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Old 03-11-2007, 06:34 PM   #61
herbalwriter
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

Wow, Michelle, that's a great thing - it really would help with the critters. Unfortunately, we don't have a local co-op around here yet, and I doubt I could afford it unless it was through something like that...I would like to start one but don't know how...but that's a subject for another thread I guess.

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Old 03-11-2007, 08:51 PM   #62
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irene
yeah we struggle with composting in the winter too, I just havent been able to come up with any good ideas :/
I read this thread regularly for motivation but just noticed this.

Tips for winter composting (one year, I made it through the entire winter without freezing and that's in WI ).
*stir compost every day
*add EXTREMELY WET food SCRAPS and hay to pile every day and small amount of hay (I just used "old rinse water" from the sink. I plugged it when rinsing dishes and then ladeled it into my compost container until it was like soup).
*put hay around pile to keep warm

The trick is to keep the compost warm. Heat is produced by additional ingredients and by constant agitation and wetness.

I just started adding to my compost pile again this year. I was not very good about it this winter. . . so. . .I started with several squash that rotted in my basement from the garden and a small amount of water and old plants in the garden. I'll add the watery scraps.

You must have about 3 to 4 inches of "established compost).

Another winter option is indoor vermicompost. I did that one year too. It worked really nicely. Didn't smell or take up much room
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:56 PM   #63
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

As far as the snow on the compost bin, it's good excercise to clear it - make the kids do it . It's a great way for them to burn off steam
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:08 PM   #64
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

What we do:

-recycle
-use cloth in every area we can (some is limited because of ds's immune system but we are so glad he's in last phase of chemo we can move towards cloth again)
-garden
-compost
-use no harsh cleaners or cosmetics
-eat almost entirely organic
-buy in bulk reducing packaging
-buy from local farmers
-team up when getting things from farmers a little farther away (i.e. went to buy beef this weekend and bought some for a fellow GCM'er )
-try to run errands all on one day per week
-use energy efficient light bulbs and keep blinds open all the time
-keep heat down and sweaters on
-recycle clothes that aren't dirty
-hang laundry as soon as it's over 50 degrees
-speak openly about beliefs and try to get others on board
-cut down on driving weather permitting - walk or bike as many places as possible.
-grocery shop every 10 to 14 days instead of once per week (eat produce strategically - stuff that spoils first, eat first ) Plan meals accordingly
-stop buying stuff - our new rule if its not consumable it must be on a list for 30 days. It really cuts back on what we buy!

SOME LOFTY GOALS (hoping we can acheive these if we downsize our mortgage)
-start timing showers - 10 minutes each (at least for me - dh thinks I'm crazy).
-sell house in spring and downsize mortgage and space
-save money for solar panels on new house
-save money for hybrid car or money to convert current cars to more efficient energy
-purchase ONLY "green" electricity from electric company (this is hard cuz it costs more )
-set up "hydroponic" garden in basement when ds is done with chemo (can't have indoor plants until then) and produce the majority of our own produce
-only grocery shop once a month because we are growing most of our own produce
-go back to everything cloth (except TP and tissue) when ds done with chemo
-replace freezer, refrigerator, washer and dryer (they are old and use too much energy)
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:05 AM   #65
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

Adding to the list, not sure if I'm duplicating as I have not read the whole thread

As mentioned in the "inconvenient truth thread", here is what our family is doing/planning to do:

*Wait as long as possible to turn the A/C on
*Run the A/C 5 degrees warmer than we did last summer
*Container gardening on our balcony: strawberries, tomatoes, herbs, garlic
*Try to buy less packaged food (especially double-packaged, ie: plastic bag inside of a cardboard box)
*Make some grocery totes out of scrap fabric (I can never have too many totes to carry stuff around )
*We want to buy a hybrid (used probably) in the next couple of years
*We still recycle our plastic and glass, and I"m going to start recycling paper at work and at home
*TRY to cut back on paper towels/paper wipes. I'm going to try using scrap flannel fabric cut into small squares to use for the kids' napkins, as well as wipes (my quandary is, will it take *more* energy to wash all those wipes each week than it would harm the earth to put the paper towels/wipes into landfills? )
* I would REALLY like to cut my mileage back about 50 miles a week. I think if I would plan my errands better, I could do this. As the weather gets warmer, dh might start riding his bike/using public transportation to get to school/work.

Eventually, when we build our own home, dh has all these awesome ideas to make our home "green". He calls it a "living" house. Ideas such as a green roof (ornamentals IMO), rainwater collection system, water heated by sun, heated water circulated through walls and under floor for heating purposes, 100% solar power (he wants to be "off the grid"), bamboo instead of hardwoods floors, or cork floors.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:50 AM   #66
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmom
*TRY to cut back on paper towels/paper wipes. I'm going to try using scrap flannel fabric cut into small squares to use for the kids' napkins, as well as wipes (my quandary is, will it take *more* energy to wash all those wipes each week than it would harm the earth to put the paper towels/wipes into landfills? )
I don't think so, because there is so much involved in making paper products. Growing/cutting down trees, processing (which includes a lot of chemicals and water), shipping them to warehouses, shipping them to the store, you buy them, use them once and then they go in the trash afterwards. I may be missing a step there too, that's just what comes to mind.

We have some wipes/washclothes that are several years old! We bought some thick MotherEase cloth wipes that are six years old and they are holding up soooo well. No holes or anything.

We still use some TP, though the kids prefer cloth wipes and I do about 50/50.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:20 PM   #67
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

I have instituted the use of cloths in place of paper towels, and it has made a huge difference - I have saved on paper towels and I have a lot less trasah volume. However, the wrapping of lettuce, the draining of bacon, and the cleaning up of cat barf are still the exclusive domain of paper towels.
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:20 AM   #68
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

I hear ya, Leah!
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:47 PM   #69
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

LOL... gross messes require paper towels IMO. I don't want greasy or super nasty towels going in the washer. Regular dirt will wash away but the idea of a greasy washer/dryer is ggggross!
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:26 PM   #70
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

Really greasy cloths are a fire hazard in the washer, too - mine has a big warning about it on the lid.
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:36 PM   #71
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

do all our errands in one day
recycle like crazy
buy milk in glass bottles that get re-used
bring our own bags to the store
breastfeed
cloth diaper
dry clothes outside as much as possible
cloth napkins & rags
homemade cleaning solutions
all organic foods
buy in bulk when possible
walk to the store when possible
shower every other day (except in summer)
keep the thermostat low in winter
no pestcides/herbicides in the yard
compost
do all laundry in cold water (except diapers)
I'm saving for a front-loading washer, but it's pretty far down on "the list"
use low VOC paint
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:38 PM   #72
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

Hey! No one mentioned breastfeeding!!
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:10 AM   #73
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamilyian
Hey! No one mentioned breastfeeding!!

Yeah... no kidding! I forget sometimes because it's soooo obvious. In the last couple of years, almost every one of my friends/acquaintances has breastfed. I can think of only two who didn't. It was the opposite when I had my first dd, I only knew two women who had recently EP'd and that it.
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Old 10-10-2007, 03:25 PM   #74
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

I haven't a chance to read through all of these, but for those who don't know how to compost in the winter time, what we do is to throw the compost stuff directly into the garden once the crops are done for the season. The snow and rain kind of break it down during the winter, then in spring we till it into the ground. It works well for us.
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:50 PM   #75
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Default Re: Treading lightly on the earth

I've started doing something like that, too - I rake all the leaves over my garden and it insulates for the winter, and breaks down into compost and improves the soil. Now I have the all-powerful chicken poop this year!
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