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Thursday, October 19, 2017

24 Life Changing Alternatives to Cable (Part 2)

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Today we're talking more about a both budget-friendly and eco-friendly choice. Making the choice to get rid of cable will save you money, give you time for meaningful activities, and could positively impact the environment as well.

Advanced Cable Cutting:

In 2016, the average time spent per day watching TV was 2.7 hours daily.  If you wanted to use that time to do more budget-friendly and eco-friendly activities, you could and better yourself instead of zoning out. Here are 24 non-cable options, in no particular order:

anderson-craig-firns-green-jennings-kichakov - references

Read a book- Yes, I'm serious. You can get much deeper into a story by reading a book than by watching a movie. Reading is more active and movie watching is more passive. If you read a used book in the daylight, the only carbon footprint is from manufacturing and shipping the book to where you bought it from. If you buy it used at a local used bookstore or thrift store by biking, walking or taking public transportation, your carbon footprint will be incredibly small and your wallet will thank you.

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Exercise | Tom Corson-Knowles

Exercise- The time you spend watching cable could be spent making your body stronger, more flexible, healthier, more in shape, or healing old injuries. You won't remember every show or movie you watch, but your body will show you the results of every workout you did. The carbon footprint varies by how you exercise whether that's in a gym, a workout video, or going for a run/walk.

Everybody's Hobby - Wikipedia

Work on a hobby/Pinterest project- How many "when I have some free time" projects you do you have waiting for you to finish? If you spend your leisure time doing those "someday" projects, think of how much more you could get done. Your time spent would be physically visible, but watching your favorite show won't be. The carbon footprint varies by what your hobby or project is, some use more resources than others.

Learning Online | Use a computer to take online classes and … | Flickr
Learn a new skill/take an online class- Have you ever wanted to learn to cook? (Earn 25% cashback on every course on Udemy.) How about how to take nice photos? You can spend your leisure time learning those "someday" skills that you always wanted to learn, but could never find the time. The carbon footprint varies by what skill you learn is, some require more resources than others to learn.

File:Scrabble game in progress.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Play a board game- Instead of watching TV, trying playing a board game with family or friends. If you buy the board game used, (Earn 2% cashback if you shop on Ebay) and play in the daylight, the only carbon footprint is from manufacturing and shipping the game to where you bought it from. You can even make your own board game as a fun activity and save yourself the shipping footprint by using what you have. If you buy it used at a local thrift store by biking, walking or taking public transportation, your carbon footprint will be incredibly small and your wallet will thank you.

Walking the dog | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Nature walk/walk your dog- Instead of watching TV, walk around your neighborhood, with your dog if you have one to walk. Stop and smell the flowers. Observe the beauty of nature in all of its forms, the soil, rocks, plants, and animals. Feel the sun, wind, rain, or snow on your face. Get to know your neighbors a little. Other than the clothes and shoes you're wearing, your carbon footprint is zero. Your body thanks you for the mild exercise and tuning into the world outside your door.

Decluttering- Instead of watching TV, take some time every day to go through and get rid of stuff you don't need. You can even make cash by selling it! You can even be proactive and stop things like junk mail from entering your space in the first place. Carbon footprint varies by method of decluttering, but the less stuff you have to maintain, the less time you have to spend caring for your stuff. You can also share your "may be useful someday" with someone who needs it now.  You now have more time for the treasures you decide to keep.


Hike- Similar to a nature walk, hiking is great for your health, tuning into nature, and turning off your TV.  Hiking doesn't have to be far from where you live or really rigorous. It's just a chance to get outside of your little bubble. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method to get to your hike. By biking, walking or taking public transportation to your hiking spot, your carbon footprint will be incredibly small and your wallet will thank you.

Couple Learning Programme (former)/Culture Exchange ...

Learn a language- Instead of watching TV, try spending time improving your mind and expanding your possibilities. Being bilingual helps you to delay signs of dementia, can open up more job possibilities, can expand your friendship/communication possibilities, and may even help you earn more money. There are endless possibilities on ways to learn languages. While my life is crazy right now, I'm simplifying and focusing on what needs to be done. Once I'm able to make time though, this is how I'm going to become fluent in a second language.  Carbon footprint varies by education method. Most language programs rely on some form of media, if not multiple forms, so electricity and internet are usually contributing.

