Saturday, February 02, 2008
Ways We Are Living Green

With my finals over I am back online and I thought I would catch you up on some of the things that have been going on at our house.

The biggest change has been my new determination to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. This has not gone over well with the kids because I have totally stopped buying all of their individually packaged snacks. I have replaced these foods with natural biodegradable fruits and vegetables. I also buy large size jars of things like applesauce and yogurt instead of the individual packs. This, combined with my recycling efforts has cut our garbage down to one bag a week, down from FIVE. The kids are whining now, but I think they will get used to it and their health will improve as well.

I have changed some other habits too. I buy food (breads, fruits, vegetables) that are made locally because this supports food that doesn't have to use energy to be transported here. I also have been buying organic choices. It is more expensive, but it balances out because I am buying in bulk, and buying less other stuff in general.

I have also purchased 10 cloth bags that we use at the grocery store instead of the plastic bags. I buy environmentally sound "seventhgeneration" products wherever they are available (dishwasher, laundry detergents, toilet paper, etc.). I try to buy recycled products.

We have one refrigerator and a stand-alone freezer which are the biggest environmental culprits in our home. I have been trying to keep the door closed, pack it full, and try not to use the freezer (unplug it), also keeping the refrigerator full and operating it on the lowest temp. that can still keep it cold enough.

Having meat for every meal is also hard on the environment, so I have tried to eat less meat. Red meat is the worst, with chicken next and fish least harmful. I have also purchased those long-lasting, energy efficient lightbulbs. Lighting is a huge energy suck.

Everyone knows that cars suck too. We only own one car by default, so that is good. I have tried to walk more and drive less, but we don't drive much at all here- there isn't that many places to go and everything is very close by. When we go in the city we use the mass transporation, so we
are already on the right track there. I am still learning about things and doing more research. Overall, though I think this is a much healthier and far less wasteful way of living. I think it is fun to think of ways to be more environmentally friendly. It feels good to do my part.

I got an email from a fellow environmentally minded women who has a great parenting site. Check out her tips.

Can you pass on- some good advice?

P.S. Do you see my sidebar even with my posts? It looks right on my screen at home, but was off when I looked at my site at the library. Let me know. Thanks!

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11 Comments:
Anonymous dutchgirl said...
Good for you! I was amazed by how much less garbage my household produced just by recycling alone. I wish I could get my dh more on the organic bandwagon, the prices just about give him a coronary.

Your sidebar looks fine on my computer screen ;)

Blogger Rob said...
Dede & I made the switch to cloth shopping bags earlier last year. And then I found a recycling center that accepts #1 & 2 plastics, so I started recycling those. I've noticed that the amount of garbage we generate has definitely dwindled a bit.

We wash & reuse a lot of containers & ziplock baggies that are intended as single-use items. And we've almost entirely stopped using paper plates - which we were doing just for convenience - and instead just use sturdy everyday dishes and hand-wash them after each meal. (I think that avoiding using the dishwasher saves a bit on energy costs, although I'm not sure just how much.)

Blogger Patty said...
Nothing on the sidebar from my computer

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I can't see the sidebar either.

Anonymous Rebecca said...
No sidebar for me. We are trying to be more green too. When it came time to purchase a new car, we went with the Hybrid. Very thrilled with it. Thanks for the cloth bag suggestion. I'm going to do that. Thanks!

Blogger Tracy said...
WOW,i'm totally impressed :)!

Blogger Rachael said...
You sidebar is way down at the bottom on my computer too. And no header.

We do recycle, but I've often thought about trying to get rid of the grocery store plastic bags. Problem is we buy so many groceries (it seems). I have a drawer STUFFED full of those bags for reusing, but always forget to do so. They are the bane of my existence.

Blogger Jenni said...
It's great that you are doing so much! We do what we can too, but I know we could do more. Between recycling and using less pre-packaged materials, we've got our garbage down to a full can every 2 weeks! But, I would like to have a more energy-efficient refrigerator and washing machine. Some day...

Keep up the good work. Your kids may be complaining now, but you're setting up some great habits for when they are older and have households of their own.

Anonymous Betsy said...
Jen,
Long time reader (from Three Sons & a Princes) and first time commenter.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, in which she chronicles what happens when she challenges her family to eat ONLY local foods for one year.

It's a great read and very enlightening on the environmental impact of the transportation of our food.

Blogger Bryce said...
The sidebar looks fine for me. Maybe different browsers make it look different? I use firefox, if that helps.

Blogger Jane and Jim said...
I think you are doing an awesome job. We are implementing many of the same ideas too.

Your sidebar is at the very bottom of my screen - it looks like it would overlap the mid screen if it were higher.

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