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Greening Myself!

*this page is always under construction - please be patient as I play and update it!*

I decided to make a list of all the "green" things that it is possible to do and tick them off as I do them and make any comments that explain the what's and whys!

It is not exhaustive by any means but more a lifestyle to move towards...

 This list from 50 ways to help the planet  (as at 1.02.2018)

J CHANGE YOUR LIGHT BULBS – most of ours are LED, changed from flouros
J DON'T RINSE – Don't have a dishwasher. We just wash by hand, good bonding time.
J DO NOT PRE-HEAT THE OVEN – Don't usually remember to turn it on until I need it!
J DIAPER WITH A CONSCIENCE – Don't have our own kids!
J HANG DRY – No dryer so we have to!
J GO VEGETARIAN ONCE A WEEK – have been for a while!
J WASH IN COLD OR WARM Only connected the cold tap so cold it is for our washing.
J USE ONE LESS PAPER NAPKIN. Never buy or use them. I cut up and old sheet and hemmed it and we use them for napkins, serviettes and all things table!
J USE BOTH SIDES OF PAPER – both of us bring home office paper and use the backs for notes, kids drawings, lists etc before shredding and composting it.
J WRAP CREATIVELY – we reuse gift paper to rewrap gifts.
J RETHINK BOTTLED WATER – I have my own reusable bottle that goes everywhere with me!
J BAN BATHTIME!- we covered the bath with some big bits of bamboo and use the extra space to store bathroom things on shelves.
J BRUSH WITHOUT RUNNING- I do, but not everyone in the house has adopted this one yet.
J SHOWER WITH YOUR PARTNER – His fantasy but find the showers aren't shorter after all! Not much water savings here!
J TAKE A SHORTER SHOWER – got a timer that is sound activated from Bunnings that beeps at each minute mark getting louder and more insistent. By 10 minutes its unbearable. It certainly makes you take 2-3 minute showers!
J PLANT A TREE – we have so many trees you cant see the house on Google Earth!
J USE YOUR CRUISE CONTROL – He does as his car has it.
J SECOND-HAND DOESN'T MEAN SECOND-BEST – practically everything we possess is second hand.
J BUY LOCAL – when its available we do.
J ADJUST YOUR THERMOSTAT – higher in Summer and Lower in Winter. Those few degrees make a small difference to us but quite a big one to the power bill.
J INVEST IN YOUR OWN COFFEE CUP – this is fun! My cup is purple and I take it to places that give you paper or throwaway cups.
J BATCH ERRANDS – too busy to go back and forth all over the place so this one happens naturally in our house.
J TURN OFF LIGHTS – Getting there...
J GREENER LAWN CARE – I'm all for a no-mow yard, he still wants a patch of green to look at. The front yard has very little grass – the backyard still a fair bit...
J RECYCLE OLD CELL PHONES – we do but don't upgrade very often at all...
J MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE – both got new cars with a great mechanic.
RECYCLE UNWANTED WIRE HANGERS – Hmmm... Does throwing them in the recycle bin count? I don't recall the last coat hanger I threw out...
J RECYCLE ALUMINUM AND GLASS – Always the cans but often keep the jars for.. well so many things!
TELECOMMUTE – he does on the odd occasion. I cant...
J KEEP YOUR FIREPLACE DAMPER CLOSED Depends on the wood we use but, Yes, usually
J CUT DOWN ON JUNK MAIL Have the sign up but get it in with the newspaper now. All shredded and composted or thrown in the recycle bin.
J CHOOSE MATCHES OVER LIGHTERS - Hadn't thought of this but as it happens we do!
J LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING—ONLINE - Usually, how else would you do this these days?
J GIVE IT AWAY – Decluttering is my passion this year!
GO TO A CAR WASH - Hmmm, not sure about this one. Maybe a waterless car wash. But how many chemicals will they use instead? More research needed!
J PLASTIC BAGS SUCK - Try not to use any!
J FLY WITH AN E-TICKET - Its the only way to fly these days I think!
J DOWNLOAD YOUR SOFTWARE - I had a clean out of disks not so long ago and downloading makes more sense than buying program CD's.
J STOP YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE - we got rid of all messaging machines. We are either home or we are not!
J SKIP THE COFFEE STIRRER - Have been for a while. Not much we wont use to stir our cuppa's instead of a plastic spoon or stick thingy!
FIND A BETTER WAY TO BREAK THE ICE - Assume this one is for those who live in places with snow in winter - we live in the semi tropics!
J PAY BILLS ONLINE - Always, but need to figure out how to stop some of the paper ones arriving...
J SHARE! - and here I am!


