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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's your challenges and milestones? What one thing did you do today to help protect our planet?<br>
Today, I bought DD's summer wardrobe at the nearly-new sale, as well as large quantities of clothes for DS1 and 3. I also checked that everything was only natural fibres, which I wouldn't normally do when thrifting...
 

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DH and I give all of our extra clothes to charity, even the bad-condition ones. A lot of homeless shelters take even clothes in really bad condition, like with holes and stains. If they can't give them to homeless people, they'll use them for rags around their facility.<br><br>
Also, we only clean with vinegar, water, and launder-able cloths and use those spiky dryer balls instead of fabric softener (love them!).<br><br>
Our big goal: this summer, we want to build a more earth-friendly backyard. Our yard is small and we've been growing veggies in it, but we still have a long way to go before we can use less water to make things thrive. That's the biggie for this year.
 

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my big, will- take- forever goal is neat wooden recycled furniture for our new apartment. but that's not gonna happen till way later. Until then I want to replace all the lightbulbs, choose safe paint should we happen to paint the rooms and get my bike going more often.<br>
today I used my natural cleaning devices and recycled paper. but that's something we always do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Reduce the amount of plastic I use always. As well as rid my home of plastic as much as is sensible. Meaning, I'm not going to just go throw away all the plastic in my house. I have some very usable things that are better off being used, rather then thrown away or even recycled. I will not use plastic where my children are concerned anymore especially not plates, silverware, cups etc.
 

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We try to walk or ride bikes as much as possible. Working on recycling everything and anything we can including things like old car oil and batteries. We try to turn off all lights/appliances if we leave the room or the house. We try not to buy new clothes. We donate all of our old one's to the local church and once a month they have a clothes give away where we pick up "new" clothes if we need them.<br>
This spring I'm also going to start a garden to grow our own veggies and herbs.
 

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I feel like I am in the process of so many changes:<br>
1. Eat local organic nonprocessed food as much as possible. This has slipped some because our house is about to go up for sale and that is intefering with my cooking. And our CSA folded.<br>
2. Walk as much as possible. Our next house will be within walking distance of metro and shopping.<br>
3. Buy less stuff.<br>
4. New house will have all compact florescent lights. We aren't changing out all the lights in our current house because we are moving shortly.<br>
5. Switching to homemade cleaners, baby wipes, or the most environmentally friendly ones I can find.<br>
6. Same as above with cosmetic type stuff (makeup, shampoo, sunscreen, etc.)<br>
7. Use my cloth sho[[ing bags<br>
8. recycle everything we possibly can.<br>
9.Organic gardening and lawn care.
 

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I'm definitely a work in progress. It seems to get easier and easier to embrace these awesome changes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/treehugger.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Treehugger">:<br><br>
We use almost no paper products. The only paper consumables we use are printer paper (minimally) and TP***<br><br>
I use only homemade natural cleaning products. Easy, cheap, and nontoxic - I can indulge my young kids' enthusiasm for cleaning.<br><br>
Most of my toiletries and makeup items are homemade or otherwise tending towards natural. I've been gradually getting through supplies I had and replacing it with more natural stuff or making it myself. My goal is to go no-poo but I'm a little nervous about the results. All in due time...<br><br>
Because of DH's job, we get paid to drive one of his company's cars. It's not the most fuel-efficient (could be a lot worse though!) so I've been incorporating some techniques hypermilers use to up my average mpg.<br><br>
I think a key thing I've been doing lately is really REALLY questioning every thing that I buy from food to clothes to gum to books to household goods. I've been finding more and more that I just don't need so much stuff that I start out thinking I "need" to get. I think that this one thing has been the second biggest key to reducing household waste.<br><br>
I've been talking more openly about the things I do with "regular" people in hopes that someone will take an interest in doing similar things. At first I was embarrassed to talk about my moon cup or my cloth pads, but I'm not at all anymore. I'm passionate about the things I've done because they're "green," because they've eliminated the amount of toxic stuff we have laying around the house, because they save us a ton of money, etc etc.<br><br>
***Today, I finally bit the bullet and started incorporating cloth TP. I'm already wondering what took me so long. I'm only used it about 70% today and not at all for #2 but we'll see where we go from here...
 

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Today we are putting in CFLs in the living room and bedroom. Yeah!
 

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My menstruation is now 100% environmentally friendly! I have a diva cup and cloth pads.<br>
I walk, bicycle, and public transit everywhere, unless Im rushing to a birth, then I take a cab.<br>
I wear my clothing till its tattered and then reuse it to make something, contain something, wash something.<br>
I use all natural cleaning products, primarily vinagar and baking soda(though still converting the roomie on this).<br>
I have a garden and am starting compost this year.<br>
i keep 90% of my bottles and jars for making and storing herbs, oils, tinctures etc.<br><br>
My to be improved:<br>
-Montreal winters are NASTY cold <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cold.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cold">: and so I rarely want to go anywhere, the really local grocery stores(though they are teeny and family owned) for whatever reason wrap EVERYTHING in plastic. It drives me bonkers, anyways I still shop there in the winter because its tooooooo cold to hit the market. Especially w/o a car because I have to carry my groceries home too!<br>
-forgetting to take my cloth bags to the shops with me and coming home with MORE plastic.<br><br>
I am sure there are more...
 

