A check-in on our progress as we strive to lower our carbon footprint and make use of the Hefty EnergyBag™ program here in Omaha.
I swear the older I get the more I blink and time flies. I feel like I was just telling you guys about the new Hefty ® EnergyBag™ orange bags Josh and I bought to help lower our carbon footprint. We’ve actually been using them for a few weeks now, so I thought it would be fun to check in on our progress.
The big thing we’ve been up to these past few weeks is spring cleaning. I seem to go into hibernation mode in the winter. I’m indoors, in pajamas, and usually accumulating a bunch of clutter and crap for a good four months out of the year. Now that spring is in the air I want to throw open the windows, let in the sunlight, and lighten up my life in every way.
Between the start of spring, learning about the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program a few weeks ago and Earth Day this past weekend, Josh and I have been taking a hard look at our consumption habits and haven’t always liked what we see.
While we recycle, we usually recycle when it’s convenient. I’m sad to admit how many times I have thrown out a plastic bottle while out in public just because a trash can was closer to me than a recycling bin.
While we make sure to not run the dishwasher with just a few dishes, and always turn off the water while brushing our teeth, we often leave lights on throughout the house, and sometimes have the TV on for hours even when we’re not actually watching it.
While we donate a lot of our old clothes, there are so many more household items we could be passing on to be reused than what we do. It was a little startling when we stepped back and looked at how much stuff we consume and routinely throw out.
So we set to do things a little differently this spring cleaning season. Every item we’re going through is getting viewed through the lens of keep, donate, recycle, or trash. We only want things ending up in the landfill if absolutely necessary.
While this is a new way of thinking for us, it has been a really fun challenge. It’s exciting to see our donation bags growing in size and thinking of our items being used again by those who need them.
What has been absolutely shocking to us is seeing how much more we’re able to do for the environment thanks to the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program. Between things like food bags, old toothpaste tubes, pet food bags, and various old bags and containers, we had a lot of things that would have otherwise been going straight in the trash if not for these bags and this program.
It’s also such a simple program to participate in thanks to how easy Hefty® makes it. We put the orange bag in a trash can, and then fill it with the acceptable items just like we fill our trash bag with trash. When it’s full we put the bag out with the rest of our recycling. It’s a mindless effort, yet one that has a big impact on our environment and our planet.
We’ve gone through a few of the bags while spring cleaning and found they have had a nice snowball effect on the rest of our conservation efforts. Knowing I’m doing a good job with this program in our apartment has kept me motivated to remain conscious of waste even when I’m out and about. If there’s not a recycling bin nearby for my plastic cup while running errands, I bring it back to my car and wait to put it in the orange bag when I get home. At home, I’m checking our rooms more to make sure we’re turning off lights when we don’t need them on and not running electronics just for the sake of having them on.
I’ll never be perfect with my conservation efforts, but what matters to me is that I’m mindful and really try. When we all feel a responsibility to the world we live in and a desire to better our efforts help conserve its many natural resources is when we affect large, sweeping change.
Questions of the Day: How did you celebrate Earth Day this year? Are you stepping up your conservation efforts? To my fellow Omaha friends: Have you tried the Hefty® orange bags yet?