Andrew and I read No Impact Man by Colin Beaven this Summer along with the Pingree School community (teachers, administrators, students and parents all got involved).  It is one man’s story of trying to live for a year without negatively impacting the planet.

Colin’s “No Impact Experiment” challenges you to live one week making a lower impact.  Andrew and I have decided to adapt that project and take a month. Taking the time each week to find new ways of being greener in a particular area and then living that way throughout the month.

Week 1:  Make Less Trash

Colin was inspiring in his search to make less trash.  We have agreed to try the following things this week to make less trash . . .

1.  Recycle More

The Sharpteam does recycle.  We recognize that we could recycle more, especially paper.  We agreed that we both often throw out paper that could be recycled because we do not have a great place to put recycled paper, so we are adjusting our systems and rhythms to recycle more.

2.  Giving Up Paper Towels and Paper Napkins

I purchased some small dish towels that we are going to use as napkins and we have dozens of wash cloths that we got for Cole’s spitting up days that are ready to be used to clean up spills.  We have found new convenient spots for these things to make it easier to grab for something that can be rewashed. (We also hung a laundry bag in a discreet spot so that it is easy to put them away once used).

3.  Switching to Reusable Shopping Bags

We reuse all of our plastic bags for all kinds of things, but we know we can really cut down.  The picture above, from here, depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used every five seconds in the United States!

4.  Switching to Cloth Diapers

Many of our friends and family have done this, but we have been especially inspired by our favorite bloggers at Young House Love, who talked all about HOW they did this in this blog post.

So those are our next steps for this week/month.  We are discovering that making the change is requiring us to re-organize and develop new ways of doing things.  We both know it is worth it.  We would love any suggestions from you.