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Discussion Starter #1
I can't save the world (or I would have done that long ago), however, I can only improve my little corner.

We are not born (or at least I wasn't) knowing how to recycle, reuse, and to be environmentally a good steward. heck I wasn't even taught how to be frugal or how to save ANYTHING.

The last few months I've had the "awakening" to do my part. I need to teach my kids how to reuse and recycle.

I'm going to challenge myself to do 3 things daily that will be eco friendly and/or frugal. So here is my first post of changing my little corner:

1.made my first vegetable stock to can/freeze
2. Learned what to do with my junk mail and my old avon brochures (I pick up my old ones) I learned to make paper beads. And it's fun and cheap too!
3.Turned my heater down 2 more degrees.

Jump in and join if you are so inclined. Many of you already have an eco friendly/frugal lifestyle--jump in and inspire me some more will ya?
 
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This is a good idea. I've been slacking a little bit lately so I need a good kick.

A big idea that I got my kids into was no more tissues. We use handkerchiefs here. You can pick up some pretty design ones from a craft store to make it more appealing. :)

Since my day is over here, I'll come back tomorrow. My mind is mush tonight.
 

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It's hard for me to "decifer" the green living that we practice around here from regular life. I grew up in a family where my Dad, who worked and retired from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency was an environmental dictator!

So there are many things that I do, that to me are just totally normally and I don't think about being green!

Here are some of the things I guess we do, or ways we live becuase they are the more environmentally friendly:

1. Veggie garden
2. We laid out plans for a rain garden in our yard, but won't be implementing it until next year.
3. We are a one car family. Saves both oil resources & air pollutants
4. We of course, recycle. I also tailor my shopping habits around things that are packaged in bulk. I don't buy many "convenience" foods because of the extra packaging (most of which can't be recycled). I purchase recyclable materials when we can.
5. We recycle clothing and household items whenever possible. I either craft them into something new (which is my favorite thing to do) or I freecycle them or hand them down to someone else that can use them.
6. We try to purchase the majority of our clothing, shoes & household accessories second hand. Best to keep the things already made out of the landfill than buy from retail stores and send those things to the landfill.
7. We only use our AC in the summer when temps are above 95, simply to get the humidity out of the air.
8. Heat is set to 66, and goes down to 45 at night. We simply bulk up and wear sweaters & heavy socks during the day and many blankets at night. We also use window quilts to help keep the warm air from leaking out.
9. We compost, year round.
10. We don't use or purchase disposable goods. No paper plates, cups, paper towels or tissues. Just seems like a senseless waste or money & landfill space.
11. We don't eat fast food or purchase things "to go." We don't order pizza or have food delivered. All of these things come in take out containers, which again are disposable goods. We eat at restaurants that have actual plates! DH and I always carry travel mugs with us, so is we go to a coffee place or gas station, to get some, we don't need to use disposable cups.
12. DH works for Waste Management as a residential recycler, so we also use alot of post consumer recycled goods. They give him tons of bags and products they are making out of recycled materials, so that is kind of neat too, to see what is being made after it leaves your house!
13. No wrapping paper this year for Christmas! I'm using green grocery totes to wrap presents!

One of our main goals for 2009 is to reduce our waste. As a family of four, we currently produce about 3/4 to a full bag of garbage each week. We are hoping to reduce that to a bag every two weeks, then by 2010, one bag per month. I'm sure we can do it, it just takes alot of work to sort evrything that is recyclable out, and change our purchasing habits even further!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Environmental dictator? bwhahahah. You've given me much inspiration and ideas. Wow I am amazed you have so little "trash" in your life. I have lots of practicing to do.

I have stopped buying water and juice in bottles.
I am making the majority of our Christmas gifts this year.
I wear very little makeup
I make all my errands count and I have very few.

thanks!
 

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1. I have a bag of "stuff" that instead of throwing in the recycling bin, I save to use with my kids for crafts. For example....yogurt containers, produce packaging (those tray things), any of those microwave meal containers. I think this year, I am going to use the yogurt containers to start seeds for my garden/flower garden.

