Friday, January 13, 2012

TWELVE Ways to Green UP in 2012!

Using cloth diapers has really changed my perspective on the world and the way I live. I am more aware of what I am putting in the garbage and whether or not I’m wasting something. In an effort to do a New Year’s resolution this year I have decided to take 12 steps for a greener 2012:

  1. I will keep the lights off in rooms I’m not using. When I was a little girl I was fearfully afraid of the dark. Now as an adult I literally like to leave every light on in the house. I think some of it is a habit and left over fear from my childhood. There’s no need for it though.
  2. Switching to wool dryer balls rather than dryer sheets. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and recently made the switch to using wool dryer balls. I haven’t noticed a difference in the softness of the clothes. As far as the smell goes, I have a friend who makes essential oil dryer bags that go into your dryer and make your clothes smell pretty!
  3. Using vinegar for the majority of my cleaning. Vinegar is an awesome household cleaner. It’s safe on your household items as well as the environment plus you know that it can be safely ingested. No need to worry about your crawling baby getting sick from your floors if you used vinegar!
  4. I will unplug appliances that I don’t use. I’ve already done this with my toaster b/c we only use it in the morning; however, I will start unplugging the other appliances that I don’t use on a regular basis throughout the day. Sure it’ll be annoying with the coffee pot b/c it has a clock on it but I think I can survive.
  5. I will start soaking my dishes in soapy water rather than running the water while I’m washing them. This one’s hard for me. I hate doing dishes and I love using my little soapy scrubber wand! I am setting an example though to my kids and it is really wasteful.
  6. I will start using eco-friendly or organic hand soap. Not only is it better for our skin it’s better for the environment.
  7. I will not turn the heat up or the AC down if I’m hot or cold, I’ll leave it at its original setting. My hubby will like this b/c we have a constant battle over the temperature in our house. He looks at it from a financial standpoint and I look at it from a comfort standpoint. I guess I can always put on more clothes or take a few off!
  8. I will use eco-friendly dish soap and laundry detergent. I’ve already started using eco friendly laundry detergent by switching my family to using Eco Sprout for all of our laundering needs. Now I need to find good dish soap. In my search for one I learned that you can put vinegar in the rinsing agent compartment of your dishwasher and it does a great job of rinsing your dishes!
  9. I’m going to know the source of where my meat comes from! My hubby’s uncle is a cattle farmer so that’s where our beef comes from so that’s not a problem. Finding out where our chicken comes from is something that I need to become better about. My hubby’s also a deer hunter so we do eat venison. (Sorry to any of you who are vegetarians out there!)
  10. No more bottled water. Our family’s been doing this for quite some time so it’s not necessarily a change for us but perhaps it’ll inspire you if you haven’t gone that route yet.
  11. Using our dish washer, washing machine and dryer during off peak times of the night. Rather than running the dish washer during the day I’ve been setting it to go at 11pm or midnight. This doesn’t really work that well for my washing clothes and diapers routine but I’m still figuring it out.
  12. Finally since I already use cloth diapers my resolution in this area is to only use disposables when absolutely necessary like when we’re in a place and I have to drop my daughter off where they won’t accept cloth diapers.
What are ways you plan on greening up your life? Do you have any tips for me or others out there who are looking to make a change?

Elizabeth (aka Bert) Anderson married her college sweetheart in 2005, and started her journey into motherhood in 2008 with the birth of her son.  She started blogging in 2009 as a way to keep track of her thoughts on being a first time mom, especially her struggle with postpartum depression, and as a way of reaching out to other moms who are struggling with the same things.  This June, Bert had another first in her motherhood travels - a little girl!  Even though she's newly a mother of two, Bert maintains that no matter how many children you have you will always be a "first time mom" because there's a first time for everything!  Visit her blog, at FTM. Bert is a contributor for She Thinks Media.


Jill said...

For the laundry I would suggest doing your first wash or rinse/wash when you go to bed. If you ALWAYS get up to go to the bathroom, turn on the 2nd wash or throw them in the dryer. If you dont' wake up, no big deal, turn it on first thing in the morning before the kids get up.

LiciaLee said...

We stopped buying disposable items. Things like plates, napkins, etc. I've got plenty of normal plates, and I've stocked up on cloth napkins when I find them on clearance. Its better for the environment and its a lot cheaper!

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