I wanted to share something that has been on my mind lately-- besides the impending birth of the baby and mulberries.
I hope this isn't going to be another trend for people to jump on the bandwagon and say, "look at me! I'm green!" and then a few short weeks or months later, they go right back to doing what they've always done.
Being green IS a total lifestyle change, one that can be as easy or as hard as you make it. You can take small baby steps and grow from there, which makes it easy, or make big changes which sometimes can be costly and hard to keep up.
The husband and I have always been aware of our consumerism and after moving to our first house and discovering what a great recycling program our landfill had, became avid recyclers. Moving here, where there are nearly no recycling options at the landfill, we've had to find other ways to reduce our trash and recycle.
During the winter time, I admit to using our dryer when drying clothes. Partly because we bought a vent that lets the warm, moist air go back into the house instead of outside. Helps to heat the house and restore the humidity in the air that the wood stove dries up. My point? Since installing my outdoor clothes line (made of recycled telephone wire), I have just received my first electric bill that has zero dryer energy on it. Our average monthly bill is around $130, and it has gone all the way down to $89! That's $40 in savings!! Nothing else has changed-- we still use the same amount of electricity for lights, TV, cooking (electric stove), and computer. The air conditioner has not yet been used and the only thing that has changed is the dryer usage. I should add that I am probably using the stove more because of the jam-making I am doing these days.
Just imagine the power we all can save if everyone would choose to line-dry their clothing instead of using a dryer.
There are many more changes that we'd like to make / add to make our lifestyle even more green:
-A bigger garden for one-- I haven't been able to plant as much as I hoped this year (I like to think my growing belly gives me an excuse) but I'm happy with what we have planted so far.
-We plan on getting chickens next year, so we are busily working out chicken coop plans and gathering used materials to build one.
-I'd LOVE to get a goat, too, for the making of goat cheeses and yogurts, but I don't know if that is feasible just yet.
-I want to get more fruit trees than what we already have-- cherry, apple, blueberries to name a few.
-Rain barrels are desired as well, but I still need to figure out how to truck the water from the house alllll the way to the garden without breaking my back or having to buy multiple hoses.
There is much more that we could do, but these are the biggest goals we have at the moment. What kind of changes have you made this year that has made a big impact on your life and / or wallet?