2. I have a garden. I just planted 6 mature blueberry bushes that I bought from a local farm. I hope to have my own berries this year.

3. We have one car. It is a Honda civic. The perfect size for my fam of 4. I will use it until I can't anymore.

4. I recycle clothes by using hand-me-downs from friends and also passing the clothes my kids have outgrown on to the homeless shelter in town.

5. I keep our heat at 62 all winter long and we just use flannel sheets and more blankets on our beds.

6. We don't use AC

7. I made my own lined drapes for all the windows in my house. They are great for keeping out the heat and cold.

8. We follow the "if it is yellow, let it mellow. If it is brown, flush it down" philosophy. (my son thinks this is funny)

9. I have most of the appliances on power strips so that I can turn them off everynight. TVs and Computer are turned off every night and the TVs are off most of the day.


Great post. I think every little step you take towards a "greener" lifestyle helps the earth.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
1. I have a bag of "stuff" that instead of throwing in the recycling bin, I save to use with my kids for crafts. For example....yogurt containers, produce packaging (those tray things), any of those microwave meal containers. I think this year, I am going to use the yogurt containers to start seeds for my garden/flower garden.

2. I have a garden. I just planted 6 mature blueberry bushes that I bought from a local farm. I hope to have my own berries this year.

3. We have one car. It is a Honda civic. The perfect size for my fam of 4. I will use it until I can't anymore.

4. I recycle clothes by using hand-me-downs from friends and also passing the clothes my kids have outgrown on to the homeless shelter in town.

5. I keep our heat at 62 all winter long and we just use flannel sheets and more blankets on our beds.

6. We don't use AC

7. I made my own lined drapes for all the windows in my house. They are great for keeping out the heat and cold.

8. We follow the "if it is yellow, let it mellow. If it is brown, flush it down" philosophy. (my son thinks this is funny)

9. I have most of the appliances on power strips so that I can turn them off everynight. TVs and Computer are turned off every night and the TVs are off most of the day.


Great post. I think every little step you take towards a "greener" lifestyle helps the earth.

I love those little yogurt pots, but I never have enough for seed starters so early this fall I purchased one of those wooden pot makers that makes pots out of newspaper. I love that thing! It's awesome.

I use to use cloth napkins all the time and somehow fell off the wagon so to speak so I'm gonna get back on that hoss.

I've also set a limit for having the Christmas tree lights on this year. everyone took the edict fairly well. We didn't put any lights on outside this year.
 

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What a great thread. I love it and will be posting here often.

We do so much of what's already been posted, however a couple I've done recently:

~took apart a apron and a Christmas bag and will use the material for a Christmas quilt I've been working on for a couple years.
~turn our Christmas lights off at 9 p.m. (the outside ones, even though they are LED lights)
~we haven't plugged in our van this winter season
~we've learnt to unplug everything when not in use
 

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Well I am not as green as some but that was one of my goals this year and I can say I made some good steps.
1. I recycle all plastic, glass, steel and aluminum cans, and paper that can be recycled.
2. I set up a compost pile and have been using it.
3. Changed over to CFL bulbs.
4. Have started decluttering and donating things to the local charity thrift stores.
5. I too limit flushing when I can.
6. I use cloth napkins and rags when needed.
7. I use reusable totes at the store most of the time, when I don't I take the plastic bags back to my local grocers for recycling.
8. I have power strips, but confession, I have not been using them as I should.
9. I hang some of my clothes to dry. Hope to improve on this.
10. I limit my showers and have gotten the rest of the family to cut back some, still need to work on this.

So all and all I think I have made a good start.
 
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Well, today we used the last paper towel. I'm going to see how long I can go without buying them. I'd like to never buy them again. I wonder if I can do it. I know I don't have many dish cloths to clean up with. I might have to find some cheap somewhere. I don't want to run my washer/dryer all the time.

I made a cute magazine bowl for a decorative pot out of some left over avon brochures. Wow to think what I could do with some national geographics with awesome pictures.

I ran all my errands today at one time. I only have to drive a little ways to take the girls to piano tomorrow. I'll stop by and see my mom on the way home. The weather here might be bad so maybe I wont have to go anywhere!
 

