Green Living Challenge: July 2007 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 46 Old 07-01-2007, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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:
January
February
March
April
May
June

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#2 of 46 Old 07-01-2007, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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)

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#3 of 46 Old 07-01-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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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!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#4 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 05:29 AM
 
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Subbing for now. Will be back later.
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#5 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 09:46 AM
 
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I need to return to this! : Subbing and I'll come back with my goals later.
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#6 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 10:13 AM
 
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This month, we are putting in a clothesline outside for line drying.
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#7 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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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)
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#9 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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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
zuccini
tomato
japanese eggplant
cucumber
peppers
oregano
basil
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
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#10 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 08:24 PM
 
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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!)
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#11 of 46 Old 07-02-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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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.
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#12 of 46 Old 07-04-2007, 11:10 AM
 
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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.

Mama to Kage (12/07) and Ember (6/09)
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#13 of 46 Old 07-04-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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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)
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#14 of 46 Old 07-04-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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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.

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Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
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#15 of 46 Old 07-05-2007, 07:11 AM
 
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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

It's a Delight-Filled Life.
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#16 of 46 Old 07-05-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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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!

Jessica, Single Mama to Lailah(4) and Christopher(2)
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#17 of 46 Old 07-05-2007, 08:06 PM
 
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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

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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#18 of 46 Old 07-05-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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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. )
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#19 of 46 Old 07-05-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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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!
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#20 of 46 Old 07-05-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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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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#21 of 46 Old 07-06-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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Quote:
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.
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#22 of 46 Old 07-06-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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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!!:
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#23 of 46 Old 07-07-2007, 06:56 AM
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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!
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#24 of 46 Old 07-08-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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This month, we are putting in a clothesline outside for line drying.
What kind? I'm in the market.
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#25 of 46 Old 07-09-2007, 12:13 AM
 
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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
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#26 of 46 Old 07-09-2007, 12:36 AM
 
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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!
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#27 of 46 Old 07-09-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Goals:

-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.
-RECYCLE
-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
-Compost
-Cloth diaper
-No air conditioning in our home

ECT ECT ECT

We are already pretty green as it is.

Joyful mama of 3.
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#28 of 46 Old 07-09-2007, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
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!
Quote:
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!
Quote:
Originally Posted by arwenevenstar View Post
5. Recycle kid's jumpers etc into other items
What do you mean by this?
Quote:
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. )
Giovanni
Quote:
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.
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#29 of 46 Old 07-10-2007, 01:52 AM
 
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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.

Melissa
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#30 of 46 Old 07-10-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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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.

Thanks!

ps: I found it:

http://verdier.ca/
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