I struggle with what it means to be a good steward in my personal life. Here are some pieces that I have embraced:
- I made the decision a few years ago to buy a hybrid car. My first was the Honda Civic Hybrid in 2004. I loved that car and had it for five years - the longest I ever had a car! I averaged 43 MPG, with a 15 gallon tank, which means I got around 500 miles per tank! As that car neared 100,000 miles, I began to get concerned about potentially replacing the battery pack that powered the electric motor, so I traded it in for a 2010 Honda Insight. Many people think it's a Prius, so I sometimes call it my Honda Prius :) I average 45 MPG, but only have a 10 gallon tank, so I'm averaging 420 miles per tank. Not as awesome as my Civic, but I love the storage space in this car. I recently had to replace my car after an accident, and decided to just get the exact same car, but in a different color. That's how much I love my Honda Prius.
- I recycle religiously. A few years ago I bought three, different-sized bins from SkyMall so I could sort my recyclables and have a good bit of space to do it. I have a small yellow bin, a medium sized blue bin, and a large green bin. For awhile, I was able to use all three, because I had the space for them, and needed to sort out glass, styrofoam, paper/chipboard (not to be confused with cardboard, which I also collected), aluminium, and plastics. I had a good place to take my recyclables in this division. Then I moved somewhere that less of a need to separate out, so it was a bin for things my complex collected, and things I needed to take elsewhere (yes, I make special recycling trips). Now almost everything seems to be single stream, so I have one bin for all that stuff, in the size that fits my space. I'm frustrated that Richmond doesn't seem to collect styrofoam (#6 plastic in most cases), so I still have a pile of my egg cartons and meat trays that I used to take to Publix that I may take home to recycle at some point. This is really important to me.
- I try to make decisions about purchasing things thinking about their impact. I shop at Aveda because it's an Earth-conscious company that is also wind-powered. I try to purchase things with little to no packaging when possible - or at least have packaging that I can recycle. I also think much more consciously now about whether or not I really need something. And when I am done with stuff, I try to figure out how to dispose of it properly instead of just throwing it in the trash.