Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eco-Check List

I wrote a post awhile back about getting ourselves back on this sustainable living kick. I had read the book "No Impact Man" and totally got myself into a "I can do BETTER" kind of attitude! Almost to the point of purely overwhelming myself actually...
Then talking with my friend Nina (who always helps shed new light on my dilemma's) she pointed out something (see? new light...)... she said, "I bet you're more eco-friendly then you realize!"
Wow! What an idea! (and a quite simple one too might I add....)
So, of course, I ran my little butt to the library and over the course of the last month, I've been reading, learning, observing, etc. Until I checked out this book:

Now I'm still reading it and it's a little dry and I DON'T like all the ad plugs in it but going over all the ways in our lives of how eco-friendly we are, I started feeling like Hey! I'm not really doing a bad job! So I've composed a little list here of things I am doing and methods we are living by to help my own sense of self worth and to remind me that I AM living more eco-friendly then I think we are.... here we go! (In no particular order.... just as they pop into my head!)

  1. We compost our fruit and veggie scraps.

2. We recycle. (And because of these 2 things, we've reduced our trash by 50-75%!)

3. We have a deep freeze. Which we use to freeze leftover dinners/food/veggies/meat, which means less waste.

4. We have a garden every year which produces most of our vegetables in the spring and summer.

5. We clean our house (most of the time) with vinegar/water/essential oils mix.

6. We re-use a lot of our glass and plastic jars that once housed food items.

7. We keep our thermostat low in the winter and use our fireplace as much as we can.

8. We make our own firestarter's for our fireplace. No expensive firestarter logs in this house! Just a little dryer lint, recycled newspaper, and paraffin wax.

9. We keep the air conditioning off for 90% of the summer and just sweat it out!

10. We by far less toys for our children then most parents. We substitute with books, games, trips, and experiences.

11. We drink our own coffee at home. (Really, think how much waste and energy is generated by all the little coffee shops!)

12. We have Netflix. Which means we don't buy most of our movies. Less waste.

13. We have ipods/computers for our music needs. No more cd's. (Thanks John ;)

14. We have LED lightbulbs.... or candles!

15. We bring our own bags to the grocery store.

16. We use the library.... ALOT.

17. I hardly ever buy NEW clothes. I prefer vintage, salvation army, goodwill, garage sales, or home made any day of the week!

18. I mend clothing. If it's not mendable, I try to think of a way to use it up in a different way before disposing of it.

19. We belong to 2 freecycle groups, craigslist, etsy, ebay.... all good ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle!

20. We educate our kids on the importance of the environment.

21. I have an IUD. (again with the SERIOUSLY.... many many many birth control methods are harmful by way of pharmaceuticals and waste.)

22. If something breaks, we attempt to fix it before we buy something new. We also scout for used versions of what broke before we buy a brand new item.

23. If an item only has one use in the kitchen, then it's NOT in our kitchen (ok, it's not in our kitchen ANYMORE, like we still have all the crap from before we changed ourselves... but no new "one purpose" kitchen machines). I wanted a bread machine... John said NOPE. We're going to learn how to make our own bread in the oven we already have... love you babe :)

24. I knit. This can provide a TON of things we take for granted (wash cloths, hats, socks, etc)

25. I have recently started FROGGING and knitting! See pictures!

I paid $3.00 for this sweater....

I got all this yarn from it....

And I've made this scarf for a friend... and still have 3 out of 4 balls left!

26. We use NORMAL hand soap. No anti-bacterial soaps here. Germs are GOOD for the body and those soaps are BAD for the environment.

27. Our kids take showers. (Less water waste then bath's)

28. We re-wear clothing. TRUST ME, it's not always dirty after ONE wearing.

29. We use cold water to wash our clothing.

30. I TRY to hang dry clothing (when the weather cooperates and I have the time to watch and make sure it's not stolen...)

31. We try herbal remedies before we run for the drugs.

32. We drink tap water. Not bottled water.

33. We try to walk more, not drive more.

34. We take our vitamin's. (Optimum health= less sickness= less doctor visits= less chemicals in our bodies= less chemicals in the environment)

35. We are paying cash for most everything now. How is this eco-friendly? Well, using my debit card I know I was consuming WAY more then I needed. Paying cash halps me THINK about what I'm buying before I do!

36. Our bills are paid online.

37. When we like certain foods, we learn how to cook ethnically, not run to the nearest restaurant!

38. We turn off the water when we're brushing our teach.

39. Still working on sewing... gotta get back on that!

40. And most important of all... we try to help educate others of the importance of the earth and our bodies.... not pushy, just nice suggestions :)

And for giggles, here is a few of the things we're working on:

  1. Buying food locally.
  2. Consuming less meat, and the meat we do consume, have it come from farm raised animals, locally.
  3. Re-usable snack packs for the kids.
  4. I'm making cloth napkins to rid ourselves of papertowels, paper napkins, etc.
  5. Home made Christmas presents!

So what do you do to live more eco-friendly? I bet if we all looked around, we would discover some hidden ways we are practicing a more eco-friendly life style... make a list! Leave me a comment if you do make a list on your blog... I like new ideas! :)


ButterflysDance said...

What a list of "done did it"... That is great. Continue the good work. Wish the whole world would do included. Did the boys finish the clementines? Were they tasty or did you even have one yet?

nicola@which name? said...

oh my god. you rock!
i haven't heard of that book and will have to check it out. we've been doing a 'no buying new challenge' which has challenged me in more ways than i ever imagined. we are winding down now (although patterns are set!) and i am collecting my thoughts into a post for the end of the year.