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!