Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

It's official Earth Day and I'm a little disappointed...we we're suppose to meet a bunch of people from our playgroup, for an outside playdate at the park, in honor of Earth Day. But because of all the snow in the last few days everyone seems to be bowing out.
So I instead I've been spending some time reflecting on how "green" our house is...
We moved in here just over a year ago now...and honestly the previous owner gave us kind of a head start...most of the light bulbs were already the new energy efficient florescents, there was low flow faucets on most of the sinks, the toilets have dual flush handles (which either don't work, because the water pressure is then too low, or they we're installed improperly- all I know is they usually stick and end up wasting more water than they save) and finally they also left us a compost bin in the garden.
But we moved in with a "greener" attitude and starting making some big changes- at least from how we we're before, and honestly I'm quite proud of us!
We recycle everything we can now, from all the cardboard cereal and cracker boxes in the house, to every single plastic bottle, wash out all the tin cans, and of course paper. In fact we have 5 bins in the storage area just off the kitchen for paper, plastic, glass, metal and cardboard respectively. And in doing so I can honestly say we've cut our garbage down to 1/3 of what it was at the other house. And that still includes all the diapers...we honestly used to average close to 3 large green garbage bags a week and now we're done to one or less! So I think we've done so changing.
I've always hung up laundry for drying, other than sheets and towels I rarely use the dryer and this past year I started using coldwater tide as well. I guess I bought into the commercials...and speaking of commercials here are my resolutions for getting even "greener" in the next year...
1) I need to do some research into phosphates, and if I can switch all of our household soaps to phosphate free- I keep seeing a Presidents choice commercial for their phosphate free dishwasher soap- and although I don't really understand much about what phosphates are or why it's bad- it is making me feel guilty that I should probably look into it! (yes, I am proof that marketing works- although I'm getting tired very quickly of "green guilt" marketing)
2) We started cleaning with a few green cleaning solutions last year...like vinegar,baking soda and lemon type mixtures...It didn't last very long, although they seemed to work pretty close to as well, it always seems to be faster to grab the pre- packed disinfectant wipes- So I would like to resolve that I will make an effort to have most of these mixture pre mixed and waiting on the shelves so it's just as easy to us them as anything store bought.
3) With spring on it's way (hopefully) I will start combing the net for better weed control solutions. I tried last year, to find a dandelion solution- but everything I found suggested just popping the heads off by hand. That worked great the first day with 50 dandelions. The second day was less fun when 100 more had opened over night. By the third day in a row, when I walked out and found at least 200 more I admitted defeat and bought some weed killer at the store. But this year- hopefully with more awareness- maybe there's a more clever solution lurking out there somewhere???

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