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The things below are what we ahve done.<br>
1. Use only natural cleaners for our household.<br>
2. Eliminate paper towels (we still use paper TP)<br>
3. Switch to natural or homemade body care products & makeup ( I still have mainstream mascara though)<br>
4. All lightbulbs are CFLs<br>
5. All produce is organic<br>
6. We buy all food products organic or local if available<br>
7. We keep our home temp lower in winter & highter in summer<br>
8. Clothes from goodwill or homemade ( DDs still get a few new things)<br>
9. Growing our own veggies<br>
10. Recycle paper<br>
11. switch all food storage to glass instead of plastic.<br>
12. Cook all food from scratch instead of processed junk. (we do eat out at Chik-fil-A every few weeks.)<br><br>
I know we have a long way to go. But I feel better about the things that are impacting my family immediately. Like the pesticides & chemicals. I'm anxious to get some new ideas from your posts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I feel tragically proud of myself. Dinner last night got sabotaged because the baby started screaming in the middle of cooking and would not be calmed by anything- so it didn't get cooked. We had a roast chicken and lettuce sandwich, in the end- and I am so proud of us for not ordering a takeaway. I've just finished making a soup and pie with the meat that was left on the carcass. It might be a baby step for some people, but it's a big, big deal for me.<br>
It's funny how many of the things on other peoples lists I'm taking for granted- like the paper products, lightbulbs and reusable carrier bags. It goes to show that one person's pebble is anothers mountain, and vice versa...
 

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Hi there,<br><br>
I'm new but thought i would post...<br><br>
I have three kids in school and when I went to volunteer during a lunch hour I saw how much trash was thrown away... it was pretty disturbing. So i got all three of my kids (preschooler included) a laptop lunch box so we would no longer have to use plastic baggies, etc. (<a href="http://www.laptoplunches.com" target="_blank">www.laptoplunches.com</a> just a note that I'm not affiliated) They really are fantastic. I also got them each a klean kanteern for water or juice so we no longer have to buy juice boxes.<br><br>
My kids seem to take better care and ownership of all their things if they are labeled with their names so I purchased a couple sets of really nice, durable, labels from <a href="http://www.christa.mabel.ca" target="_blank">www.christa.mabel.ca</a> (not affiliated) to help the kids further rid themselves (and myself as well) of that disposible mentality and they have really helped a lot. The labels are dishwasher safe, machine washable, waterproof, and microwave safe and can be used to label everything with the assurance that it will find it's self back to its rightful owner if it is left behind or misplaced so we don't have to buy more stuff. hth. CJ
 

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Today my cloth produce bags came in. I love them!
 

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Some things that we are already doing:<br><br>
-Recycle (of course) and compost<br>
-Have our own organic garden<br>
-Use vinegar and water for cleaning<br>
-Use "green" dishwashing and laundry detergent<br>
-Use reusable bags<br>
-CFL bulbs<br>
-Buy local produce and eggs (and some meat, poultry and milk). Shop at the farmer's market<br>
-Working on switching plastic to glass containers<br>
-Use Sigg bottles instead of plastic<br>
-Turn down our heat and AC<br>
-Use the library/paperbackswap.com<br>
-Use wind energy for electric<br><br>
Things we are working on/trying to do more of:<br><br>
-need to get our clothesline!<br>
-getting our rain barrel set up<br>
-more recycled clothing<br>
-use less paper towels (working on this)<br><br>
We are joining a co-op and CSA soon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<b>What we do now</b><br><br>
- "Green" cleaning products and vinegar/water/baking soda. I still actually <i>enjoy</i> buying green products so I haven't done all homemade yet.<br><br>
-Organic sheets and towels (gradually)<br><br>
-Switched to using healthier cosmetics and personal care products, organic pads and tampons<br><br>
-Shopping at farmers markets 80% of the time<br><br>
-All organic food<br><br>
-Using cloth reusable bags for the store/farmers markets<br><br>
-Buying more clothes on consignment (even designer clothes) and go to clothing swaps to get rid of old items.<br><br>
-If I buy new clothes, they are mostly organic fabric clothes (Loomstate jeans, etc). You can even find organic clothes and higher-end stores (Barneys, etc)<br><br>
-Shop local<br><br>
-Recycle more (even started using Preserve toothbrushes so I can send them back)<br><br>
-Use cloth napkins at the dining table<br><br>
-Stop using so much plastic<br><br>
-No processed, pre-packaged foods except for items that MUST come in a package, can or jar (seaweed, olives, etc)<br><br>
-Hang clothes outside (but we only do it in the summer). I still hang my delicate clothes indoors at all other times though.<br><br>
-Use a green dry cleaner.<br><br><br><b>Havent done (yet)<br></b><br>
-Still use paper towels (they are recycled though)<br><br>
-No hybrid cars<br><br>
-<br><br><br><b>Couldn't do</b> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
-I cant grow food to save my life (besides my lemon tree)<br><br>
-Diva cups (they are painful)<br><br>
-Bike. I cant ride a bike w/o being scared for my life (which will probably cause an accident anyway). Plus we live way in the hills.<br><br>
-Public transportation to work would take 3x as long as driving. Unfortunately, we dont want to live in neighborhoods where there is ample transportation - at least not in our area yet.
 

