Friday, April 25, 2008

Filch It Friday- 10 Easy Ways to Save the Earth

Today's filch is compliments of Skimbaco and is a tribute to Earth Day. Her post outlines Ten Easy Ways to Save the Earth. I have been trying to live a little greener and be more aware of what kind of footprints I am leaving and what habits I am teaching my children. While I still have a long way to go, here is my list of Ten Easy Ways to Save the Earth that I am trying to incorporate into our daily lives.

1. Paper or Plastic? Neither
I have switched to reusable canvas bags for shopping (I like the ones's from Wal-Mart that have the saying above but there are sooo many cute one's to choose from these days). I have a basket in the back of the car full of reusable bags so I always have them with me. I also keep one in the baby bag which I almost always have with me for those quick in and out trips. If I do forget and end up with paper bags I save them and use them as wrapping paper for gifts and let the kids decorate them with artwork.

2. Cut Back Use of Bottled Water
The bottles for water amount to 4 billion pounds of plastic and cost $70 million to bury annually. I have stopped drinking bottled water and fill a pitcher every morning of filtered water that I drink throughout the day. Not only does this save on waste but it helps ensure that I am drinking my 8 glasses a water a day!

3. Use Less Disposable Items
We use lunch boxes and tupperware instead of zip-lock bags, use washclothes to wipe the kitchen counters instead of paper towels (I am really trying to watch my use of paper towels, I use too many!) I am going to buy washable napkins too!

4. Reuse or Recycle Packaging
I use diaper wipe containers for everything from markers, to playing cards to marbles. I also buy my wipes in bulk once I have enough containers and refill them. Flip top mayo jars also work great for storing markers and other art supplies.

5. Recycle Old Things
I have always tried to recycle our old items, like clothing. I usually donate it to a shelter of some kind or thrift shop. I also like to shop at thrift shops. I truly believe that someone's trash is someone else's treasure.

6. Change Light Bulbs
I will be installing compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) which convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat. They consume about 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer (10,000 hours as opposed to 1,500).

7. Unplug Things That Glow
I am attempting to unplug anything that has an LED light that glows when I am done using it. continues to draw power (that you pay for). Your TV, cell phone charger, and printer are likely culprits. Not only is this a easy way to save electricity, it is an easy way to save money too.

8. Buy Local
I try to buy local produce when possible. Not only am I getting the freshest food possible, I'm saving energy too by reducing the fossil fuels needed to transport food and other items across the country and around the globe. I stop by local stands for tomatoes and other produce and pick my own berries and freeze them for later use.

9. Do Full Loads
I always do FULL loads (my husband can attest to this!). Washing just a few clothes or dishes at a time rather than waiting for a full load to accumulate, wastes water, power, and money. Combining half-loads, choosing short cycles, and using cold or warm rather than hot water in the clothes washer racks up savings. I knew there was a method to my madness!

10. Go Paperless
We pay our bills electronically, receive electronic statements, have direct deposit and transfer funds electronically. This saves paper, postage and gas with fewer trips to the bank.

And here's my bonus one...
Pass on the Pull-Ups
It will soon be time to start potty training Sprite and I have already decided to pass on the Pull-Ups and opt for training pants as disposable training pants can take up to 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill!!! I wish I could say that I don't use dispoable diapers, but I can't. I never could do the cloth diaper thing. Baby steps people, baby steps!


nutmeg said...

I'm working on every one of these too. It's tough. I miss my paper towels because the washclothes get stinky so fast. I worry about unplugging things because then I need to plug in a child safety cover. I'm planning on passing on pull-ups as well but I just can't do cloth diapers!

An inspiring post!

Amy said...

I trained both of my boys with cloth training pants. They still sell them at JCP. Well, maybe they sell them everywhere now that people are trying to go green. You'll do great with it. And I've heard girls are easier anyway ... let's hope!

We also have the new lightbulbs throughout our house. We've had them about a year now and noticed a small difference in our electricity bill as soon as we got them. Just be careful if one breaks. They are far more dangerous to kids than the normal ones. Not just glass ... chemicals or something.