Friday, January 9, 2009

January Giveaway

A new year usually means a new year's resolution or two or more... Which got me thinking what is my eco-resolution for the new year?

Gerard (my electrical engineering of an older brother) pointed out that what we frequently forget is that although an electronic device is turned "off," it is still using energy. As obvious as this may be, the best way to ensure an item is not using energy is when it is unplugged. Therefore my 2009 eco-resolution is to remember this. I will limit recharging my cellphone, laptop, digicam, etc. to during the day, instead of before bed so I can monitor when it's done charging and then unplug.

What's your new year's eco-resolution? Perhaps it's something you already do, but minimally and now want to do completely... Perhaps it's related to the eco-factoid you shared to win last month's contest... Whatever it may be, please share it as a a comment below as your entry to my January Giveaway!

The winner will receive an ecoAgenda to help you keep track of all your important dates in 2009 and a complimenting 3x4" pocket notebook. ecoAgendas are perpetual which means you fill out the month and days, so they can start the moment you receive your prize!

January's Giveaway will run until Sunday, January 25, 2009, 11:59pm. I will announce the winner the week of January 26 to 30. Again, unfortunately winners are limited to residents of Canada and the US, but please don't keep that from sharing your eco-resolutions if you live abroad :)

Happy Friday! Bon weekend ! Looking forward to hearing your eco-resolution!

xo,
ej

PS - designerjots has extended her January Giveaway till Monday, January 12. Check it out for your chance to win 4 packs of ecoCards.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do try to avoid plastic shopping bags when I am shopping and use a cloth shopping bag. However, sometimes the bag gets left at home so this year I am going to make a resolution to improve on this! No more plastic bags filling up the landfill from me!

Anonymous said...

whoops! that was from me
Karen :)

Candice said...

I will be flying a fair bit this year and will buying trees or contributing in some way to offset my carbon emissions.

windy angels said...

I like yours a lot. I don't usually do resolutions per say, not for the New Year anyway, BUT I can share that I will definitely be trying to do more of my art on recycled cardboard - cereal boxes, cracker boxes, that kind of thing. I had much success with the more recent cereal box art I did.
Happy Friday! Bon weekend! to you too

curvyglo said...

I am no longer doing any shopping if it means coming home with a plastic bag... I guess I'll have to be stricter about carrying cloth bags around!
Also, my partner & I have an agreement to inspect packaging on food before buying. Only paper or recyclable plastics for us, now!

Myrrh said...

Mine is to continue reusing boxes that I receive in the mail. Most of my Christmas gifts were wrapped in reused cardboard boxes, and I've still got a stockpile in the closet.

It's insane how much packaging is used. We ordered a part to fix our TV which was smaller than a CD. It came in a 4x4 box which was nestled inside a 10x8 box. So unnecessary!

Marci said...

Since I love crafty things and artsy things, my goal this year is to upcycle anything I receive, a card can be turned into another card by taking the front off and gluing it to a piece of paper or by reusing gift wrapping. Also if you check your city or county may offer an office paper bin to recycle every scrap piece of paper, magazine, credit card offers and just about anything paper related. Also a wonderful tip, if you have a ton of Christmas cards like we do you can turn them into Christmas tags for next year and recycle the parts your are not using. So many ideas so little time.......

Alexandra said...

I have a lot of eco-savvy resolutions this year. One of the big ones is to eat less meat (because meat production is a very inefficient use of resources - like land that could be growing trees - as well as a big carbon gas offender. My plan is to make one big pot of a meatless dish each weekend and take that for lunches through the week - also cuts down on take-out packaging - and helps me with my budget, too!

P said...

Hmm, I don't really resolve things because, well, I'm not the resolvable type (I'm really quite crass and contrary most of the time), and also because every small thing you strive to do for the better this year someone else is going negate in the span of half an hour with something like this...

MNScrapbookmom said...

I will use my "green" reuse bags more often then I already do, and I will take a bit of your idea, and unplug those things around here that we don't use all the time, and save a little money while I help save a little energy. Thanks for the chance. ¥

kg said...

spend less money and use the things that i already have! i have soo much "stuff" that it does not seem wise to keep buying more. so i plan to repurpose and hand make as much as i possibly can --and cook more!
blessedqueen78@hotmail.com

KJB said...

I am going to eat and buy locally far more than I have in the past. No more berries shipped in; I will wait for the local produce. Not only will this reduce my carbon footprint, it will aid the local economy.

Betz White said...

my eco resolution is to buy less packaging!

Thanks for the give-away!

GeoKs said...

We've been using cloth bags for a few years now. Last year, our oldest son did his science project on leaking power (i.e. the power that's used when a device is turned off). By metering every 110 volt device in our house, he calculated that 17% of our power bill is due to leaking power. So we unplugged lamps in the guest room, bought smart power bars for our computers, unplug the coffee maker, toaster oven and all the chargers when they're not in use, etc. Some of the worst power hogs (TVs, PVRs) can't be unplugged when not in use or they lose all their programming. Even so, we've managed to cut our monthly power bill by about 8% compared to before his science project.

