Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day - I'm greener than I thought

Maybe like pale, pukey, limey color of green - not a deep, rich, vibrant, march on the capitol steps kind of green - but hey, every little bit helps, right?

I saw this post over at Simple Mom, and thought I'd test myself. Now I'm challenging you to test yourself as well. How green are you??? Bold the ones you are currently practice, and italicize the ones you either plan to do or wish you did.

40 Easy Ways to Go Greener at Home - Besides Recycling
1. Plant an herb garden. It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates.
Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs. (all but the dimmers)
3. Create a homemade compost bin.
4. Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label).
5. Stop using disposable bags - order some reusable bags, or make your own. Thanks Mom!
6. Buy a reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles

7. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
8. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
9. Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can - open your curtains and enjoy natural light. Not on purpose, though - I usually forget until I can't see :)
10. Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.
11. Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.
12. Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.
13. Turn off your computer completely at night.
14. Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.
15. Pay as many bills as possible online.
16. Put a stop to unsolicited mail - sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers. While you’re at it, go ahead and make sure you’re on the “do not call” list, just to make your life more peaceful.
17. Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
18. Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.
19. Subscribe to good eco blogs. My favorites are The Daily Green, No Impact Man, and TreeHugger. You can find many more at Best Green Blogs.
20. Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle. Nickel Saver, Ebay, etc.
21. Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.
22. Fix leaky faucets.
23. Make your own household cleaners. I’ve got quite a few recipes in my e-book.
24. Line dry your laundry.
25. Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.
26. Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world. Compassion is great for this!
28. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
29. Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
30. Repurpose something - turn one of your well-worn t-shirts into basic play pants for your baby. Or save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, treasure boxes, or a myriad of other crafts.
31. Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
32. Switch to cloth diapers - or at least do a combination with disposables. Just not sure I EVER could have done this!!
33. Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label. Is Starbucks doing this for me?
34. Use a Diva Cup for your monthly cycles.
35. Make rags out of old towels and t-shirts, and forego buying paper towels.
36. Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
37. Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and open your eyes to the way conventional food is processed.
38. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage.
39. Five-minute showers - make it a goal for yourself. Ummmm. No way.
40. Donate to - and shop at - thrift stores such as Goodwill. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy.

As they pointed out in the Simple Mom article - 9 times out of 10, being a good steward of resources if often the more frugal option - which definitely speaks to me! Give it a shot . . .


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Now THIS was interesting. I agree, no way no how am I condensing to 5 minute showers...and a diva cup? Nope, not gonna happen. I did the cloth diapers on the kids...that should buy me lots of green points.

Jeff9 said...

Even better than recycling; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time...yes! Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but please remember that in the big picture the industrial water users always far exceed the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.