small changes for a big earth

Even Saucy does her bit for the earth. It's true! Being green can be fabulous, I just lurrve the colour green. I've made a few changes this year:

I ditched lots of the cleaners and sprays I was addicted to. Seriously addicted. I used to just lurrve cleaning products. Now, I try to use vinegar, baking soda and lemons. You know what? My house still smells delicious, and I have more room under the sink.

I've always been a laundry air-dryer. It's better for the elastic in your panties, you know. I air dry most tee shirts, all undies, anything cotton, Veto's dress shirts, you name it. The dryer is reserved almost solely for towels, jeans and sheets. I've cut down on drycleaning, and the amount of detergent I use... I hardly use a sprinkle anymore at all - and our clothes are still clean. I wash in cold water almost exclusively. When I do go to the cleaner, I put the clothes in a reusable hanging bag that is returned with the clean clothing. It has a handy spot for the wire hangers (no... wire... hangers..!) to be returned for re-use.

I'm way into recycling. We need a new roof on our house, and we're looking at getting one made of recycled tires. They are produced right here in our city. One roof uses more than 800 rubber tires, removing them from the landfill.

I switched to rechargeable batteries almost exclusively. We brought home a pack of batteries from Costco on the weekend and I realized that we used to go through bundles of those, now just one pack a year.

Only on a very rare occasion do I like to use paper plates. I pledged a long time ago to only run the dishwasher if it is completely full, almost stuffed. I use my self-clean oven less frequently and try to wipe up spills right away when they happen.

One very small change I made was to stop blow-drying my hair. I only blow-dry once or twice a month now rather than after every shampoo. Not blow-drying Loopy's hair alone - there's so much of it - has probably saved tons of electricity. And you know what? Our hair is in better condition. We embrace our waves.

I'm weaning myself off plastic bags as much as I can - I have reusable bags for the grocery store. Elsewhere, if permitted, I like to carry my purchases out sans bag, with just my bill in hand. I've gotten some funny looks walking out of the mall with a pair of shoes in my hands but most of the time, I stuff whatever I buy into my shoulder bag. This works best after I've paid for it.

Finally, in making the slow switch from paper towels to rags, I am using less and less paper product. I do one or two loads of "rag wash" per week. It's hard to change everything. I wish I could. I can do more. I pledge to keep making small changes everywhere I can, from light bulbs to phosphates. I need to use my cloth napkins more regularly. What changes have you made? I'd love to know.


MJ said...

I'll have to think about it and it may be a post subject!

Sarah and Jack said...

I posted mine yesterday, but I have to say you are missing out on line dried sheets!

Oliver Rain said...

I purchased some reusable fabric softeners sheets yesterday and some biodegradable stain remover. I try to air dry too, but I just run out of room to hand everything up. I say that I stop blowdrying for the environment, but really its because I'm just lazy. Have to think about other stuff.

Janet said...

You've done so much! Good for you and I'm glad you blogged about'll inspire others and on and on :-)

Angela said...

I am put to shame...
let's see.. light bulbs and recycling bins... I think that's about it!


Junie Moon said...

Great ideas and there are a couple you mentioned that I will work on incorporating into my life. Making my own natural cleaning products is one of my favorite things to do (along with using the clothesline). I posted a free downloadable collection of the recipes I use on my blog yesterday so that others can try them, too.

Heidi said...

Hi Saucy,

Wonderful blog BTW, I've been a bit of a lurker for a few months now. I have enjoyed many of your posts and have no idea why this one has prompted me to comment. But here I am, and thanks for the question.

There is something that is good for you and the environment, called the Keeper ( ). It is a cap "Moon Cup" is their word for it, for that time of the month. I love mine. You can buy two types, having had a baby or not- those are the two size options. The two sizes fit all. The cost is very cheap, I don't even remember the cost. But it lasts your whole life (they say 10 years but mine is older than that and appears to be the same as when I bought it). Which is longer than menstruation lasts. You just rinse it out every few hours, or as needed. It is only inconvenient in public restrooms, but you can deal with that by planning a bit. I highly, highly recommend them over tampons.

I do other things that promote sustainability, but have found this one to be the one thing I am really happy about, as is so easy to do and it makes such a big difference. Imagine if most women used Keepers vs. tampons or pads?

I live in Central America, and economically- it saves me ton of money given the cost of imported goods here, like Tampax.

I can use that money for pedicures or something more fun, that's for sure.