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Green Living Challenge: July 2007 - Page 2

post #21 of 46
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
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.
Thank you so much! I just placed a hold at the library. Now I just need a M&M co-op.
post #22 of 46
I have only just discovered this group so would love to join you all.

This is what we already do/did:

1. Cloth diapers and wipes
2. Grow our own veggies
3. Use my own bags at the supermarket
4. Recycle using the curbside scheme
5. Use low energy light bulbs and turn off when not in use
6. Hang my washing outside to dry as often as I can
7. We have recently aquired and are using a composter

This is my goal for this month onwards:

1. Get more efficient with my recycling - ie: take the stuff that the curbside scheme won't take, up to the town recycling area, find places to recycle my yoghurt pots and reuse our scrap paper and envelopes at home more as scrap for the kids

2. I have just bought a bike and trailer so in September, this will cut one of my three school runs a day!

3. Turn more of my cleaning products over to natural and bio products (I probably am only on 70% right now, but have finally fallen for Dr Bronners in a big way.....)

4. Implement and help run a better recycling scheme at our school involving the recycling of ink cartridges as well as all the waste we create after events and with newsletters etc. - The school has just announced it is going electronic in September - yay!

5. Recycle kid's jumpers etc into other items

That is alot I think - maybe this is June/July and August!

Just X-posted this cos I put it in June, and it is now July - maybe one of my other goals should be to organise myself lol!!:
post #23 of 46
Subbing for the first time...

Some things we have successfully worked on over the past year:

* Signed up for a CSA and been successfully cooking/eating all of it
* Eliminate leftovers waste - this has been a big one!
* Make string bags for shopping
* Make cloth napkins and use consistently
* Knit cotton dishcloths and use for cleanup consistently
* Planted chives, oregano, lavender, rosemary

Goals for this month:

* Hang clothes to dry
* Be more consistent with vinegar/baking soda cleaning
* Organic eggs (we eat a lot of eggs!)
* Ride bus more frequently (already using couple times/week)
* Recycle more appropriately
* Get the tomato plants in the prepared ground - they're huge in those pots!
post #24 of 46
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
This month, we are putting in a clothesline outside for line drying.
What kind? I'm in the market.
post #25 of 46
I would like to join, if its OK.
what i do now.
~Recycle cans, glass bottles, and plastic
~CD all the time
~line dry
~no lights during the day, turn off when not needed at night
~1 energy effeciant lightbulb
~power strips on TV, DVD and computer are turned off when not in use

My goals
~ hit the farmers market for fruit and veggies instead of Costco
~ plan my errands better so less gas
~put in an energy efficient light bulb in the kitchen for nights
~cloths napkins
~ Recycle what doesn't pay cardboard and paper
~get some cloth bags for grocery shopping
post #26 of 46
Back from a recent vacation and a green plateau, and I'm ready to take it to the next level....

We're compacting through the end of the year! Yay!

We sat down and made a list of exceptions:
*DP runs and needs a good pair of running shoes in the next few months. Hard to find good ones used.
*We are planning to can our garden veggies, so any canning supplies we can't borrow or find used we'll have to buy.
*Food and toiletries, which is pretty much limited to toothbrushes and contact solution.
*Contacts/glasses for DP.
*Art supplies for DD. We have all we probably need, but I wanted to leave this one open. Just feels right.

We are also committed to not running an a/c this summer. Temps have already been in the low 100s and we are doing okay. When the smoke from fires and the ozone builds up again, it'll get hard - can't open windows. I've begged the landlord for an attic fan, and he's agreed. Just need to get him moving on it.

Also, I'm organizing a local renewal of Critical Mass for the end of the month. That's a green cause.

I may try building a very simple solar dehydrator, which will involve laying strips of food out in the sun with some kind of screening over it. Very simple. Just an experiment. Our lawn is dry, so it should work for veggies, too.

DP has a load of firewood to split = less dirty power for us this winter.

Forgot to add....DP's pee is being added to the compost! Wee!
post #27 of 46

-Borrow Clean House, Clean Planet from the library and start to use some of the tips from there.
-Dont forget cloth bags when grocery shopping
-Hang ALL clothing to dry.
-Make cloth TP and pads so we can be a 100% cloth family.
-Use less electricity
-Try to use candles more often when it gets dark instead of turning on all of the lights.
-Drive even less than we already do.
-Purchase a hybrid or some other energy efficient car.
-Build a huge compost area at the new home we are buying this Thursday.
-Eventually turn our babbling brook into HYDRO energy if possible.

