Last week, we shared with you the first half of our 10 Signs You’re Extremely Green — those crazy-to-some-people things that folks do to help conserve resources, avoid waste, and otherwise show they’re environmentally responsible. This week, we share with you five more signs. Be sure to comment with your own “extreme green” habits at the end of this post!
- You bring your own plate and cup to the cafeteria. As a way to do her little bit to offset the massive waste she saw in her company’s cafeteria, where everything was served on Styrofoam, one of my friends started bringing her own dishes to the cafeteria. Her statement actually had a far-reaching effect — the head of the company took notice and eventually instituted a company-wide ban on Styrofoam and also implemented a sorted recycling program in the office. People might look at you funny if you bring your own reusable container for your take-out sandwich, but if everyone did it, think of how much waste would be eliminated!
- You find yourself sorting through other people’s garbage for recyclables. In this day and age, it’s amazing that recycling isn’t more prevalent. Why aren’t recycling bins in every school cafeteria, at gas stations (I can’t be the only person who cleans trash out of the car while the tank is filling up), in every restaurant and store? You know you’re passionate about recycling when you can’t bear to see a water bottle tossed into a landfill-bound trash can, and you pull it out so you can take it to a recycling bin.
- You’ve purchased an electric car. You’re really taking one for the team if you are willing to make green big-ticket purchases. An electric car like the Nissan Leaf is a truly extravagant gesture of Extreme Green-ism, but Mother Earth thanks you. You’re helping to reduce petroleum consumption and to improve air quality since electric cars don’t produce emissions.
- You’re a hyper-miler. Since buying a Prius, I’ve gotten obsessive about how many miles per gallon I’m getting, especially since the display on the car shows my current and average MPGs. My father-in-law even keeps a log of how many miles he gets per each tank fill-up. Turns out this is just the tip of the iceberg. My husband told me that there’s even a name — hyper-miler — for people whose quest is to see how many MPGs they can get in their car, hybrid or not. There are even competitions for Most Fuel-Efficient Driver, which Mother Jones documented several years ago.
- You know what a Mooncup is (and you use one). For the uninitiated, a Mooncup (another brand calls it a DivaCup) is a reusable silicone cup that is used in place of a tampon or sanitary pad. I first heard about them from a friend who used one during a yearlong, cross-continent motorcycle trip she was taking. While she was doing it mainly to cut down on the amount of stuff she needed to pack, even now that she’s stateside, she still uses one to cut down on waste. And it makes perfect sense — the makers of DivaCup estimate that a woman will use nearly 10,000 tampons during her lifetime. Eco-conscious women can also buy cloth feminine pads from companies like GladRags.