Saturday, June 14, 2008

Stepping Up Our Green

For the last few years, I've become increasingly more aware of our environmental issues and, thanks in part to Jess (bet you had no idea how influential you are) and Alyssa, I've become more proactive. I have taken only baby steps compared to some, but we're moving in the right direction. We've:

-purchased a 30 gal recycling bin that lives in my kitchen pantry. I was shocked to find that we nearly fill it over the course of a week.

-placed small recycling bins in the basement and bedroom levels (great for convenience and well-hidden).

-purchased reusable grocery bag that we use for EVERYTHING (lunches, school toting, recycling from work, carrying donations to goodwill, etc.).

-obtained an extra laundry bag from the cleaners to be used as a cover instead of plastic.

-collected hangers for return to cleaners.

-started a compost bin. This is probably the most fun, excluding the garden. How fun is it to kick around a big trashcan? It is the coolest! Also, it catches sooo much waste
(Veggie and fruit peels, newspapers, egg shells, toilet and paper towel rolls, etc.).

-watered our garden and compost bin with a watering can, instead of using a hose.

-been diligent about conserving power in our home. I used to be a horrible offender by leaving all the lights on, running the d/w constantly.

-we've stopped using paper plates for grill outs and purchased inexpensive plasics from Wal-mart that we can reuse.

-stopped running the water to rinse our dishes for the d/w and have gotten into the habit of filling the sink a bit.

I'm sure there are a few other small things. We also are in the process of:

-purchasing a clothes dryer for the deck (Don't gasp. It folds up for closet storage).

-purchasing reusable snack containers to use instead baggies.

-purchasing some sort of rain collection containers for our downspouts.

-possibly purchasing a solar attic fan.

-conserving energy by biking to work. This applies to Marc. Last year, he biked to and from work three days a week, but the unseasonably warm temps have hindered that.

-swapping out all of my traditional cleaners for greener ones.

We actually have a lot of ideas, but getting it all together seems to be a bit of a challenge, but we're working on it.

I'd love to hear what you are doing. Then, I have more new things to try.


Jess said...

Great list, Jess! We have a wacky HOA here to work around but we are trying to figure a way to have rain barrels. Bob wants to do worm composting in the garage! I've found that baggies are the hardest for us to get rid of, I've been saving and reusing them as often as possible though. One thing we are doing this summer is keeping the AC on 78+ during the day and just wearing lighter clothes and using ceiling fans to keep the air circulating. It feels warm at first but has been easy to get used to. We turn it down at night so we can sleep more comfortably though. As for line drying clothing, we had two hooks under our deck at our townhouse and I would hang a retractable clothes line and take it back down after I was finished using it. Our HOA here is stricter and I haven't figured a place to put it out where I won't get in trouble (imagine my eyes rolling here). A wood frame rack dryer would blow away out here!

Rach said...

Oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! I addition to what you all have done, we've also been replacing our incandescent light bulbs with CFLs as the incandescents burn out.

I call what we do "Light Green" because I'm *trying* to do what I can to help the environment, even if it is only baby steps. :o)