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Mothering by Heart 02-05-2007 08:41 PM

Treading lightly on the earth
I thought we could start a thread about ways you are working towards less consumption, less waste.
(if you are so inclined)

Just share what you have done or ideas you have and let's inspire each other.


Mothering by Heart 02-05-2007 08:54 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
1. We started composting our produce scraps/toilet rolls. I let it go south when winter came, but I want to start up again.

2. We are getting chickens. We have a little playhouse/shed type thing that was on our property when we bought it. Dh built the nesting boxes out of scraps from the demo for our basement. :rockon We won't have to supposrt factory farms and the kids will have a great learning experience.
We buy 10 dozen eggs a month so 10 chickens will give us what we use and enough to share the bounty with our neighbors :heart

More later. N needs to go to bed

righteous mama 02-05-2007 09:17 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
1. We are planning a compost pile. Since we are renting we were concerned, but we figured it out.

2. We use Shaklee cleaners that do not add water. This uses less bottle waste and all bottles are recycleable.

3. I am interested in conserving rain water for the garden. We've been watching "Living With Ed" on HGTV and thought the rain barrell thing was genius. Our problem is living in SoCal we don't get a ton of rain...BUT, our neighbor's sprinklers come over into our yard and water stuff...just not thoroughly. So I've adjusted our sprinklers in regard to their usage and I may place barrells to collect their water. Ha ha. If their going to pay for the water to water our yard, I might as well take advantage.

4. Freecycle

5. Use cloth when possible. We use microfiber when cleaning, cloth dipes, cloth pads, etc.

Irene 02-05-2007 10:01 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
yeah we struggle with composting in the winter too, I just havent been able to come up with any good ideas :think :/ oh, yeah and dh wants to do a rain barrel this summer too, although I balked at it, because we grew up with one and struggle with the idea of it relates to being poor, which i know it doesnt.

compost in the summer.

reuse containers

recycle as much as we can, but they dont offer a whole lot here :/

cloth almost everything, no more details on that :shifty

lower the heat, dress warmer

limit trips to town

try to garden in the summer (does that count? :scratch )

make my own cleaners, which I agree, I go through, well, hardly any bottles anymore :tu

I know there is more but Im not remembering right now :O

We want:
be able to compost in the winter
get a hybrid
get a fireplace
dh has all these other cool ideas that seem pretty way out there (like living with Ed! :giggle ) but Im not sure they will ever come to be. its fun to think about though.

righteous mama 02-05-2007 10:07 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
oh my goodness, I just realized that our other neighbors rain gutter is broken and every time it does rain, water POURS off it and floods our dirt patch....that's awesome! I'm totally gonna do that rain barrell there!!!! :tu

These are advantages to having zero property lines...taking advantage of your neighbors. :giggle

greenjellysnakes 02-05-2007 10:12 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
The list of what we actually do is, sadly, much shorter than the list of things we would like to do one day! But, currently:

- hang our clothes outside to dry when it's not raining (and sometimes inside when it is)
- replaced our top-loading washing machine (which died) with a front-loader
- use cloth bags when we shop
- use cloth for cleaning, cloth nappies, cloth wipes etc. One day I hope all our "disposables" will be replaced by cloth
- recycle as much as we can
- compost
- eat a vegan diet (DD and I), and lacto-ovo vegetarian (DH)
- have an egg timer in the shower and "race" to finish washing before the time runs out :P~
- try and consolidate all errands to one day, so car trips are limited
- walk when we can, instead of drive
- gradually switching all our light bulbs to fluorescent

I think reducing our footprint/treading lightly, is one of those journeys we will be on forever. There will always be something more we can do, but as long as we're doing what we can, we're contributing in some small way. :yes

jghomeschooler 02-06-2007 01:15 AM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
Well, I'm planning to order a Divacup and more cloth pads with our tax returns
The kids and I have all switched to an almost vegan diet
We try not to drive very often, and do 2 or 3 stops when we do go out
we have a huge recycling bin
I have used washcloths and baking soda to wash my body and hair with, need to start doing that again instead of soap/shampoo
Also use baking soda for toothpaste, and to clean stains on the counters, walls, etc. when a magic eraser just won't do the job.
I have started cleaning our counters either with just water and a microfiber cloth (we have lots of those), or water and vinegar that I then clean the floors with.