For 2009, I'm determined to walk more often to run errands. There's a shopping center not far from us - to go there and back is about a 5 km (3 mile) walk, including 227 stairs. Not only will I cut down on fuel consumption, pollution, and wear and tear on my car, but it'll help me stay in shape!

Vivianne M said...

This is not necessarily a new year's resolution, I started it around Christmas time and intend to continue it. I go out for sushi at least weekly or some other form of asian food and I noticed how many pairs of wooden chopsticks you end up throwing out per year. So I bought my own pair in a little case and bring them along whenever I'm out. That way I create less waste. Every little bit counts!

Anna said...

My resolution would have to be to be more conscious of the energy I am using, and trying to cut back on it. Everything from recycling more often to using that extra bit of paper, and also I will spread the word about being eco-friendly and taking care of our Earth.

brabb said...

I have decided to eat one meatless meal and one fish meal a week as wel as eat local food - no more fresh tomatoes. There is a ton of local food available that is from even frozen Manitoba. I will eat more earth concouis.

dreamxlogic said...

All of last year, I was what my friend called a "flexitarian" who chose vegetarian meals before non-vegetarian meals if I could, but this year, I finally made the choice to go vegetarian, completely. I know that it the amount of energy comsumption and wastes incurred from these products are...unnecessary. I guess that's my big eco-friendly resolution this year.

LJ said...

I'm a vegetarian and this year decided to start cutting out consuming other animal products too. No more buying leather - shoes, belts, etc.

Jennifer said...

My eco-resolutions this year are to source more products locally (so far we have most veggies, some fruit,beef, eggs, chicken and cheese), eat seasonally (which will be a challenge that I think that my family is up for), Walk more places and support the shops and businesses within walking distance of my house.

Happy New Year!

Jennifer

Bcteagirl said...

Last year I started bringing my compost up to the university compost bin (apartments without compost here).. I hope to do a better job of that this year.

*~Jackie~* said...

This year i will be using less paper and ink. I found a new "eco font" and will be utilizing it to reduce less ink and use recycled paper. I bought my first eco-friendly notebook and so excited to use it/!

Frumpkin235 said...

My resolution this year is to help others become more eco-conscious along with me. The few Christmas gifts exchanged with family and friends this year (most decided to contribute to social causes rather than purchase more "stuff" for one another) included cloth bags and SIGG water bottles and so forth. I certainly haven't reached eco-perfection, but the goal is in front of me -- and whatever I can do to help others protect Mother Earth, too, is what I'll do!

remarker said...

My resolution is to remember to bring my cloth bags to the store on grocery day. I have enough that I shouldn't need plastic bags at all and that's my goal!

Joyful said...

My eco-resolutions are to recycle and reuse more, use less packaging, and continue to use chemical-free cleaning products and things in my apartment!

Michelle said...

I've always wanted to do something a little more than just recycle. So i've set up an Eco Group at school that will raise awarness, and voulunteer time to accomplish small projects. Such as planting trees,gardens and taking part in events planned around the community.

Lora said...

Ever since Earth hour last March my boyfriend and I are just trying to change some of our habits and being aware of our carbon footprint. For example, I put food scraps from my lunch back into my container and compost them when I get home. If I'm not actually watching TV I never have it on in the background. If I purchase a coffee that's half recyclabe I seperate the pieces; I put the lid in the garbage and recycle the cup. It's those little things that really start to add up to a lot at the end of the year. Plus, once you start creating good habits, it's hard to change back.

Anonymous said...

One thing I saw and always think of doing with plastic grocery bags is making slippers. I saw it at a craft fair once. I thought it would be something good to take to Tanzania and teach. Not only Tanzania, but a lot of those countries. They throw those bags out like nothing, they are all over the streets. Would be very eco-friendly and provide a small income for someone I bet. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I guess in order to win you would need my name...sorry.
I'm the plastic bag shoe story..
Renee - youngrenee@hotmail.com

tatianaalida said...

To reuse as much paper as possible, writing grocery lists on old envelopes, printing on onesided scrap paper at work and wrapping gifts and making cards from old boxes, newspaper and magazines. I am also trying to by as much "pre-loved" items, instead of new, as possible. I've been to our local thrift store at least 10 times this month and there's something "new" everytime, people at work complement me on my $4 designer blazer!!! And I picked up a gorgeous six drawer solid wood dresser for $30! Save money and the planet, and look and live cool doing it!

Metalsgirl said...

my new years eco-resolution is to start a garden and compost pile. We love fresh vegis and I used to have a garden but got "too busy". This year I am going to find the time! Fresh vegis can't be beat!

Lara said...

as a graphic designer, my new resolution will be to think twice before using tons of paper in just a few seccond, or even start directly on the computer instead of using countless sheets that will be scanned anyway... i have to work on that!
have a wonderfull 2009!

asiabp said...

