"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day...A Reflection

I've been inspired by all the Earth Day posts I visited yesterday and decided to take stock of all we do and think about how we can improve.

  1. Reusable bags have become a staple in our home. I use them for all groceries and will start taking them with me for all my shopping. Thanks Kami for the idea!
  2. Last year we signed up for curbside recycling (not yet offered by our city). It's amazing how much our garbage has been reduced.
  3. As our light bulbs burn out, we are replacing them with compact flourescents.
  4. Last year we wanted to get an SUV for our expanding family, but I was having issues with emissions and gasoline prices. The solution? A hybrid SUV (which rocks, by the way!) I could commit a whole post to how much I love my SUV.
  5. I use vinegar and baking soda for as much of the household cleaning as possible.
  6. Only environmentally friendly products make it into my dishwasher and washing machine.
  7. Being aware of how much we consume. I've posted before about our recent purging efforts. It has really made me realize how much of a consumer society we are and how much I don't like it. While I'm not ready to try the 100-thing challenge yet, I try to be aware of what comes into the house.
  8. I try to go to the organic store first and but what I can there and then go to the regular store for everything else.

I would love to have a front load washer. We have a water saving dishwasher that I love. But, our current washer works perfectly fine, so I will wait. Hubs will have to put up with the occasional whine.

I've been trying to sneak more vegetarian meals into our repertoire. So far I've been pretty successful, and encouraged to try more. Hubs (who is very meat-and-potatoes) is pretty good at trying my latest experiment with this or that vegetable or grain.

Driving less and walking more. There is a grocery store that I can get to with just 20 minutes of walking, while pushing a stroller. But, I prefer the one further away so I end up driving. I'm going to try to only stop there when I'm out anyway and start walking to the closer one more often. We are also planning on moving closer to our workplaces once I go back to work and we have some money once again.

Buying locally made and grown products. This is not always easy in the cold prairies (uh, -8 Celsius today and still lots of snow on the ground), but it can be done. Especially in the summer when the farmers markets are abundant with fragrant produce, blooming flowers, freshly made baked goods and so much more.

Any tips others would have for me would be great. I hope I've inspired some of you to make at least one positive change in your life. It's amazing how easy it is!


Mimi said...

Sounds like you're doing really well! I'm impresed.

We just signed up for Bullfrog Power -- they operate in Ontario and Alberta, and while you will get your electricity from teh same wires that you always have, your money (a little bit more of it) will go to purchasing green sources of electricity for that grid. Cool!

Kami said...

You are doing many of the things we are too and yay that I gave you a new idesa *pats self on back*


And we are thinking of trading our van for a hybrid... PLEASE do tell about how wonderful your is!

I don't know a thing about them.

BubblyBunny said...

I don't even remember how I came across your blog but I want to tell you I really enjoy reading it! :)

We also have reusable grocery bags but our biggest problems is that we always forget to put the bags back into the back of the car after using them. I hate plastic bags we get at the grocery stores b/c our house is littered with them.

I want to ask you about mixing your own cleaning product using vinegar and bake soda. How much of each do you use? I've read about how effective this method is but never knew anyone who tried it.

~ Bunny