Monday, July 28, 2014

#sol2014 Saving the World: One Cartridge at a Time

I guess I should have seen this one coming as my husband and I have been "saving" money and the environment even before it was socially "right" to do so.  I really got to thinking about some of our environmentally-conscious activities over the years as we refilled our laser cartridge the other day.  (So glad that was not my idea!)
  • There were the solar panels on the roof.  We rushed to get them done so we would have a supply of "free" hot water in which to wash diapers one summer! We had 20 years of "free" hot water - as long as the sun was out! 
  • We've "recycled" furniture, wood, curtains, clothes, toys. One time, my husband scoured the countryside looking for wheels for a Hot Wheel bike with plastic tires worn the to the rim.  For a year or more, that Knight Rider sported Berry Princess wheels!  
  • There were cloth diapers in our house back in the days before the trendy baby bums of today.  We used pins (omg!) to hold them together and rubber pants to keep them on!  Of course, to keep our babysitters,we only used them at home. 
  • We even had a clothesline, yep, and I schlepped the laundry outside to the line! Well, weather permitting, and usually just sheets and big stuff, in the summer (unless the dryer was broken!!
  • We grow our own veggies and share them (not so willingly) with our neighbors, the deer. 
  • We've driven a fleet of economy oriented cars including one that got (at times) 50 mpg! Yet, in true confession, we've had a few gas guzzlers along the way like that big ol' pick up truck!   
  • We turn off lights when we leave a room and we try to keep the house at 58-60 when we are home, during the winter. (We do turn the thermostat up for company, promise!)
  • We take our water and seltzer bottles back to Walmart even though two full bags and 15 minutes of work yields about $1.00 and returning them into the always broken machines raises your blood pressure to a dangerous level.
  • We carry our paper, cans, bottles and plastic down to the curb to recycle.  
  • We visit the Salvation Army at least once a year with gently worn (or too small) clothes.
  • I use plastic containers for lunch (most of the time) and bring my coffee in a reusable mug (most of the time).

This weekend, we tried something that probably is really good for the environment but really challenged us. We've bought "recycled" cartridges before but THIS TIME, WE refilled our laser cartridge ourselves! Seriously. It is a labor intensive process that makes everything else we have done seem reasonable! It was more work and took almost as long as those those solar panels! We were covered with soot from our heads to our feet.  There has got to be a better way to save the world from the onslaught of cartridge carcasses! Creative minds unite: I am thinking about some sort of a bento box for the printer?


Stacey said...

I think of you each and every time I borrow my parents' car and get 44 mpg/gal. I always hope to get close to 50 mpg/gal, like you, so I can photograph the dash and send it to you once I park the car!

Bonnie K. said...

Wow, you are doing a whole lot more than I am. Bravo! Keep me in my place and then some :)

LInda Baie said...

Wow, lots going on, & for a long time! Good for you, Anita. I re-cycle nearly everything. My goal for the landfill is a small half-bag weekly. We used cloth diapers too. Can they even be found anymore? I don't refill my cartridges but Office Depot does it for me. What a challenge that must have been.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, many times over. But I agree - surely there's a better way to fill a cartridge! Now I am thinking of things I can add to my own recycling work - thanks for the inspiration.

elsie said...

Your side notes cracked me up! Good for you living the ecological life. We do try to recycle as much as possible, but I'm not refilling cartridges. However I do take them to Staples to recycle.