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We quit using paper towels years ago and haven't missed them at all.

~I'm looking at making some hankies rather than going through all the Kleenex we use.
~we walk in town now instead of using our vehicle
~we also don't purchase bottled water anymore.
 

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I had ordered some flannelette sheets and they came in a plastic bagr with a zipper. I recycled the cardboard that seperated the sheets and was going to recycle the plastic bag they came in. Instead I'm now using it to store my triangles from quilting. With the zipper, it's wonderful in that they don't fall out.

We are walking lots rather than using our vehicle in town.
 

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well, it may not seem much to alot of people, but we do a few things that we consider better for the earth.
I have to say first, though, that I am not as extreme as alot of people, but do believe that this earth is a gift from God, and I should try and take care of it pretty well.
1. I do not buy anything (everyday items) that are plastic, and rarely buy anything in cans.
2. We use natural items, like metal, wood, glass, cotton, etc...
3. We don't buy new clothing or shoes until ours are completely worn out. We do not get rid of clothing just for stains and such. Any ripped clothing or stained clothing that no longer fit gets cut into rags to clean with and use for napkins.
4. We do not allow any man made chemicals in our home if all possible. This is not only for the earth, but also for the safety of my family. This includes cleaning things, foods, etc...
5. We eat food until it is gone, and only cook just enough to satisfy us and not fill us up- one chicken will last us for 4 meals, and the carcass will be boiled and the stock will be frozen. The needs and peels of veggies are saved in a bowl in the fridge to be boiled with the carcass.
6. We do not turn on lights or appliances unless we are needing them- i.e. lights are left off during the day.
7. We do not wash laundry but once a month, and barely ever use the dryer.
8. We do not drive many places at all.
9. We give things that are still useful, but not to us to people we know will use them, including to shelters.
10. We do not use the heat or air unless we need to.
11. We do not buy any paper towels, and buy recycled toilet paper. We use very little of this.
12. I do use the plastic bags at the store, but I use them for my garbage cans, too.... and thought this may not seem that great to ya'll, we burn our trash so that we are not sitting it in a landfill or the ocean to breakdown. It is all kept in one small area.

These are a few, and I am sure there are more, but that is all I can think of.

I am so proud that there are people that love this gift that we walk on everyday as much as I do. No matter our political affiliations, where we live, or anything, we can all do something. We do the best we can, and even if it isn't perfect, baby steps are great.
 

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We have a long ways to go to truly be "green and earth friendly", but we are trying hard to do as many things as possible to help in any way we can.
We do the recycle, reuse, and reduce saying as often as possible and look for new ways to improve all the time. Here are a few that we do.
Recycle all aluminum, and newspapers. We live in a small town that don't have a place for all things recyclable. Hope that changes soon!
We also recycle all electronics. We do the cell phones for American Troops, and computers.
We gather free pallets that are headed for the dump, we use them for all kinds of things from stacking hay off the ground to building animal pens.
We had an energy audit 1 year ago....it really helps to know what you have going on with your home.
We support the local thrift stores, yard sales, and try hard not to buy new when we can buy used.
We support the farmers market every chance we get, buying local really helps.
We also grow our own, and use homemade compost to do so. We don't use chemicals on our garden or lawn, we use natural things like chickens and geese as bug control and use manure from the corrals.
We don't have the prettiest of yards, we let the grass grow long, and have bushes and plants that don't take as much water.
We don't waste water, full loads of water to wash, dishes by hand with the water caught in containers to be used for other things. Line dry clothes, don't let taps drip, and don't use plastic water bottles.
We carry in.....we carry out. We never leave a campsite or picnic site without it being cleaner than we find out. My kids know the last thing we do when we go home is to clean up, even if it isn't our trash!
We practice take only photo's and leave only footprints when we visit the forests and deserts here.
We still have a long way to go, but I look at like every little bit helps.
 

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I've been soo bad about this lately. I'm trying to get back to my usual low-temp comfort level, but this house is much more breezy than the last one and I'm failing miserably this winter.