Another list - this time from Julies blog Towards Sustainability (as at 02.06.2012)

 Install window tinting on the windows in the lounge room and dining room; - we have lots of trees.
J Replace as many remaining incandescent light bulbs as possible with CFL's; Yup! LED's these days though...
J Install ceiling fans in the kids' bedrooms and in the area off the kitchen; - Not ceiling fans but fans in al the rooms and we open the windows for cross breezes
J Install low-flow AAA rated shower heads; - Done!
* Install a flow-limiter on the kitchen tap; - Haven't seen the advantage as we don't wash the veges under the tap...
J Put shower timers in each of the showers; - love the timer! Most of us down to 2-3 min showers most of the time
Use a bucket in the ensuite shower to catch the water wasted while it is warming up; - we have gas hot water and its pretty instant.
J Buy a battery charger and slowly replace normal batteries with rechargeable ones; Been doing this one for a while.
J Switch to environmentally-friendly laundry detergent and dishwasher powder. - Yes - and make my own!
J Replace the dishwasher Rinse Aid with vinegar; We do this in the washing machine (dont have a dishwasher)
J Give away our very old, very inefficient bar fridge; - Turned them off and only use the for a few days when we have lots of visitors over summer.
J Reduce use of the clothes dryer as much as possible. - Don't have one!
* Buy toothbrushes with replaceable heads made from recycled plastic; Hmmm not something I had thought of before reading this...
J Switch to SLS-free facial wash and swap my facial toner for Witch Hazel; - Make my own. Cheaper and I know what's in them.
J Buy a Diva Cup & cloth pads for myself; Bought 4 cloth pads off the internet about 5 years ago and have never paid a single cent since!
J Discover the fantastic Aussies Living Simply forum & (now former) moderator, Rhonda; - well - I have discovered many blogs that I find educating, entertaining and informing.
J Read numerous books on subjects ranging from Peak Oil to Slow Food and organic gardening. - and how many are there????
* Offset the carbon emissions from our two cars via Greenfleet; - Need to look into something like this!
J Try to conscientiously limit the amount of driving we do, and try to drive as economically as possible.- Always try to do as many things as possible when I go out. I also try to only use the car once a day. Once I'm home - it has to wait for tomorrow!
J Start buying organic fruit and vegetables, locally grown where possible; Yup - found some local markets and growers that we support.
J Start buying other organic products where possible and we can afford it, particularly milk, cereals, meat, beans and tinned produce; If I can find and afford it.
* Cut out a large proportion of the meat in our diet; I'm sensitive to carbs and put on weight easily. My current diet is very high in meat and veges and my weight is dropping...
* Cut down on the amount of dairy products we are consuming; See above...
J Eliminate many processed foods from our diet & cut down significantly on the amount of fast food takeaway we eat; - We cook from scratch and choose healthier take away options for very special occasions.
J Start making my own yoghurt & labneh (quark); We aren't huge yoghurt eaters but I make a batch every so often and it gets eaten.
J Reduce the number of frozen products we buy;- I only have meat and veges in the freezer these days . No processed frozen products
J Plant some vegetables and start growing our own organic vegies: I'm trying!!!
Buy & plant several dwarf fruit trees. - Working on it!
J Continue decluttering; -  Love decluttering and are booked into a car boot sale each month.  
J Discover Freecycle; and - Have given and got on Freecycle.
J Score a free worm farm - My hubby built ours a while ago!
 Manual push mower. - Still too much lawn for that I think...
 Vastly increase the area of backyard devoted to fruit vegetable growing; - If I can get a few crops for human consumption - I defiantly will
* Buy many new fruit trees; Working on it, we have too may trees now. You cant see the house on Google earth!
J Start shopping at the local Farmer's Market;- we do!
J Install a 2500L rainwater tank & two small 300L buttes; - We have 7000 litres stored at the moment!
J Install a clothes line under cover in the garage for rainy days; - we have one under the pergola.
J Discover the joys (!) of baking; - I have started baking but am not an amazing baker...
J Start drying foods and making preserves, ginger beer, cordials & soft cheeses for the first time; - made ginger beer, cheeses and did a bit of drying.
J Start making our own kitchen, laundry & bathroom products; - Pretty much all home made these days.
J Replace my girls' water bottles with stainless steel ones; - I have a steel one that goes everywhere with me!
J Discover the Path to Freedom Journal, No Impact Man and the Riot 4 Austerity; - Yes!!!
J Replace as many disposable products as we can around the house with reusable alternatives; - Try not to need disposables of any kind these days.
J Start thinking about food miles in relation to our food; - Some good books out there to help with that. 100 mile diet is a good one!
J Install a Cent-A-Meter to monitor our electricity use; In Queensland we have a $50 energy audit that gives you one of these. I try not to let ours get over 10c an hour, 7c is where I am with the fridge, radio and computer going.
J Watch The Story of Stuff; - Awesome movie. Everyone should watch it!
J Read about the Ocean of Plastic, do a home plastic waste audit and are appalled. Resolve to do better; - this is one starting to get attention in our house.
