Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My attempt at going green

Earth-Friendly Things I’m Doing

1. Use reusable bags when I shop
2. Recycle
3. Buy clothes and most durable goods second hand
4. Make my own skin and hair care products from natural ingredients
5. Use only natural products on my daughter’s skin and hair
6. Use reusable menstrual products
7. Use only earth-friendly, nontoxic cleaning and laundry products
8. Use cloth napkins and cloth towels for cleaning
9. Use recycled paper products
10. Try to eat vegetarian meals often, and reduce amount of meat in meals for family (e.g, in stews, soups and casseroles)
11. Wash laundry in cold water
12. Turn off lights and power strips
13. Keep heat low
14. Use smaller appliances (e.g., toaster oven or microwave rather than oven) as much as possible
15. Buy organic as much as possible
16. “Let it mellow”
17. Toilet displacement bag; showering every 2 days (washing up in basin on alternate days); trying to be conscious of water use
18. Read and learn about environmental issues
19. Use canteens rather than buy bottled water
20. Freecycle
21. Use rechargeable batteries

Things I could be doing better

1. Composting. Still trying to figure it out. My worms seemed to die out as other bugs took over.

2. Taking public transportation. It takes more time and planning here than it did when I lived in Boston. My neighborhood in Boston scored 82 out of 100 (100 being the best score) for being a walkable community. My current neighborhood in a near suburb of Tacoma scores a 7 out of 100. I am, however trying to drive a short distance (2 miles) and park my car in a shopping mall lot, and from there take the bus to work.

(Find your neighborhood's Walk Score here: http://www.walkscore.com/walkable-neighborhoods.shtml )

3. Buying local. Right now, it’s too expensive where I am. We were stunned when we visited the local farmer's markets during the summer--very few produce items cost less than $5/lb. I hope that when the Tacoma Food Co-op is up and running, this will change. My family and I are members of the Food Co-op, which is currently still in the planning stages.

Things I’d like to do

1. Learn how to successfully grow a small vegetable garden.
2. Adopt a tree at my local orchard. We'd have to learn how to prune it, but in the fall, we'll get to harvest the apples!
3. Buy Wonder Wash and Spin Dryer from Laundry Alternatives
4. Buy a rain barrel

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