October 18, 2007

Creating a Greener Life

Okay - I missed the official Blog Action Day about being green, but I was caught off guard when Sarahlynn calls us "greener" than their family. There are certainly greener families than ours, but I would say that we're not doing too terribly right now.

It made me realize that we do some things that are normal, and a couple of out-of-the-norm things to shrink our footprint on the environment.

The easiest of the things that we have done is replaced burned out bulbs with the energy efficient versions available everywhere now. We bought in quantity at Sam's Club bulbs in various sizes a while back. The one thing that is a drag about this "easy" project - finding dimmable compact florescent bulbs. I've seen them on TV, but can't find them in stores. (Any suggestions would be great!)

An out-of-the-box thing that we do is harvest our rain water. When it rains. The nice thing is that by storing it, we have still held on to water from the last storm, a whopping (and record) 35 days ago!

We do not clean the water for drinking or anything, but we collect rain water in a barrel as it comes from our front downspout. We use this water for our birdbath and to water plants and pumpkins around the yard. We spent $50 for the barrel, and have probably saved $35 on one year's water bills. By that math we will have paid for it outright within two summers.

We got ours locally from Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. There are online outlets that carry them, but we like what AEOEC does to get theirs. First off, they recycle the barrels from the local Pepsi plant for their projects. Secondly, the barrels are then crafted by students as they learn about the environment and things that they can do to protect it for the future. Very cool. Secretly, Anny's dream job is to create curriculum for a center like this. She had an incredible experience working at an Environmental Ed place in Tennessee a few years back.

What we don't do yet, but we are investigating:

Create a front lawn that requires less water to begin with. There is no shade out there, so whatever is out there bakes in the summer.

Cloth diapers. We're just waiting for the daycare to say yes. Apparently they have never had the request before. Hmm.

So - what are you doing for the environment? What do you wish you could be doing? What else should we be doing? I would love comments on this one.


  1. Let's talk about cloth diapers, shall we? I love to spread the good news!

  2. Wow, cloth diapers and daycare. You guys are brave! Much braver than we are.

  3. Adam and Lisa had to convince Oliver and Xavier's daycare to go with cloth. The "funny" part is that they have to bring in a large ziplock bag for each soiled diaper to go into when it comes off the baby . . . which is not exactly environmentally friendly! (In their own diaper bag, they just reuse plastic grocery bags to carry used diapers home.)

  4. Every day I used to harass my students to recycle their papers. Mercilessly, I hounded them.
    Then I watched the custodial staff pick up my recycling bucket and dump it in the trash can.
    Now I do nothing.