* Are interviewed for a Time Magazine article; - No where near that level of green yet!
* Install a Shower Saver;
J Give away our 4' long tropical fish tank;- we still have a fish tank but have all the electrical things on a timer so they are not on 24/7
* Learn to knit from instructions on YouTube;- don't have the right kind of brain for knitting...
J Dust off the sewing machine I have never really used; - I do a bit of sewing/mending/making.
* Make reusable cloth TP wipes (used only by me for #1's);
J Start taking regular meter readings in November (electricity, natural gas and water).- this I should start doing...
* Buy a solar cooker & pressure cooker;
* Install a solar tube (skylight) in our dark kitchen; - on my to do list
J Sew my own fabric sandwich wraps for pre-school lunches; - again, on my to do list. Now Done v easy!
J Start refashioning new clothes for the girls from old & thrifted clothes; I do this sometimes...
* Buy an electric motor-assisted bicycle for DH, who starts riding it the 17km each way to & from work; - If I worked closer to home I would!
* Sell our second car; - Not a possibility at this time.
* Buy more fruit trees and vines, expand the vegie garden - twice - and start growing our own spices; - will do as I get the hang of protecting our crops from possums!
J Join Melinda's Growing Challenge, grow vegetables from seed for the first time; - I grow some seedlings from seed at the moment. 
* Start saving my own vegetable seeds;
J Buy dynamo (wind-up) powered torches, a lantern and radio; - We have a few wind up torches and will buy a wind up radio when this one dies.
J Buy a power monitor meter and check our appliances for the biggest power-wasters; - We have a meter and it is scary what some appliances use!!??
* Knit my first dishcloths;- Not a knitting person. But we are using old facecloths at the moment...
J Install lined curtains over the open doorways in our lounge and dining rooms to conserve heat in winter; - keeps the lounge/dining coolin summer and warm in winter with out heating/coolong the whole house.
J Go No 'Poo i.e. stop using shampoo (using bicarb soda & a vinegar rinse instead); Yup! and I have lovely soft shiny hair now!
* Are given a stove-top Vacola bottling unit (whee!); - Trying to use up lots of preserving from 2008 and 2009.
* Expand my sewing skills, including sewing reusable fabric wraps for wrapping birthday and Christmas presents, and making aprons and pencil rolls for kids' birthday presents;
* Score my grandmother's old Singer treadle-operated sewing machine;
J Make my first ever batch of cold-pressed soap from scratch; - We generally use home made soap
J Start blogging at the Simple Green Frugal Co-Op with some really inspiring writers; - well i blog in other places but the principles are the same!
J Start the slow process of swapping my plastic food storage containers for glass;- just had a platic throw out!
J Start playing with fermented foods and kefir;
J Make my own pasta.- when we have a pasta party!!
J Use Mr Rudd's stimulus money to replace our12 year old top-loading washing machine with a much more water-efficient front loader; - Exactly what we did too!
J Replace our old, leaking, bathroom & ensuite taps with 5-star water-efficient sets; - have a leaky shower that we need to deal with at the moment. The tools are on the table.
J Install ceiling fans in the lounge and dining rooms (and now every room in the house except the kitchen has fans); We have portable fans for ech room.
* Remove the battery from hubby's bicycle and he rides the 34km round trip to and from work unassisted;
J Work on replacing refined baking products, including white sugar and flour in our diet;- bake with wholemeal flour and honey where possible!
* Join a bulk food co-operative; - Need to look into this!
J Continue to work on cooking from scratch; - Have for a long time. We like cooking in this house.
J Buy compostable bamboo toothbrushes;- Bought some once and then the shop disappeared...
* Start measuring the produce we grow (which turns out to be 177 kilos or 390 pound for the year);
* Increase my seed-saving endeavours & start to get the hang of succession sowing (but am still not good at it); - If I can raise a crop to fruiton!
J Meet up with some like-minded locals; Only in Blogland so far...
* Start growing mushrooms; Tried but not so successful...
* Score a second worm farm on Freecycle; and
* Install kitchen sink in the garden;
* Join Sharon's Independence Days Challenge;
J Brew our first batch of home-brew beer; - well Rose wine and ginger beer!
* Knit the first item of clothing for myself & then move onto slippers; - Probably not going to happen...
* Learn how to embroider;
* Realise I am not a Super-Mum and give up posting at the Co-Op, amongst other things;
J Rearrange our house to more effectively utilise our space and storage; As I declutter I rearrange things so that I use the space better and don't get tempted to fill the space with more junk.
J Are gifted a hard cheese-making kit (and fail to use it...yet); - well I make soft cheeses!
* Buy a thermal cooker to help save energy in the kitchen.

Whew! What a list - but it gives me ideas on what else I can do to green my self and my home!


Anonymous said…
So many of the little things I could do without even thinking; so why aren't I ?! Lovely blog btw :)
Practical Frog said…
It takes a whle to change a life style... This isnt something we have done overnight, its a constantly evolving thing that has developed organically over the last few years. Every tim I read a book, a blog or website - I get new idea's and perspectives that change the way I do things! Best of luck! - K xx
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