AmyDoll 02-06-2007 06:32 AM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
We're slowly but surely reducing our footprint :)

My baby is in cloth & my 3 yo is in cloth at night (daytime trained)
We use Glass for our milk and our milk/eggs/meat are local & delivered
I just bought some reusable bags - I'm waiting to have another errand to run to go pick them up.
I bought cloths to use instead of papertowels and that's working great!
That's all I can think of now...

Mothering by Heart 02-06-2007 10:57 AM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
We don't use paper towels.

By concentrating more on what is recyclable, I have cut down our outgoing trash from 6 cans to 3 per week.!!!!! :rockon

We were buying Dixie cups for the kids to brush their teeth. That's 8 a day! When our current supply is gone we will use our own cups.

I use cloth pads.

Mother of Sons 02-06-2007 11:12 AM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
I'm not as good as I'd like to be. I do use a diva. I wash once a week and don't sort loads. I use cloth diapers when I can. I try to buy less prepackaged stuff and I try to consolidate errands to one day whenever possible.

We can't really do a rain barrel because of mosquitos.

Lady TS 02-06-2007 11:39 AM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
Use cloth diapers about half-time.
Recycle what we can.
Purchased/are paying for an outdoor wood furnace to significantly lower our propane use.
Use firewood to heat our home.
Use a Keeper and cloth pads, tho sometimes I break down and use pantiliners cause my pads are too bunchy sometimes. :O
Use less shampoo, body wash, laundry soap, toothpaste etc than recommended, because usually the recommended amount is too much and much of the product is wasted, meaning I run out faster and buy more sooner and have that much more to throw away.
Have chickens.
Have an organic garden in summer.
Don't go out much-- in order to save $$ on gas, but also means we are saving gas ;)
When we do go out we do more than one thing.
Hang clothes out when it's warm.
Use flourescent light bulbs.
Use rechargable batteries.
Buy organic when we can afford it.
Use vinegar, baking soda, essential oils for cleaning. Or a very strong concentrate for the floors I got from Lehman's 2 years ago.
Think twice or three times before we make a purchase. Helps our pocketbook and helps the landfills, too!

fourbygrace 02-08-2007 03:59 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
Well, I am just beginning on this journey, and my Dh is not on board yet. I love reading others' ideas to get me thinking.

Here is what I am doing now:
- Recycling as much as possible
- Use rechargable batteries
- Freecycling all the excess possessions we don't need
- Lower the heat, dress warmer
- Reducing use of paper towels/napkins and switching to cloth
- Switched from Dixie cups to our own cups for toothbrushing
- Stay home more

Working on:
- Reduce our trash output
- Consolidating errands
- Cloth/string bags for shopping (next paycheck)
- Switch to fluorescent bulbs
- Cleaning cloths instead of paper towels/ cloth napkins
- Natural cleaners
- Wearing our clothes more before washing
- Contemplating cloth pads

We cannot do a rain barrel. It is against the law as someone else owns the water rights to our property (true of almost all property in CO). It is weird to me, but tha tis waht happens in a drought state I guess. :shrug

Heather Micaela 02-08-2007 04:12 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth

We cannot do a rain barrel. It is against the law as someone else owns the water rights to our property (true of almost all property in CO). It is weird to me, but tha tis waht happens in a drought state I guess.
you are not allowed to collect water from the sky? :scratch :hunh

Marcella - what do you mean zero property lines?

I rent so things are harder for me (cant use cloth dipes/pads because no washser) but I do use a diva and recycle and freecycle. We have an orange tree and just planted a banana one :smile

mamaKristin 02-08-2007 04:25 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
I am a recycling mad woman. This is what comes of living in a city where you were only allowed 2 bins of garbage per house, and you were in a shared rental. It's easy to cut garbage output when you need to make space in the only bag you get! I recycle just about everything I can. Our recycling station in town is currently closed, so our garage is my holding station. I just can't bear to throw out what I can recycle.

We cloth diaper, 2/3 of the time.
I'm going to have a garden this summer (woo hoo! a first for me - we've only had a yard since we moved here)
We buy locally grown veggies, in season.

There is more we're doing....just can't think of it right now.

Mothering by Heart 02-08-2007 04:31 PM

Re: Treading lightly on the earth
How fun, Heather. Fruit trees are great. We have some apple trees planted but I think we are a few years off getting any fruit.

We buy our produce at an organic co-op

I buy things in bulk when I can and cut down on individual packaged stuff. The Costco toilet paper is a great deal, but every roll is individually wrapped :/

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