April 29, 2011

Go Green or Go Home, or something like that

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CSA Haul photo

I know Earth Day was a week ago. And while I don’t consider myself an earth mother, I’ve tried over the years to institute small changes to be good not only to the earth but also my wallet. I believe that being energy conscious can save money in addition to the benefits to the earth.

So when my friend Erin posted about her efforts to ‘go green’ I gladly tweeted about it and left a comment. She’s having an Earth Day Giveaway too! If you like my post today, thank her!

Erin shared what she’s done to ‘go green’ – using a super sweet drying rack, composting, buying a cow with a friend and always using reusable bags. And she talks to her adorable twin girls about taking steps to save the earth. I thought, hey, I do similar things too! I have reusable bags I use at the store and at the CSA on Saturday. And I have a drying rack too! Not as fancy as Erin’s, but I’ve had mine for quite awhile.

I got to thinking about BabyGirl’s Go Green Class that she made when she was 5. It made me realize that she was seeing my efforts. Small steps to make a big change. Her class used words like ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘environmental impact’. She even had an entire session about turning off the lights and using CFL bulbs. And she was just a little kid. I was so proud of her!

One of the reasons we bought our house was because of it’s high level of energy efficiency. It was higher than energy-star rated and came with a builder guarantee that our annual heating and cooling costs would not exceed $100. This was 17 years ago. And the fact that I didn’t have to turn on my heat except for a few days was so cool.

My house was built without incandescent lighting. At first I thought that was the stupidest thing possible. Commercial grade fluorescent lighting was installed. My first thought was ‘Where am I going to find these bulbs without paying an arm and a leg?’, after all it’s not like Lowes or Home Depot were selling these back in the 90s. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized what it meant. I replaced the first lightbulb shortly after we had been in the house 10 years! And while replacing fluorescent bulbs requires special disposal, I was thrilled that I was doing good. The best part was that I was able to replace the bulbs with white light bulbs so that they emulate sunshine and I don’t have that funky yellow haze often associated with incandescent or cheap fluorescent bulbs.

Within the last few years I’ve tried to transition from disposable to more earth-friendly. From harsh chemical impact to kind to the environment. I’ve given up bottled water in favor for of a reusable cup. I gave up disposable containers, I buy most of my produce from a local CSA, and I only buy fish that I know is raised in a sustainable way. And, of course, I have my drying rack.

I don’t place myself on the same level as Earth-mother Erin, but I’m trying to do my part. I keep learning and incorporating small changes. I’ll never get to the point of having no trash or recycling rain water (I live in Arizona, it’s not really all that possible!). However, I know I’m doing something right because my daughter learned from my actions about the importance of caring for our Earth.

What are you doing to ‘Go Green’? I’d love to hear how you’re making changes to your lifestyle so I can learn more about how I can make simple changes too.

I encourage you to share with Erin how you’re being kind to mother earth and enter her great giveaway too.

Sara

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