I just came across this site, just so happens to fall right inline to a big focus for me. Now I'll sidetrack for a moment. Did you see An Inconvenient Truth yet? I highly recommend it Talking to my dad about it I was pleasantly surprise to learn that he's already switched his light bulbs to swirly ones and doesn't bitch or moan about the short time it takes them to rev up to full light capacity. I've started investing in those same bulbs and don't mind it at all either, but while chatting up every other mom I come into contact with about ways to "do more" or maybe I should say "do less" this, the time it takes for those bulbs to rev up seems to be an issue. What's the big stinkin' deal? Do you really NEED 5 60 watt bulbs over your breakfast table anyway? Alrightly then, I'm climbing off that wobbley box and taking it out for the recycling guy.
Back to the regularaly scheduled programming. EcoMom lists the first 10 steps that you should take. Recently, I sent an email to Terry listing in numbered list form all the things I was irritated with at that time. He replied an "answer" to every one of my ranted in numbered list form. It made me chuckle and look at things a little differently. And now, today, I think I'll use that same format to 'check off' the things I've started doing and evaluate how I can do more.
1. Change a light. If every household in America changed out just 5 light bulbs to energy efficient CFL's it would be equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road. — Changed 3 (the forth one in the pack was defective and while I wanted to take it back for a replacement I didn't want them to garbage the other perfectly fine 3 from the same pack – so I'll eat the 4 bucks that that one bulb costs and buy another pack the next time I go to the store)
2. Drive More Efficiently: Car pool, don't idle during drop off and pick up, drive a hybrid and drive less. If we each drove just 10 mile less per week, it would save 20 billion pounds of CO2 – and you'll find more time in your day. I've got a car pool going with the neighbor for taking the kids to school and they ride the bus home in the afternoon. Plus Terry takes the van, which is more fuel efficient on his daily commute on the days that I'm not carpooling) Hmmm, Now I wonder if that's the best thing. The amount of gas that truck hogs getting downtown and back is certainly more that we're saving by carpooling the 1 mile to school)
3. Shop local, fair trade and organic. Most food travels an average of 1,200 miles before it reaches your table, so by walking down to your local farmer's market, you'll not only reduce fossil fuel waste, you might also reduce your own waist. NEED TO WORK ON THIS, although we are buying lots of organic and sugar free. But it still comes from WallyWorld ;-/
4. Use non toxic products for cleaning, bathing, even make-up and you'll protect the environment as well as reduce you and your family's risk of disease. DONE, we didn't move cleaning supplies and I haven't bought new, we're using vingear, bleach, baking soda cleaning supplies.
5. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Cutting down on garbage by just 10% can save 1,200 pounds of CO2 and you'll have less junk around the house! I am mindful of packaging on purchases. I try to find new uses for what we already have and I'm using the box from costco for the overflow recycling, cuz we have to much to recycle for that little container. I mean, come on now, we are a family of 6!
6. Turn off and unplug electronic devices and you'll reduce your exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and save on energy and CO2 emissions. You can also start having dinner by candlelight, which your kids, and your partner, will love! I need to be more persistant about this, in particular the computers need to go off, at least at night. Lights and other devices, though, that's always been a peeve of mine, I just hate it when they are on and aren't being used. Candlelight dinner….. it's put on the menu along with Friday night -homemade- Pizza for tonight!
7. Re-think your laundry plan! A favorite of many EcoMoms. Doing less, using cold water and line drying when possible you can save over 500 pounds of CO2 and over $600 per year. Gotta love the Duet. I never would have just gone out and bought it but since we were moving and our 15 year old washer was sporting a grease leak, we splurged and went he! I really wanted to save a few bucks at costco but they only had the 'sport' models and I feel strongly that that savings we will see having the larger capacity are BIG
8. Plant a Tree. Or any plant. Just bring more green into your life. This is a great activity to do with your kids to mark special occasions. Over the course of its lifetime, a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide. Go organic if you can and avoid those nasty pesticides. This makes me sad. I had to give away all of our plants when we moved. Most of them found a good home with my 'greenthumb' mom, but I think poor harold the ficus froze in the garage. I just can't think about it. Once our life shakes out and we have a more clear picture for the future, I'll once again bring in the green.
9. Buy carbon offsets and reduce mom guilt, like the SUV you still have. Offsets are kind of like eating too many brownies one day and jogging extra the next. For more information you can visit www.nativeenergy.com. Here is South Texas you can have wind powered electricity for an extra percentage tacked onto your power bill. We've looked into it but still need to commit.
10. Play more. This will be your child's favorite, and hopefully yours too. In today's world, it is easy to get so busy that you forget to take time to connect and play with the people you love, and to do things that feed your mind, body and spirit. So do things that make you feel healthy, good and thriving. It's all connected. Sustain your Home, Sustain Your Planet and Sustain Your Self. You're on your way to being an EcoMom! Maybe we'll head to the park today!