Reducing My Carbon Footprint


This charming fountain at the entrance to the park, is right outside my window.

I have been an environmentalist my entire adult life, I even started recycling when I was in my teens. With my children launched (the youngest moves into his own apartment July 1st) I have more flexibility in my lifestyle choices. Here are things I am doing this month to reduce my carbon footprint.

~ Moved to a studio apartment in a walkable neighborhood. While my automobile is a hybrid and gets excellent gas mileage, it still spews CO2. My new apartment has two grocery stores, a hardware store, the post office, countless restaurants & coffee shops, two Fair Trade stores and a host of other delightful establishments within a few blocks of my apartment. There is a little park, right outside my window. By only driving if I am going a distance of two miles or more, I reduce CO2 emissions, improve my health and save money on fuel.

~ I am eating vegetarian again, and have signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) where I know the farmers who locally grow my organic food. If you would like to know more about how important soil quality is to reversing global warming, I strongly recommend the book Kiss the Ground by Josh Tickell.

~ I am in charge of a landscaping project at the local Quaker meeting house to convert the plantings to native species. If you would like to learn more about how important native species are to a healthy ecosystem, I recommend Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy. It is not just enough to reduce our carbon emissions, we must put the carbon back in the ground, which is best done by plants and trees and farming techniques.

~ One half of my summer wardrobe is recycled. Since I am spending so much of my time gardening, I don’t need a lot of fancy clothes. I cut the legs off my old jeans and wear old T-shirts when I’m getting dirty. As I need to replace worn items, I am buying used items and re-fashioning them. If I need something new, I will buy organic cotton or fair trade wool or linen.

~ As much as possible, I am avoiding plastic products. I have a refillable thermos cup, so I don’t need to buy drinks in single use containers when I am away from home. Rather than buy plastic wrap for my food at home, I have bought this product.


It is made of cotton, beeswax and oil. When its usefulness is through, in about one year, it is compostable.

Because I am composting my food scraps and recycling everything I can, I have little trash and I can put it in a paper bag to take out to the dumpster.

~ I’m taking the train to Chicago for a seminar where I am giving a talk. By not using my car to get there, I reduce my carbon emissions and give myself time to practice my speech.

Please share in the comments what you are doing to reduce global warming. I would love to get some new ideas to implement!



14 thoughts on “Reducing My Carbon Footprint

  1. Priscilla Bettis says:

    It’s a lovely fountain.

    I am learning to read ebooks instead of paper books. This is a hard transition for me because I like holding a book and physically turning pages (good memories from childhood, I guess, who knows). There is a wonderful perk to reading ebooks: I can make the print bigger, so I don’t have to wear reading glasses.:-)


    • Fawn says:

      I plan to get a library card for my new city next week. I will see what e-reader options I have. Good info on the print options, as one of the things that limits my ability to read for long times is the crick in the neck I get from holding my head at an angle just so for the bifocals.


  2. Linda says:

    I’m a frequent library user. I like to read before going to sleep at night & I do not have a kindle,so books it is.
    I repurpose my “good” clothes to house or garden clothes when they are wearing out. I decided this year to only shop for clothes, when I need them, at thrift shops. So far, that has been working out well. Shoes I buy new, made in usa.
    I shop at our local farmers market.
    I’m interested in that Bees Wrap. Where did you purchase it? Can it be reused until it’s worn out?
    Enjoyed this post.


    • Fawn says:

      I have been reading ebooks for years on my laptop, but “they” say you shouldn’t be on a device right before trying to sleep. Just mention it, in case you want to access books on your computer that you can’t get otherwise. How do you determine where your shoes were made? Certain brands or websites? I bought the Bees Wrap at a local foodie shop (love my new neighborhood!) but I have seen similar things online. Yes, it is intended to be reused until it is worn out. You wipe it with a cool soapy cloth. Heat will ruin it, melts the wax.


  3. Linda says:

    That Bees Wrap sounds great.
    I wear minimalist or barefoot shoes due to plantar fasciitis & the fact that they have a wider toe box & are more comfortable for me. Several brands that are made in the USA that I have worn are soft star, SOM footwear, xero shoes & unshoes. The SOM footwear shoes are vegan, also.
    Actually, I have not only been shopping second hand for clothing, but for household goods as well. I am amazed at the things that we need that I have been able to source second-hand.


  4. Adrienne says:

    Hi you can make your own beeswax cloths. Plenty of how to in books at libraries. I’m a paper book girl. Love the smell and being able to hold a book. Books are recyclable and compostable. Unlike ebooks. No need for batteries ot plastic coated laptops
    But here I am on a smart phone! :-/


    • Fawn says:

      Yeah, like plastic, it is almost impossible to avoid completely. I like paper books too. But there are some I would read once that are not available at the library. Those are a good e-reader choice for me.


  5. meg says:

    hi fawn.i like this post and thought you would be interested in checking out the you tube channel called, sustainably vegan, and the website, be zero they have great ideas such as
    making and bringing your own produce bags to the market, taking a stainless steel straw with
    you, refusing things you don’t want, using hankies, being mindful when you make a purchase
    and taking care and valuing the things you do have


    • Fawn says:

      Meg–thanks for this link. I love it that the internet can connect those of us that are the seeds for this movement that will heal our earth home.


  6. Béatrice says:

    My (very regular) grocery store had some reusable grocery bags. Very smart ones with a place to stick the price labels when you weight the produce. I bought a bag of 5 and and gave 2 of them to my mother to spread the habit! I think our society is in full evolution and our consumption habits are changing!


    • Fawn says:

      I think as more photos of the destruction that plastic can cause make it to the general public, the more motivated we are to find better ways to do the tasks that plastic currently does. I will keep my eyes open for such a product here. Currently, I am getting my vegetables from a local farmer’s market, and most of the produce does not get put in plastic. Yeah!


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