Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Eco-Household Life List

This week's Real Food Pledge has gone well since Monday -- no "fake" drinks have touched our lips and no meat, except the "disclaimer meat" we had opened over the weekend. But... we did go to Taco Bell. Oops. It didn't violate any of THIS week's challenges, but definitely violated the spirit of things a bit. Oops again.

Lately I've been dreaming up a lot of "life lists," a dream inspired by this lovely blog: Mighty Girl. Some of you may heard of her. She's a pretty big blogging deal. My favorite of her life list items is her Try 1,000 Fruits project. Neat.

While we try to be a moderately eco-friendly household, we fall far by the wayside at times. Josh and I both believe that good stewardship of Creation is a vital calling for anyone who claims Christ as Savior. It was mankind's first command, to care for all that God had made for us. To take small steps towards not destroying the Earth is the least we can do.

I've been breaking these life lists down into different categories. 
Now presenting:

The Eco-Household Life List

1. Use less packaging - buy groceries in bulk when possible and use reusable containers
2. Install a water-saver on faucets
3. Turn down temperature of water heater
4. Use a clothesline for 75% of clothes drying
5. Use a Diva Cup instead of tampons  
6. Improve indoor air quality by using plants, air filters, and low VOC paint
7. Source all meat locally 

8. Compost cat litter
9. Set up rainwater catchment system 
10. Buy pre-loved clothing
11. Fix fireplace - temporarily seal it up, possibly install wood-burning stove eventually
12. Spend the time and effort to save up money to purchase earth-friendly furniture.

13. Switch to all-natural cosmetics and body care products (shampoo, soap, etc.)
14. Use all eco-friendly home cleaners (we mostly do this, but not completely).

A few earth-happy things we already attempt to do on a regular basis:

1. Use cold water in the washing machine, saving the energy of heating water.

2. Make laundry detergent using Fels Naptha soap, Borax, and washing soda. It works great and is amazingly cheap and easy to make.

3. Turn the car off instead of letting it idle. This is not a hard and fast rule, especially lately with this crazy heat.

4. Use cloth napkins, cloth dishrags, and cloth towels in the kitchen. I love vintage napkins and have found some beautiful ones, so the aesthetics of this are a bonus. Oh, and it saves us maybe $20 a year. Every little bit counts.

5. Compost food scraps - We need to re-start this. Our worms bit the dust (wahhh) so we need to come up with an alternate composting method, or simply try again with worms. In the meanwhile we've been feeding a lot of scraps to the chickens. They especially love tomatoes, watermelon rinds, and apple or pear cores.

5. Grow some vegetables. We don't always eat as many of our vegetables as we should or pull the weeds like we should. But every dollar saved is a dollar saved. Or something.

6. Recycle. Hopefully, as we buy less packaged products we can reduce the amount we HAVE to recycle. But for now, we are thankful there is a recycling option in our small town. We don't have curbside recycling, but there are giant bins at the high school down the street for folks to take their plastics, glass, and cardboard.

Here's a nice, straightforward guide to some easy steps to being a
good steward of the Earth. Happy greening!

Do any of these ideas spark an interest in you? Do you have any eco-goals that you are currently pursuing?

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