Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Being Green

Living in the new Stately Wasser Manor feels like a new beginning. It's like the first day of school, when you were determined to do things a little differently, like change your look a bit, or get to school earlier. This, I figure, is my opportunity to set things up in such a way to make our lives a bit easier and more organized. Everything from arranging the kitchen cabinets to buying a new family message center to finding a spot other than the dining room table to put our mail is a great opportunity.

One of the things that I've decided to do is to find little ways to live a bit greener. Just because I can't switch completely to organic produce, buy a hybrid car, or exclusively bike to work doesn't mean that my efforts to do little things for the planet, and for Jack's future on it, are wasted.

To that end, I'm reading a book called It's Easy Being Green that offers lots of simple, actionable ideas to do your part to improve the planet. Here are some changes I'm making:

  • Switching all lightbulbs to compact fluorescents. This is really no big deal to do at all, and CFL's use significantly less energy than regular light bulbs
  • Re-using plastic sandwich bags whenever possible
  • Only running the dishwasher when it's full (not so hard to do now that I no longer have baby bottles to be concerned with)
  • Using the timer on our thermostat
  • Buying locally grown produce at the farmer's market whenever possible (which is nice anyway)
  • Using only a trickle of water to wash my hands and turning it off while I lather. And not running the water while I brush my teeth
  • No more bottled water. I never drank bottled water because I had any problem with tap, but rather because it was more convenient. Now I have a pretty green bottle that I just re-use every day. Much nicer.
  • I bring my own travel mug to 'bucks when it's time for a cup of coffee. Like the water bottle, it's actually a little nicer than it's disposable counterpart.
  • At the office, I try to avoid printing anything that I could just email or read online. And when I do print something, I take the pages, turn them upside down, and use them as scratch paper.
  • No more plastic bags. I bought a bunch of re-usable cloth bags on eBay and have them in the trunks of both cars. I've used them so far at the grocery store and at my favorite store, Target, and I love them. For one thing, there's that sweet feeling of superiority I can enjoy when I ask for neither paper nor plastic. And the fact that they are much easier to carry than plastic bags. And, if that wasn't enough, they're red!

I'm constantly on the lookout for other small changes I can make. It really feels important to me, and so far, none of this has been hard.

1 comment:

littlemonstercallum said...

Good on you for this move Betsy, you're right when you break it down it isn't that hard to swap how you use some things in life and sadly it looks like we do have to look at doing these things especially for our children's sake.

Daz and I have been talking about when we eventually move being more green, firstly we're going to start recycling something we don't do at the moment (1) We simply don't have the space to store all the different things (2) We don't have our own transportation to drop the recycled things off and (3) Our dustmen just about manage to collect our normal rubbish I NEVER seen them come and check for recycleable stuff. I'm also if we get a big enough garden going to look at growing our own fruit/veg etc. It's only little things but if everyone does something little it all helps.