Skip to main content

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 TURN OFF COMPUTERS AT NIGHT – usually!
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 RECYCLE GLASS – Always!
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 RECYCLE NEWSPAPER – Always!
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 USE COTTON SWABS WITH A PAPERBOARD SPINDLE - don't use swabs at all.
J PAY BILLS ONLINE - Always, but need to figure out how to stop some of the paper ones arriving...
J STOP PAPER BANK STATEMENTS - see above...
J USE RECHARGABLE BATTERIES - Yup!
J SHARE! - and here I am!

 

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

House:
 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!
Personal:
* 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????
Cars:
* 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!
Food:
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!



Comments

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
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Killing cockroaches with boric acid v borax!

We live in Queensland. We have cockroaches. Lots of cockroaches! Why the NSW rugby team is called the Cockroaches is a mystery to me - surely ours are not only bigger but more plentiful??? At any rate, I don't like living with them (and I'm quite sure they  are not so fond of me at the moment!!) and I have been going through the usual gauntlet of sprays, solutions and bombs to get rid of them...

But I'm not so keen on the chemical aspect of all this spraying and bombing. I hate the smell and can almost feel disease and cancer growing in me every time I spray. I'm OK with the resident cockies getting a lungful of chemicals and then keeling over but I feel its impolite (and probably illegal) if my guests and family members do the same thing!!!

We went through a faze of killing them by hand (and flyswatter and rolled up newspaper and underfoot) but its hard and frustrating work and it probably was only culling the dumb and slow ones - leaving the smart fast ones to breed!!!

What to do when your cat attacks a bird... and doesn't kill it.

We have an eight year old cat who we got as a stray about six years ago. The vet reckoned she was about two when we got her and we did all the right things and got her spayed and vaccinated and all that stuff. She loves people and no matter where you are in the house or garden, she will not be far away. She really good with kids and will put up with the squishiest cuddles and a far bit of toddler tail fascination before bolting out the door to escape. She is well fed (despite the look she is giving me and the empty bowl below...) but not fat - but still the  urge to hunt and subsequently kill still seems to be quite strong.


Last weekend, she pounced out of nowhere on a rainbow lorrikeet - thankfully my husband and a band of teenage boys were also there and managed to grab the bird before the cat had done more than pounce. Now we have a slightly mangled still alive but obviously unwell bird on our hands - what do you do?

Here's what we did...

We found a box - popped an old towel in t…

Making homemade soap from lamb fat!

At work recently, we cooked up 3,000 lamb shanks (yes that was three thousand- and it took us a week!) for a feast which gave a us a huge amount of unwanted fat.

Normally that would have been thrown into the skip but I had remembered reading somewhere that animal fat - or tallow - can be used for making soap. If you have a look on a commercial packet of soap you will see something called sodium tallowate - that's scientific speak for rendered beef fat.
I have been making my own olive oil soap for a few years now with reasonable success, so I collected up all the fat I could, rendered it and gave making soap from fat a go!

Here's what I did...

I rendered the fat, which basically involves heating it to melting point and then filtering it through sieves that get finer and finer and then adding water (don't boil the fat or adding water will make it explode) and leaving the fat to set - on top of the water. The impurities should fall to the bottom and be caught in the water -…