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Posts Tagged ‘green’

“Yellow, let it Mellow. Brown, Flush it Down.”

Gone are the days of the Outhouses, how would we have managed?

This is a wonderful tip for conserving water. Of course, some may not be able to stomach the thought of pee sitting unflushed for the world to see for long amounts of time. I have no problem with it if it’s just the family hanging out, but I have a double standard when guests are coming round and it includes making sure the bathrooms are fully functional and non-repelling. I even have nice smelling soaps hanging out, even though I can’t use half of them (freaking eczema) and I can’t smell any of them (freaking weird phenomenon).

Anyway, it’s a practice to think about starting. You could even go as far as only flushing paper when it’s a poop, too. That way the sewer systems and septic tanks aren’t over-clogged. Or, if you really wanna be green, you could start using cloth for your own bum. Yep, that’s right- have a wastebasket nearby, wipe and toss and REMEMBER to launder. I’m not for sure I CAN LEAP that FAR, just yet. Of course, I have heard it is worth it’s weight in gold to make the switch, seems the ol’ bum can’t fathom anything different after you try it once. It does sound nice, once you get over the yuck factor. I don’t know though, if only I wouldn’t be the one washing….

And here, we’re practically using sandpaper because it’s so darn cheap. (Angel Soft) I still can’t manage to pay $5 for a 4 pack of something that will be sent down the toilet drain. Hmmm, maybe we should switch?

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I was a bit short last week concerning my green post. I was rushed when I posted it and tried to type as much as possible in as few words as possible. I am a wordy person though, so it is nearly impossible for me to get all I want out in only a few sentences. I tend to end up sounding monotone and dull when I do.

This week, I figured I would use my time as ‘wisely’ as I could- taking cues from some of the time management advice I reaped last week from fellow readers/bloggers on my post about trying to balance this mommy life. I truly believe that having children later can be much more challenging, as you must deal with letting go of that long nurtured individual that has been created throughout the years. At least, that’s what I am going to attribute my see-sawing behavior in trying to balance and juggle the demands of daily life. Being a mommy is definitely much harder than I ever imagined. No wonder my own mother is so zaney at times. I completely understand who wouldn’t be with four kids!

As for myself, I think on a monthy basis it all evens out- I mean one day I am on TOP of my game and seem to accomplish everything from cleaning the house to keeping Baby G satisfied, fed and happy as a lark. Other days, it’s all I can do to get us both fed or us out of our comfy clothes. (i.e., pajamas)

Aside from all that juggling, I try not to lose sight that Baby G is ONLY little once and I do not want to look back one day and say ‘Man, I wish I had played with him more when he was a baby.” Or, wake up one day and say “When did he start saying such and such word?” Last summer while I was home, an old friend of the family mentioned this in passing and I think it has been the greatest advice I have received- she commented that she had wished she had worried less about how clean her house was when her two sons were little and had played with them more. I would like to think I will worry less about our house and more about our kids, so on any day that I find myself preoccupied with one thing for too long, I pinch myself and try to remember her words.

In an attempt to enjoy more of those moments and still be a proactive member trying to make a difference environmently- I try to make as much of Baby G’s food as possible. As I have stated, in numerous posts before I have made homemade babyfood in batches that I freeze for later. We have made apples, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut suash, yellow squash, zuchini, blueberries, bananas and avocados thus far. There have been a few exceptions lately when I have bought organic pre-packaged babyfood. On these occasions, it was due to not having a seive, which I have finally determined I can go without and simply use our food processor. Another moment of weakness occurred because of pure laziness. In my defense, I have bought ALL bottle babyfood except for maybe about ten plastic greenbean, pea and mixed veggie varieties. Not bad in a 2 month period. I think all in all we have spend approximately $40 on babyfood (this total includes rice cereals, juice, jars, etc.) Imagine the cost if he ate prepackaged foods around the clock, that total would be close if not more than doubled.

Today, for my post I am vowing to stop buying all that USELESS packaging. Plastic seems to rule our lives these days and after reading an article about the fact that almost 40% of processed food comes from CHINA- I am gefinitely not purchasing ANYMORE packaged babyfood. Also, after the 1st foods that Gerber and the other babyfood companies make- most of what’s in the container is simply starches and fillers. Which means making your own and getting back to basics is healthier in the longrun, too. AND IT’S PROVEN TO BE CHEAPER! This reaffirms when I stated last week that going green coinsides with saving money and to me that’s something that wouldn’t hurt any of us in today’s economy!

