Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lean, Mean and Green

Installing the Raid Fly and Ant Death Machine has done wonders for reducing the clouds of annoyance (read flies) that were buzzing through my house, but it has made me wonder about all that Raid being infused into my livingroom every 7 minutes. Just as I was mulling the whole thing over I came across EcoMom Alliance's EcoMom Challenge on the blog Going Green with Noah.

I thought that now, in the midst of my pesticide doubts, would be a good time to see how I'm doing overall on the green front. Why not take the test with me?

1. Flex Your Buying Power.
Make change with your dollars by supporting healthy and sustainable products and
* hmm, I usually just shop at the supermarket. We do not have a natural foods shop in my town. We used to, but it closed. Does it count that I buy gluten and dairy free products?

2. Eat locally Grown Food.
Supporting local farmers is healthier for you, your family, and the local economy. Buying locally produced food reduces or eliminates waste generated by packaging, storage and transportation. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.
* we don't have CSAs here, so that's out. I could buy local food more often. Many people here sell their farm products on the road, or in their homes. It's just a matter of inconvenience for me. The supermarket is closer. Aren't I driving more efficiently this way, though?

3. Drive More Efficiently - or Just Less.
Car pool, don’t idle during drop off/pick up, drive a hybrid, drive less. Driving just 10 miles less per week saves 20 billion pounds of CO2. Less time in the car means more time for something more enjoyable.
* While it's true that I live in the countryside outside of town, I really don't drive that much. I take the train to the city to work and drive no more than an average of 10 kilometers per day around town. Okay, feeling pretty good about this one!

4. Use Non-toxic Products
Protect yourself, your family, and our environment from hazardous chemicals found in common household cleaning and personal care products. The average home contains over150 toxic chemicals that have been linked to increased asthma, allergies, cancers, endocrine and behavioral disorders.
* well, that's a pretty scary list of nasties brought on by chemicals! I have to admit that I use commercial cleansers around the house, but I hardly ever clean...doesn't that count for something? I think the Raid Fly and Ant Death Machine completely puts me out of the acceptable range for this point, however.

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost).
Cutting down on garbage just 10% can save 1200 pounds of CO2 and save money in waste management fees. Consider the packaging when making a food purchase. Buying in bulk whenever possible will save you money and help reduce waste.
* there are no stores that sell in bulk here, so that's out, but I am the Queen of Recycle and Compost. Look, look, here's the proof:

From left to right: glass, plastic and paper.
Could someone please explain to me, for once and for all, where the Tetrapaks go?

The compost bin, nestled into the shade of an ancient olive tree.

6. Make your home more Energy Efficient.
Maximize energy efficiency with weather stripping, thermostat management and turning lights off.
* check, check and check...I got this list down pat! And, I can top it. We have 26 solar panels installed on the roof of our house to provide for all of our electricity needs. Now, if that's not green, I don't know what is...

7. Re-think your Laundry Plan.
Washing less, using cold water, and line-drying saves you time and energy and saves over 500 pounds of CO2 and over $600 per year.
* washing less?! Maybe once the kids get older...but I do wash in cold usually and I only line dry.

8. Be Water Wise.
Fill your garden with native plants and water mornings or evenings. Fix any leaky faucets. Don’t leave water running when brushing teeth, washing hands or doing dishes.
* only native plants here, check! No leaky faucets, check! The water running issue is a bit tricky, though. We repeat, repeat, repeat this to the kids, but I guess it's a longterm learning process.

9. Plant something.
A tree, a flower, or a garden, all of which absorb CO2 and remind us of the generosity of nature.
* we have planted various bushes around the yard, but not much else.

10. Spend time in nature.
Being outside is good for mental and physical health, and reminds us to protect and
preserve our natural surroundings.
* does going to the beach count?

How do you think I'm doing green-wise? What score would you give me on a scale of 1 to 10? What score would you give yourself?


Unknown said...

Thanks for the reference!!

We are having a green blog hop today if you want to come and hop along

Going Green with Noah

citymouse said...

I know I definitely need to make some changes. Sometimes habits are hard to break.

alessandra said...

In our town, Tetrapaks go with plastics, but it depends, once they went with the mixed garbage.

Saretta said...

Thanks, Alessandra, I'll stick them with the plastic from now on!

Karen said...

I am seriously envying you those solar panels!