Barbeque, go to the park, or have a picnic- On a day with good weather, you can enjoy the outdoors instead of watching TV. Spring and summer are great for cooking outdoors to avoid heating up indoors, but Autumn and Winter can be great if you live in a good climate for it. I grew up in Las Vegas and Winter was often the best time to be outside because it has such hot summers. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method, but could be tiny if you walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation to a park or stay home.

Nurse Media Journal of Nursing

Journal- Instead of watching TV, write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  This can be therapeutic for you and helpful for gathering family stories down the road. Carbon footprint varies by what you use to journal in and when you journal. If you make a journal from one sided paper or homemade recycled paper, then your manufacturing footprint will be much smaller. If you only journal in daylight, then your footprint will be reduced further.

Our "new" piano from 1886

Play an instrument
- Instead of watching TV, you can use your time to learn and play an instrument. Mr. Greenie received a long desired used piano for his birthday and has been using his free time to practice. There is something so much more peaceful about listening to a piano being practiced in the background rather than a TV blaring. Carbon footprint can be reduced by buying a used instrument, but bringing it home may add to carbon footprint if it needs to be delivered. Used lesson books can also reduce footprint, but getting them home or having a teacher can add traveling miles to footprint.

Visit a friend or neighbor- Instead of watching TV, you could be visiting the friend, family, or neighbor you haven't been able to find time for. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method. If you walk, bike or take public transportation, your footprint can be reduced.

eastcoastlife: Old Friends, New Friends - PhotoHunt

Bake or cook a meal from scratch- Instead of watching TV, you can have more time to learn how to cook and cook healthier meals from scratch. Your waistline will thank you, your wallet will thank you, and they'll much less stress going zero waste and plastic free when you cook from home. Carbon footprint varies by packaging, transportation, and cooking fuel source.

Call or Skype a family member- You can use some of your TV time to connect with family.  You know they miss you! Carbon footprint varies by energy source for calling, internet, and electricity.

forgiven - home

Serve someone in need- Instead of watching TV, you could be giving back to your community and feeling great. Opportunities abound, so search for areas that interest you or play to your strengths that you can give time in. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method and how service is rendered.

Get family photos done or find your ancestors- I don't know about you, but I never seem to find time to get a family portrait taken. By using the time that would have been spent watching TV, you can save memories of your family. You can also use that time to connect with family who have passed on. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method for photo taking and printing on non-photo paper (you can't recycle photo paper). Footprint also varies by energy source for internet and electricity.

Do that chore you've been putting off until you got some free time.- If you use your TV time to get things done, you can accomplish those extra chores that never seem to get done. Carbon footprint varies by resources needed to complete chores.

File:Dinas camping - geograph.org.uk - 1731943.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Go camping- Instead of watching TV, head out into nature for a bit. Even a one night trip can be fun. Carbon footprint varies by camping equipment and transportation method. You can buy your equipment used or share it with your neighbors. You can bike and take public transportation or carpool to reduce your impact.

Go to a museum- Take a walk, bike, carpool, or take public transportation to a museum and your impact will be reduced to the ticket printing resourcing. More importantly, your mind will be expanded and some museums are free and require no ticket.

Ride a bike- Instead of watching TV, just go for a bike ride. You will enjoy better health and see the world more clearly by slowing down to look at it live, with no glass between you. Carbon footprint can be reduced by buying the bike used.

Square Foot Gardening | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Garden/Go to a U-pick farm and harvest your own food- Instead of watching TV, you could have more free time to garden or pick your own food from a farm. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method and gardening supplies. If you bring pots back to gardening centers, start your own seeds, and compost instead of buying bagged dirt, your impact can be reduced down to transportation.

Go fishing- Instead of watching TV, try catching your own food. You'll gain a greater appreciation for how your food gets to your grocery store and you'll enjoy getting outside more. Imagine how fresh your fish will taste! Carbon footprint varies by kind of equipment and transportation method. You can buy used equipment and bike, take public transportation, or carpool to reduce impact.


List the things you're grateful for/prayer of gratitude- Instead of watching TV, stop and think about all that you've been given. You can make a list to reflect back on later or pray with gratitude for all that you have, or you do both. Carbon footprint can't be calculated, as gratitude can stop you from wanting any number of things.

Hopefully this list helps you find enough alternatives for watching TV that you can ditch cable/satellite. See Part One for more ways to quit cable, but still watch shows and movies. This list could also be used to show kids things to do if they're bored.

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What are some other eco-friendly things you can do instead of watching TV? Share in the comments section below.

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