July 23, 2007

A Little Less Waste

More adventures in greening around here. In my head, I am trying to institute changes slowly, but I sometimes think Misha comes home from work with a sigh already prepared in response to some new adjustment in his life. It's hard. We're a habit-driven family.

But still. New this week is a wholehearted attempt to stop our junk mail. It's all well and good to recycle, but it would be so much better for this stuff not to even be printed and flown around and the driven around in the first place. I signed up at the Direct Marketing Association's website - they promise to get about 75% of junk mail out of your mailbox, but I'm not really holding my breath. Basically I've just decided to call whomever ends up sending us crap (and there's a lot of it, especially lots and lots of medical catalogs. I can't believe Misha's hospital sells doctors' names - but it's either them or the AMA, and either way, how horrible!) and telling them to take off their list and not to sell our address. They are required by law to comply.

Also - much less hot water use. We've already been doing our laundry in cold water for the last couple of years, but now I'm turning only cold water every time I use the sink. I have to admit thought, that's all well and good in the summer and I wonder what will happen to my tolerance for cold water when the seasons change.

Finally - no more paper towels. I cut some of Lara's old swaddling blankets into cute little rags (color-coded by room, since I'm pretty grossed out at the idea of using the same ones in the kitchen and in the bathroom). They are flannel, so they don't fray very much at all, and work really well. Lara helped cut them up by looking at the spread-out blankets, yelling "BET!" and plopping down on them to "sleep." Here she is contemplating the new terrain:

1 comment:

vegetablej said...

I discovered you on "No Impact Man" and thought I would drop by with a suggestion for turning off the lights.

But first congratulations on making the green changes in your household! As an ex-homemaker I know the challenge.

My thoughts are these. Institute a fine for leaving the lights on when leaving a room (or other excessive power use). Of course this kind of depends on your children's ages, But you could fancy up a glass jar and get them to throw in some change as the "fine", then use it to buy some trees for a tree-planting program to offset the energy use. It would be very educational if you all went to a tree-planting day and experienced that together.

Good luck!