Thursday, April 23, 2009

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Oh how I love Kermit the Frog. And he's right, it ain't easy been green! But I think we've done alright in the last year, but there are many things we can do even better. And Earth Day is always a good reminder. Have you thought about changes you can make at home? Here's a new bucket list for our house.

  • Make the trips to recycle the "hard" things, like batteries and electronics, that are not offered through curbside pick-up.
  • Use natural lighting. I LOVE a bright room. And that often means that I have lights on even in the daytime. (Drives Derek crazy!) I'm going to be better about opening the blinds to let in natural light whenever possible. And, of course, turning off lights when I leave a room. Do the cats really need a nightlight while I'm gone?
  • Drive less. I have no qualms about hopping in the car to run an errand. Maybe even making several little trips in a day when I realize I've forgotten something on an earlier run. I need to be better about saving up those little trips and making a day of it. Sure, it's not convenient and makes for a long day, but it saves gas.
  • Clean out the closets. And reduce, reuse, recycle. I'm a packrat in every sense of the word. Paper, clothes, shoes. Some of this stuff I haven't looked at or worn in who knows how long. There's no reason it can't go to someone else who needs it/wants it/will use it! (I already know where my craft room goodies will be going! Hi, Sasha & fam!) So not only do I help someone else, I have more room in my closets.
  • Use less water. While we haven't started watering the lawn yet, we still waste a lot of water in our day-to-day activities. Part of it is the way our house is laid out (takes a while to get hot water in the master bathroom) and some of it is just laziness (leaving the water running in the kitchen sink longer than it needs to). When we do begin watering the lawn, we're going to adopt the deep-watering schedule so we'll only be watering once a week and hopefully losing less water to run-off and getting healthier turf in the process. Aside from water waste, there's another reason to reassess our usage - water rates are outrageous in our city!
  • Close the fridge & freezer doors! How often do you open the fridge or freezer without knowing what you're looking for? You're just browsing. Know what you're looking for before you open the door.
  • And another thing in the realm of fridges & freezers, how long has it been since you cleaned the coils? Did you know dirty coils can more than double your unit's energy usage? Clean those coils at least twice a year. More often if you have pets. Needless to say, a good cleaning is LONG overdue at our house!
  • Consider new appliances. Our washer and dryer are almost nine years old. They work alright, but I wonder how much energy I'm wasting when I use them. I know my washer wastes a lot of water and electricity b/c it's a top-loader. Side-loading models use 30% less water and electricity and get clothes cleaner. (Or so the manufacturers and home improvement stores say anyway.) We've talked about getting Energy Star models recently, and I do think this is something we'll do this year. I might actually do laundry more often! *wink*

Those are just a few things we hope to do greener this year!

2 comments:

The Cockrells said...

yay, you're my hero!
have you heard of freecycle.org? you might check on yahoo groups to see if there's a group in your town; i know there's one close by in g-town. you can unload pretty much ANYTHING on there and also post requests for used items you "need"--i got rid of all silver dillard's gift boxes leading up to & after the wedding & all the bubble wrap from our china boxes!

one person's trash... =)

JanaRae said...

Thanks for the list! This past year, I've made amazing strides at not using paper towels as much; I now use cloth napkins each day instead. (There's always room in a load of laundry for some napkins.)
For the coming year, I'm resolving to recycle all light bulbs and batteries. In fact, I've one of each on the counter. Now just to designate a bin in the garage for collecting until recycle trip! :-)