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Today I added tea bags and other stuff to my compost pile, recycled some paper and cardboard. Turned off lights and anything not in use. Breastfed my baby, used cloth diapers, used cloth rags to clean with, used an earth friendly dishsoap, was very conservative with water. I think I did a few more things but I am tired right now.<br><br>
Overall I want to be garbage free completely. I am buying more things in bulk now at our local health food store so that I can keep reusing the bags. I now buy my flour, sugar, cornmeal, oatmeal, popcorn, and a few more things from the bins. Eventually I want to faze out anything that cannot be recycled. I actually feel myself cringe when I go to throw something in the garbage.<br><br>
We already do lots of good things like make our own cleaning supplies, tooth powder to clean teeth, high efficiency washing machine, cloth diapers and wipes, only cloth rags to clean with, recycling, composting, buying only used furniture-household goods-clothes and toys(or getting them for free usually), cloth post partum pads, make own laundry detergent and other things too. I am getting into water conservation big time too. Water day is March 22nd I think.<br><br>
My goals:<br><br>
A bio diesel fueled well running suburban to fit my large crew into, so I know we won't be harming the environment while doing necessary driving. I would also take the hybrid tahoe for now.<br><br>
Garbage free completely. Only recycling bins in the kitchen. Maybe one bag of true garbage per year. I mean I can't see how to get out of the lids on the vinegar bottles I buy to use for cleaning. Or the lids on pretty much everything that has a lid.
 

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We already:<br><br>
*Buy all baby clothes at the consignment store.<br>
*Reuse and/or donate any old clothes we can (I am also working on seriously paring down my wardrobe).<br>
*Recycle as much as possible.<br>
*All (I think?) lightbulbs are CFLs.<br>
*I use baby washcloths to wipe after pees rather than TP.<br>
*I haven't had a period in quite a while, but I do have cloth pads.<br>
*Reuse a lot of things like yogurt containers, etc.<br>
*DH keeps the house FREAKING COLD in the winter. And we don't have AC for the summer.<br>
*We buy the wind energy option on our electric bill.<br>
*Cloth diapers and EC.<br><br>
We are working on:<br><br>
*Checking on the things we buy - where they come from, what's in them, do we really need them? It's hard to break the habit of throwing the cheapest version you can find of whatever it is you think you need in your cart.<br>
*Natural homemade cleaners.<br>
*Starting a vegetable garden.<br>
*Just started a compost pile.<br>
*Buying used clothes for me (there are some things, like shoes, that I just find it hard to buy used).<br>
*Washing my hair with baking soda. It's going ok so far but it just feels different than shampoo.<br>
*Trying to find ways to replace other home and body products with frugal, homemade, natural versions.<br>
*Trying to remember to bring my cloth bags when I go shopping! They live in the car now so that helps a little.<br>
*Gradually switching to cloth for cleaning, napkins, etc. Eventually I want to get rid of Kleenex too. DH uses a lot of that.<br>
*Making a lot of foods at home from scratch rather than buying them.<br>
*Try to hang clothes outside, but it's so much more work than throwing them in the dryer.
 

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Great topic!<br><br>
- Cloth diapering<br>
- Cold-washing all the non-diaper clothes<br>
- Using biodegradable, natural household products - we've gotten <i>almost</i> all the chemicals out of our household<br>
- Buying used clothes for DD<br>
- Trying to eat organic and/or fair trade when possible, and as budget allows<br>
- Switching cars constantly (whoever will be traveling the furthest takes our highest MPG car<br>
- If we get the country house we just made an offer on we plan on: putting in double-paned windows and some passive solar, growing our own food and grey-water harvesting.<br><br>
One foot in front of the other, you know? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It's often tough for a family just starting out, stay at home mom, dad in a postdoc position... but we try! Here are the things we've worked in over the past year:<br><br>
cloth diapering<br>
cloth toilet paper<br>
cloth menstrual pads<br>
natural cleaning products<br>
more organic foods<br>
Dh rides the bus<br>
Recycling<br>
Reusing plastic produce bags and using cloth grocery bags<br>
cloth wrapping paper<br>
encouraging others to do the above things as well...<br>
plans to buy a Prius when we can afford it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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