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Old 04-06-2008, 06:13 PM
 
61 posts, read 201,569 times
Reputation: 47

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We've been recycling whatever we could since the 80s. We pack up and donate unused items rather than put them in a landfill. We recently discovered a Habitat ReStore (affiliated with Habitat for Humanity) which will accept construction items (we have many do-it-yourself projects and now know where to bring the pieces of things we can't use). They also take furniture and used items like lighting products, countertops, cabinetry, sinks, etc.
Have a yard sale annually. People will actually pay you money to cart away your unwanted items!
We switched to fluorescent lightbulbs last year. My husband & I decided to reduce our monthly expenses and carbon footprint by sharing only one vehicle. This means we have to communicate with one another regarding appointments. We've been doing this successfully for 1 1/2 years. He has a home office, so this was easier for us to do than for most people.
I've been packing up unwanted books and donating them to my local library. I've also found that because of the price of gas these days, it's much easier to buy some things online rather than driving around trying to find what you're looking for in different locations. This doesn't work for everything but it is a time and gas saver for many items. We also combine errands and try not to make unnecessary trips because, where we live, everything is at least a 10-40 mile (round trip) to a store and back (and gas is almost $3.40/gallon).
Keep the thermostat on a timer; lower the water heater temperature; wash in cold water (washing in hot water to get items cleaner is a myth); use "green" household cleaning products, personal products (shampoos, skin cleansers, etc); turn off and/or unplug appliances when not in use; use a power strip for things like your computer and other items that can be turned off when not in use. These are just a few of the things we do. I try to buy some items in bulk and reduce the trips to a store this way. I've become a vegetarian in the past year, which helps "green" the earth in a whole different way than most people think, and is kinder to all the animals on our planet.
Another thing: either recycle those moving boxes or sell them/give them away by advertising (for free) on freestuff.com or craigslist.com.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,599,071 times
Reputation: 1207
I keep the heat low in the winter and I recently got on some program through the electric company where they come out and put a device on your air conditioner that cycles it to save electricity. I limit the amount of air conditioning I use.

I make an effort to have a few vegetarian/vegan meals per week to cut back on meat consumption.

I recycle virtually everything I can. We've got a pretty good curbside recycling program in Des Moines.

I've been replacing regular light bulbs with florescent ones as they go out.

I'm a member of the Sierra Club

I use organic products on my lawn. Planning on planting many plants this year.

When possible, I purchase organic food products

I try to combine/cut back on trips.

I donate my used products to charity and try to purchase used when possible.

I run my washing machine with warm or cold water.

I make an effort to shut lights off, limit hot water usage and reduce the amount of fuel I use for cooking.

Within the next year or so I'm hoping to replace my windows with ones that retain more heat/air, get a tankless water heater and hopefully a more efficient furnance.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,837,299 times
Reputation: 9316
The most impressive measure I've read thus far on this list is KKRA and her husband getting down to one car. That's the way it used to be not too long ago...one car per family. Growing up that way, I never gave it a second thought. We did just fine with one car. Though it would certainly create some inconveniences with todays hectic lifestyles, it can be done. In the not too distant future, I imagine that we'll be seeing more and more of it out of necessity rather than choice.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:06 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,102 posts, read 34,528,599 times
Reputation: 16147
Deciding not to make any babies is another way to go green imo. Keep in mind that I don't fault anyone from having children, but even in my youth, I felt that there were already too many human beings on this planet. And if I wanted to raise children (which I don't) I would adopt instead.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:21 PM
 
7 posts, read 20,152 times
Reputation: 10
bike and not pooping

Matt
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Chuckey, TN
24 posts, read 133,179 times
Reputation: 41
Default Not mentioned yet green tips

From what NOT mentioned yet we do the the following:
1. After watching "Earthlings" became vegans (sold all the clothing, shoes, accessories made from leather on eBay) and raw fooders.
2. Try to make our own beauty products (s.a. creams, balms), household products - using baking soda, borax, vinegar, mustard powder for cleaning. Also brush teeth with home made herb powder (no caries for 2 years!)
3. Learned how to make own recycled paper from old bank statements and other used up papers.
4. Before using a paper towel - cut on two half, and wash, dry, use again, and after few usages until it completely tear up.
5. Plan to build self-sustainable home from cob.
6. Put into home flowerpots each seed from the eaten fruit-veggy and plant a new creature (our home live jungle already).
7. Try to educate other at this matter.

Cheers to all environmentally conscious folks here!
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:37 PM
 
Location: HillTop
91 posts, read 348,008 times
Reputation: 39
1. we just bought new Eco friendly low water usage toilets
2. we are installing a tankless water heater
3.We take a folding bag to grocery store
4.we carpool when going same direction
5.we only speak to strangers when absolutely necessary(just Kidding)
6.we installed Vinyl windows and sealed our 100 year old home like a tomb
7.still working on curbing my vintage big block muscle car addiction(8mpg is not so hot)
but with all the things we are doing,a sunday trip in one of the classics is okay...
8.recycle as much as possible
9.only wash a full load of laundry (mostly)
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:46 PM
 
698 posts, read 2,459,781 times
Reputation: 747
Bravo to all of you. I wish I could do more and find myself being the oddball by some who haven't a clue. :^0
We will own one car but not until my husband retires. It's just too hard getting around on mass transit with a 3 and 4-year old.
I met someone the other day who swears that littering is good because it keeps the people who have to clean it up employed ... sheesh!
We:
* catch runoff water for plants in a pan while faucet is on.
* waste nothing (plan to use a compost down the road)
* use a clothesline
* meat-free for 8 years and same for the children (husband still a carnivore but we try)
* delay flushing which sounds gross but our little girls pee 1 ounce at a time and they've learned to only flush #2 (This house has the big 3- and 5-gallon toilets.)
* cold-water washing except sheets and diapers
* obviously, use cloth diapers!
* use sponges and washcloths instead of p. towels
* patronize thrift shops
* no dry cleaning
* vinegar to clean almost everything and lint-free cloths like Mystic Maid which is awesome on glass -- no more Windex
* have shade and fruit trees
* donate everything not broken
* mow or weed-eat the weeds to avoid poisons (though we do still fertilize the old way once/year)
* air-dry the dishes in dishwasher
* got rid of most leather shoes, clothes, bags etc but not sure yet if the process of making synthetic (vegan) shoes is earth-friendly. Anyone know?

My pet peeve is the bomb-proof packaging that is impossible to open. This has to be the worst annoyance for me.
I tried to keep our crazy ants out using a chalk line but it didn't work. They are so small and have hundreds of ports of entry. I used to use poisons but quit and just try caulking and wiping surfaces with vinegar. That works great.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Chuckey, TN
24 posts, read 133,179 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadreamin View Post
* got rid of most leather shoes, clothes, bags etc but not sure yet if the process of making synthetic (vegan) shoes is earth-friendly. Anyone know?
Hi!
Not all vegan shoes are synthetic. We try to avoid all synthetic shoes, and researched for a companies that produces earth-friendly shoes. Zappos has some cotton shoes if you choose a vegan category, but this is my favorite, very cute-looking and comfy shoes, from Simple - Green Toe line.
They are making 100% sustainable shoes from post-consumer recycled box, hemp and organic cotton, bamboo, and even recycled car tires!
No promo, just very exited about .
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
593 posts, read 2,243,485 times
Reputation: 301
I have been going green by biking to work as much as possible. It was tough to get used to at first, but after a month of bike commuting I am hooked. I haven't calculated my eco-footprint yet, but I'm sure it is significantly lower because of this decision.

Does anyone else here commute to work by bike?
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