Going Green and Greener

Both of us have always been pretty green, both at work and at play. Lately, we have started brainstorming about how, as home-based translators, we can become even more green. Not commuting to work is certainly a huge factor in cutting down our carbon footprint. Here's what we have done for a long time:

  • Dagy, who is based in Vienna, Austria, does not own a car
  • Judy, who is based in Vegas, has driven a Toyota Prius since 2005 (license plate: PLANETA, Spanish for Planet)
  • We recycle religiously
  • We keep stuff out of landfills by donating everything we don't want or use anymore. I even found a place to recycle my old laptop here in Vegas, which isn't a heaven for tree huggers
  • We buy locally, which is much easier in Vienna than in Vegas. Dagy gets a weekly "Organic box" full of locally grown veggies and goodies from an organic farm. Judy heads to farmers' markets and the two lone farms in town to buy eggs and vegetables
  • We get all our bank and credit card documents electronically.
  • We combine errands, thus reducing trips, time on the road, pollutants, and saving money
  • We bring our own recyclable cotton bags to the grocery store. This is nothing new in Vienna (plastic bags at check-out are for SALE), but in Vegas five years ago, people looked at me as if I were an alien (which in fact, I am, but a legal alien). Luckily, the trend has caught on.
  • Declining a bag for purchases at malls, etc. That's why we have large purses!
  • If we do need to take a plastic bag (for some reason, at Dillard's you must take one as proof of purchase, we found alternative future uses for it (mainly dog-related).
  • When going for our daily runs, we leave from home and run outside instead of driving somewhere and running inside. Saves gas, the planet, and lets us enjoy the outdoors.
  • For running events (10 K, half marathons, 5 K), Judy has restricted her events to local ones. Next year, she might run the Recycled! race, where everything, from the medals to the T-shirt, is recycled from previous races.

Here are a few new ways we have found to save our planet:
  • Judy is taking advantage of the spectacular weather in Vegas (temperature on December 1: 61 degrees) by drying pretty much all her laundry outside nine months out of the year. Clothes smell great, too!
  • Washing laundry in cold water
  • Using mainly biodegradable eco-friendly cleaning products (Trader Joe's has some good ones)
  • As much as we love owning books, we are cutting back on the consumption of paper by getting more books from the library and purchasing fewer books
  • We have always used plastic water bottles at least 5-10 times before recycling them, but we are taking it a step further by ceasing purchases of water bottles all together and drinking filtered water from the fridge in our Zion National Park water bottles. Doesn't taste as great, but it saves the planet.
  • When we stay at hotels, we use the same sheets for the whole time of our stay. There's really no need to have clean sheets every day. It's nice, sure, but saving the planet is nicer.
  • We joined www.care2.com and are actively signing petitions to support environmental issues that are close to our hearts.
These are only a few things we do -- and we are always looking for more green ideas! If you have any, translation-business related or just planet-related, we'd love to hear them. What are you doing to save the planet that we should know about? We are sure Abigail over at The Greener Word has some ideas that will put ours to shame!


Unknown on December 1, 2008 at 1:31 PM said...

Great tips! I also think that working from home is, in and of itself, a sustainable living practice. A certain amount of energy use (i.e. some amount of heat, hot water, electricity use, etc.) continues in the house whether you're there or not. In addition, I think that home-based workers have more opportunities to walk or bike to do errands or, as you mentioned, combine errands into one trip with the car rather than a lot of little ones. We also grow a lot of our own food, and getting out in the garden is a nice break from the office, plus it's 10 feet away!

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on December 2, 2008 at 12:57 AM said...

I knew that Corinne would have even cooler ideas! We'd love to grow our own food like you do. Now, if we only had green thumbs, or even just one green thumb between the two of us... No such luck. Every year, I kill mint, basil, cilantro, even rosemary that I lovingly (or try to) grow in big pots under the desert sun. Kudos to you for taking sustainability to the next level.

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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