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Green Living Challenge: July 2007

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
We use this thread to post the things we are working on each month to live a greener lifestyle. Feel free to post what you're working on, what you've already mastered, or even the things you're just thinking about working on!

I'll try to keep our roll call in the next post up-to-date but please PM me if I mix something up or miss something entirely.

If you want more green living talk, check out the Green Living Tribe.

A special thanks to rainbowmoon for starting the first ever Green Living Challenge!

Challenge History:
post #2 of 46
Thread Starter 

Challenge Roll Call!

Note: I try to group similar goals, so just let me know if I misinterpret anything!

(a little behind on roll call but will try to update soon)
post #3 of 46
awww, I had no idea this was still going on!

I will need to think a bit about what I want to do this month!
post #4 of 46
Subbing for now. Will be back later.
post #5 of 46
I need to return to this! : Subbing and I'll come back with my goals later.
post #6 of 46
This month, we are putting in a clothesline outside for line drying.
post #7 of 46
I'm back, had to feed the kids breakfast.

My goals are to get back to where I was before. I have fallen off the wagon and am a little embarrassed about my lack of effort.

My goals right now are:

1. back to full time cloth diapering
2. Back to only using cloth bags for shopping
3. Continue using cloth in kitchen, that's actually going really well
4. keep motivated to only buy organic and free range when available meats, eggs, and dairy
5. Turn off electronics that aren't in use
6. Keep careful track of all the veggies from my CSA so none are wasted.
7. Trade with my friend for veggies from her garden, with veggies from my CSA

That's it for now.
post #8 of 46
I'm in!

1. Turn off lights and electronics when not in use
2. I use cloth diapers but would like to start using cloth wipes
3. Make cloth napkins to use in place of paper towels at meal time.
4. Use any produce from the garden, shop local.
5. Remember to take my cloth bags when I go grocery shopping.
6. Use natural cleaners in my bathrooms (I already use it in the rest of the house)
post #9 of 46
We just moved into our first home so I am really excited about adding some new challenges which were impossible in an apartment before:

1. Plant (and not kill ) a vegetable garden
japanese eggplant
habenero peppers
green beans
2. Start a compost pile
3. Purchase an energy and water efficient front loading washer
4. Dry clothes using line or drying rack
5. Buy more organic food
post #10 of 46
I am pretty new here, so hope it's okay if I subscribe to this thread and add my goals.

What my goals are for this month:
1. cloth diapering! (finally got my first cd's. Am so excited! and embarrassed about all the waste we'd been generating.)
2. Remember to actually *bring* my cloth bags to the store!
3. Using cloth napkins for dinner, rather than paper towels
4. unplug electronics that aren't in use
5. investigate and start using more natural body products
6. find a natural solution to cleaning my shower! (I use vinegar/dr. bronner's/water for bathroom, and Bon Ami for sinks, but they don't work for my shower!)
post #11 of 46
Hello... I'm new to this area as well. Joining in because I would like to do better and more. I'm noting some things that we already do, but will also make a list of things I'd like to start in July.
  • Started a compost pile a few weeks ago
  • My kids take a pedestrian "bus" to school
  • We recycle a lot of cardboard, plastic, and glass
  • Turning off lights (esp.) more diligently
  • Hang dry a lot of my clothes
  • Don't use A/C at home (don't actually have it to be tempted)

Things I'd like to do more of...
  • Hang dry more... weather has been wet here
  • Make full use of all purchased food/veggies not wasting anything
  • Use cloth napkins (got them, just need to do it)
  • Use water bottle at work instead of plastic cups

I'll stop here for now. We're also going on vacation this month, so I want to try to think of green-friendly vacation ideas as well.
post #12 of 46
I'll join. We are expecting our first babe in Nov and I really want to be a SAHM so I am working hard on find ways to cut expenses - and go green too. I have done a ton over the past year, compost bins, lots of line drying in the summer, replace all commercial cleaners in the house with natural ones. But of course there is always more to be done and I enjoy the challenge of it all.

So, my goals for this month:

Switch to cloth napkins - I hope to find some cheap material at a yard sale or in the sale at Joanns and make my own.

I have lots of hand towels in the kitchen but we still use lots of paper towels. Maybe I will get a few more towels and hide the paper.

And finally, got to costco and get a big package of CFL bulbs and try to replace all the bulbs in my house.

Oh, and knit some dish rags with all the extra cotton yarn I have in my stash. That is 4 things and if I can get all those done I will be very tickled with myself.
post #13 of 46
hang dry all my clothes (right now I only do about 75%)
remember to shut the computer down each night

I need some ideas. I'm pretty darned green, not sure what much more I can do.

all my energy comes from a specialty provider that supplies us with wind and no impact hydro electricity. but I could unplug the stuff that stays in overnight. excpet fridge, clocks, monitor and nightlights and fans (noAC)
post #14 of 46
Can I join in? We've been doing good, but we've "plateaud" (is that a word?)

For July:

* Make sure ALL the CSA veggies are eaten (yes--ALL of the lettuce!)
* Switch to cloth napkins (thanks for the idea! fell off the radar!)
* Change over the last remaining non-CFL bulbs to CFL.
* Tend to the compost pile that was started
* PLANT the mini orchard of trees that arrived before they die!
* Get on the family about turning off electricity that's not in use. They're just getting used to the "no running water" rule... I think they're ready for the next step.
* Remember to take the cloth shopping bags when I go. I'd leave them in the car, but I don't always take the same vehicle to the grocery.