Now, I know this post probably seems way off topic or you might be scratching your head wondering how it really relates to going and being green, but let me assure you that eliminating all that plastic does help the environment, even if you stuck with glass (also recyclable and profitable still in some states- it is also reuseable) I have collected about 30 babyfood jars and have a few plans up my sleeve as we speak. (Cough, cough…I won’t mention how this makes my husband bonkers (he cannot stand clutter). And, yes granted storage items are most likely plastic or as in my case I store my thawed babyfood in some of the bottles I have from the store bought babyfood and store what is to be frozen in freezer icecube trays and yes plastic ziploc bags that I REUSE- so at least they are being reused and not cluttering our landfills!)

If you grow your own veggies then babyfood becomes SUPER GREEN, because growing your own garden is considered a sustainable and renewable resource. Second best would be buying organic or even non-organic LOCALLY grown produce. Local being the imperative word here AND this in return SUPPORTS our Main Street economy!

Isn’t it time we get back to the basics? Please share your thoughts…

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We use at least half less than the amount of detergent called for on its packaging. Give it a try, I promise you will be amazed when your clothing are still clean and smell fresh! I have to admit I have been doing this for years, but then found out I could use even less than what I was using then! In the long-run, this has ended up benefiting us two fold, by using less detergent, we spend less on purchasing it. An extra $8 everso often never hurt anyone, eh? Fabric softners are also a thing of the past. We have stopped using them. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened once Baby G came along. It’s also saved a few bucks here and there. Bryan doesn’t complain about the smell of his clothes so it must not make too big of a difference. I REALLY wish we could line dry our clothing, but we aren’t allowed to have a clothesline because of our ‘Homeowner’s Association’.  I have also started investing in using ‘green’ detergents. I started off purchasing A&H’s free and clear- which means it’s free of dyes and perfumes (things that clog up the green environment) and have now made the switch to Charlie’s Soap- a honest to goodness homemade soap that works wonders on Baby G’s cloth dipes. His diapers have been the main reason for searching for better detergents. I plan to give Mountain Green or Country Save a try soon, too. I am trying to figure out the most economically savvy green detergent now. So, I will be sure to let you know my findings.

I think what is MOST interesting about going green is how it coincides with SAVING money. Geee, you sure would think more folks would jump on that green bandwagon, eh?

Oh well, it can be our little secret for now.

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Is it just me or does Target have WAY TOO MANY handicap parking spaces? Now, don’t get me wrong…I don’t have anything against handicap folks or the need for handicap parking spaces, but come on is it really necessary to have sooooo many?

Call me crazy, but I think that Target is a bit excessive in their attempt to appease the handicap population. It makes me wonder if they were once sued for not having enough parking spaces for the handicap. I mean seriously I counted 20. TWENTY. SPACES.

It never fails that when I arrive I can never find a parking space closer than 5 spaces back. (Although, ironically tonight for the FIRST time EVER, I did find one 2 spaces back….so I guess I should retract that comment.) No, on second thought, this has to be a fluke. Sorta like a slap in the face from God for being inconsiderate and counting out all the handicap spaces. I should be ashamed of myself, but seriously in all my time visiting the Target here, I have never been able to park very close to the entrance. Until. tonight.

Now, this never really matter much to me until I was pregnant. (An expecting parking space sure would have been nice. Of course, who cares about us mothers!) And, then in the first 4 months before I braved using the Baby Bjorn, hauling his car seat over to the cart across the parking lot and adjusting it to the unwilling seating area was painful enough to say the least. It was an ordeal that took a good ten minutes. Then, I worried relentlessly that his car seat may suddenly fall off the cart if a sudden move occurred or say, I let go for more than two seconds. No make that one second. Yes, I am a bit compulsive. I know this and I admit it. 

But, hey this isn’t about me and my tendencies- so, let’s get back on point. I think the biggest complaint I have from the parking spaces are that they are usually empty and the other twenty non handicap spaces that are located sparingly around the handicap spaces are ALL full. What would this tell the logical thinking person?

On a happier note, I did purchase a pretty red ‘green bag’ from Target with a cute design on it. Isn’t it cute and only .99 cents. It’s just as roomy as my others, too.

Target_bag

So, I guess this means we’re even. I will take my bag and succumb to the overwhelming number of handicap parking spaces for the sake of being green. And, while I am at it, I will be THANKFUL that I do not need to use one of those parking spaces. So there, hopefully I have redeemed myself for being so unkind. 😉

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Ok, so yes I usually write something a bit green on Sundays. But, the best I can do tonight is mention that I went to my local city government to find out about their recycling program. Good thing is, they have a program. Bad thing is, we aren’t included in the city- no, we are in the county.

