Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Earth Day Accomplishments and Goals

Happy Earth Day!

I really don’t have anything revolutionary to say on this important day, so I thought I’d make a list of accomplishments and a list of goals instead. Maybe you’ll get some new ideas or be inspired to share some of own with me!

Things our family already does for a cleaner earth:

  • Live Close to Work/Amenities. Someday, I’ll share the story about how we started building a house in the exurbs, experienced family identity crisis, and then backed out and moved to the city. But I really don’t have time for that today. Let’s just say it was the best decision we ever made! Instead experiencing an hour-plus-long commute, hubby now bikes to and from work when the weather permits. We live on the bus line and close to food co-ops, farmers markets, parks and bike trails. The only drawback is that we’re becoming somewhat inexperienced at freeway driving!
  • Drive only one car. This, of course, would have been impossible if we hadn’t moved to the city. Kyle bikes/buses to work, while I drive kiddo to a nearby preschool before going to work myself. It’s been working for us for more than two years! And our gas fill-ups are few and far between.
  • Support Local Farms. We’re regular co-op shoppers and consistently choose local meats, milk and cheeses. Local veggies and fruits are less available in the cold months, but summer brings a decent variety. And this summer, we’ve signed up for a community supported agriculture share. Each week beginning in June, we’ll receive a box of fresh vegetables (and sometimes fruit) grown by a local farmer.
  • Avoid Using Air Conditioning. Old houses are drafty, have lots of windows and are typically surrounded by big old trees. This combination works quite well in the summer. Although we have central air, we almost never use it.

Things I plan to start doing:

  • Composting. My friend Molly at The Snyder 5 recently started composting on a small scale. Seems to be just our speed!
  • Line Drying Some Laundry. Although I don’t think I’ll be hanging up my intimates for the neighborhood to see, we could definitely line dry our sheets, towels and T-shirts. We have posts up in the back yard. We just need to string the line and get some good clothes pins.
  • Avoiding Excess Packaging. We’re already fairly good at this, but I tend to use too many paper bowls, plastic cups, disposable forks and spoons, and napkins at work. I’ve also been eating out far too often lately, which always means more garbage. I’m planning to gather a small collection of silverware, and containers that I can keep at my desk. I’ll also bring my lunch more often (in a reusable bag and with reusable containers, of course). I’ll have lots o’ veggies to eat, after all!

Any other ideas? We have a tiny yard, so I’m thinking a rain barrel might offer a good way to water our plants and grass form time to time. I’ll have to do some research!


britta said...

We (as in my parents & I) live in a soon to be 100 year old house! In our basement, there are old pips that run in the ceiling that we don't use anymore. After we wash our clothes, we hang them on a hanger which when then hang on the pipes! In the summer, after we wash our clothes, we bring them out to the cabin wet and then line dry them!

I am going to try to get my parents to start composting this summer!

Angie said...

That's great, Britta! I always hang my work clothes to dry inside (many can't go in the dryer), but I need to get better about our casual stuff.

Unknown said...

my suggestion for you to try is garage saling! it really is a great form of recycling. once you start, and score at a few places, you just may become addicted! let me know if you need any tips or a partner in crime!

*and now that you will be shopping for TWO growing children, there is no better time to start!


Val said...


Val said...

Hi Angie
Sorry about the testing comment. I always have to do that first as most of the time my comments aren't accepted, don't know what I'm doing wrong.....
Anyway, I suggest square foot gardening in raised beds. I'm on my second year of this and love it. They take a very small amount of space and I had a pretty good yield my first year. I know you do CSAs, but maybe for next year? I have a great book for reference. Auntie Val P.S. We also compost-great way to get rid of all the excess peelings, etc.

Unknown said...

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