18 April 2008

Earth Day, Part 2: Doing our part

I've come to realize that making eco-friendly adjustments in my life are easier when I choose one thing at a time to incorporate into my routine. Usually later I come to realize this adjustment has become so second-nature that I can't remember NOT doing it.

So, here are a few of the adjustments I've made this year:
REDUCE: I've stopped taking atm receipts completely and gas station receipts when given the option (since I live in Oregon and never pump my own gas, sometimes the attendants hand it to me before I can tell them not to print me one). I've decided if I really need to know how much money I have in my account after making a transaction at the atm, I can wait until I get home and check online. This is a VERY simple change, but one that saves trees, one receipt at a time. (PS--those are not my red fingernails in that picture)
REUSE: Recently we've started buying our milk at Dari- Mart (our local 7-11) in reusable bottles. Obviously we know that milk cartons are recyclable, but better to just use bottles that will go back to the dairy to be cleaned and filled with more milk and resold. Recycling is great, but reusing is better. Granted, the milk is a bit more expensive this way, but it is also from a local dairy, so we're supporting local farmers. (Plus, we get to go to Dari-Mart more often now--my boys love the smorgasbord of 35cent little debbie treats and I love the diet pepsi refills in my reusable cup.)RECYCLE: We built this homemade composter in our backyard to reduce our garbage and have fallen in love with composting. Not only are we able to throw in all our kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and leaves, but we compost our wet gdiapers, paper towels and paper napkins as well. (In fact, you might be able to see a bit of all of these in this picture). If you even have a tiny spot in your yard, I would suggest building (or buying) some sort of composter to fill that spot. You will probably find yourself, like me, completely amazed at the organic breaking down processes that take place in there. If you want to build one like this, here is a tutorial.

These are small and very simple ideas. Are you making any changes in your life to celebrate earth day? I would love some more ideas.


Lizzy said...

That is so great! I need to do better at going green. Or do something to go green! I recycle like mad, but that's about it. What great ideas!!

Emilee said...

One thing we do is use these fab reusable produce bags at the grocery store instead of plastic ones. :)

joonbeam said...

Dari Mart!!! I am so homesick seeing those cartons! We have some with the older logo on them. We use them for water etc, in the fridge. But when we moved to NH, we had a local dairy that was so cool...you went and the door was unlocked and you just pay by the honor system - even checks - and you penciled in your name and checked off what you took on a pad. It was heaven. Chocolate milk and heavy cream and eggs too. The manure smell was sometimes overwhelming, but.... :) Thanks for a great post, lima! Here's to fresh farm milk in bottles. Ours here are glass.

Jessica said...

You're so great Bean. Good ideas. Lately I've been saying "no" to atm and gas receipts too, they just end up on the seat or floor of my car anyway! :)

Morgen said...

Thanks for sharing those ideas - it's true that it's just the little things, one step at a time that can make big changes happen.
That is my piece of advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed with change - lot's of little steps can take you a long way in the end. Just keep adding little changes gradually to the daily things in your life.

Jen said...

I was so excited about your earth day post! I've been wanting to set up a compost but wasn't sure how to do it without buying those big expensive buckets and worms! How neat!

Ilene said...

Color me impressed... or green.

I need to do better. It was an adjustment moving from Eugene to Spokane where they only recycle corrogated cardboard and #1 plastic bottles. It is frustrating to have to throw so much away. I hope Boise is better.

Lis said...

Diet Pepsi, pardon?

I concur with all of those suggestions - I need to get back on board with the Maple View Farms milk in glass bottles because now I use paper cartons, and they are not recyclable in my life.