Tuesday, January 5, 2010

small changes = big differences

I'm joining with Hip Mountain Mama and a bunch of other bloggers who've committed to make one small change each month until Earth day on April 22. Each change is to be geared toward making a difference in taking care of our environment. Now, I don't consider myself to be extremely green or 'crunchy'. (I still use aerosol hairspray....maybe that will change by April) I also recognize that environmentalism can be a hot button topic of political means and that's not where I'm headed....but I do think that it is our responsibility to take care of the Earth and leave it in better shape than when we found it. I'm here to tread lightly and simply and to do all that I can to glorify the One who gave us this earth. I know that living green is really trendy right now....everyone seems to be going green. So, I'm not trying to be trendy, just a good steward. I was talking it over with the kids and my little guy said, "I'm not an earth expert mom, just a Lego expert." Well, I'm not an earth expert either, but I do want to do my part in reducing, reusing and recycling. So our one small change for January is to not buy pre-filled water bottles. We'll take reusable water bottles and containers and fill them ourselves. This will be more than a small change for us as we typically take 5 deer park water bottles with us when we head out to a ball game. Multiply this by 3 games a week and we've used 15 bottles. (we do recycle them...but still, that's a lot of plastic) John was one step ahead of me because for Christmas he gave me this really cool drink cup. It's heavy duty plastic, BPA free and it can go in the dishwasher...and on top of all that, I love drinking my water from it! So I'm good to go! The kids all have plenty of water bottles for their games and when we head out. I think we'll find that we are not only keeping some plastics from the landfill....I'm also thinking we'll be saving some money too. So that's our small change for January....what do you do to help take our earth? I'd love to hear what you've implemented and what's working for you. I've got 3 more months of changes that'll be coming up and I could use some ideas!

22 comments:

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

That's a great water bottle. No spills for you! And I think it's great that you're engaging the kids (especially the lego expert) in on the conversation. You're so right about those water bottles. In NYS, there is now a 5 cent deposit being assessed. I'm okay with tap water. Mainly the kids grab the bottles and go.

Here's what I'm doing....I've basically stopped using my dryer. In the summer, I hang almost everything outside, but now I'm using drying racks inside. It's good this time of year when the air is so dry (I can tell because my hair sticks straight up from static). Anyhow, the clothes pretty much dry within 12 hours. It takes some planning and I have to pace myself and do laundry regularly instead of all on one day. But it is working, with few exceptions. Good luck going green.

maria said...

What a terrific idea! I also agree with you, we are to be good stewarts of this Earth.

Since we are His, we should be the best enviromentalist out there.

This is such a good idea to consciously make a small change. Amazing, how a little sure does add up!

Blessings,

maria

Kristyn Knits said...

we started a "no plastic water bottles in the house rule" several months ago as well. we now each have a wash and reuse water bottle in the frig we pull out instead. we've saved a lot of money!

I'm thinking I could reduce my gas usage each week by consolidating my errand runs to twice a week. each small change can really add up!

Stephanie said...

We really should stop buying water in bottles as well, we don't do it as much during the winter months, but the summer time we go through a lot!

One small thing we do to save water, is when we are waiting for our shower water or the kitchen sink water to get warm we fill a jug with the cool water so it isn't just going down the drain. Then we use the jug to water our plants.

janjan said...

Its amazing how quickly that it will become a habit. Our council has a fortnightly recycle pickup, I recycle what I can and when I see just how much goes into the recyle bin and how little goes into the rubbish I'm gobsmacked. Envelopes and backs of flyers get used as notepaper, veggie scraps get composted, even the coffee grounds get put on the garden. I try not to use the dryer and when I got my electricity bill yesterday I found I had used 29% less than the average household in my area. Lets see if I can get it down to 30% by the next bill. I turned the hot water heater down by a couple of degrees and that saves money as well. I mulch the garden, grow my own veggies and fruit and swap the produce amongst friends and neighbours. I try to use the car as little as possible. I'm not a raging greeny by any means, I just care about our world and if I can do just a little bit then it all helps. Tryiong to be a locavarian helps as well. Try to buy produce within a certain area from your home. Its infuriating that we grow potatoes up here, they are picked and shipped down south and they frieghted back to put in the supermarkets. I'd rather buy them from the smaller shop so I know that they are local. I also have a rain water tank. If each family did just one small thing, no matter what it would make a difference to our planet.

mary said...

thanks so much for your great blog! PLEASE share where your husband got that drink cup????!!!! i, too, use one that has a straw, but i know i need some back ups and some for the rest of the family.thanks

Green Acres in the City said...

Way to go. My sister gave us stainless steel water bottles for Christmas. We used them on the trip and it was great. We will be using them on a regular basis!

rosemary said...

what a fantastic idea! i love everyones great tips, every little bit helps :)
here's what we are trying to do help;we never buy bottled water, i try to bike to work in the nicer weather, we turn the heat down in our house in the winter, i hang my clothes outside to dry when i can, i use reusable containers for kids lunches, most of the grocery stores provide "cloth" bags, so we have totally cut down on plastic, when the kids were little i used cloth diapers,we walk to church (it's pretty close),i wash landry in cold, and we changed our light bulbs....
i'm going to check back here again to see more ideas from others!!

Naturalearthfarm said...

