Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…Routine

By Alexis Glears

This summer, I’m working at EPA. Because this is an agency whose mission is to protect the environment, I decided to try to create long-term, environmentally conscious habits. Every day for a work week, I chose one simple task to work into my daily routine.

On day one, my friends and I went shopping. Instead of using bags from the store, we brought our own. This wasn’t as hard to do as I thought. The only difficult part was remembering to bring bags. To solve this problem, I’ve left some in my car trunk for impromptu shopping trips.

As a college student, I spend a majority of my time on the computer writing papers and surfing the web. On day 2, I explored different ways to save energy while on the computer. I learned that turning your computer off when you step away for more than 2 hours and using the power-down or sleep modes, can significantly reduce energy use. (Note: Screen savers are not energy savers!)

This summer is proving to be a scorcher, so day 3 was all about water. Instead of paying $2 for a plastic bottle of water every day, I brought a reusable water bottle. Bringing my own bottle was so convenient because I could refill the bottle many times a day. Also, I’m very frugal and hate paying for something that should be free.

About 77% of Americans drive alone to work each morning. I usually drive to the local train station and take the subway to work each morning. Instead of driving by myself on day 4, I commuted with my mom. Commuting with other people can save fuel and money for everyone. Plus, it’s always more fun when you have some else come along for the ride.

Advocacy is important when promoting a cause. I love social networking. It’s the quickest way to share information with my generation. On day 5, I used this method to spread awareness of environmental issues. By far, this was the easiest habit to include because I’m constantly on social media.

All of these habits were easy for me; I plan to keep most of them and will try to add more in my quest to being more environmentally conscious.

What are your green habits?

About the author: Alexis Glears is a summer intern in the Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education. She is studying public relations at Hampton University and will be graduating in December 2012.