Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Low impact

So, I found this cool article on a family that went 'deep green'.

They don't use electricity (washing clothes by hand - w00t!), ride on transport that depends on fossil fuels (planes, trains, automobiles), or buy anything new (ala The Compact). The bloke calls is 'no impact living' and blogs it here.

I find this fascinating - being a thriftychik - and inspiring. I also plan to wander back through his blog and see how they cope with having a child while doing this (their daughter is two). I maintain that people, mostly women, waste a STUNNING amount of money, energy, time, and resources on their kids.

What do YOU do to 'be green' or 'reduce your carbon footprint' (I already hate that trite phrase, taken up by pseudo-conservationists who pat themselves on the back for ordering in bulk; organic, non-bleached, hemp-waste-fiber-lined, disposable nappies for two bucks a piece) if anything, as a parent?

Do you do what you do for the environment? To live more simply? To save money? To be healthier? To reduce consumerism? To reduce waste?

Do you find yourself being less thrifty/waste conscious since you had kids (buying convenience foods, snack-sized ziplok bags, name-brand clothing) or more so (buying food in bulk and freezing, cooking more/packing lunches, yardsale shopping)?

I think I'm getting thriftier and thriftier, lol (and my motivation, btw, is mostly financial. I'm trying to save money and live as simply as possible. I think improving the environment and personal health will follow). I constantly search for ways to save money like buying washable containers for juice and snacks so that I can pack those things from out of bulk containers into lunches and snacks-on-the-go.

So please share your 'style'!

Right now I:

-Buy food in bulk, divide and freeze.

-Cook/prepare several meals at once and freeze/refrigerate.

-Cook from scratch as much as possible.

-Try never to use plastic cling film, aluminium foil, storage bags, baby wipes, paper plates/napkins. I also save what little aluminium foil I use, wash plastic storage bags (unless they've contained raw meat), AND disposable baby wipes (yes, you can launder them several times before they fall apart). I use one small box of plastic wrap and foil per year, have the same box of store brand ziplok bags I bought when we moved here 5 years ago, and don't have paper plates in the house.

-Cloth diapered all 5 children (same nappies, too, but *whew* some of them are falling to bits!)

-Buy all clothing and furniture at yard sales, thrift stores, via local buy-and-trade list, or free off of Freecycle (or hand-me-downs and freebies). Exceptions: mattresses and underpants.

-Use all compact florescent bulbs. The only incandescent lights I have are ones in the barnyard for heat (over baby animals for instance).

-Hand wash dishes and hang all clothes to dry.

-Do all household and automotive repairs possible myself.


Of course, I also:

-Farm, and so run a tractor and a pick-up truck for hauling.
-Drive a huge full-sized van.
-Have an online business and so run a desk-top, laptop, and many peripherals all day, every day.
-Am addicted to films which means a huge telly, DVD player, VCR, and hundreds of films which come in those ridiculous packages with all the plastic on (and don't forget the sticky bits!)
-Ditto Diet Coke which I consume in insane quantities and wonder why EGH is not actually COMPOSED of, like Hydro-Man, (Except he'd be, like, Diet Coke Man, LOL). I do recycle every single can, though.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:58 am   2 comments


At 10:12 am, Blogger Bikini said...

Oooh... I've been trying more, so here's my list of stuff I do to simplfy things at our house:
1. Buy and sell kids stuff at consignment sales
2. Buy in bulk and freeze for leftovers/lunches
3. Work from home two days a week
4. Swap out burned out incandescent bulbs with fluorescent (not at 100% compliance yet)
5. Shower without all the vanity lights blazing in the bathroom (also makes it really hot in there in the summer)
6. Married a mechanic! Holla!
7. Use a lot more vinegar to clean than rely on 20+ bottles of different chemical cleaners (seriously, I counted once) - thanks to Sarcastic Journalist for that tip.

There's still a lot of waste going on at our house - I would love to have a composter or something for food scraps and whatnot. Eventually we'll have a garden, I think.

At 3:08 pm, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

I make sure I've got more than one thing to go out for, and I plan my route to be the most efficient that I can. I also try to buy in bulk, and I make sure we turn off lights and unnecessary electric things. There are a few more things I do - modest things, mostly - but every little bit helps.

Hey, I sent you an email the other day, but I've not heard back from you. Did you get it? My server's been fussy lately, and I want to make sure I got through...


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