Secondary Environmental Net Positives – August 2020
September 3, 2020
We have four cars and three drivers in our household. Our 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring Edition Minivan has less than 80,000 miles on it. We don’t really have a need for it anymore. Owning this extra car takes up mental headspace. We pay the insurance. We pay the DMV fee. My father-in-law has to think about driving it once in a while so the battery does not die. I keep on offering the minivan to others to borrow, as it’s an asset that has definite value. It’s a wonderful car. It’s just we don’t need it but we own it.
Therefore I am going to sell it for a reasonable and fair price to someone who needs a good family car. There is a carbon cost of producing a new car, at least 17 tons. This is a great analysis from the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/2010/sep/23/carbon-footprint-new-car. I also figured that during a pandemic when someone needs a car is the best time to sell. I’ll probably end up selling it to a friend for a reasonable price. This will open up our backyard area, as our daughter and I have plans for a repurposed container garden near our Upcycled Presidency Bird House.
That’s the big secondary environmental net positive project we have for September. 17 tons of carbon is a lot of carbon. But I am reminded small and big environmental actions are all important. I was amazed that we had 20 this month!
List of 20 Secondary Environmental Net Positives (August 2020). Ordered from biggest to smallest impact, but again it’s somewhat subjective.
- Eight Food Scrap Containers Composted. I’m not sure how much of an impact this has. On Drawdown, composting isn’t that high on actions that will mitigate the climate crisis. I have a guerilla compost/guerilla gardening project that is providing me great amusement. Let’s just leave it at that! LOL.
- One Bag of Bunny Hay and Poop Composted. Involved in the above project. LOL. This is driving Mr. Plastic Picker crazy. I had to curse at him a few times.
- Two Succulent Propogating Projects. Also related to (1) and (2). The end result is going to be a succulent fairy garden.
- One Lens Cleaner Kit Refused. Again not sure how impactful this is, but it made me so happy. Mr. Plastic Picker went to pick up a new set of glasses. They used the old frames but new lenses. They always gift a small glass cleaner kit with a soft cloth, small plastic lens cleaner liquid bottle in a sturdy plastic carrying case. We have many many many of these. Mr. Plastic Picker refused it.
- One Advocacy Project. I worked with the Public Health Advisory Council as part of Climate Actions Campaign. We advocated for Solana Beach to declare a Climate Emergency Declaration. I think they would have passed it anyway. I did make the Del Mar Times! https://www.delmartimes.net/news/story/2020-08-28/solana-beach-resolution-declares-climate-emergency-need-for-more-action
- Five Stuffed Dog Toys Mended. I did this during a virtual middle management meeting. It was a lot of fun. We saved at least temporarily some trash from the landfill, and this will prevent Mr. Plastic Picker from buying more dog toys for a while.
- One Wooden Bunny Ramp Resanded! This one gave me a great sense of accomplishment. We bought this bunny ramp three years ago for $50. It has been weathered and left outside in the elements. I had purchased a hand-sander a year ago. I finally sanded the bunny ramp! It looks almost new. We are starting to put plants on that balcony where our bunnies live. We want to start an herb garden there.
- Eight Items Returned to Michaels. This was very satisfying. I had eight random new items from Michaels. They were left overs from Girl Scout projects that I had purchased with my own money. Three tubes of new paint our daughter didn’t need for History Day. Three still new paper craft boxes. I wasn’t sure if Michaels would take it back for store credit. But they did! I exchanged them for more glue sticks for my trash art projects. Our daughter needed paper gift bags for her teachers.
- Five Batches of Vegan Muffins. Vegan muffins are so fun. I use left over fruit, and I’m really good at flaxseed eggs now.
- Four Showers Averted
- Three Food Waste Meals. Three times I made something particuarly to avert food waste.
- Plastic Free Food Projects. I made frozen french fries and baked potatoes specifically to decrease purchased plastic packaging. This is so fun. I think likely every two weeks I’ll get a bag of potatoes and do that. Homemade fries and baked potatoes are so easy. I got a bag on sale at Sprouts for $1.98!
- Three Towels Dried Outside. We went to Palm Springs and in order to refuse a room cleaning and needing more towels, I dried three towels outside on the Hilton patio. At 110 degrees in the desert dry heat, it dried really fast!
- Two Trash Art Pieces Completed.
- Two Plastic Trash Liners Made. I used scraps of food packaging liners and hot glue gunned them together. We haven’t purchased any plastic bags and have refused most plastic bags from the stores for over a year! Those liners are very sturdy.
- One Upcycled Bird House. Made another one.
- One Plugged Hole at the Fence. This is a complicated one. My Upcycled Presidential Bird House design allows some seeds to fall to the ground. There is a mouse that comes to visit. I noticed a hole/burrow near the fence. I plugged up the hole using rocks that we actually have, and tried to plug up the hole. I think this is the cycle of life? Mr. Plastic Picker bought a rat trap. But I notice a neighboring cat visits now? I’m not sure what to do. The bird houses are on hold for now. I made one more, but I’m not gifting them until I figure this one out.
- Delayed Toaster Purchase. Yes we are still using our partially broken toaster. Its a four slice-toaster and the 2-slices on the left work. I think this decreases the amount of bread we eat?
- One Frame Fixed. I repaired a picture frame from the office. Using it now for our daughter’s award.
- One Piece of Paper saved with a call. This seems silly, but this was the end to my ordeal getting recertified for PALS. I had to show evidence that I passed the online portion. Instead of printing it and bringing it to the inperson assessment, I called them.
And that is it! Those are the twenty Secondary Environmental Net Positive for August 2020. This actually marks a year of these actions. Probably sometime later this month I’ll do a summary post and total how many actions we did. Thank you for following along and taking your own small and big environmental actions. They all add up! Remember the best antidote to despair is ACTION! I’m going to now action my way upstairs to get ready for work. It’s 613AM and Dr. Plastic Picker now has to become working Pediatrician Mom Middle-Manager.
Click here to read last month’s post! https://drplasticpicker.com/secondary-environmental-net-positives-july-2020/