Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Living more with less part 3

As many of us approach a season of gift-giving and hosting, here are some ideas for conserving energy from Living More with Less, with my thoughts in red:
  • Set a reasonable standard for cleanliness and pare cleaning and beauty products to the basics. I think that phrase "reasonable standard" is rather humorous--I'm sure that looks quite different for all of us! I would say I am more neat than clean, but I do have a basic weekly cleaning schedule. With cleaning supplies, I'm making a slow switch to non-toxic and want to try homemade cleaners using vinegar, Borax, etc. As for paring down beauty products, I'm planning to adopt Megan's approach: purchase environmentally-friendly products when my current ones run out. I'd also like to try to use fewer products than I am currently.

  • Purchase fewer products and materials which are nonrenewable or not biodegradable. This point deserves more of my consideration. I recently attended a workshop on environmental stewardship in which one panelist encouraged us to really think before we buy anything. She said she asks herself if the product can be reduced, reused and/or recycled. If not, she re-considers the purchase.
  • Recycle glass, paper and aluminum. Compost organic materials from the yard and kitchen. We do recycle paper and aluminum but I still need to be proactive in finding where we can recycle glass and cardboard locally. I have never tried composting--this is something I need to learn more about.

  • Save energy by doing some chores the slow way rather than buying more machines. A fascinating concept for the times in which we live--there are machines for everything! Little example: my husband and I recently noted that a department store was selling "quesadilla makers!" It truly is something to consider as we make lists of gifts to give or receive.

Living More with Less is a very insightful book and I am enjoying sharing various sections with you. Thanks for reading!


Niki RuralWritings said...

Carrie I have a recipe or two for homemade nontoxic cleaners I can pass along to you if you like.

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

When you find cleaners that work, please pass them on. Toxic cleaners have been on my mind a lot since having a little one.

Let me know if you make the syrup.

Mom2fur said...

How about those things that cook hot dogs with their buns? I mean, really--how hard is it to cook a hot dog? You even get several choices...microwave, stovetop or barbecue. So we need another method, LOL?
Me, I love kitchen gadgets, but sometimes the ones I see are just too silly!
My favorite homemade thing is fabric softener. I just put some vinegar and water in a cup during the rinse cycle, then add a spoonful of baking soda and dump it in. Yep, you get the volcano effect...which is why I highly recommend doing this over the machine, LOL!

Sarah B. B. said...

Such great thinking, Carrie! (I have added this book to my Christmas list, by the way...) My husband & I have been making an effort to enjoy the "gadgets" we have - he surprised me with homemade ice cream this weekend. We've had the contraption since our ENGAGEMENT - almost four years ago - and never used it! Ugh... :)

Ewokgirl said...

All good things to think about, especially during this time of year when consumerism is at its peak.

spaghettipie said...

Composting is really easy. We have a small ceramic composter inside that I put our scraps in (no animal based products can go in - meat, fats, dairy, etc). When it gets full I take it outside to our big compost bin. You can either use a small corner of yard (fenced off, but then you have to turn it), or a composting container of sorts. For a while I used an old plastic trashcan that my husband drilled holes in. The main problem with it was turning the compost. I now have an actual compost bin that rotates. It doesn't take up too much space, and churns out good compost pretty fast. Perhaps I'll put a post up about composting sometime in the near future. But particularly since you garden, I think you'd enjoy doing this. I love feeling like I'm not wasting leftover food!

Anonymous said...

Timely reminders! :)
Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Hi Carrie: I am so sorry I hooked onto your LINK about the Cozy swap by accident. I wanted to send a message and tell you that I enjoyed seeing the sharing on your site.