Monday, July 20, 2009

It's not easy bein Green!

Kermit the frog said it best: it's not easy being green. I liken the whole global green movement to eating healthy. It often costs you more time, and more money, but in the end it's better for you. That's how I feel about the making the effort to "go green" and reduce our carbon footprint on the world. My sister in law Sarah could probably give a lot of facts to back up what we're doing (and maybe she will post a comment with some info and other helpful hints, hint hint!) but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, and we will do our part, one thing at a time, to be kinder to our planet. Here's what we've done so far:

  • Recycle. We purchased 3 recycling bins from Lowe's, and we recycle paper/cardboard, plastic, glass, and aluminum (an added perk is that since we recycle, we can share the cost of trash pickup with our neighbors b/c we don't produce as much)
  • Replaced all our lightbulbs with the long-lasting environmentally-friendly CFL ones
  • Installed a timer to our hot water heater. Now it kicks on twice a day, between 5:30 and 8am, and again at 5:30-7:30pm, and we still have plenty of hot water throughout the day
  • Be conscious about turning off lights when we leave rooms, especially keeping the computer turned off when not in use
  • Unplugging appliances like the toaster, and even the coffee maker when not in use, and phantom energy users, like ipod docks and cell phone chargers, that consume energy when left plugged into an outlet
  • Installed an energy-saving shower head which reduces the water pressure, saving several gallons of water for each shower taken
  • Keeping our thermostat set at higher temps in summer, cooler in winter. I'm cold natured and this usually doesn't bother me. Ours is at 77-78 during the day, and 75 at night after we put Bradley to bed. We also turn the temp up a degree or two when leaving the house.
  • Run the dishwasher/washer/dryer only when we have a full load
  • Use reuseable cleaning cloths in place of paper towells whenever possible
  • Use reuseable shopping bags
  • Purchased a special power strip for our office, so that once the computer is turned off, all the other accessories will shut off automatically
  • Stopped buying bottled water, and other individual plastic bottled drinks and use refillable bottles instead
  • Use tupperware instead of plastic baggies whenever possible

Now that I look at the list it seems like a lot, but Brian and I are constantly looking at ways to reduce energy consumption even more, so any ideas of your own would be helpful, and I hope our list inspires you to take steps to go greener. This site is a good place to start if you need ideas.

3 comments:

Sallie said...

Good job!!! Are you buying organic food? We try to. You and Brian should go see the movie Food Inc if you haven't. A real wake-up call.

Sarah said...

impressive! not buying bottled water is probably the best thing on that list. you guys seem to be going strong, my only suggestion is to make an effort to buy local. Brian shocked me by going green but nothing will top the day when he tells me he's stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. :)

Keri said...

I def agree with buying local if you can ... cut down on the energy used to ship. Also, use biodegradable cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar will clean just about anything. My favorite cheap-o way to go green is called the Zip It. You use it to clean drains as opposed to pouring poison [Drain-o] down the drain. Got mine at a local hardware store for less than $2, but they are sold at Lowes and Home Depot. Save our water! :)