checking and savings) once a month, for a year, then you cut approximately 48 pieces of paper and 24 envelopes from your yearly usage. It may not seem like a lot, but for a pack-rat like me it makes a huge difference. With E-statements I simply file the statement away by date in an electronic folder on my computer. I can easily find them and if I ever truly need to print one out I can do so without a problem.*

Now… where did I put that aluminum water bottle – time to fill it up again…

*If you’re going to store your statements on your computer it’s a smart idea to back up your files on an external hard drive or other storage device. It’s devastating to lose everything when the computer crashes… trust me.

Go Green in January!

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