Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday 13 - 13 Little Ways Our Family is Going Green in 2008

When I was a kid in the 1970’s during the Carter Presidency, I remember being energy efficient was big. Issues of Dynamite Magazine had tips on saving energy for kids, like turning off the water while you brushed your teeth, and we had stickers in our bedroom on the light switch to turn off the lights when we left. Do you remember? I don’t fully understand why, but we returned to being a consumer economy. Now were “Going Green” and my kids are coming home with the same tips I learned when I was a kid. The following is a list of ways we’ve decided to “Go Green” in 2008:

:: Installing Smart Strips for our televisions and computers.
:: Bringing our own basket and bags to the market
:: Using energy efficient smart light bulbs that use up to 75% less energy and last 8-10 times longer than standard bulbs.
:: Carrying our own refillable water bottles
:: Cutting back on consuming and spending. It will help reduce packaging and increase our financial bottom line.
:: Shopping more often at our local produce market. If we buy locally, we don’t have to rely on farms that ship food nationwide, which in turn helps to decrease use of oil and gas emissions.
:: Composting
:: Using biodegradable pine kitty litter
:: Using the clothes dryer less. My husband installed a wooden dowel handing line in our laundry room and I’m using it to dry some of our clothes to save energy. According to Project Laundry List, clothes dyers are the third-largest energy users in the home, behind the refrigerator and washing machine, costing more than $100 a year to operate.
:: Using rechargeable batteries. I recently got at digital camera that goes quickly through AA batteries. Using rechargeable batteries will reduce the number of batteries we go through.
:: Keeping our freezer full. This too will help the environment by reducing the energy we use, and it will help me with reducing our grocery bill by having dinners on hand when I’m too drained to cook.
:: Washing more clothes in cold water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, almost 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes is used to heat the water. In addition, according to the Alliance to Save Energy, turning the dial from hot to warm will cut your energy use by 50 percent per load, and save up to $63 a year.
:: Teaching our children to be environmentally conscious by turning off the lights, not running the water while they’re brushing their teeth, taking a more active part in things we recycle at home, and encouraging them to pay attention to how much they consume.

Any other little suggestions? Are you "Going Green"?
Visit Other Thursday 13 Participants Here


{Karla} said...

there really are so many simple ways to make changes, aren't there.

I would love to be able to have a compost pile. Sadly, living in an apartment doesn't allow...

Happy T13
ps - I had an elem ed degree and am finally starting to consider going back to it... LOVE your comment under your profile photo. Cracks me up.

Robin said...

We do a bunch of those too. Great tips.

Sandy Carlson said...

This is a marvelous list. The EPA site offers good suggestions, too. We try many of what you have here. Cuddling with the kid is a great way to live with the heat down those two degrees.

Moondancer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moondancer said...

All great tips for a greener home and certainly a wonderful thing to teach the kids. I've started doing Green Monday post on my blog you might find interesting too.

Happy TT

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I do almost all of that -- it's the clothes dryer that I can't give up. I've tried... it doesn't work well.

I also am lucky enough to have an IKEA nearby, so I recycle all my non-rechargable batteries. Or, rather, I give them to the Tour Manager, and it's his job to recycle them...

My trip out West really convinced me of the need to conserve. When you're in that beautiful place, you really understand what we need to protect.

I can't wait for spring and biking season! Fewer car trips (I hope)!

MamaToo said...

this is a fantastic list - and so practical, with kiddos. We got a compost bin last spring, and fully converted to using it instead of the yard service. We have loved how simple it really is! :)
On your clothes idea - fabric also lasts longer and stays nicer if you're able to air dry it, rather than tumble, so you're doing good to your wardrobe! :) On this, I read somewhere that it saves "peak" energy production to set your dishwasher or clothes cycle to start as you head to bed...
Have a happy, green, year! :) Thanks for your kind comments and visit. Hope to see you back soon.

Lesley said...

What a lovely list! I'm going to try to add some of these things to our year as well. We're also having a baby and July and I'm going to try to go 100% cloth with this one. I was more like 50% with our last little one. Wish me luck!

