Going Green - what do you do? :-)

pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)January 8, 2008

I know that there's a forum on the GW on this topic, but I would like to know if any of my fellows WSers is interested in this?

I have been using fluorescent bulbs, composting, bringing my own shopping bags* to grocery stores, recycling paper and plastic, planting, using manure in my garden, trying to reduce my use of plastic bags, using grocery bags to line our kitchen garbage can (we use a 4 gallon wall sealant bucket as our kitchen garbage), taking public transportation to work,using rags for cleaning more often than paper towels, refilling water bottle with tap water. I have not bought water bottled for a while now.

* We eat a lot of rice. Rice bags are made of tarp-like plastic materials. Years ago, I sowed the bottom to make them look like the bottom of a paper bag, folded down the rim and stitched it, attached two canvas handles. I ended up with very nice sturdy shopping bags.

However, watching an Oprah show made me realize that there are many more things I can do. So I went and bought some "green" cleaning products and SIGG bottles yesterday.

I will start bring my own bags for produce too and reuse produce bags that I have collected. I was wondering myself how to avoid bringing home so many produce bags. Oprah gave me an excellent idea. I already have several bags that I made from voile to cover my peaches on the trees. I 'll take them to the store from now on. Gotta go take them out from the storage bin in the garage and wash them first, though. lol.

And here's my pride and joy. We got it in July. :-) This is our very first brand new car. I consider it our 30th anniversary present. lol. We don't drive it much, just for running errands here and there. My DH will hit the roof it I use it to haul manure. lol.

What else do you folks to besides using recycled containers? I will promptly steal your ideas. :-)

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I'm doing some of the things you already mentioned ... Recycling, using my Eco-Bags instead of grocery/produce bags, carrying another bag in my purse for small shops, using CFLs, etc. I've got my water bottle, but now need to buy one for each of the kids, since they can't seem to leave mine alone! I also compost. The biggest challenge, however, is just getting the kids to turn off the lights/TVs when not in use! I've screamed, yelled, pleaded, ... nothing seems to work. Also can't seem to get DH and DS1 to turn OFF the power strips for the computers. Good grief - that's HUNDREDS of dollars & who-knows-how-many carbons whatevers that could be saved each year.

My family will get there, if I have to drag them, kicking and screaming! ;)


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 3:04PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Green is the way to go in the garden and in life!
We buy our electricity from a wind generated source- Nice that the local Elect Co offers this! We reduce- reuse and recycle all we can. I mix my own cleaners more often than buy store bought- even from the green stores- We try to be educated consumers even down to the TP we buy- recycled paper mostly- and never if at all possible from companies that cut down rain forests to make their TP!! (Just plain CRAZY that bit is!) It does take some doing to find the info you may need to buy more respectfully- but it is time and $ well spent for your efforts! It becomes second nature to ask yourself if there is a better way to do this- with everything you do.
We buy local and direct when we can- We compost all we can- try to eliminate junk mail- try to buy used- barter even more- use solar if there is a choice- reuse grey water as we are able- have wood burning heat in shop- and a wood burning stove inside for supplemental heat- use electric battery mower and other tools and gadgets that would normally use gas engines- alas- we can not say that for the auto... yet.
My husband works for a construction company that tries and does a great job at encouraging green building- re-use deconstruction- adding solar panels to their projects- You name it- they do their best to promote it!
The new book in the house is a gift from his boss, who says it is the best/most comprehensive book for green building she has come across yet- is from New Society Publishers - Your Green Home.
Every little step you make in greening your world, is a step in the right direction...

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 8:50PM
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we just started a worm farm,"vermicomposting",in the kitchen,started with 1000 worms,you can add all your table scrapes(no meat-dairy-fat)junk mail cardboard,& newspaper,worms will eat 600 pounds of garbage in one year,giving you a return of the most desirable fertilizer you can have,150 ponds a year,it is fun and easy,kids are doing it in class rooms,offices are doing it in their office,and we are doing it in our home.Kids seem to love it.We do all the above also.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:01AM
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shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

Have you girls tried a local freecycle program? If you're trying to keep the landfills clear, that's the way to go. People will come by to pick up just about anything. I've gotten rid of so many things that normally would be cluttering up the dump (furniture, clothing, etc.) It's great for when you have big items that don't fit in the garbage can. (We have to pay extra for large items to be collected and I have to haul the stuff to the curb). It really helps to serve your community as well. If you have one available, you might want to sign up and just see what it's all about. I've even seen food items given away so I know people are down and out in the area.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:14PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Most of the things which have been mentioned- use cloth grocery bags, cloth cleaning rags instead of paper. I also drive a little Honda Civic, good gas mileage and ULEV. I also bought a high efficiency washer some years ago, a huge investment. It uses very little water and detergent, and I love my washing machine.

I practice organic gardening as much as possible, but do use chemical fertilizers in containers, and use an occasional shot of Roundup on exceptionally tough weeds. Though I generate a lot of yard waste, I compost it. I love my compost, too!


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 7:40AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I compost and recycle obsessively, lol! I actually pulled a banana peel out of the garbage at work yesterday to bring home and put in my compost! I shred all my junk mail and other unusable paper to put in the compost (if it has a clean side it gets saved to use first before shredding). I rip up all my paperboard boxes to compost also.