How wonderful Lisa. This does make such a difference. After one month it will have become habit and you will be ready for the next small change:)
Maybe hanging laundry even in the winter? no napkins or paper towels?
We are making our coffee on our woodstove for this month's change.
Warm wishes,
Tonya

Meg said...

I love this idea, and good for you for kicking the bottled water habit! I had to buy some bottled water for a school holiday party last month, and it just about killed me to have to do it. I still have a dozen little water bottles in the pantry and I hate it! Maybe I'll save them for the next school party.

In the summer, I pretty much dry all of our laundry outside. I've thought about continuing it during the winter, but I keep our heat low, so it could take forever!

We also ditched paper napkins and paper plates about a year ago. I figured that since we had all these nice cloth napkins, we might as well use them. Truly, we've come a long way from a few years ago when we used to eat on paper plates and drink from red solo cups--just for the convenience!

I can't wait to see what changes you'll be making in the coming months--I'm always looking for ideas.

Anonymous said...

that sounds cool!! lol i just had to say that u r ending on my bday!!! lol April 22nd!!! lol =D =D =D
Emily

Heather said...

OK, first, I LOVE your new header. SO cheerful and bright.
Second, I want to come to your house for Dunkin Donuts. Growing up, my dad would take me there every Saturday, and how I miss not having one in Colorado.

I love that you mention how trendy going green is, when really we should all just pay attention to the earth that we have, and not need a challenge to keep out planet healthy.

You know how I feel about plastic, and I think that it is awesome to have a reuseable cups to drink from. I think that if we could all reduce our plastic consumption, we would see a huge change in the health of the earth.

Looking forward to hearing all the changes that you will be making

From All Stitched Up said...

Great idea ! I gave up buying bottled water and saved a small fortune. We even had a water cooler that is gone now. tap water has worked just fine. Awhile ago I gave up grocery bags - if you haven't already that would be a great idea. I carry my four bags and if I go over I know I spent too much ! I'm thinking of something new I can do.

Sigrun said...

Great idea. I already recycle and compost. My basement is full of sorted recyclables, since the depot is 35 miles away. I need to turn the lights off when I'm not in the room. Bad habit, leaving them on. I'll be checking back to get new ideas from you and your readers.

larissa said...

First of all I see that you've not only given up water bottles but that you have also started using cloth napkins (wink, wink). I love your new drink cup - it's the perfect container for the car because you don't have to tilt you head back. I haven't posted about it yet but we've pretty much given up aluminum foil. I roast chicken and veggies all the time and was using foil to line the pans so I wouldn't have to wash them by hand - I have a tiny apartment sized dish washer. We've already given up water bottles, napkins and most paper towels - we still have them but I moved the roll under the sink. I plan to do the same with the foil - out of sight, out of mind. I need to post about this too. Hope you're taking some time in the day to relax and regroup - I often think about all that you are responsible for and am amazed by how you get everything done - and do it so gracefully.

Tracy said...

Love what you are doing, Lisa! Being big on green matter, but certainly no expert either, I think it's wonderful what you are doing. Every little bit, baby steps helps toward a greater goal, I think. Last year our county got plastics recycling--we have a bin we put out at the end of our driveway specifically for plastic items. Just this alone has reduced our regular trash greatly in the last 5 months since the scheme began. Still, we try to reduce plastic "consumption" as much as we can--refusing plastic when we can. The whole water bottles situation is outrageous. We have 4 bottles that we reuse, filling with water from the tap for on the go, walks, travel, etc. refusing to buy more bottles. Looking forward to hearing more of your steps to go more green, my friend.! :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Designs on 47th Street said...

Lisa, this is wonderful what you are doing and also teaching your children. Have I told you recently what a good Mama you are?? ;) Just recently I have really thinking a lot about water bottles too. I was recyclying the ones I purchased until someone said that wasn't healthy. So now I have started taking a water "jug" to the Y. Maybe I'll follow your footsteps and totally quit buying the bottles. As for me, I have talked myself into rinsing out the catfood cans so I can recycle. That was one thing I used to just throw in the trash so I wouldn't have to wash it out. I feel this is part of a way I can help out the earth.

Journeying Five said...

What a great idea and what a way to impact your kids into thinking about what they can do to change to. Think of how all your small changes can add up to something big. look forward to hearing all the changes.

Mama Sewing said...

I've thought about some changes here as well, (and just blogged about them) more like not so much running around in the car and not spending on things that aren't needed.
I love your cup as well, we often take reusable cups and bottle in the van as not only are the plastics not good for our health but they are so expensive!
At home we use a water filter on our faucet.
I will look forward to seeing what else you come up with.
Blessings

6p00df35208e318833 said...

I love this project and am participating as well. I hope to extend it well beyond Earth Day!

cathleen said...

Great that you doing this, Lisa. My thing is water. I worry about this very much...I cannot stand to see a faucet run for tooth-brushing or hand-washing...even showers are shorter now. And, electric...I am quite obsessive about turning lights, TV and other appliances off. Even if I am home alone I would rather have the TV off. Just a small difference I guess.

a friend to knit with said...

coooool cup!
so funny... just today i was at a swim meet and was really thirsty... but i wouldn't even let my husband buy me a bottle of water. i headed to the water fountain.

i do try to reuse. very minimal paper products.... always taking my bags to the grocery... thinking before i buy anything....