What we already do:

-Wash ziploc bags and use them over and over again
-Use cloth grocery bags and reuse the plastic ones for putting dirty diapers in when we are not home.
-Use cloth napkins and such.
-Use seventh generation toilet paper and such
-Use natural cleaning products
-Use a bike trailer to go everywhere we can instead of a car.
-Vegetarian (practically vegan)
-We have a CSA share
-Buy as much local as possible
-Buy mostly organic
-Only wooden toys for the little tyke.
-No plastic kitchen things.
-Natural body products
-Cloth diaper
-No air conditioning in our home


We are already pretty green as it is.
post #28 of 46
Originally Posted by krabigirl View Post
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!)magic eraser!
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
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.magic eraser!
Originally Posted by arwenevenstar View Post
5. Recycle kid's jumpers etc into other items
What do you mean by this?
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
[*]Find a good natural shampoo. (Any recommendations? I have baby-fine but thick hair, and I need something amazing to break my Pantene addiction. )
Originally Posted by SneakyPie View Post
* Make string bags for shopping How are you going to make them?
My first time too. That sounds funny. I know I can't do all the things I want to do this month, but I will keep a running tally.

What I do:
  • bs/vin/tto cleaners for house
  • Ecos laundry detergent
  • mellow yellow/brown down
  • recycle alum, glass, cardboard, paper
  • try to turn off unnecessary stuff
  • only shower 2 or 3 days
  • cd full time/except vacations
  • cloth wipes
  • washcloths for napkins
  • family cloth/minus dh

Here are the thing I need to research so if anyone has imput on any of these items.......feedback is VERY welcome.
  • compost pile-in a the 'burbs
  • rain barrel-in the 'burbs
  • line dry-need recomendations for a small yard
  • reusable bags at the store
  • powerstrip electronics
  • reuse runoff water-how do you do this?
  • mama pads & diva cup
  • find diswasher detergent that good and natural/or homemade
  • use previously recycle disposable product in substitution for bleach virgin disposables/paper products
  • plan errands better-save on gas
  • meal plan-save on money and energy and waste
I will add when I think of something else.
post #29 of 46
I love this thread!

Here's what I need to really buckle down and do for July:
**bring my cloth bags to the store with me.
**avoid using the a/c

We've been successfully line drying, recycling, using our Kleen Kanteens, riding bikes/walking when we can instead of driving, unplugging things when not in use, eating at home, using our push reel mower, sharing bath water, washing clothes in cold water...but now I need to focus on the cloth bags and getting creative when it gets really hot (i.e. going swimming, going to the library, etc.). We've only run the a/c once for a few days this summer, but the hottest days are ahead of us.

post #30 of 46
Does anyone have that link to that new camper van that is very simple? It is made by VW but has a new name. It was either posted somewhere here, or in the green tribe.


ps: I found it:

post #31 of 46
1. Turned off AC and opened windows
2. Went to store and used canvas bag
3. Payed all bills except one on line
4. Gave old clothes to a lady on free cycle so she could make rugs

Gosh, I am doing better than I thought!

Oh, yeah used electric trimmer instead of gas one yesterday and made homemade fertilizer and gave Miracle Grow to an other freecylce member and then passed recipe for fertilizer along with it.
post #32 of 46
I just found this forum!
This month I have put up a clothesline,
Joined my first organic foods co op and raw mik co op
I am setting up a home recycling center
Staying home more and driving less
using a new natural laundry detergent and cleaners
making my own homemade jams, salsa and hummus
I also just ordered my first compost tumbler!
I'm thinking of starting to use some kind of menstrual cup... but I'm not quite there yet.
post #33 of 46
We just bought a new house and will move in in August.
So my challenges are:

1) repaint the whole house in some low-VOC/no-VOC paint
2) manage to hide a clothes line on the balcony (the HOA doesn't permit drying clothes outside, but I don't compromise on this one )
3) the previous owners had only incandecent bulbs with dimmers all over the house. so my challenge is to replace it all with CFL and replace the dimmer switches to CFL compatible switches. Also install Full Spectrum CFL where I can
4) bathroom remodeling (we have to do it) in a green way
5) sew my own curtains
post #34 of 46
Hi All.


Our family lives in Australia and last night we viewed "The Global Climate Change Swindle" following by an interview with the doco director and then a panel of 'experts'. Lots of discussion on science, little discussion of action.

THIS IS ACTION and my family and I THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of our hearts and from the southern hemisphere.

We are in!

What we are currently doing:
  1. Linedrying our clothes
  2. Washing only full load
  3. Washing clothes with COLD water
  4. Composting food scraps
  5. Eating organic LOCAL foods
  6. Joined FREECYCLE
  7. On tank water
  8. Bath water is laundry water
  9. Downsized frig (Size & Energy)
  10. Consolidate trips into town
  11. Carpool
  12. Recycle
  13. Eliminating plastics
  14. Reducing processed food stuffs
  15. Turn power off at wall
  16. Turn lights off
  17. Used the keeper (am now pregnant)

Where we are heading:
  1. Making homemade breads, jams, spreads, salsas

    Any one who can help with how to do any of these I would love the info.

