Do This Now
What, I ask Santoro, are 10 simple things our Tonic readers can do now? All, she admits, are things we’ve heard before but just don’t always do:
- Unplug appliances/power strips when not in use.
- Reach for the broom before the vacuum.
- Instead of turning on the AC, open a window when there is a breeze.
- Compost kitchen scraps, either in the backyard or in a worm box if you’re in an apartment.
- Walk, bicycle, use public transport when possible. When running errands in your car, consolidate trips.
- Reuse your plastic grocery sacks, or use cloth ones.
- Air-dry clothes when possible, indoors or out. Hang the heavy items like jeans and towels if you’re pressed for space.
- Shop used: Check out thrift stores first for good used household items, clothes, toys, etc.
- Reuse your paper coffee cup/water bottle a couple of times before throwing it away — or better yet, use glass or ceramic.
- Use both sides of paper for multi-page printing.
Other tips, in addition to her Facebook campaign, can be found at Santoro’s blog, The Obvious Observer.
Since Santoro and Julian live 25 miles from the nearest town, they need a satellite Internet connection — their highest bill at $80 a month. It is their only extravagance. “I have pieces in shows all over the world, and I can conduct my entire career as if I was living in Brooklyn,” Santoro says. “We’re just living a very simple life and it’s very rewarding.”