Seems like a pretty simple task doesn’t it. Well I have found it quite difficult lately and was wondering what every one else is doing to become greener and maybe solve some of my problems.
Sometimes when I have to make a decision I can’t find a good answer and must compromise.
I love to purchase as much as I can from local growers, producers, and artists but in my effort to reduce the amount of driving I do leaves me limited choices some times. The curse of not living near a big city and having the local supplies spread out all over the county. So I try to purchase as much as I can while I’m there and make fewer trips.
Things I have already done:
- Changed all the light bulbs I can to energy star bulbs, some I haven’t found replacements for yet.
- Run the oil lamps often, I have antique lamps and wall hangers in every room of the house. I LOVE THEM. I have seen reproductions at Lehman’s. I love this web site and have purchased many things from them. It’s always very nice quality.
- Don’t turn on the lights if I don’t have to. (I’m trying to figure out how to reduce the ghost loads in the house without driving my dear husband nuts!)
- Use only baskets or cloth shopping bags for my weekly trip to town and the farmer’s market.
- Try not to use extra paper products. I will never be completely paper free around here. But only have paper plates, cups, napkins when someone else brings them over because they feel sorry for me not having them. They just don’t get the paper thing,… yes my dear sister I am talking about you.
- Make all my own natural cleaning supplies: laundry soap, dish soap, and household cleaners.
- Wash laundry only in cold water and hang clothes on the clothesline. Some times I have to use the dryer but not often.
- Try not to buy anything in plastic! but it sneaks in the house when I’m not looking and some things I must have only come packaged in plastic.(This is my argument for wanting a goat or two, I HATE PLASTIC MILK BOTTLES.)
- Compost everything I can.
- Buy local produce and products when available.
- Don’t put my produce or meats in additional plastic bags for the ride home, this drives me nuts when the nice girl at the check out tries to put my produce into a plastic bag for me, I have been known to take them back out and give her a talk about plastic…I usually end up taking the bag with me anyway because when you insist the tomatoes come out of the bag, the nice girl puts the bag in her trash can, making me bite my lip even more.
- Cook all our meals, and bread.
- Have an energy efficient heating system (It’s propane but my son has asthma and can’t have a wood stove) The heat has to be on 70 in the winter because of other family members special needs.)
- Only run the AC when I must, (because of other family members special needs.)
- Energy effecient appliances, windows, and well insulated house.
- Hang insulated curtains in the winter and open and close as needed to let the sun in or keep the heat in/out.
- Only use the dishwasher when full and don’t use the drying cycle.
- Buy used books or rent from the library. Don’t buy movies.
- Buy only cotton, wool or other natural fabrics for clothes and furnishings.
- Make and use my own salves, tea, herbs for minor illness and injury.
Things I am working on:
- learning to crochet my own dishcloths.
- learning to make my own bar soap.
- Build a chicken coop from reclaimed lumber for more chickens. (for our own eggs, feathers, meat)
- Researching goats to add to the farm. (For our own milk, cheeses, meat) Looking at the Kinder Goat.
- Building a new garden for 09′ I haven’t planted one in several years, the woodchucks got the best of me. I’m really liking the square foot raised garden.
- Can, freeze, dehydrate as much as possible.
- Buying more canning jars.
- Spend more time foraging for nuts and fruit when in season. Even if we don’t like to eat them I can trade for something I do want or sell them. Wild purple grapes would be a good one, I can make jelly and trade or sell it.
- Using a solar power fence charger. Currently we are running an electric with a battery back up. We were using just battery but in the cold winter it’s not dependable and the animals get out.
Things I would consider:
Everything in small deliberate steps will win the challenge for me. What are you doing or going to do this comming year?