Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Greener Pastures

My very first post was about resolutions and I mentioned that one of mine for 2009 is to make our home more environmentally sound. I admit that I have yet to make any really big strides- the composting machine is on its way... really... But we have made some baby steps and for those I feel like giving myself a small pat on the back.

One of the biggest changes we've made actually happened last year when Baby was born. Fiance drives about 20 minutes to work each way and I mostly drive within a few square miles for errands during the day. Due to this and safety, we swapped vehicles last summer. I now drive the gas-guzzling monster SUV (I can practically see the soccer games now) and Fiance drives the lower MPG sedan. The result is that we only fill the SUV up maybe once every two weeks and not only save money but also contribute one less energy-monster to the daily commute.

A more recent change is my efforts to use less paper towels. We have been very bad about this in particular since Baby came along and we became germaphobes. I tend to find crumpled paper towels randomly discarded on the major surfaces of the house and throw them out in bunches. So recently I purchased some packs of small kitchen towels to serve as reusable napkins, which were much cheaper than actual cloth napkins, and I've been making a concerted effort to keep clean dishcloths available for drying hands and cleaning spills instead of grabbing the usual wad of paper towels.

CFL bulbs have been installed in many fixtures that get the most use and I've switched over to more natural cleaning products in favor of the toxic bleach variety. I'm more cognizant of what can be recycled instead of haphazarding throwing items in the trash. Overall I feel like I've made some positive steps and hope to continue the pattern throughout the year. What are you doing to help greenify your home?

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