Monday, June 9, 2008

Goin' Green

My conscience begs me to make this post today. I have become more environmentally friendly in the past year. We started doing little things around our house to contribute (in a small way) to the future of this earth. Yes, the hype now is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I might add repurpose to that list as well. It is hard to imagine our world in 100 years and, most likely, I won't be around to see it. However, my grandchildren will be and I want them to enjoy the same beautiful world I see everyday. I'm not a tree-hugging hippie but here are the simple things we do.

1). Change light bulbs to fluorescent bulbs and save over 35% in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Plus, the heat put off by the bulb is less. Gradually change the ones that are in use everyday and watch your energy usage go down (check your electric bill to see!).

2). I bought a reusable bag from Wal-Mart for $1. I take it with me when I shop there and it replaces 2-3 plastic bags. I do love my plastic bags to line small trash cans and to bag dirty diapers but my house was being overrun. Now, I bring home fewer bags and the excess that accumulates in my pantry are taken back to Wal-mart and recycled. There is a green box by the front door that is the drop for bags. Check it out the next time you go. I noticed Target got on this bandwagon and has their own reusable bag. I think it's red. Target sacks are made of heavier plastic and are great for hauling books back to the library. I'm not sure if Target has a recycle program for their bags. Let me know if you have seen one. My next step is to find a generic shopping tote for shopping in other stores as well to keep from taking home plastic bags from every little stop. Some plastic bags are not able to be recycled. Look for the symbol on the bottom of the bag.

3). We practice conserving water by shutting off the faucet when brushing teeth. If I'm waiting for water to warm for a bath, I stick a pitcher under the faucet to catch the cold water and use it to water plants. I keep a plastic pitcher in the bathroom for just this reason. My next step with this is to put a water barrel under the gutter to catch rainwater and use for the garden on a dry day.

4). My school has a big green and yellow dumpster looking thing that is to recycle paper products. The school gets the money from the recycling. I put a plastic tub in the garage and put newspapers, food boxes (like cereal, etc.), magazines, paper towel rolls, and any other paper product in it then recyle when it's full. Our trash consumption has been cut in half by not throwing away boxes. Less trash= less landfill space.

Some of these things do save us money but, more importantly, they are helping the earth. I challenge all of my faithful blog readers to choose something to start at your house this month. I didn't even begin to list other ways to "go green". Find your niche and go with it!

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