Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Simple Steps to Greener Living

We are taking some simple steps to living a greener life. So far, it has not been anything too radical, but bit by bit we will get there.

1. SKIPPING the plastic bags and bringing our own, which I also find much easier when I am bringing in and unloading the groceries. (In all honesty, I still get plastic at Target because their bags seem to be heavier than elsewhere and we use those as trash can liners.)

2. MAKING RECYCLING AS EASY AS THROWING AWAY by placing a bin right next to our kitchen trash. I reused a trash bin we had and just used a graphic found online, the Colorado sunshine and a Sharpie to make the visual reminder for us. Our kids love it and have certainly caught the recycling bug! We've been recycling for years, but we now have a service that requires no sorting or hauling to a recycling center so we are trying to do our part to recycle more. This kitchen bin fills up in just a day or two. I think having it handy is working.
3. REDUCING TRASH! We recently changed waste disposal companies, because of the recycling service they offer, and opted for the lowest level of trash pick-up they offer. This is forcing us to recycle more and we will hopefully not even need to fill up the 32 gallon blue bin of trash in months to come. Having a household of 5, with one still in diapers, we are still throwing out less trash than others I notice on our street who have just 2 people per household. I'm not trying to be self-righteous here, but I am just always intrigued that smaller households can generate so much more. And yes, we ourselves could certainly do better. We could switch to cloth diapers full-time or maybe even just get the child potty-trained....working on that.

4. COMPOSTING handles our produce scraps and eggshells well. I got this nice stainless steel bin with a lid for Christmas and we have no odor or fruit flies under our kitchen sink. I line it with a piece of newspaper to make it easier to empty into our outdoor compost bins. This system works for now, but now I would really want this indoor/outdoor worm factory I saw on Meredith's blog last week...maybe when we get to our next step in the Dave Ramsey plan.
5. And last but not least, AIR DRYING. (Photo of my lovely drying rack) We still use our dryer a lot, but I think we are air drying about 40-50% of our laundry right now. If I would stay on top of the process, I think I could air dry much more. But when laundry is stacking up, I just want to catch up as quickly as possible.

How are you greening your home and your life?


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Rachel, will you tell me which trash company you use? Ours doesn't have curbside recycling, so we've been hauling it down to Fillmore/Stone and that isn't super convenient now that we're going to a church closer to home.

Some weeks we only have 2 bags of garbage..but we're paying for the HUGE receptacle...I need to look into switching.

And oh wow...isn't that Worm Factory cool? I told J I wanted that for my birthday. He rolled his eyes, but I was completely serious.

Melissa Schuster said...

Hi Rachel. I just love your blog. Very useful information and very inspiring.

Kimberly said...


Isn't it nice that we do not have to sort for recycling and haul it all somewhere? I am happy about this. I do wonder, how they sort it, that is my next mystery to solve. Any ideas?

I need to air dry more, we need the good ole fashion clothes lines. What do you do with your compost? Do you have a garden? I compost on occasion for a friend. I like your ideas.

Lynn Marie said...

Hey Rachel. We recycle everything we can. I've gone from 2 trash cans at the curb to only one now!!!

One day, I WILL have my own garden. I love yard work, and I would love to grow my own tomatoes to start with!!!

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

I think we recycle as much as we throw out now that we have curb side recycling. We average about two bags of trash a week now.

Thanks for the line drying reminder.
I prefer to do that but it does take more time and I've been behind more lately.