The Six Step Program.
- EAT Locally
- DOWNSHIFT Your Driving
- JUNK Your Junk Mail
- BREAK the Bottled Water Habit
- CLEAN Green
- BRING Your Own Bag
These are the six steps that New American Dream outlines as ways individuals can reduce their carbon footprint. They can be applied here in Israel too. Here are our suggestions for adapting these six steps to Israeli living:
- EAT Locally – Grow your own herbs and spices on your porch and in window boxes, buy your produce from a local organic farm and/or shop at your local shuk for cheaper prices, less packaging, and the freshest foods available.
- DOWNSHIFT Your Driving – If you live in an urban area, you probably already know that having a car can be more of a curse than a blessing. Take a monit sherut (service taxi), ride the bus or, best of all, ride a bike! If you are traveling between cities, check out the Egged Transportation bus schedule, they’re buses go almost everywhere.
- JUNK Your Junk Mail – This is a tough one as there are no laws or guidelines regarding junk mail in Israel and it’s pretty much impossible to stop the hundreds of restaurant flyers that end up in your mailbox everyday. Our suggestion? DON’T “junk” your junk mail! Recycle it! Reuse it! Just don’t throw it on the street or into the trash!
- BREAK the Bottled Water Habit – Guess what? You can buy Nalgene water bottles in Israel! We saw them this week at L’Metayel. Can’t stand the Tel Aviv tap water? Buy a Brita water filter and fill up a Nalgene. At 90 shekels, Britas are cheap and the filters, which cost 25 shekels, only have to be replaced every 100 liters. You save money and save the environment.
- CLEAN Green – Stop buying toxic chemicals to clean your house. Baking soda and white vinegar will clean just about everything and you can always spend a few more shekels on biodegradable, non-toxic Ecover cleaning products. Well worth the added expense.
- BRING Your Own Bag – We understand that it’s hard to say no when you are offered plastic bags for even your smallest purchases everywhere you go. But do you really need them? Carry a small, foldable fabric bag with you in your purse/backpack/etc. and use that for grocery shopping. At the shuk, reuse a single plastic bag for weighing your purchases and empty your produce into your cart or bag. Or, take a couple of extra bags from home with you to use again. At home, use your plastic bags to line your garbage cans, for your wet towels and swimsuits after a day at the beach, and cleaning up after your pets. Simply taking something that is meant for one-time use and using it again makes a big difference in your impact on the earth.
What do you do to reduce your footprint? Let us know in the comments below.