Somehow I missed Hot Topic Tuesdays over at a very mary design. It was fantastic what she wrote about and the comments that generated had loads of examples about smart ways to "go green."
Very Mary ended her post by asking "how has the Green movement effected you and yours?"
"I have just begun thinking more about this in the past few months because I felt I was just one person, how much of a difference could I make? But I finally decided to do something about it when I saw how economical greener living could be (when not buying into SOME of the green marketing ploys out there). First I stopped buying new clothes, then it spring boarded from there...we re purpose, recycle, or compost almost all of what we used to consider trash, use hankies and rags instead of Kleenex and paper towels, use a clothesline instead of the dryer, driving the speed limit instead of wasting gas, use fans during the day (while we're not home) instead of running the AC ALL DAY LONG (While We're Not There!!!) and so much more! It's really incredible the different ways you can "go green" when it just makes economical sense!"
But I forgot that I also:
~Make my own household cleaners
~Use reusable grocery bags
~Got my motorcycle licence
~We've used a built-in water filter system for years (no bottled water)
~Planning a veggie garden for next year
~Reuse plastic baggies (unless they had raw meat in them. I know you CAN clean them, but I don't want to take any chances with that!)
~Drive with as little weight in the car/trunk as possible (saves on gas mileage)
~Put two 1-litre bottles of rinse water in the toilet tank (saves 2 liters of water for every flush)
~If/when we have kids, I plan on using cloth diapers and using more old-t-shirt-rags instead of wipes (and forget about the wipe warmer!)
~Unplug the TV, appliances, etc when not in use.
~As a carpenter, my hubby brings home the extra cuttings from the lumber they use and we have a backyard fire almost every weekend with them instead of just tossing it all in a dumpster.
~Since my company shreds confidential documents then piles that shredded paper in the general trash, I take it home instead to use for making my own recycled Christmas Cards.
But I wonder if she was actually asking not "what do you do that's green," but "how is your life different with the changes that you've made?"
I think the biggest change in my life is a total difference in perspective. I blogged awhile ago about how I no longer shop just for clothes, but I shop for clothes with an eye for the fabric.
First of all, I don't shop for new products unless absolutely necessary. I'll search for a used item before I'll break down and buy used.
So when I go to a thrift shop and check out the clothes there, I'm no longer looking for something that fits me, or even a specific color or fabric, I just shop with an eye out for something that catches my interest.
What have I purchased new recently?
~Bound Index Cards which will stay bound, I'm making them into a book (and they were made from recycled materials)
~An outlet timer. (I think that's what it's called. People often use them when they go on vacation so their lights will come on and go off at different times of the day, making it look like they are still home. I didn't want to take any chances on a faulty timer, so I bought new.)
~Flash Drive (not taking any chances with polluting my laptop!)
~Memory Card for my camera (ditto the above for my camera!)
I also find myself getting the motivations of "Eco-friendly" and "frugality" mixed up in my mind a lot. I am motivated first to be frugal, then to be Eco-friendly. Then I get immersed in the whole concept of being Eco-friendly, and I think of other ways to save money (yes, switching back again) because so many of the ideas for being Eco-friendly are also frugal!
It's a wonderful spiraling train of thought and I'm just so psyched to be making such wise choices and changes in my life!
Other changes I've made that are more frugal than Eco-friendly (not to say that they aren't Eco-friendly though!):
~Making most meals from scratch
~bringing coffee & lunches to work instead of "fast-fooding"
~Stash Month - I haven't bought a single sewing or craft item for all of August!
~First limited my yard saling to the city I live in, then restricted all yard saling activity for a month. (Lot's of gas being used driving all over "tarnation"; and money spend on yard sales is the same as money spend at another "sale", albeit less expensively...but still...)
And Eco-Frugal things I do:
~taking the 30+mpg car instead of the 20-mpg truck unless absolutely necessary (for moving things or camping with lots of cargo)
~adding uncooked pasta to cold water then boiling, shutting off the stove and letting it sit for 10 minutes
~eating more raw veggies and fruits (Eco-Frugal and healthy too, oh my!)
~bought the outlet timer (above) so I can use my old crockpot that doesn't have an automatic shut off instead of going out and buying a third crockpot!!! (Which I really really wanted to do!)
So what do you do that's Eco-Frugal?