Penelope Anne said...

We plan to go green, we are going to do the 3 system compost bins thi spring, didn't have time to do them before winter.
We are doing our best.
I had to laugh when you mentioned Dynamite magazine.

Great list, good luck!

My list is up:

AGK said...

I was JUST standing in my kitchen thinking of ways I might be able to go more green. How timely to land here! :)

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring list- and I can't think of any reason why my family and I can't give these a go- although a few we do already.

The main one I've managed to stick too is to never use plastic bags...I've come out of the store with my arms full before! But Mostly I have a stack of stylish and colourful canvas bags that work just fine.

We'll have a bigger garden in our new house soon and I definitely find out about having a compost pile. My parenst and grandparents did, but then it went out of fashion.
Great T13 post- thanks!!

Tendrils said...

GREAT LIST!!!!! We've done several of the things on there........ but we're always looking for more ideas!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, too!

tickledpink.nicole said...

Go Green Ladies! THANK YOU for leaving comments. I'm home with a sick child, and your comments have helped me feel less isolated. I've had a blast checking out your blogs too!

Zenmomma said...

I think we sometimes do better going green with the restaurant we own than at home. We save compost for the farmers, buy local and organic foods, get our dishes and utensils from Goodwill (reuse!) and keep everything as local as possible. I try at home too. Maybe it just seems BIGGER at the restaurant level.

The Gal Herself said...

I've switched to those smart bulbs in my kitchen and I love them! Thanks for the info about washing in cold water. (And thanks for visiting my TT)

Julia said...

Yes, we should go green. We should GO green! It make the world a better place green :) Thanks for sharing your tips with us. I truly enjoy learning something new :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy TTs and I hope you've a good day/weekend ahead! :)

Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

My parents put up a water conservation bumper sticker in their shower, and it's still there today.

My dad still lives in the shower, though. He's almsost 83. I don't think that's going to change.

Just Expressing Myself said...

I remember the stickers too!
Your list is great. I dry about half our stuff on a drying rack, and I bring my own containers to carry things at stores whenever I can.
Thanks for stopping by my site.
Happy Thursday

Lori said...

You guys are awesome. And its great that you are teaching your kids that too. If everyone did some of these things, we would be in a much better place. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by:)

tanabata said...

We do quite a few of those. We don't even have a dryer! They're not standard here with the cost of electricity quite high. Thanks for your New Year's wish. I hope 2008 is a good year for you too!

MamaGeek said...

THESE were awesome. Those smartstrips, BTW, really do make an impact on the electrical bill.

GREAT list!

Angie said...

Fabulous list! I think I'll have to link over here to this list soon on my blog!

Thanks for the link on the composting! We are wanting to do composting, but I didn't really want to have us build something, in case we didn't do it right. Plus, this looks like it might be a bit more aesthetically pleasing.

Nicholas said...

We have been using our own canvas bags at the supermarket for a few months now and it is amazing how many plastic bags we do NOT have cluttering up our house these days.

Smiler said...

I totally remember how green we were in the 70's. It drives me crazy when I'm out in a public place and see people use streets and common areas as garbage cans. I could definitely improve my contribution but then, I've got good habits that I never lost and I think not having a car (I live in the city) gets me off the hook for some of smaller stuff. Happy TT!

Crafty P said...

Great ideas! I just bought my canvas bags to use at the grocery store today! Yeah to less plastic bag usuage here!

I switched to cloth napkins a few months ago, too.

I'll check out the smart strips the next time I'm at Target!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I had not thought about the 70's giving way to the excess of the 80's. My nine year old daughter is a big encouragement to me.

I am gradually replacing my bulbs with compact florescent, and I do use canvas bags at the store.

I love that Smart Strip. I'm going to look into it!

Gray Matters said...

This is a great list! It helps people see you don't have to do everything - just make small changes here and there. I would like to post your list on my "3 R Thursday" list of little things to help Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Thank you.