I think that might be a bit ambitious for this month.

NOTE: Mrs. Meyer's is very expensive, but her cleaner and a scrubby side of a sponge work on my shower--and my shower's pretty bad.
post #15 of 46
I'll join!

- Replace all old lightbulbs with ecobulbs
- Switch hot water heater off for the majority of each day - I'm trialling to see if this saves me electricity usage
- When my woodburner is on (it's winter here), I will cook what I can and heat water for cups of tea on the cooktop to save on electricity
- Only boil the kettle with the amount of water I am needing ie one cup of water at a time, saves on time waiting and all that boiling time, and try to make my cuppa straight away rather than reboiling it 3-4 times before I get around to making it!
- Turn off lights not being used
- Rinse dishes under cold water
post #16 of 46
Little did I know the day I became a mother how much my life would truly change. I knew that there would be many changes because I was now a mother and in charge of raising another human, but I didn't realize how much I would change my life style to insure that my daughter has a beautiful world to grow up in.

I never truly understood the importance to paying attention to your waste and the amount of garbage you contributed to the world. I didn't understand that what you put in your body truly does affect your health. I didn't realize a lot, but now since I have become a mother it has all changed.

I have changed many habits and am now leading a "green" life. Here are some of the life changes I have made, and am continuing to make daily.

-Started to Recycle

-Use string bags/reusable grocery bags

-Use A/C only on the worst of days, usually around 90 degrees

-Replacing old light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs

-Reuse run off water to water my outside plants

-Use a bin in sink to wash pans to reduce water waste

-Only wash dishes and laundry when loads are full

-Only wash clothing in cold water, with the exception of the diapers

-Cloth diaper

-Use cloth wipes

-Use only natural cleaning products

-Use lots of vinigar and baking soda to make own cleaning products

-Unplug electrical items that are not inuse

-don't buy aerosol cans(hairspray and such)

-Have many indoor plants growing

-I am trying to use products that are parabin free

-I use organic mascara and just ordered the Bare Minerals line

-I try to buy as much as possible in bulk, to reduce cost and packaging

-I don't use fertilizers or pestisides on my plants

-Recieve and pay all bills online to reduce paper waste

-Use reusable water bottle

-use cloth napkins

I truly understand why now it is important to care about your environment and the world that you live in. I want to try and insure that my daughter will have a beautiful world to live in!
post #17 of 46
I have really loved the ideas others have mentioned; they've given me a lot of ideas. As much as I would love to do most of them (and hopefully will, eventually), I really need to just bite off what I can chew this month:
  • Use all the CSA box
  • Buy/sew some cloth napkins and convince DH they're a good idea
post #18 of 46
I've gotten so many of my recent goals accomplished, and I feel like I'm kind of at a plateau. I have a few projects left that I need my DH to help me with...I am not mechanically or electronically inclined at all. Let's see what I can come up with for this month:
  • Finally get the recycling storage system set up. I cleared a corner of the garage and bought a shelving unit (at a garage sale), but I need my DH to assemble the shelves.
  • Have DH set up entertainment center on a power strip that can be turned off when not in use.
  • Locate and contact the local man I heard of who uses vegetable oil to run his truck.
  • Call Feline Fresh back to see if they finally have gotten a local vendor.
  • Find some wooden pallets so I can better contain my compost pile.
  • Continue preserving food from the garden, being mindful of potential holiday gifts.
  • Try using vinegar as an herbicide on weeds in driveway and sidewalks.
  • Continue to use air conditioning minimally. We have 5 months of potential A/C weather here (May through September), and today was only our 8th day of running the A/C. It's also only set for 79 degrees. I was a little disappointed in myself for wilting in the heat today...until I logged on and saw that the heat index was 100. My goal is to cut our May-September electric usage in half.
  • Make a batch of homemade laundry detergent to try.
  • Find a good natural shampoo. (Any recommendations? I have baby-fine but thick hair, and I need something amazing to break my Pantene addiction. )
post #19 of 46
OK, semi-newbie here. Here's what we've done so far:
  • Increased amount of organic food we purchase
  • Changed to tankless hot water system
  • Energy/water efficient appliances
  • Using DivaCup instead of tampons
  • Purchased reusable grocery bags
  • Meal planning (still working on this) and strictly adhering to grocery list to avoid wasted food from impusle buys
  • Purchased a side of locally raised grass-fed beef
  • Packing my lunch in reusable containers instead of disposables
  • Eating more leftovers

Here's what I'd like to work on this month
  • Make my own green cleaning products (I know this probably gets asked a gazillion times but if someone could direct me to a resource for this I'd really appreciate it. It's going to take a lot to get crunchless DH on board with this so I need stuff that works really well)
  • Switch to cloth napkins at dinner - DH is a papertowel maniac
  • Switch to mamcloth panty liners for Diva backup (anyone have suggestions for a decent thong liner? )

ETA: I like seeing what other people are doing or plan to do. It made me realize that I'm already doing some things that I wasn't giving myself credit for like receiving/paying bills online. I'm actually half a shade greener than I thought!
post #20 of 46
papschmitty, the book Clean House, Clean Planet is a great resource for homemade cleaners. You can probably request a copy from your library. And I'm pretty sure Mother and Maiden carries thong mama pads.
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