I recently started making changes in my life and the way I do things that I figured I would share. At first, I'll admit, I looked at the 'green' community as a bunch of crazy tree huggers (no offense) but as I stuck around these communities and saw what people were doing I started thinking, that's pretty cool. After implementing some of these changes in my life I find it's not even any inconvenience to do most of it. In fact, going to a store down the street takes less time on the bike when you start counting in traffic.
A big part of me looks at the financial side, using less fuel is more economic, using more natural light is more economic, changing to CFL is more economic, buying organic towels and sheets isn't, but it's better for the environment and if you take into account the savings from other stuff it evens out usually (I'm actually still ahead).
A few other changes, I'm using my bicycle to grab a bite to eat and run other small errands that don't take much time or far travel during the day. I've started using reusable bags I found for a dollar at Wal-Mart to carry my groceries home (haven't had a plastic bag of stuff tear on me in over 3 weeks!). I'm using washable rags instead of paper towels and I leave my a/c off all day and only run it about 30 minutes when I get home to cool the apartment off and leave it off the rest of the night until I go to bed, and usually by then it's cool enough to just open a window this time of year. Since my apartment is warmer in the evening I don't need near as hot of a shower to be satisfied either.
I'm going to be moving from an apartment that's 12.5 miles away from work to an apartment that's 3.2 miles away and getting a Ninja 250 to commute back and forth(and maybe the occasional 280 mile trip to El Paso to visit my sister), I've positioned the apartment so school is actually right in the middle of work and home so I don't even have to make a detour to go to school after work. This will be the biggest impact. Instead of a 25 mile round trip to work and home I'll have a 6.4 mile trip. That's way more manageable with a regular bicycle than a 12 mile bike ride too. On top of that (as if I needed more reason) the new apartment is downtown so everything is a stones throw away, including the movies, clubs and places to eat.
My current consumption of gasoline is gross, it's almost embarrassing to post it, but I use a full tank of gas every 8 days. In a typical month I use 3 full tanks making my total ~49.5 gallons a month. That's assuming I don't take a road trip and have minimal running around town like i have done the last few months too. Being closer and using a motorcycle to get around at 45-50mpg is only a little over half a gallon a week. Take into account running around town on the weekend and you're at maybe 2.5 gallons a week (gotta beat up the mustang a bit!) or 10.8 gallons a month, a 78% drop in fuel usage or 751 less pounds of CO2 a month than my current usage. Kinda gross if you think about it, I currently put 930 pounds of CO2 in the air a month from driving alone. That sucks.
I waver on the stuff like paper towels, one week I'm thinking that washcloths are good, next minute I'm thinking that washing recycled fibre in bulk should be more ecologically efficient than my loads of laundry... or has the potential to be if done right... especially if they're forced to reclaim detergents and chemicals, whereas I let it flow into the sewer... and soiled paper towel and tissues are now accepted in the green box organics collection....
Anyway, been doing the CCFL thing since they got below about $5 a bulb, 4 years or so, hardass about AC use, we really only have it on when it's near "heat emergency" levels, reuse bags and containers, buy bulk whenever possible... sort the recycling... make sure my taps don't drip... do full loads of laundry, dry it on the line when it's sunny.... live frugal all over and still feel like I'm getting boned...
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice