Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My World is a Bit Greener

It is Earth Day and I am happy to hear more about it this year than ever. I started thinking about all the "green" stuff we do in my house. Maybe what I post will give my readers some ideas of their own.

In the Kitchen
  • No heat or drying in the dishwasher

  • Only full loads

  • Recycle, recycle, recycle--chipboard, cardboard, paper, glass, plastic!

  • If I need to run the water hot, I put a watering can to collect the water till it gets hot

  • We save the used ice from tea and put it in my watering can

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps, eggs shells, tea bags, dead flowers all go into the compost pile

  • I clean the sink with baking soda a lot of the time

  • I use white vinegar for counter tops and appliances

  • We buy in large containers--i.e. no juice boxes (to my children's great disappointment)

  • We wash and reuse foil and storage bags

  • We use reusable containers verses sandwich bags

  • We use reusable water bottles and fill with our own filtered water verses buying water bottles

In the Laundry Room

  • Only full loads in the washing machine

  • I try to do all loads in one or two days as it is more efficient for the dryer to run all at once (the retained heat helps with efficiency)

  • I clean the dryer vent with each load

  • I use white vinegar in the rinse cycle for softening fabrics

  • We plan to hang clothes on the line (provided my hubby will get one up)
In the House
  • We try to rely on daylight when I can

  • We have replaced several light bulb with CFL's--especially those lights that are used the most

  • We have the TV and electronics on power switches that can be turned off at night.

  • We have house plants

  • We keep drapes pulled on cold days in the winter and pull them to keep the hot sun out in the summer

  • We keep the thermostat down (interestingly enough, our budgeted utilities went down since we moved to our house even though rates have risen!)

  • We don't throw things away that can still be used--I use Craig's List or Freecycle and give them away. You wouldn't believe the things that other people might have a use for. It is always worth a try if it keeps it out of the landfill.

  • We have installed low flow toilets and aerators on our faucets or replaced with energy efficient ones.
Around the House
  • We compost leaves, clippings, etc. for a natural fertilizer

  • We mulch to conserve watering

  • We don't cut the grass short--it helps choke out weeds plus needs cut less often

  • We have planted trees to help keep our house cooler in the summer

  • We plant trees, flowers, etc.

  • We grow a vegetable garden
Outside of the House
  • We try to combine car trips

  • I brake and gas moderately (can't say the same for the hubby, though)

  • We use reusable shopping bags and have enough for a complete shopping cart full of items
Now, we do want to continue doing even more things to help the environment. My husband would love to be a bee keeper, but have postponed this idea as my 5-year old is terrified of bees. We have also toyed with the idea of raising chickens but until we can get a good coop built to protect them, that will have to wait as well. But we will continue to do the little things and hope that everyone else will as well.

Feel free to post your ideas below--I am always welcome to suggestions!


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