Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Save the Earth

We aren't the greenest family, but we have made a few changes over the past couple of years to help reduce our impact on the planet.

20 things we do to save the planet and money:

1. Change out light bulbs to compact florescent.
2. Unplug what we aren't using (we're working on that).
3. Stop buying individually wrapped products.
4. Use low flow shower heads.
5. Switch to cloth napkins instead of paper towels.
6. Cook more and dine out less.
7. Switch to reusable shopping bags.
8. Our house is curtain-free to make the most of natural light during the day.
9. Put weather stripping around doors and windows.
10. Burn wood for heat in the winter.
11. Compost our lawn and food garbage.
12. Donate what we don't need instead of throwing it away.
13. Lower our thermostat in the winter and open windows in the spring and fall.
14. Bought a Prius.
15. Use the library instead of buying new books (or buy used if it's something Josh HAS to have).
16. Go paperless on bills and banking.
17. Only run full loads of laundry and always rinse in cold water.
18. Use bath towels more than once between washes.
19. Run several errands in one trip to keep from driving to and from town so often.
20. Print on both sides of computer paper.

20 goals I have for us to continue to improve our habits:
1. Recycle more of our trash.
2. Put an insulation blanket around our water heater.
3. Have the well, furnace and water heater serviced.
4. Replace furnace filter.
5. Make our own cleaning products.
6. Grow our own food without using chemicals. (A $60 garden produces an average of $200 in produce!)
7. Buy a faucet aerator for the kitchen sink.
8. Buy used whenever possible. (our clothes, cars, etc.)
9. Line dry our clothes again. (we need a new location for the line)
10. Buy cows, pigs, and chickens for meat and eggs.
11. Buy less.
12. Get off junk mail lists. (You can go here along with several other websites to do the same.)
13. Shop locally and at the farmer's market more often.
14. Plant fruit trees and bushes.
15. Stop using a blow dryer to dry my hair (at least some of the time.)
16. Build a rainwater cistern to water the garden.
17. We would love to buy solar panels and/or a wind turbine but I'm not sure how realistic that is.
18. Switch to rechargeable batteries.
19. Pick up the trash piles that were on our property when we moved here.
20. Buy higher quality products so they don't have to be replaced often.

The bottom line is, I believe food, buying, waste, and transportation choices create a huge impact on our planet and wallets. *See this post for more on that belief.

Think about what we eat and where it comes from.
"If everyone in the US skipped meat one day a week, that would be the equivalent of taking 20 million mid-sized sedans off the road, regarding the environmental impact."
Michael Pollan

Avoid food waste whenever possible.
Americans throw away 43,000 tons of food per day.

Consider packaging and what we throw away.
The average family of three will produce about half a million pounds of garbage in our lifetime.

Remember your reusable shopping bags by keeping some in your car.

Plastic bags consumed this year:

* counter from here.

We are also collecting old newspapers to use under the mulch in our flowerbed and vegetable garden.

We had a stay at home day and took a long walk around the farm. The pond looks better than it has in a long time due to the recent rain, but I'm sure there is a leak because it won't look like this in the summer.

Rosebud tree near the barn

Ben slept well last night and he's back to normal today. I am experimenting with video from my cell phone. He was cracking me up just before this, but I could only record ten seconds at a time.

Ben not napping in his crib:

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