  2. Considering replacing water heater with solar
  3. Make every light bulb energy efficient one
  4. Start veggie patch
  5. Downgrade car
  6. Offer FREECYCLE first, before tip run
  7. Use cloth diapers (make from old manchester...where possible)
  8. Look at FREECYCLE, then St. Vinnie for items
  9. Taking flyers to tip and St. Vinnies regarding FREECYCLE, so others know they have one more option before leaving it at the tip.

FREECYCLE is a free, volunteer organisation that gives people another option before taking things to the dump...not a business.

You all have been an inspiration to me and I look forward to this challenge.

post #35 of 46
I still haven't gotten to my "green" sewing project (cloth napkins) for the month, but we did get the compost started yesterday. I'm really excited!
post #36 of 46
Finally a moment to post...this month:

Using no-VOC stains and varnishes and in some places oil wax for finishing our woodwork around windows and finish some doors.
Bought paver bricks from The ReUse Center (they are from a deconstruction project)
I want to finish switching us over to family cloth (I only have one out of two bathrooms set up)
Using freecycle, Free Market, and craigslist more frequently
Driving less
No AC (okay this is a cheat since we don't have AC )
I am also heavily involved in planning our dream house so we can start construction in 2 years. I have been reading Sarah Susanka's books (love them) on designing the Not So Big House. We are planning to do a LEED certified home using geothermal, insulated concrete forms, steel roof, fiber cement siding and many other green features to be decided. It is an infill lot in a first tier suburb and will put us 1 mile closer to work (we already live only 5 miles from work).
post #37 of 46
I'm new...but I'd like to try, by starting out small. We have some constraints...namely, we live in an apartment (second/third floor depending on the front/back), and are not allowed to put anything except "patio furniture" on the balcony...they actually made me take down a set of herb plants and a hanging strawberry basket. We also don't have W/D connections, so it costs a bundle to do laundry (and, of course, no line drying...I'm thinking about getting a drying rack, at least for some stuff....I usually do two loads at a time, so, if I could just dry one load, that would be good...)

Natural (preferably homemade) cleaners as much as possible...vinegar, baking soda, whatever else good recipes I can find...Recipes/tips appreciated.

Bringing my own bags for shopping, whether its cloth or bags I've somehow accumulated...I did that for the first time this week.. :

Strip baby before eating. Cuts WAAAAAY down on the laundry.

Reading through the posts, I want to add turning off the power strip at night.

What I have managed to do....

I'm decluttering, so I'm majorly goodwilling this month, and offing all my old baby stuff on an expecting friend (and she thinks I'm just being generous ).

I've been trying to be very contientious about using towels/rags/dishcloths to clean up messes...baby steps, right?
post #38 of 46
Starting small, because it's a busy month and halfway through. This is a cool idea! I've been working on 2 goals lately anyway; always happy to find an extra boost to help me keep with it.

1. Line dry everything except diapers.
2. Turn off power strips at night. (TV, DVD player, VCR, and computers are all on power strips.)
3. Use everything we get from our CSA.
post #39 of 46
Progress is being made at our place!

I finished sewing a set of cloth napkins and have placed them in rings on the table. DH pronounced them "cute" and then asked what they were for! Hopefully it will work.

I'm working on using all my CSA box and so far I'm doing ok. I just keep getting more and more zucchini, so I need to make some zucchini bread or something. And soon!

Now for the rest of the month, I plan to get the clothesline hung up and dry at least part of our laundry.
post #40 of 46
Hi Fellow Green Living Challengers!

Well, this week was successful.

Through, neighbours, St.Vinnie's and FREECYCLE, our family has recieved/recycled:

Baby clothes
Baby blanket
Baby hat
Sturdy baby crib
Baby gates
Baby toys
Maternity clothes

Outside of cloth diapers and cotton, hemp or bamboo liners we are well on our way for ensuring that we have what our new family member will materially require.

We have almost worked out all the little bugs in the letter to my local councillor regarding mentioning FREECYCLE in her next newsletter.

Next weeks goals:
  1. Wipe down and gather all Freecycle offers into one part of the house.
  2. Post on website

That will be enough I think for one week.

Checked out a book called, Clearing the Clutter. And it has been liberating to go around the house and truly ask if it is needed, used or needs to be recycled. Just doing that has allowed for items that were needed (baby and maternity wear) to present themselves.

Happy Reducing, Reusing and Recycling!

PS. I love the feeding baby nude, suggestion. Sheer simplicity and brilliance! Oh and my breadmaking, well, perhaps finding a second hand breadmaker would be the go.
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