Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I love earth day. It makes my earth loving heart happy. Every year it gets better & every year I am happy with my progress in becoming more "green".

A few years ago we decided to stop using paper towels in our home. I'm happy to say that for the last 2 years we have not bought any paper towels. It took a little getting used to at first. I found it hardest when I needed to clean mirrors or windows. I was just so used to using paper towels for those jobs. Now I use a dry rag for cleaning mirrors & the tv. We keep dish towels in the kitchen for drying our hands & cleaning up spills. However, we are still using paper napkins & I think it's about time we switch over to cloth napkins.

For earth day last year, I decided to purchase some reusable shopping bags & get better at using those instead of plastic. Again, it took some getting used to. Mostly just remembering to bring them with me to the store. It's become a habit now & I actually like the reusable bags so much more. The structure of the store's reusable bags allows for the food to get packed in them so much better than the plastic. I've already gone to Walgreens today for a free bag, you should too!

I've also been working for a few years on trying to eat less meat. For the environment, for our health & because the Word of Wisdom says so. We gotta get off the meat, people. If you have any good, meatless, family friendly recipes, please do share.

And a bit of good news, Starting next month my city is implementing mandatory recycling. I'm so excited about it. All residents of my city are required to recycle. How cool is that?! The city realizes that it will save them money on garbage collection if everybody is recycling & they are claiming that fines will be issued to households that are not separating recyclables from their trash. I love it! Such great progress. Have I mentioned that I live in a cool city? Well, I do.

So....that was a lot to read, I know. In summary. This year I will:
* Stop buying paper napkins & make cloth ones
* Eat less meat
* I think I'll make my own swiffer dusters as well & wash them between uses.

Happy Earth Day!


the fellers said...

we do recycling here too, it is great. We just put the bin out on garbage day and they pick it up. We dont get fined if we dont do it, but it is great to have that option. We are really recycling a lot more, and it makes me feel better! You are a great example!

Donna said...

Hmm - we are trying to eat meatless a few days a week - 101cookbooks is a great resource - do you know it?

Also - soft tacos with black beans or tvp are a hit with the littles.

Lentils (ok - my favourite recipe has 6 slices of bacon in it, but ALMOST meatless!) - - my two year oldsays "Ilove these lentils, mama!". ..what else . . we eat veggie pita pizzas a lot on veg nights, and stuffed baked potatoes with cheese, brocolli and milk . . yum!! A side salad and you're good to go!

Good for you for being two years paper towel free. We ousted paper napkins a few years ago but still use paper towels for cleaning.

- donna (from kindredcrafters)

alexandra said...

Hi Candace!
I loved this post - not too long at all!!
We do a lot of green things around here too - local recycling, grocery totes and bags, cloth napkins and mainly meatless meals. We call ourselves 'pseudo-vegetarian' - my sister-in-law says we 'don't eat four-legged animals' - whatever you call it, it works for us. We often make Giada DeLaurentiis' Pasta e Fagioli soup and leave out the pancetta (bacon) to keep it meatless - it's yummy and filling and the kids like it too.
We hardly ever use paper-towels but I am guilty of using them when I do the mirrors and windows - you've inspired me to try cloth towels. And... I bookmarked the links you gave for napkins and the swiffer - we need more cloth napkins and we are about to get rid of our nasty old carpeting and replace it with cork on one level and bamboo on the other so I will be swiffering (the eco friendly way!) all over the place!
Thanks for the great post.
Happy Earth Day!

Cameron said...

Hi Candace!

Welcome to the land of mandatory recycling. NYC is pretty serious about mother earth. Keep up the good examples. No paper towels? From my cold(dry) dead hands ;)

Sarah said...

eeeiieee, I struggle with the paper towel thing. It probably has to do with the fact that I'd rather not add to my laundry load. I do use cloth for drying things and cleaning up water spills, but I really just can't imagine using them to clean up the kitchen or muddy footprints. In fact, if you do clean up food oil messes with a cloth, how do you keep track of which ones have had cooking oil in them? (Since you're not supposed to put it in the washing machine or dryer and I'm so not going to be handwashing stuff HAHA)
My county has a recycling pick up that's built into property taxes but have a sign-up fee and they require you buy blue bags from them which cost 12 times the amount of the blue bags from Wal-mart. I think more people would do it if it weren't for that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Candace. New-ish reader/lurker, also a local girl, how 'BOUT this great weather we're having? It brings us my most favorite eco-friendly tool: the clothesline! Sun-dried sheets and pillowcases. Yum. Don't forget that newspapers work great with a squirt-bottle of vinegar to clean glass (no lint!). But a dry rag is still the fastest way to get faucets shiny (unless dried toothpaste has entered the picture, ugh).

So funny that you mention paper towels. I think of one thing every day for which I'm thankful, and I clearly recall the day that the answer was "paper towels." Miles to go, there, but we love homemade cloth napkins. Making them is an excellent exercise in Nice Neat Hems 101 (or Nice Neat Bindings). Make them BIG AND HUGE and make a lot of them. And, if you use fun fabrics, the girls will like to help set the table. They're also a great way to use up odd fabric scraps. Who says they have to be one color? I *like* my Frankenapkins.


Shooting Starchild said...

I lived in NYC as a missionary and our landlady got fined because we didn't sort our recycling right. Make sure to get your city's publication about what they do and don't recycle when the program starts!

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