Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, I'm going to completely steal Kelly's post idea from her blog (as well as many of her list items) and make a Green/Not So Green list. I try hard to "be green" whenever I can, but I do have other things I could do to make our life a little greener. So, here's my list ...

*We recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard. Here's a picture of an eight-month-old Katie Anne doing one of her favorite activities... sorting the cardboard recyclables.
*Saunders and I both drive fuel-efficient vehicles.
*I use canvas shopping bags that I bring with me each trip instead of plastic ones.
*I reuse as much as possible, including lots of "trash" items for craft projects!
*We keep our thermostat set to energy-saving temperatures.
*We're buying CFL lightbulbs to replace our incandescents.
*We've have energy-efficient appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher).
*We wash almost all of our clothes in cold water, and the few loads that I don't wash in cold (towels, socks, underwear, yard clothes)- I just use warm.
*We only run full dishwasher loads and laundry loads.
*I clean my dryer lint trap every time.
*We filter tap water instead of buying bottled.
*We use low-flow shower heads.
*I don't preheat the oven for anything other than baking cakes... for things like lasagna, baked chicken, etc, I just put the food in while the oven is heating so as not to waste the energy.
*We use real plates instead of paper to save waste (and because we're cheapskates).
*We turn off water while we're brushing our teeth, shaving, or while I condition my hair.
*We donate anything we can to avoid throwing things away.
*We planted 16 new trees in our backyard.
*We pack waste-free lunches (use washable Tupperware instead of plastic bags) or recycle things like cans.
*I keep the lights off in my classroom any time the kids aren't in there... so much so that people think I'm weird.
*We read online media and do not get any newspaper deliveries.
*We went in with friends and bought locally-raised red meat in bulk.
*We download movies and songs instead of buying CDs or DVDs.
*We get a lot of bills and statements electronically, and we pay our bills online. We also direct deposit our paychecks, and all of that saves paper.
*Saunders uses two-in-one products like shampoo/conditioner, which saves on packaging waste.

Not So Green:
*We have put so many disposable diapers into landfills that I don't even want to think about it! But, I just can't go cloth.
*I don't buy produce from our local farmer's market, even though we have a great one downtown once a week.
*We keep our television, computers, and other electronic items running a lot, even though we're not using them.
*We leave our cell phone chargers plugged in a lot, even when the phone's not attached. We waste a lot of "vampire" electricity.
*We do not change our air filters as often as we should, and we're reducing the efficiency of our air conditioner.
*Our attic is not adequately insulated.
*The weather stripping around our doors is not adequate.
*I get a lot of magazines... but I do swap magazines with my mom, so that could kind of cancel that out.
*We have a drawer full of old cell phones that we really should donate.
*We eat a lot more canned vegetables than fresh.
*We consume (even though we recycle them) a TON of aluminum drink cans.
*I used to use rechargable batteries when I lived with my parents, but we don't recharge batteries now.

Okay, that's all I can think of! I hope we can maintain our current "green initiatives" between now and next Earth Day while adding a few more of the things we aren't doing, like donating those cell phones and going to our local farmer's market more often. I'd love to read other folks' green ideas!


Kelly said...

You reminded me of a few I forgot - like using reusable containers in the kids' lunches instead of baggies (baggies are a big no-no in our house!), cleaning the lint trap, not pre-heating the oven, not purchasing DVDs/CDs (and we rent Wii games), and electronic bill pay.

I think we're doing pretty good ... and who would know if we didn't tell them? That's what I want to tell people who think living consciously is hard.

cindy glawson said...

WOW! Good list and your dad will be so proud. You know his love of recycling!:)

SGiles said...

Great list!! As an FYI, we donated our cell phones before we moved out of the country...Cell Phones for Soldiers is a cool organization that recycles them and then uses the funds to send calling cards to soldiers...( Just an idea for you. Also, since you said you go through a lot of soda cans, feel free to check out my blog to see what we're using the pull tabs for!!!

(Sorry...I didn't meant to ramble so much...heehee!!!)

Anonymous said...

what a good idea for a post. i am so impressed with how green you are. we've been making progress but have so far to go. guess my biggest contribution is we use cloth diapers half the time.