I think one of the reasons I've been blogging less is that I'm thinking much less about home DIY projects and gardening these days. Instead my latest obsessions are simplifying and going green. This obsession is fed by our recent hobby of watching documentaries on Netflix streaming (No Impact Man, Supersize Me, Food, Inc., etc.).
While I'm not about to pull a No Impact Man, or be Green as a Thistle, I have been taking small steps to improve. And part of my love of documentaries and books like Sleeping Naked is Green (great read!), is that I just love seeing what steps others are actually taking and how they live their lives a little more green. So in the interest of passing the voyeurism opportunity, here's my list of new, future and ongoing green steps.
Latest green steps:
- Slowly switching to less- or non-toxic bath and body products. I'm starting slowly with deodorant and body wash from Trader Joe's and so far, so good. I've also vowed not to step into a Bath & Body Works again until they start making a natural line, which is huge for me! I'm going to use up the remaining products I have first, rather than toss them. There's some things I probably won't be willing to give up, like my much-loved Bed-Head hair products.
- Switching to recycled paper towels
- Using recycled toilet paper
- Going to the Farmer's Market and eating local and organic foods more often. I'm cheap, so visiting the farmer's market has never been high on my priority list. Watching Food, Inc. however scared me enough to take some steps to support local farmers.
- Buy more organic and local food
- Stopped using pointless products: I've finally started questioning some of the things I buy just because I always have, and some of these items haven't made the final cut. Fabric softner sheets are the big one. These are so pointless. I don't use them and don't miss them, although I haven't been convinced the boyfriend on this step.
- Growing veggies and herbs: While I hope to expand these efforts next season, I'm off to a good start this year with cukes, tomatoes, onions, tomatillos, peppers, basil and cilantro already growing away.
- Not using pesticides or non-organic fertilizers on the lawn
- Buying and consuming less
- Decluttering my stuff
- Taking decluttered but still useful items to Volunteers of America
- Switched to non-toxic and less toxic cleaning products: including baking soda and vinegar. The one toxic cleaner I refuse to give up is something that kills the mildew and nastiness in the shower.
- Switched to CFLs and put outside bulbs on timers. I've done well with switching many bulbs, but I still need to try to find CFLs for the ceiling fans.
- Compost and use that compost in the flower garden instead of fertilizer
- Online banking & switching to e-bills
- Being stingy with the thermostat. I set the thermostat lower in winter (68) and higher in summer (75-77)
- Drinking tap water from the Brita filter instead of buying bottled water. Unfortunately I haven't been able to convince the boyfriend to give up buying bottled water completely.
- Wear clothes and use towels several times before washing. I've been reusing towels and certain items of clothing several times since I was a teenager, a habit I picked up from my Scandinavian friend.
- Unplug electronics when not in use.-I'm getting pretty religious about doing this with the coffee pot and laptop, but I could go further.
Steps to take:
- Actually using the freaking reusable bags I've been keeping in my trunk all these months regularly. I did remember to bring them on our last big grocery trip.
- Try the Diva Cup - I can't believe I'm even contemplating this one but after reading about it in Sleeping Naked is Green it doesn't sound so bad
- Buy a PVC-free shower curtain
- Buy only beeswax or soy candles