Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on the context, I don’t live in HK, so I can’t do the calculation thingy. My workplace has one of those though and I usually come out in the 90s of the percent green footprint. (Wow that makes no sense.)
The things I do that I think make a difference:
- I never open a tap on full, unless I’m filling a bucket in a hurry. I’m pyschotically anal about no drips – my maid will be happy to testify about how many times in the two hours we share the house in the mornings I will summon her to close the leaky tap properly. I have even asked her, don’t you have a water shortage where you live, where do you think it all begins! Big houses who waste water! It still makes me twitch to see how people do the dishes in the US, with about half a bucket per mug. *shudder* This probably has a lot to do with acute water shortages as a kid, which meant summer baths were in half a bucket of water, which you then used to flush the loo.
- Point#1 probably links to why I rarely take more than 10 minutes in the shower, if that much. Am proud to say I can still clean self, this includes two washes and one conditioning rinse when I wash my shoulder-blade length hair, in one bucket.
- I’m crazy annoying about putting off lights and fans. Poor BBot has received irate texts messages about there not being a switch elf who will turn the fan off after he leaves. NF has the habit of leaving lights and fans on, and now whenever I wake up in the middle of the night I do a little circuit of the house. Yeah, really.
- I used to take public transport when I lived in NY, where it was efficient, reliable, and useful! I also walked a lot. Unfortunately this has not translated to my life in India – but I do drive a diesel car with no emissions that gives me 18-20 kilometres to the litre of diesel, so I’m not doing too badly. I also insist on not taking more cars than necessary – cos most of my friends live in the same area, when we go out together sometimes we end up with a car per person almost and I can’t handle that. Course this means I spend a lot of time steaming gently cos I’m always 10 min early, and BBot is always 10 min late, but it’s still worth it.
- I wish we could recycle where I live. We have some sort of recycling service where my parents live though, and my mum is very big on the little-dustbin-for-vegetable-waste-to-put-in-the-compost-pit, so there’s that. I also re-use most plastic take out containers, and use plastic bags from the grocery store for the garbage bins. We also use old wine bottles for water in our house, and I always carry a water bottle, thereby not having to buy bottles/use paper cups.
- I have a one-tissue-per-meal rule. Seriously. Very rarely does one really need more than one tissue per meal, and sometimes when I see people use 5 at a time just dotting the corner of most of them lightly, I start to twitch. I also use sponges and cloth towels, not paper towels, and if its absolutely necessary to use paper – old newspapers. (There’s one way the internet will never kill them!)
- Switch off plugs when they’re not being used, especially if they’re plugged into chargers.
- Am vegetarian, so yay! Hee.
- Print on both sides. Am fiendish about this, and have actually been seen going fuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK when I hit print without checking the settings. Luckily we have a shredder right next to the printer, and the shreds are recycled so I feel a titch better. I also bring paper waste from home and stick it in there.
- Am lucky that I hate yellow light and love white light, so left to myself all lights would be energy saving.
- I never wash clothes hot, even when I lived in the US! I did use a dryer though, boo. But here in India, where there’s ample room for clotheslines, and lots of heat and dry air, I don’t.
- Carry my mug when I got to get coffee!
- Carry bags to the supermarket – though I do recycle the bags, I think they’re less biodegradable than garbage bags, so it might be better to just buy garbage bags and carry cloth to the store.
- Fly less. There was a time when I loved trains so much, and was so broke I never took planes. But now, especially since I end up going places that are more than 14 hours by train, and become impossible to do on weekends, and have acquired frequent flyer miles to give me free flights, I can’t remember the last time I took a train. Bad MinCat.