I am good about minimizing driving by planning chores and such.

I am good about minimal water useage.

I am good about not using paper towels/napkins/kleenex, and about re-using plastic whenever possible.

I collect Subway sandwich bags for a friend who uses them to collect cat-box cleanup into. (I think that credit probably goes to him rather than to me)

I am a huge fan of using things as long as they have utility rather than discarding early and casually.
 
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Well, I would be dishonest if I told you I was doing fine with out the paper towels. I miss them, but not enough to make a trip to get them. Maybe it's phase, but everytime I reach for one I've surprised myself. OMG I sure did depend on them alot. I'm going to hit the thrift or $ store tomorrow to see if I can find some more dish towels. I don't have very many but I've seem to become more messy with out paper towels.

We ate a meatless supper and even dh is liking this a little I think.

I've recycled 3 more magazines today and found this tutorial to make my own magazine bows:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=247280.0
 

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Because I've challenged myself to not spend over $500 in quilting supplies (that means ALL quilting supplies for 13 months), I needed to look at how I used my supplies more wisely. I'm working at getting some of my UFO's done and I only have so many bags of batting. However, I have a lot of smaller pieces. So I've decided to sew some of those pieces together to make into larger pieces and it's working perfectly. I should have done this years ago.

Our dd is quite the gal. She is big time in saving the environment, saving money and being extremely frugal. She bought a jean dress back in Sept. at a yard sale for $1.00 (with the sales tag still on). I thought she might want to wear it, however she had other plans. She took it apart and is sewing it up into jeans for her doll clothes that she makes. She then found another piece of older material and is making a top.

I love the aspect of re-using what you have on hand. It's both frugal and environmental. Gotta love that.
 

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I have tons and tons (ok maybe not TONS, but ALOT) of scrapbooking stuff and stamps. I am an avid scrapbooker/stamper. I'm giving up my SU demoship because I just cant swing minimum quotas just to get a discount kwim?

I'm planning on using what I have for a year without buying anything except adhesives--just to see if I can.

It's like fabric for sewers--it magically accumulates even though we already own lots.

I need to be using my stuff not COLLECTing more stuff.
 

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I have tons and tons (ok maybe not TONS, but ALOT) of scrapbooking stuff and stamps. I am an avid scrapbooker/stamper. I'm giving up my SU demoship because I just cant swing minimum quotas just to get a discount kwim?

I'm planning on using what I have for a year without buying anything except adhesives--just to see if I can.

It's like fabric for sewers--it magically accumulates even though we already own lots.

I need to be using my stuff not COLLECTing more stuff.

I'm in the same boat. We are committed to a scrapbooking club until the end of June where dd and I each have to spend $25.00. However we will be using up a whole lot of our scrapbooking things too because I'm not wanting to buy more. I'll be with you on this challenge.
 

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today, I finished another magazine bowl. A bigger one this time. I got the modgepoge on it too. I found some patterned paper I think I'll cut up and see if I can make a bowl that has a color scheme.
 

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We do a lot of what's written above (gosh, but y'all are aware of your actions! I could never recall so well as you!).

One of the big things we did was build an incredibly energy efficiency house, which includes geothermal heating and cooling and is so efficient the energy auditor just about couldn't believe it.

We reduce, reuse, recycle, freecyle. We
*compost even during the winter -- have a big tote going in the garage (wish us luck; it's experimental!).
*are planning a huge garden (first time -- will use heirloom seeds and Misti's idea of newspaper pots for starting them [that was you, right??? :)
*use reusable shopping bags
*don't buy highly-packaged items
*produce very little trash
*take care of what we own so that our goods last
*make good use of leftovers
*diligently combine errands
*I'm giving up my waterbottle habit and getting eco-friendly ones for Christmas (I was just refilling mine but I was told that was bad for health, and they still go in the landfill)
*we wash in cold and hang to dry whenever it's possible

I know we do more, but that's all I can think of.

Congratulations to everyone for all of your efforts, and many thanks on behalf of the planet (not that the planet has given *me* thanking rights, of course, but it's great to be among people of likemindedness!)
 
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