So, I'm looking at The Daily Green the other day, and they have this list of 15 New Year's Resolutions. Let's see how our house stacks up:
1. Give up plastic (and paper) bags
Eh, we do alright with this one. Usually shop at the Aldi, so have to bring my own bags. Really gotta work on that one with Wally-World though. The checkers there get kinda uptight when I bring in my homemade grocery bag because it doesn't have a little loop for them to secure to their bag-o-matic. Wah. It's washable -- it's durable -- it's not made of plastic -- I like it. However, we do reuse all the bags we get. Paper bags hold our weekly paper recyclables as mandated by the garbage hauler. Plastic bags -- garbage can liners and cat-box cleaning devices they are.
2. Stop buying bottled water
Duh! We have nice metal water bottles for toting along with us. If we happen to forget, we either drink all the water in the plastic bottle or we dump it on the flowers if there's any left. And then we recycle the plastic bottle. Can you imagine only drinking bottled water, though?
3. Stop receiving unwanted catalogues
Lands End and my garden catalogues -- that's it. Woot!
4. Give up Conventional Detergents
See the previous post for the recipe we use to make our own
5. Give up Hot Water (at least in the clothes washer)
Been doing this for years! The only exception is towels, which really, I think, need to be washed in hot water.
6. Give up the Clothes Dryer
Another Duh! moment. That's why I made the old man build me a clothesline first year here. Winter has always been a different story, but since we got the pellet stove, I can hang up jeans, sweaters, "delicates" and other stuff on our nifty Ikea drying rack. Love it!
7. Check for leaks in your toilet
FAIL!! How can you tell the difference between water leaking and man whiz?
8. Give up toilet paper (OK at least conventional toilet paper)
They mean use recycled swipe. Sorry -- another fail. They don't have it at Aldi. But I do use the super cheap Scott-like brand. Lasts a good long time and it's cheap.
9. Give up Paper Towels
Ok! Got ya there! Been doing that for a year or so now. Tired out washcloths, sleeves from t-shirts, t-shirts not appropriate for project sno-trag -- these are our new paper towels. Washed in hot water with the bleach -- they rock! And we one-upped you there, Daily Green -- we have project sno-trag. Ratty t-shirts are cut into squarish-rectangley pieces and used for blowing noses. The four older members of the family also have nicer hankies for daily use.
10. Run a fully loaded dishwasher
You mean there are people that don't have enough dirty dishes piled up to make a load? Can I meet them? (and yes, we air dry 99% of the time. unless we are in a GI bug or flu status at home)
11. Lower the temp in your fridge
We'll know if the electric nazi (also answers to "Rob") reads this because I have a sneaking suspicion he never thought of it yet. Or maybe he has and we didn't notice?
12. Give up 2 degrees
They say to set my thermostat at 68. Ha! We don't fire up the stove until the temp is less than 65 most days. And when we had only electric heat, I doubt we ever had it even THAT warm in the house!
13. Give up Dry Cleaning
You think we pay people to do our laundry??? Okay, the two suits and one tie we bought at Savers were dry cleaned before wearing. But come on -- really? I think we do okay here. I bet we go there once a year, if that. Depends on how sloppy the old man is when wearing his suit.
14. Stop Wasting Gas
The idea is to monitor tire pressure. Could do better here -- absolutely. Also, it would help to not have to run into town a hundred times a day to fetch and deliver kids. Or if the school district would bus our high-schooler.
15. Avoid Waste: Recycle
You betcha! In the last few years we've really worked on this. As a result, our actual trash volume is about one bag a week. We could use two containers for the recyclables though. Food scraps are composted or given to the chickens. Many containers are re-used for storing herbs and such in. I think we do a ding dang good job at this one.
I think I'd give us a B-/C+. Something to shoot for I guess! But what I'm really intrigued by is their Seven Resolutions for 2011 idea. Meatless Mondays, Trashy Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays, Thankful Thursdays, Fruit(ful)y Fridays -- oh yeah, I'm in!