I’ve been living in apartments for my entire California experience, about 4 years now. Apartment living lacks many benefits, I miss having a yard, I can’t stand the limited storage and I find it very challenging to recycle. I think the challenge makes sense really. Space is limited and the recycling bins are 5 stories down on the other side of the parking garage. There is no recycling shoot, only a trash shoot so it’s easier to just say “screw it”.
I’m not saying that I’m the most Eco-friendly citizen but I at least make an effort. I unplug my plasm at night and I’ve installed all energy efficient bulbs thanks to the SDG&E subsidy. I refuse to use my AC but I understand that luxury doesn’t pertain to most places outside of southern California. I also recycle and it’s not too much of a hastle.
To store my recyclables I converted one of my bottom kitchen cupboards into a storage bin. It’s one of those cupboards that is huge, it stretches all the way back behind the oven and is very inaccesible. I lined it with garbage bags for leaks and I basically throw anything that is recyclable in there. I spend about 20 minutes every two months sorting through my recycling stash and another 10 dragging it downstairs. I also keep a brown paper bag by my front door for paper recyclables, especially mail.
My effort is minimal and I’m able to recycle a lot, which I think is more than most other apartment dwellers can say.
I’ve had this idea for about 6 months now and funny enough I had a friend call me last week asking if I knew any companies in San Diego that would deliver an “environmentally friendly gift basket.” I snickered at the question and told him the story of how I thought someone could make some money of such an offering.
Well, just to clarify the idea I had was to start a company that delivered eco friendly gift baskets. Everything about the gift basket had to be eco friendly including the items in it, the packaging, the delivery and even the content (books, guides, etc). So what I’m thinking is you get a gift basket with environmentally friendly advice booklets, LED bulbs, recycling guides, my shower timer, a re-usable shopping bag, etc. I’m sure there are hundreds more items that could be included I just haven’t put enough thought towards it.
I suppose, if it has any food, that it should should be organic and free-range. That in itself brings up some random thoughts, I don’t think most people send chicken, beef or pork in a gift basket but you never know. I guess it could be free-range beef jerky!
Well, back to the original thought. I think there is some money to be made selling these green baskets. With today’s huge push to be environmentally friendly it makes sense. I don’t think it is really the contents that matter but rather the teaching or promotion of “thinking green”. For instance my parents live in Chicago and they have never really had to be eco friendly. They’re not awful but they’re not good. If I could send them a green gift basket they might become more aware of their actions. Like I said last week:
What it boils down to is awarness. If you’re not aware of what you consume you will never consciously attempt to reduce it. The same applies for electricity, food, money etc. By making people aware of the water they are consuming they may be much more inclined to reduce their usage.