In my attempt to lessen my footprint on the earth I find myself hindered in some aspects.
I don't own my home so there is little I can do to implement energy saving techniques there. I can replace bulbs (I have), put lights on timers (done), turn things off/ unplug (check), use a programmable thermostat set at lower temps during the day and night (done) and use motion sensor lights (in back). In a perfect world I would have a wind generator, solar, change out the lawn for something that uses less water, add more insulation and change out the water heater and other appliances for ones that are more efficient.
One very simple change that I can do: stop using plastic shopping bags.
Currently I carry a folding shopping bag from Byerlys/ Lunds that I purchased for $1.50 and one of my cotton market bags in my purse. If I forget one of these bags I will use paper (which isn't much better), or put my purchases in my tote/ purse or carry them out (which is what I did at Target Sunday).
FYI: I have used my Cub canvas bag at Rainbow, my Byerly's canvas bag at Trader Joes and Kowalskis and my knitted market bags everywhere and no one has refused to use them. The Trader Joe guy even remarked "Cool bag! But it has the wrong name." with a smile and a laugh when I handed over the Byerly's bag last week. I always get a compliment on my handknit market bags and that always makes my day.
This site has a lot of products from lunch bags, shopping bags, produce bags, etc. There is a excellent resource for where to recycle plastic shopping bags in the Twin Cities on this site. This article has a good argument for using canvas instead of plastic. It's a really simple choice and I'm going to focus on seeing what other choices I can make throughout the year.