Saturday, December 1

We're Going Green (And It Has Nothing To Do With The Stomach Flu)

Jack demonstrates how excited #1 and #2 plastic, aluminum and newspaper get when they're placed in the recycle bin.
Jack helps out with the recycling of vegetable cans.

We are 'going green' and we couldn't be more excited about it! And like Kermit The Frog says: "It's not easy being green." But it's totes worth it, Kermie!

Amy and I feel that with the state of the world being what it is today (and it's best NOT to get us started), it is important for us to teach our children to be good stewards of the Earth. And what better way to teach them than by leading by example?

That's why we're really doing our best to conserve energy, lower our 'carbon footprint', and to recycle the resources we use. It's quite simple really. We may not make a huge diff each day, but imagine how much our household can help out in the span of a year, five years, ten years, 25 years if we're vigilant about conserving our resources. And imagine if everyone else followed suit with those of us trying this.

And don't think we're being preachy here--we were HORRIBLE before, so we're certainly NOT judging. (We despise judgmental people. They're annoying! Get it? I said something judgmental for irony. Cute, huh?)

Anyhootie, here are some of the ways in which we're taking charge of doing our part to help our environment:

1. Recycling. We are going to try to reuse EVERYTHING. That means saving vegetable and soup cans, soda cans (which we always have plenty of), milk jugs, plastic bottles and newspapers and magazines. In addition to that, we are saving glass bottles and will take them to a recycling center that accepts them. We recently changed disposal companies because the company we switched to has a better recycling program than the last. Now if I can just remember to take the trash out on Tuesdays now!

2. Composting. We are using all table scraps for compost for the garden. It not only limits the amount of trash we send to the landfill, it helps the garden! (Which is putting a big green smile on my face just thinking about it!)

3. Conserving electricity. If we're not in a room, the light is not on. That's the simple answer to this problem. And we're also being very vigilant about turning off computers, unplugging cell phone chargers when they're done charging, putting the thermostat at 68 instead of at 71-72 where it has been in the past and heating Jack's room with a thermostat-controlled childsafe heater, changing all the lightbulbs in the house to energy-efficient bulbs, covering windows with plastic and curtains to keep cold air out and warm air in, changing the dishwasher to a different setting to conserve water and power, and turning the water heater to a lower setting (I'm also going to insulate it if I can find some way of doing it without burning the entire house down...okay, maybe I'll have someone help me with that). We've also done a little more insulating. This will not only save power, but MONEY! Which is also green! Scintillating!

4. Conserving water. We're taking shorter showers, using less water in Jack's bath, changing the auto sprinkler settings (which really doesn't apply to right now this month, but whatev). And I am terrible about having to have a new towel every time I shower and leaving the water run when I brush. I'm going to work on that! We're not going all hippie and saying 'if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down' or anything. Actually, I'm going to stop urinating altogether. Okay, not really.

5. Boycotting fast food chains. The packaging is ridiculous. Plus think of the fuel we waste driving there and sitting in the drive thru. Yikes. Sure is tasty though. This is going to be a tough one, but totally worth it. This is also part of my plan to not be 300 pounds by the time I'm 40.

6. Saying no to paper AND plastic. We've bought some canvas bags that we are going to tote to the store with us. And we will be taking all our plastic bags back to Wally World for them to recycle.

7. Planting trees and perennials. Okay, this is more for fun, but it just happens to be a good thing for the enviro too. Can't beat that!

8. Drying clothes outside. Not this month for sure, but next spring, we'll be putting up a clothesline for sure. Plus there's nothing like the smell of line-dried linens--unless it smells like sewage where you live.

9. Keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge. It not only eliminates wasted water when you want a drink from having to run the water to get it cold, but it actually helps the refrigerator run more efficiently. Much like a cold water pack in a cooler, the same applies to the water in the fridge. Whodathunkit?

10. Eliminating waste. If it can be reused, we're going to find a way to do it. That saves space at the landfill. Thinking about what we're about to throw away will help a lot. Can it be reused? Can it be recycled? Can it be reduced? Can it be eaten? :-)

11. Putting a water bottle in the toilet. We put a full bottle of water in the toilet (the top; not where we do our duty) to reduce the amount of water it uses to flush it. Which might not be great for certain flushes, but whatever. We'll see.

12. Shredding junk mail. We have a paper shredder so we should be doing this to recycle the paper or to use as packing or for some other use. I'm gonna think about that one for a minute or two.

13. Our next car will be a hybrid. And can I just say that I hope that happens very soon...

There are many other ways we can help out, but this is a good start. We'll keep you posted on how we're doing. And it'll involve more photos of Jack taking part in the process too. (That'll make it semi-tolerable possibly!) Give us some advice on other things we can do and things you're doing to help the environment! We'll be super-proud of ya!


Staab Boys said...

Sounds good to me! You know I'm all about recycling. Which company does #1 plastic? Ours does #2, popcans and newspapers. I'd love to do more though. Let me know.

Dave Ja Vu said...

It's Mid-Nebraska. I think they just started it when I signed on. That's what the guy told me anyway!

charlie said...

It all sounds really great!!! Until you run into a little prob...
Your jeans are so stiff from drying outside and of course you shouldnt be using a water softner, (you then need a reverse osmosis system and the waste on water that has!!!) and laundry softner only adds un natural waste to the excess water you are allready letting go down the drain. :(
You should find a way to collect all that, purify, and reuse. ;)
Then we get to the toilet, when you have a "messy" and flushing needs to happen more than once you are now using more water than you originally would have by not sticking the bottle in the tank.:)
Dont take me serious!!!
Love the ideas and more should really do their part!!! :)

dave said...

Actually, I can't EVER dry my jeans in the dryer cuz my legs are so long if they shrink at all I'm looking like a nerd-o. So that's not too much of a problem for me I don't think.
And you're so right about the toilet thing. That one kinda freaks me out. I'm putting it in there today, but if there's a problem, we're gonna have to nix that. I think our toilets are
already low volume flushers anyway. Either way, we'll give it a shot!

dave said...

We'll have more ideas for you soon!

Tara said...

i love it! plus i dig your little comments/reasons of why you are doing what your make me laugh every time i read your blog!

The Wades said...

Here's some more ideas! Shave Dexter every month or so and spin his hair into cloth diapers, save Jack's dirty diapers and use the methane to heat the house in the winter time, give up showering all together, create your own fertilizer for your Summer garden, "mow" your lawn using goats (this conserves fuel and gives you a cuddly little playmate for Dexter and Jack), milk the goats for fresh milk and cheese, smoke only filtered cigarettes and begin brewing your own beer using recycled bottles. Just kidding! We love and miss you guys! PS, we finally updated our blog a little bit!

Amish salesperson... said...


Dave said...

Ha ha guys! :-)

Aaron, I love the goat idea.

Marsha, they're going under if I'm boycotting them! Get as much now as you can!

Staab Boys said...

Thanks for the info. We actually recycle with the same company, I just wasn't aware of the change in items they are accepting. So glad to hear it though. Now I'd like to see them accept glass. I'll also have to bother them for another isn't enough for all my water bottles! Seriously, we fill one no problem with the few things they were accepting before. If you find anything out about glass, let me know.