- Running water. Am I maximizing wash loads, taking brief showers, and not letting the taps run when not in use?
- Heat and electricity. Do I turn down the furnace temperature in the winter and forego A.C. or use only on the highest setting on the most unpleasant days? Are we leaving appliances plugged in when not in use (vampire electric use) and remembering to turn off lights not needed?
- Toilet paper, paper towels, other paper products. Spending $42 on Toilet Paper is a kick in the wallet. Not to be gross, but how many squares are really needed? Paper towels, plates, and napkins-try and use only when the alternative is not very conducive to the job. I'm lumping wraps, foil, clings, and baggies into this group as well. Can a reusable container work as well as disposable wraps and bags? If not, can the bag have an additional life?
- Gasoline. Am I using the most cost effective routes and doubling up trips to not waste miles? With winter here, how long is enough, but not too much to run the car before driving? Do we have enough warm clothes on so that we do not need to crank the heat?
- Fresh food. I've probably talked about food waste to the point of boring you all, but I know my family takes this for granted. We simply cannot afford though environmentally and financially to let good food go bad, then rot in landfills. We must do better eating what is bought, and freezing leftovers for future meals.
- Health. I have my chronic RA, my knee that gives me issues, and boughts of insomnia. Yet, I still have a working body that does for the most part, everything it is meant to do. I need to not waste the health I have with eating junk, being sedentary, and dwelling on negativity. I know I take for granted that I wake up and am able to work, play, and take care of my family.
- Time. As the year ends, I am looking to where I can maximize my time for spending time with my family, positive social connectedness, effective home management, hobbies that bring me joy, and opportunities to earn additional money. I must evaluate how I spend my spare time to see if it is checking one of these boxes, and if not, realize I am squandering a precious resource.
What do you think you take for granted? Are you making efforts to change your mindset and behavior? Please share your success and challenges.