The environment is one of my passions. My approach is "every little bit helps". No one person can change the world, but if everyone did just afew little things, it could make a big difference. It's not an all or nothing propsition, either living in a tent and eating grass clippings or driving a Hummer (which thankfully aren't made anymore, yea!) to the end of the driveway to pick up the mail. Lots of space in between to make good things happen.
Here are just afew of the little things that we do around our home. There are others, and every day I look for new things to add to make the world a better place.
1. No chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. With horses and chickens, composted fertilizer is never tough to come by. Weeds get pulled by hand, and we like the way that the dandelions look in the grass. Besides, they really only last in full force for a month or so anyway. We rarely have disease/pest issues with our plants. On the rare occasion we do, I look to a source like Gardens Alive for a natural solution.
2. Limit cleaning chemicals. I clean almost everything with water, vinegar, and a little mild dish soap. I usually scour with baking soda, though I do keep a can of comet and some bleach around in case of really tough rust water stains. But both of those things last a looong time, and are used as sparingly as possible. Makes cleaning supplies a lot cheaper too!
3. Reusable cloth grocery bags. It was such a relief to be free from the tangle of plastic bags that was always breeding in the cabinet under the sink.
4. Combine trips. As a compulsive list maker, this one was easy for me. I try to avoid running out for just one or 2 things. If I have to go somewhere, I try find other errands I can tackle along the way in the same trip to save on gas and emissions.
5. Laundry - Afew years ago we got a high efficiency front load washer/dryer set, and it made a huge difference in our electric bill (electric dryer). They use a lot less water too (though we have a well, so it's hard to track exact water use). Most loads are washed in cold water. Maybe this summer I will tackle a clothesline.
6. CFL bulbs. We replaced almost all of the bulbs in our house as they burned out with CFLs. All of our high use bulbs are now compact flourescents. We started using them about 8 years ago, and we JUST had our first one burn out. With regular bulbs, there were some fixtures that seemed to always have a burned out bulb.