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Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Sometime last month, I had the idea of planning a day of educational and fun activities to celebrate earth day with the kids. Then I forgot about it. So never mind about that.

We used to be much more conscious about the impact that our actions have on the environment but, to be honest, that's taken a back seat to a lot of other things lately. We still do better than the average family, I'd guess, when it comes to "reduce, reuse, recycle", but I'd like to try harder. I have learned that a lot of "green" habits also save us money, and those are the ones we tend to stick with. (I'm trying to avoid making a pun about "saving some green").

So, in order to encourage and inspire myself, a list of 5 things we currently do that are good for our environment, and a list of 5 things I'd like to improve on.

Things we already do:
1. We use cloth diapers. (the diaper show was a lot of fun Saturday, by the way! I'm working on scheduling another one nearby for May!)
2. We use cloth napkins.
3. We use environmentally friendly cleaners and skin care products (except for chlorine bleach on occasion. I just can't get away from that stuff when it comes to sanitizing toilets and laundry...)
4. We recycle. I can't really take credit for that one though, the city has a pick up service, so all we have to do is set our recycling aside each week.
5. We try to avoid spraying toxic things in our yard and garden. It just seems selfish and short-sighted to spray terrible stuff all over our yard to make it look healthier, when it's actually damaging to, well, just about everything. I haven't found a good solution for the fire ants yet, though.

Well, I feel better. We're still doing good things for our planet.

Things we could do better:
1. We drive too much. I would do better to consolidate errands and walk more. Where we live now, we are close to everything, so I could really handle some errands on foot. The kids enjoy that more, anyway.
2. I don't pay enough attention to our energy usage. I leave things plugged in and on, and I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to the thermostat. I'd like to hang our laundry more. It saves energy and keeps our clothes looking nicer longer.
3. Ditto with the water. I just can't seem to make myself take a short shower, and I get lazy and run the dishwasher more than I should.
4. We waste food. Especially now that I'm pregnant, I tend to let leftovers go to waste because I don't feel like eating the same food again. Or I don't use fresh produce fast enough.
5. In reference to the bleach above, I'd really like to find an affordable alternative for sanitizing. That's all I really use it for. When I don't use it for a while, our diapers and dish towels get kind of funky. I also use it to clean the toilets every month or two.

Nature, it just feeds the soul, doesn't it?

None of my goals are really lofty, they just take a little extra effort.

What about you? What do you do that's good for mother earth?

Do you have any good (inexpensive) alternatives to chlorine bleach for me?

1 comment:

  1. Rinse the towels with vinegar in the water. It will make them rinse cleaner and smell better and feel softer. I get the stains out with Oxyclean or BioClean. I don't measure the vinegar, but I think I usually pour 1/2 C in the rinse water. I got a fabric softner despenser that adds it automatically, bc I'd never remember to catch it before it finishes rinsing.

    Set the leftovers out the back door. Something will eat it. Remember the "pet" racoons? And maybe they will leave your garbage cans alone. Nah.