Tuesday, February 9, 2010

List of Changes

I was reading The Green Phone Booth and thought the The Conscious Shopper made a good point.  She observed that there's a lot of winter blahs and negativity floating around right now.  To make yourself feel just a wee bit better, she advises making a list of the green things you've changed, even the small stuff.  This is, I think, akin to "count your blessings."

It's hard for me to make a list of all green changes I've made on my journey, as I've been doing some of them my whole life, or unconsciously, so I'll list the conscious, recent changes-ones I've made since embarking out to live on my own. 

Since I was sort of negative all day, here's my go at "counting my green blessings:" (in no particular order)
  • Started a compost pile to use in the garden and make food scraps/waste useful
  • Switched to cloth napkins.
  • Ditched disposable plates, cups, and flatware
  • Eliminated most processed food from our diet.  
  • What pre-processed food we do eat, is mostly organic.
  • Bring my own silverware and cloth napkin to work daily
  • Switched to organic, fair trade coffee beans bought from a local food co-op
  • Purchase the majority of our meat from local, humane, grass-fed producers at the market.
  • Swapped my chemical-laden coffee creamer for organic chocolate soy milk
  • Canned summer produce (some, next year will be more...)
  • Frozen local produce to use year-round
  • Dried vegetables to use year-round.
  • Grow own vegetables (not so good at this one yet, but I'm trying...each year gets better!)
  • Make our own bread
  • Shop at thrift stores instead of big-box stores.
  • Gave up fast food
  • As bulbs burn out, replace them with CFLs
  • Fix, make do with, do without, or buying used items.
  • Keeping our thermostat at 65 (we'd go lower, but then our house gets too cold for instruments)
  • Eat in more
  • Eat less meat (we are meatless 2-3 nights a week)
  • Reduce/combine trips to places
  • I make our own laundry soap. 
  • Use vinegar as fabric softener
  • Right now, we hang dry all clothes
  • My primary cleaning supplies are vinegar and baking soda.  I also have a commercial all-natural cleaner.
  • Weather stripping our large windows to save energy, also weather stripped attic windows.
  • Reduced our paper towel use by quite a bit (I keep a few for wiping down the toilet, since I don't use bleach, hot water, or a dryer wash cleaning rags)
  • I use a diva cup
  • I no longer buy brown sugar in plastic bags.  I buy white sugar, and whatever doesn't fit into my regular sugar bin gets mixed with molasses and stored as brown sugar.
  • I use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store, the market, and carry some in my car.
  • I use reusable produce bags at the market and grocery store
  • Buy in bulk where I can to reduce packaging.
Phew! That's quite a list! I guess I hadn't realized quite how much we've changed already.  The Conscious Shopper was right...doing that made me smile.  Now you try it!

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