Monday, January 12, 2009

Low Hanging Fruit

Just a little while ago, I clicked on Goodbye Goods to find that the blog had been mentioned. How awesome is that??? Thanks Darcy.

Today, I want to talk about some things that we do here at our house and some goals for the new year. Crunchy Chicken recently confessed her Green Sins and truth be told, we all have them. The thing is... every little bit helps. If everyone did just a little, the world could be a better place for us and the generations to follow. I'm a big fan of Ed Begley Jr. and he often talks about picking the low hanging fruit first. So here's our list of low hanging fruit along with some things that we need to work on.

1. recycling - we recycle everything that we can but still need to work on purchasing things with less packaging.

2. composting - we compost everything that we possibly can to cut down on trash and to give our garden a boost

3. purchasing carbon offsets - we purchased a Terrapass for our car this year and plan to do so again.

4. organic gardening - There are no chemicals used in our garden even when I've been tempted because of pests. We need to work on expanding it a little more to become more self-sufficient but we've made a good start.

5. conserving energy - We keep the thermostat at 62 degrees and it's comfortable for us. Putting on a sweater or blanket is free. In the summer, we have only turned the A/C on a few times when I've been so miserable that I can't stand it anymore. It usually gets turned off within a day because I like fresh air. We air dry our clothes whenever possible. We also did an online home energy audit and found that we use 50% less energy than the average in our town. Pretty cool. We have been working on unplugging or using power strips to power down items with stand-by power. We could also stand to have a rain collection system to cut down on water in the garden but we'll get there.

6. driving one vehicle that is good on gas mileage and emissions - We are fortunate that we only need one car. Both of our jobs are close to home. Mike's is walking distance but I need the car since I work into the middle of the night and it wouldn't be safe to walk home. We purchased a carbon offset for the car and we combine trips to stores, etc so we don't have to use the car as much.

7. using eco-friendly cleaning and cosmetic products - we have been switching over as things run out. I didn't see the point in throwing away cleaning products that we already had. Same with cosmetics. We do use paper towels and toilet paper made from recycled paper. We use cloth napkins. The new sheets that I purchased our organic as well as the pillows.

8. Eating Local - this is not so hard to do in summer but challenging in winter. We have found a grocery called Buehler's that makes this a little easier. They have signs on all produce that is grown in Ohio. It's amazing though, we can get just about everything we need here including wonderful wines. Wow!

9. Buy clothes and household items at thrift stores - If we are patient, we usually find everything we need with only a few exceptions. We also like garage sales and auctions. I keep a running list of things that I'm looking for and sooner or later, we find them all.

10. Borrow/Share with friends or neighbors. - I recently was talking to a friend that said he would come and till my garden if I help him start one. He can borrow the tiller from his father in law. Perfect. We usually dig the garden by hand but we want to make a new bed this year and there's no need for all of us to own individual tillers.


Alison said...

Great post. Where did you do the online energy audit? I'd love to see where we are...

Jen said...

You can do a very basic energy audit at
You will need to know how much you pay for natural gas/electric then it will tell you the average usage for your area along with your carbon footprint.