“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein” – H. Jackson Brown
I love this quote. Mind you, none of these guys were raising kids in a two-income home, and I’m pretty sure that Jefferson had a host of staff helping him out, but I digress… Aside from “it’s easier”, “it’s faster” is one of the most common excuses to not make environmental choices. It’s faster to drive than take transit, it’s faster to buy pre-packaged food than make your own… and while some of these are true, some of the time, have you ever looked at it the other way? That by making green choices, you can SAVE time every day? Oh, and most of these choices will save you money too. Sweet.
Here it is, my guide on how to save ONE FULL HOUR every day, just through making a few green choices.
1) Take 4-minute showers. This is so possible. In fact, it’s the norm in Australia and many other drought-impacted countries. Can’t do everything you do in 4 minutes? Then turn off the water when you’re doing non-water-requiring tasks. Ladies, I guarantee you’ll save time if you shower with the water off, cuz it’s darned chilly! TIME SAVE: 6-16 minutes.
2) Make your coffee at home. Why do people think getting coffee at a drive thru saves time? It takes, what, 2 minutes to put the grinds in your coffee maker? Then it runs all by itself while you do other things. Whereas a drive thru takes not only the time you’re sitting in the rush hour car line, but you likely have at least a small detour on your route. TIME SAVE: 5-15 minutes.
3) Watch TV online instead of on your TV. I watch Netflix on my laptop (which incidentally uses less power than your TV), and a “one hour” show is only 44 minutes. Nuff said. TIME SAVED: 16 minutes
4) Stop buying disposables. Aside from the endless trips to the grocery store to buy paper towels, Ziploc bags, and other single use items, you’re also trekking out to the garbage bin way more times than you need to. The reusable versions of these items are tiny, and won’t result in a noticeable increase in your laundry load. Okay, so the time saved per day isn’t huge, but environmental benefit is. So do it anyway. TIME SAVED: 1 minute
5) Drive less. I don’t mean use an alternative form of transportation, because that might take more time (depending on where you live). I mean, literally, don’t go places. I’d love to take my daughter to Ashbridge’s Bay every day to splash on the beach, but that requires a car ride and we own a perfectly good sprinkler. This doesn’t have to mean enormous sacrifice, just re-thinking your approach. TIME SAVED: 10 minutes (okay, I’m guessing on the time on this one – it’s likely more, but I’ll be conservative)
6) Eat less meat. Meat is a pain to prepare. There’s the unwrapping of the plastic and styrofoam tray thingie, the cutting, the cooking, the washing of everything that came into contact with scary raw chicken juice… It’s a lot of work! Veggies? Throw in a pan and stir fry. Done. Toss in some tofu or chick peas, and dinner is done. Easy peasy. TIME SAVED: 15 minutes
7) Eat out of the pot. You might not want to do this if you have kids, as it can create some odd food habits, but from time to time eat your dinner right out of the pot or pan you made it in. Cut your dish washing in half! TIME SAVED: 10 minutes
Okay, so this may not be the most scientific approach, but you get my drift. Green choices don’t have to be painful, or expensive, or time-consuming.
Now for my green resolution of the day. I do a lot of the above things, but I have a bad habit of getting my tea from our local coffee shop. And while it’s a local store instead of a big chain, and they do loose leaf instead of bagged, AND I walk there… well, it’s still money that could be better spent on other things. So I’m pledging to make my tea at home every morning, and take it with me in a travel mug. Oh, does this mean I get to buy a new travel mug? Just kidding!