Thursday, April 30, 2009

Green Audit #1

Today is April 30, and we are four months into the year. I thought it would be a good day to take a minute and see how the resolutions are going!

Resolutions 1 and 2 go together really. Our family has done a lot to reduce the size of our carbon footprint this year, and we are being way more careful about making mindful purchases. Here's some of the things we're doing:

1) We built a compost bin! The kids love to dump our kitchen waste into as well as helping me clean up yard waste to put in there. Trey took the pitch fork out there a couple of days ago and mixed it up really well, and it is starting to decompose really well. It has a great earthy smell to it. We are very excited to have a bunch of compost to put in our garden.

2) We have committed to serious gardening this year. We've put in a very small garden for several years running, but honestly it's been very small and not too successful. We're trying to actually grow a lot of things this year. So far we have rosemary, sage, lettuce, chard, and peas growing. They're doing very well. I had a heart attack the other night when it started snowing unexpectedly, but we managed to get most of our plants covered, and they all seemed to weather the storm pretty well.

3) We have indoor plants now! We are trying to "green" up the inside of our house. We have an aloe plant that seems to be doing pretty well. We also have a Jasmine plant that is growing like crazy! My friend Loelle gave me some cuttings from her plants, and they are still in the window and are doing really well, too. I plan on transplanting them AFTER the baby comes! The cat seems to love them as well, but so far she hasn't done too much damage.

4) We have all become more careful about recycling. We've recycled forever, but we have really gotten more conscious of it this year, and you can tell. We have to take the recycling bin down to the recycling dumpster several time a week. I think the bin itself has made a huge difference. We used to just have a bag that we'd hang on the cabinet door, and frankly, it was a real pain. The bin is much more convenient.

5) We have pretty much given up all disposable gift wrapping. We did have to buy gift wrap once, but that was because we forgot about a birthday party until the last minute, and I didn't have an appropriate bag made. That's the only time in four months though. I have a ton of gift bags made, and I have material to make several others. We're also trying to be really aware of the gifts we're giving. The kids have gotten really involved with the gift giving process making or helping make many of the gifts that have been given. It's really important to them to come up with gifts that they think their friends will love. They really enjoy the gift bags, too!

6) We joined a CSA (Grant Farms) this year. It's a local, organic CSA, and we'll be getting a produce box from them from mid-June to mid-December. I'm hoping to take the kids up there for a farm tour. We're also getting a fruit box for several months this year. It actually comes from the western slope, but not a lot of fruit grows well on the front range. We may be getting our eggs from Grant Farms as well. I love it that we're supporting a local, organic farm, and hopefully the CSA box will also help with my resolution of getting more fresh fruits and veggies in our diet!

7) We put up a clothesline! Okay, actually Trey put up the clothesline for me. I love it. I love the smell of the clothes when they come in off the line. They smell so fresh, and I love it that we're not using electricity to dry our laundry.

8) We're also using a new "detergent." The "detergent" is something that has been used for centuries. The product is called Maggie's soap nuts, and they are actually soap nuts that come from trees. You can't get more natural than that! I have yet to use it on diapers, and it may not be that good for too heavily stained things, but for normal laundry, it seems to work really well.

9) We're "greening" up our cleaning products. That one's pretty self explanatory! We're trying to use products that are more environmentally friendly, and we're using many homemade products as well.

10) We're being very careful about taking our own bags to the grocery story. Again, this is something that we've done for a while, but we haven't always been that diligent about it. We have a ton of bags, and we keep them in the car now. We've made big progress in this area. I actually had to deliberately leave my bags in the car a couple of weeks ago when I went to Target because I needed bags for my bathroom trash cans! LOL.

11) A small thing that we've started to do is to keep a big glass jug on the counter next to the sink. We try to remember to dump leftover water (from cups that the kids didn't finish, from the steamer, etc.) in it, and then dump it on the lawn, plants, or compost. It may not make much of a difference, but it helps.

12) I made a bunch of cloth napkins! Okay, this one may not actually help our carbon footprint because we tend to just do without napkins. LOL. Mom will be happy when she comes to visit though!

That's all I can think of right now, but I feel really good about the progress that we've been making. The kids are becoming little environmentalists, and I love it! They are so aware of the world around them. We are very proud of them. I have to say that it does my hippie heart good to see how green my darling husband has become. He's even joining a "green team" at church. If anyone reads this, I'd love to hear the changes you're making in your life to be more "green."


Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

This all looks so good Misty!

tara said...

I love the idea of keeping a jug for the inside water. We have buckets to collect the outside water runoff but I never thought to do it inside.

Glad you got to use your cloths-line, there is nothing better then outside smelling clothes.

veganf said...

Good for you all!!