Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Acc-ent-uuuuate the positive, eeee-limmm-inate the negative

And don’t mess with mister in-between!

Not sure how to show musical tunes in a blog heading … but hopefully I’ve got you all singing now. I’ve been feeling frustrated lately about all the ways in which our carbon footprint is too high. I’ve found Sarah’s blogs “Happy Foody” and “Walk Slowly, Live Wildly” which I love, and I am so inspired by everything she does, but it also makes me painfully aware of how far I have to go.

Ironically perhaps, today is World Environment Day. New Zealand are the ‘hosts’ this year, so the media is full of doom and gloom about how we aren’t worthy of this honour, given our nation’s high carbon emissions from all our farm animals.

After all the media hype, and my own personal bit of doom and gloom about the fact that I drive too much, we don’t compost, and we still eat too much meat I started thinking of all the things I do do.

Its been such a positive experience writing this list … I do so much more than I thought. And so much more than I did a year ago! I bet most of you do these things - please leave me comments about what you do, don’t do and would like to do.

- We have a ‘no junk mail’ sign on our letterbox
- We recycle everything possible
- We have a front loader washing machine with great power and water efficiency
- We buy mostly organic veggies
- We buy only organic chicken and sausages
- I either make my own cleaning products or buy eco-store
- We use cloth nappies 95% of the time
- We use cloth wipes 99% of the time
- I use mama cloth pads (and they are great!)
- We buy second hand where we can
- We buy NZ made, Australia made or organic where we can’t buy second hand
- I buy a lot of bulk bin foods and avoid anything overly packaged
- I only use organic moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner and soap.
- We don’t buy much ‘stuff’ full stop
- We boycott made in China stuff
- I always walk to the local shops (it’s an easy walk though)
- We drink organic, fair trade coffee
- We use eco-tankas instead of plastic water bottles
- I take cloth bags to the supermarket
- I make extensive use of the public library
- I grow a few veggies – quite a few now in fact
- I don’t own a drier, and when I did I never used it
- We have an induction cook top
- I breastfed exclusively apart from a few weeks of top-ups in the early days.
- We use very little meat in our meals –I use beans, lentils and veggies to bulk up meaty things.
- We have a heatpump and are about to trial a hot water heat pump that will supposedly cut our hot water bill by 2/3rds
- We are very regular visitors to our farmers market when it runs.
- I bake our bread and do the vast, vast majority of our cooking from scratch.
- I use retro Tupperware containers and those funny elasticated food covers instead of plastic wrap.
- I haven’t been on a plane in nearly four years.
- I haven’t bought gift wrapping in over a year. I use canteen bandanas and squares of muslin for kids gifts which are great, or tea towels.
- I vote Green


Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to try those elastic food covers, but my husband thinks they're gross! But I have been phasing out our plastic containers to glass :)

Teaching Handwork said...

I just noticed you live in NZ..we have been wanting to move there for about 3 years!

nova_j said...

wow go you! that's a fantastic list! i reckon you're definitely doing better than us..

we.. are lacto-vegies, 100% cloth naps, wipes & mama cloth, plus cloth wipes for #1's *blush*, recycle everything, compost+bokashi+worm farm, use cloth shopping bags, ecotanka drink bottles, ecostore cleaners & toiletries, avoid the drier, try to grow vegies, exclusive & extended BFing, cook from scratch lots, vote green, and yeah, avoid buying stuff as much as possible! lol..

we really need a no junk mail sign! how sad is that?!

Gypsy said...

Anthromama that's so funny that your Hubby doesn't like elastic food covers - men!
Teaching Handwork - come over - you will LOVE it here - its beautiful.
Nova - you are definately WAY crunchier than me I think - just wait till I write my list of things I want to change, you'll be shocked at me! Bokashi is on my list so I"ll need your tips.

Maymomvt said...

You have a much lower footprint than me. We do many of the same things, but we live in a very rural area and drive, drive, drive. I work hard at combining trips, but we still drive a lot. No diapers though :)

Dawn said...

You're ahead of me. This was a great list you have. I really want to start composting as well, and I want some of those reusable produce bags. We bring our own cloth bags to the store but still come home with a lot of plastic from our produce. Now I'm wondering if I can put up a no junk mail sign where I am, or is that just in NZ?

RunninL8 said...

Crazy! I didn't even know it was Environment Day! Great list! I'll have to go back and add the fact that yesturday was E Day!

RunninL8 said...

And.. NO! i think you guys are ahead of US!
I'm REALLy fired up to buy as much locally organically grown produce and meat as often as we can. You've got us beat on the diapers and wipes! I did ok with the cloth stuff for about a year and then I just got SO tired of it! I wish we had had a diaper service up here! PU!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I gonna list all my eco friendly stuff on my blog (saves me having to think of a topic tonight:-) )

clareb said...

We have made lots of similar choices - isn't it great not to drive the car much and to know where your food/clothes come from!
I find your blog really inspirational.

jenny-junebug said...

Thanks so much for the great list! You've helped identify some areas for improvement in our household!

Nikki said...

Go you! Sara's Walk slowly blog was what really kicked off my whole journey way back 18mths ago (after ogling her amazing apartment when they originally downsized). The green monster has just grown from then...cloth nappies (almost done!), baking soda and vinegar are the only cleaners I have in the house, BS and vinegar for washing hair, composting, 1 shopping bag rubbish per week, cook from scratch, only 2 meat meals a week, ecostore dishwash pwdr (sadly haven't changed laundry pwdr though), no clothes dryer etc.