(Note: I started this email immediately after reading Erica's post yesterday, but I'm just now getting around to finishing it so I'm a day late.)
Green things I do now:
- I have switched to "green" disposable diapers. Maybe they aren't as good for the environment as if I went to reusable diapers, but I know me and I know that reusable diapers just wouldn't work for me. I've been using Seventh Generation's disposable diapers for a few months now, and I love them every bit as much as I did Pampers. They have been every bit as absorbent, and they aren't as harsh on baby or the environment. I buy my diapers through Amazon's subscription offering which gives me an additional 15% off and free shipping and makes the price comparable to buying Pampers off the shelf (even the Sam's Club shelf). If you have babies in diapers, I HIGHLY recommend these diapers! The only drawback to the diapers is that they don't have any print on them so if you have 2 different sizes (like I do for the 2 kids) you have to come up with some way to mark which one is which size when you have them mixed like in your diaper bag or something. Also, order a size up from what you think you'll need. Their sizes seem to run a little small (compared to Pampers anyway).
- Using reusable batteries. I just bought an Energizer recharger and a bunch of batteries a couple of weeks ago at Target. I probably could've bought it somewhere better (or less expensive), but I was there and needed batteries and just couldn't bring myself to throw money at another set of batteries that I would just be tossing in the trash.
- I'm phasing in florescent bulbs anywhere that I can. They really seem to be getting better and better about not looking florescent, so that helps too!
- Building as "green" as possible. Our new garage will be green certifiable because of all of the materials that we're using. I'm looking into "green" carpets (recyclable and/or made from recycled materials). Looking into "green" landscaping. Everything is being done as energy-efficiently as possible and it helps that my contractor is into building green now so that helps.
- Turning off lights, unplugging chargers, and powering off anything that I can.
- Biking to Belle's school to pick her up instead of using the car.
- We got a reverse osmosis water system for our well water from the tap. I know bottled water is supposed to be one of the top green no-nos, so I have been trying to phase out bottles by refilling jugs with water from the grocery stores, but that just wasn't cutting it and we kept running out of water anyway. So now, we aren't putting 100s (or 1000s) of bottles of plastic into landfills each year. :) I have my own water bottles that I fill up if I need to take a drink with me somewhere. Also, I think twice before buying bottles of water/soda/whatever when I'm out and determine if I really need it.
- Something very simple... when I'm buying new clothes I always (unless I forget) take the clothes off of the hanger and leave the hanger at the store to be reused. I'm weird about my hangers at home because our clothes rods are kinda big so I only like to use the same type of plastic hangers and I don't reuse store hangers. This keeps me from just tossing them in the trash when I get home. If you do happen to go home with them though, donating the hangers to Goodwill or some other charity like that is good because they always need hangers for their clothes for display.
- Stopped delivery of phone books, limit my catalogs, and reduce junk mail.
Green things I plan to do:
- Purchase more "green" household products. I have picked them up at the grocery store many times, but then I tell myself that it makes more sense to cycle them in as I run out of the other "non-green" stuff. Otherwise, I'm just wasting what I already have and isn't being green all about not wasting? :) I'm also planning to look into more Seventh Generation products like toilet paper and paper towels.
- Use less paper towels. Sometimes paper towels are just necessary, but I know that I use them way more than I need to. I really need to be better about keeping a towel out in the kitchen to dry my hands off with after I wash them.
- Recycling. I'm half way there with this one. A few weeks back I ordered my recycle bins, but I still haven't received them. I have bins inside full of things to recycle... just waiting on the bins to dispose of the recyclables.
- Use ONLY reusable shopping bags. I've already got a headstart on this and own and use about 4-5 bags (it's amazing how much you can fit in one of those bags), but I still need some of the plastic bags because I use them to wrap dirty diapers in. I put 3-4 diapers in each bag (unless it's a REALLY stinky diaper and I need to get it out of the house), so I'm doing good with that too... so I'm "reducing" and "reusing", but eventually will do even better. Plus I'd like to invest in some really good reusable bags, not just the ones that you can buy at Publix that will fall apart before long anyway.
- I'd like to get into the habit of buying more produce locally.
There's probably more that I'm forgetting, but it's a start! :)
One last thing, when I first mentioned that I was working toward being greener, someone (Megan, I think) suggested that I check out thedailygreen.com. They have a tip of the day that I subscribe to, and they have some good suggestions. If you're looking to go-greener, I recommend that you check it out.