My first steps in my efforts to lessen my personal impact on the Earth have been as follows:
Planted my first vegetable seeds in my windowsill pots. Hope to grow enough vegetables this summer to cut the grocery need in half for my family. This will lessen the amount of transportation traffic for the store's goods. (I'm also hoping to find an affordable farmer's market for the rest of my fresh produce needs. This also cuts back in the amount of transportation and packaging) Wish me luck... I tend to forget about those poor plants in mid-July when the heat is the worst and they need the water the most!
I FINALLY got out the extra garbage cans from the garage. We now have 3 sorting cans in the house. Looks absolutely beautiful to me. Paper! Plastic! Poopy diapers! All are separate. Hope to cut our family's garbage output by at least half.
I am deliberately making the effort to fill the washing machine to full, to cut back on the electrical and water waste. I honestly don't care if my clothes are "sparkling" clean or all that germaphobe stuff. Bacteria aren't all bad. I just go for the "illusion" of clean, anyway. And I was always trying to get the most bang for my buck anyway. I am, after all, a SAHM with 3 kids. Gotta get every dime's worth out of that shampoo bottle, ya know... So this isn't something terribly new. I'm just not going to do those small loads of pink or just a few jeans every once in a while.
The thermostat. Again, I was always pretty frugal with it before, but I turned it down 2 degrees, just to see if we could notice the difference. No big deal yet.
The lights...Oy. This will be hard for the whole family. We are renowned for leaving lights on, deliberately and unintentionally. Sometimes all night. We will only leave on the closet lights for the kids' nightlights from now on. And I am making an effort to turn them off more when I leave a room, or when the sun gets brighter, or if someone else forgot. The hardest part will be getting everyone else to go along with it!
My daughter is obviously overtired as she keeps turning the tv off while Evan is playing Star Wars (maybe she's absorbing the eco-friendly attitude already?!?) so I have to go before Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Any other helpful hints on how to cut corners ecologically? (No cloth diapers. Don't even try me.)
I'm open to suggestions!
Oh, and look at this hysterical link, copied from Dooce.
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