In 2009, I will Rethink. Re-use. and Recycle. even more!

asia_bp@sbcglobal.net

Debi said...

I have started to travel by bus and metro instead of driving even if it is less convenient(now takes about an hour and a half to get to work)to go to and from work.I try using less paper products at home and work and use washable cleaning rags as well as green products to clean.I am a big fan of composting and recycling also.Plastic bags are now a thing of the past also.

Debi said...

i started taking the bus and etro to go to and from work(it takes about an hour and a half)even if it is less convenient.I am using less paper products and us a washable rag for cleaning with green products.Plastic bags have long been replace with reusable fabric bags.I have switched to CFL compact flourescent light to cut down on the use of electricity.I love composting and of course the garden benefits greatly.I recycle as much as possible whenever possible.

jennifer57 said...

I started shredding my old magazines up and use it for shipping packaging instead of buying those foam peanuts, etc.

jingsu said...

well, I'm going to state a few things here which I've been doing for a while but I don't hear mentioned yet.

1.) turn thermostat in house down to 17 in the winter, and up to 32 in the summer. Canada burns more power per capita than the United States. If the excuse we're going to use is that Canada is colder, then jokes about our resilience to cold are undeserved.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_ele_pow_con_kwh_percap-power-consumption-kwh-per-capita&date=2004

For those of you that trust Wikipedia, look at the far right column at the number per-capita.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_consumption


2.) "if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down." North Americans are absolutely spoiled when it comes to water quantity and quality. It's insane how much fresh drinkable water we flush down with our biological waste.

3.) work in the dark. This is an especially thorny pet peeve of mine during the summer. So much light during the day streaming through the windows, and people insist on turning on the office lights just so they can sit in front of a glowing computer screen. Arg! It drives me crazy.

4.) recycling paper... oh.... this is such a huge internal debate for me. Common knowledge will tell me that I'm an asshole if I don't recycle paper. But the academic in me can't seem to find any definitive proof that recycling paper actually uses less energy and results in a smaller environmental impact than simply producing new paper and throwing away the old.

Recycling does not run on magic fairy dust. It requires energy to collect, sort, pulp, de-ink, and process. None of these come cheap or free, especially the de-inking which requires heavy industrial bleaches and solvents. That sludge waste must then be dumped or processed somewhere in turn.

On the other hand, paper is biodegradable. Throwing it away and letting it biodegrade naturally costs Zero and turns into dirt.

People's biggest emotional argument on recycling seems to come from over-flowing landfills and the thought of deforestation. After much thought, these two arguments seem without base.

There is no shortage of landfill. I can't seem to find any official government study that definitively states a critical landfill shortage. Most arguments about landfills come down to economic COST; not environmental impact or land scarcity. That problem is solved by simply reducing our consumables. Many landfills, when full, are covered over and new neighborhoods are built over them once the ground has settled. There are many neighbourhoods I know of in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State that are built atop old land-fills. On the other hand, recycling refineries are industrial complexes which live forever until demolished and are no more pleasant to live next to.

The second argument, about saving trees, seems to be without base as well. The real argument is against deforestation of virgin forests which house critical wildlife. This is easily solved by legislating protection of virgin forests. Write your MP. Forest companies own huge plots of land where they have tree farms and plant their trees, just like a farmer plants potatoes or other vegetables. We don't cry about harvesting carrots because we replant them. Stop forestry companies from cutting virgin land, and they'll be forced to exercise renewable maintainable tree crops. Prices will obviously go up, and as a result people will use less paper. Problem solved.

If anyone can point me to a peer-reviewed definitive study of the ecological benefits of PAPER recycling (some papers clump multiple types together, where Aluminum recycling is clearly beneficial and skews the results), I'd love to read it.


-Jing

Free spirit said...

Hi! what I do since this 2009 and even before is to recycle as much as I can. I don't waist paper and materials when I'm printing my work and always buy environmentally friendly products to work with. I also have my own shopping bag made with eco-friendly materials and I use it to go to the supermarket or farmer's market. I turn off the lights as much as I can trying to save energy as well as water and electrical appliances. I don't use the car on weekdays. I usually walk or take the bus/subway. (Love walking)
You're work is so beautiful as well as your commitment to protect our planet.
Thank u :)

Anonymous said...

I try to support the local and sustainable farmers as often as possible. During the summer, we shop mostly at farmer's markets. There are many shops that support local and sustainable production of food and shopping at these stores are like voting with your dollars.

ecojotter, there is an event I came across that may interest you! The event is called ecoSUAVE 2009, and there will be local and sustainable food and drink sampling. It sounds like a fun event. =)
http://www.enlightenedevents.ca/ecosuave/

Lindsay said...

I am moving to Ireland for 6 months this year for a working holiday. I plan to travel as much as I possibly can, and we all know that air travel is not so eco-friendly. To offset my air travel, I plan to buy carbon credits through one of the great environmental organizations recommended by Dr.Suzuki. I'm traveling all on my own, so wish me luck!

Wendy said...

I intend to grow more of my own veggies.

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