Everything that can get recycled here does. I put out two wastebaskets at work to collect recyclables and I bring them home to put in my home recycling.

I use buckets in the shower and kitchen sink to reuse water. We take short showers, don't let water run while brushing our teeth, doing dishes, etc., and flush only when necessary. I also have three rain barrels and may get more.

I use baking soda and vinegar to clean, and also buy organic cleaners and shampoos and soaps, recycled toilet tissue, and recycled garbage bags. I use microfiber cloths to clean, which cuts down on the need for cleaners - if you can get past the yucky feel of the microfiber, lol!

I use cloth bags to shop, and re-use any plastic grocery bags that happen to find their way home (ahem, DH!). I also bring the plastic grocery bags to work to re-use, or give them to the local thrift store, or if they are dirty I bring them to the recycling bins at the grocery store.

We looked into solar energy, but with two kids going into college soon, it's not feasable at this time. Big $$$$$$!!

I also go around after the kids flipping off switches! What is it with kids and switches? I come home from work and the lights, the TV and the space heater are all on in the family room - and no one's there! Grr.

I also try to buy local foods and/or organic foods. This is difficult and expensive (as are the cleaners/shampoos,etc.) but it is getting a bit easier to find them and the prices are s-l-o-w-l-y starting to get more reasonable.

My hardest thing is trying not to eat foods that are genetically modified. There are just so darn many of them, it gets hard to find alternatives that are natural.

Oh, and I garden organically.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 3:55PM
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I've been composting more than 30 years & am still learning about what can go in my heap. I've tossed in old feather pillows, old cotton t-shirts, old jeans & a denim purse and they've all disappeared. I also now dump in my vacuum cleaner contents.Since I have all hardwood floors, I'm not sucking up any non-biodegradable carpet fibers. It's mostly dog hair & dust bunnies. also: we have not had a working dryer in over 2 years. It's a challenge, but we somehow manage to get all the laundry hung outside or in the basement. Another way to save electricity is to unplug everything. Believe me, this is a big deal. We have 3 adults in a very small house. We keep the microwave, VCR, DVD player and stereo unplugged except when in use. Also, all computer accessories (printers, scanners, etc) are kept unplugged. Our 2 computers are kept plugged in & our 1 TV is kept plugged in due to frequent usage. By doing this, we have lowered our electric bill a cionsistent $15 per month. Larger omes with more people, several TV's, stereos, etc. could save even more. Do you have a rarely used guest room? What is in there that is quietly sucking away electricity? Even an alarm clock in a room no one uses is using electricity.It is silly to keep a VCR plugged in that is used only a couple of times a year. Our DVD player is used only once or twi8ce a week, yet it was "on" 24 hours a day.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 3:51PM
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Ecosofadesign caters to the need of people conscious of green culture by offering a wide range of eco home furnitures in solid wood traditional designs to impart an ethnic touch to your home. Our eco furniture products are built for home with both modern and traditional designs that will surely capture your imagination.
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Here is a link that might be useful: Ecosofadesign.com

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 4:30AM
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Also,Organic soap.
Keeps our water ways clean,and our bodies free of fragrant,toxins.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 3:12PM
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mastergarder2003 Lixey(5 MI.)

I compost, I use boiling water instead of round up on weeds,careful around plants, I take my plastic bags to the resale shop as well as my clothes, vinegar for cleaning, eat what I grow and share some, I use left over sred paper on compost,use mulch free and given pine mulch on garden from others as well as have sorces for leaf mulch and free nabor tree sreds for mulch, I like free and usable dont got to the land field. I like to by organic food when I can. Thanks for some of the idea's to help more. never thought about unpluging things.I try and not spray in the garden and grow organiclly flowers as well by using natural sourses like growing garlic in garden area and rubbarb an other herbs to keep moles out of garden natrally, I put tansy herb in my shed to keep mice away in winter, and I use old roses to put around the house thorns keep cat's away from the house, from spraying . I cut old daffidil's of an put around the base of my house as they are naturally poision to keep insects away and hot pepper seeds around base of house in spring and around garden as well as grow daff. around veggie garden to keep rabbits out too. no sprays. works no animals but my hubby ha. I go to farmers market an take home boxes of left over produce at times while shopping like watermelon tasting area good rines for compost with my choice veggies local. and take my recycle bags with me and buy my milk there too. fresh. mm good. with cream on top. o yeh. not that store stuff. I take home any coffee grounds,saw dust,sred paper I can find I keep my eye open for freebee's.What I dont sell at resale shop, I then have garage sale. We turn done our heat at night by half what we have during the day. We eat less more quality food and less of it less waist, more veggies and fruit, and less meat. WE do eat more nuts though. I reuse my pots, and use wood sticks or used road blinds for name tags. and thing we can think of recycle always looking to use. I love to find strange things to put in our yard that people through away to decorate the flower beds. or at garage sales. WE have a antiq. section, dutch section, frog section,mexican, south west.and beach them, water can,galvinized,tea pot. area's bird houses,wind chime.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 5:32PM
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