During a ‘neighborhood get-together’ Saturday, I spoke to some neighbors about getting it in our neighborhood- but the old folkies aren’t willing to pay for the service! They outright told me so! Which, I wasn’t even aware they would extend the service to us (at least there was no mention while I was at the city building). Apparently, it is available for a select few for $11.50 a month.

I am irritated because I feel as if it is a bit SELFISH of these older folks to shun the idea because they aren’t willing to pay for the service. I mean this is to make our city cleaner. These neighbors stated they can just haul it off themselves! Well, I don’t have time to haul it off, I barely have time to set the trash out by the driveway every Sunday night, let alone get it all together in different containers and take it somewhere where I separate it into different dumpsters during certain business hours. That really seems like a bigger pain to me than setting it outside with your garbage. And, I wonder are they really ‘separating’ their garbage? And, is this selfish of me? 

Look, I know I should understand their reasoning- but, they have time on their hands. You know the time I’m talking about- the kind where you leave the garage door open, sit in the rocking chair inside that garage and watch what everyone in the neighborhood is doing or that make mental notes as to who needs to keep their yards up more (yeah, I know this already..)

So, I feel like I have the right to state that I think it SHOULD BE MANDATORY that a recycling program exist in my community or at least have a pick-up service AVAILABLE. I mean come on, most major cities have a mandatory program, so why shouldn’t we? Who decides this stuff anyway? The city board or council?

So, I am off this month in hopes of lighting a fire in my community, city and county on making recycling either available to those who want it or in making it mandatory. If anyone has ANY advice on how I can accomplish this goal – please, please, please let me know, I need all the help I can get on this one. BTW, am I being unreasonable?

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As the summer comes to an end on the coast, we try to cut back on our energy consumption. One way in which we do this is by turning off the air conditioner once the temperature hits the 70’s at night. Now, this might not seem like much to you guys, but it still gets up into the 80’s well into October around here. Many days the house will get quite muggy, yet on other days we are able to have a nice little breeze circulating through the house. (We also try to start doing this again in March with the heat as the weather is getting warmer.) We are usually able to save about $90 a month during these months.

On another note, energy can also be conserved by unplugging unused appliances until you intend to use them. We are extremely bad about leaving the computer going at all times and having the t.v. constantly plugged in, along with lamps. However, this week I am going to start unplugging all those appliances that are plugged in, but not being used. If I count, I believe we have about 15 things plugged in that are not being used on a constant basis. Which equates into- at least a $10 savings each month on our electric bill. That seems worth it enough to me! (And of course, turning off lights as you exist rooms and not having ‘night lights’ on are another small saver that adds up in the long run.)

Although, I can’t attest to how much we have saved by this next tip, it has helped us to become more aware of the things we take for granted and helped us appreciate ‘simple’ living again (in the broadest of terms). We NO LONGER use a MICROWAVE. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, you may think this is absolutely crazy- but I assure you it isn’t. It happened rather on a fluke. Our microwave stopped working in July and we haven’t fixed it or purchased a new one. We discussed its importance and decided it wasn’t a big deal NOT having it around. We have adjusted our lifestyles and other than in regard to ‘habit’ it was actually very simple to stop wanting to use it. I have found I like this way of living better- I know what I am eating hasn’t been leached of all its nutrition and I feel somewhat healthier for what I am cooking because it has to be done on the stove. Now, our energy consumption probably evens out in relation to what we were using vs. what we use now for cooking, so no kudos for conserving energy. But, it isn’t as bad as one might think and that’s my main reasoning for throwing it out here with this post. Not having a microwave isn’t all that bad. Gasp, to think Garrett’s growing up without a microwave!!

Hope the changing of seasons finds each of you appreciating and conserving your slice of the world a little bit more. 🙂

Oh and there’s only 3 more days left to that green contest I’m running- if anyone still wants to enter.

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This will be probably the shortest post ever. It’s late and I have a long week ahead that I am dreading. I have post comments I would like to respond to, tons of posts to other blogs I want to make and plenty on my mind….ekkk where do I find the time? 

Anyhow, here’s some food for thought.

TURN OFF THE SINK FAUCET WHILE BRUSHING YOUR TEETH. It’s easy and save oh, say 2 gallons of water every time. (I need to check that figure, so don’t go and quote me.)

Anyone already do this? If so, I am SUPER PROUD. I get on Bryan everyday! 

BTW, If you haven’t entered the GREEN CONTEST, LOOK TO YOUR RIGHT AND DO IT NOW!!!!!!

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