One thing . . .

We’ve probably all said it, or at least thought it . . . . why bother trying to live or work ‘more eco-friendly’?  What difference will one little thing I do really make?  OR, I can’t afford those eco-friendly products.

Eco-friendly IS the new buzz word and marketers are riding that wave all the way to the bank.  It’s going to become BIG BUSINESS.  But, what can those of us who live a basic middle class life afford to do to make a difference?

1thingnw  has some great ideas.  Little, small, simple steps that anyone can take; that combined with lots of other little steps from average people CAN make a huge difference.

Here in Oregon we are already big on recycling.  Michael and I do a lot of rescuing of building materials destined for the landfill to make our products with.  And living out in the country and having well water of limited amounts, we are always very frugal with out water usage. 

So, here are the ‘new things’ that I have started doing to conserve and preserve:

1)  I bought the re-usable shopping bags at Fred Meyer.  As soon as I unpack groceries in the house I take the bags right back out to my car so they are always there.  And I take them in with to to WHATEVER store I am shopping at. 

2) And speaking of shopping.  I prefer to run all my errands and get all my grocery shopping done on Mondays.  BUT, from where we live it’s a half an hour to anywhere!  So, now I do my grocery shopping after work on my way home.  I don’t enjoy it as much.  I’m tired.  Michael is cranky and hungry by the time I get home and I don’t feel like cooking dinner after I’ve put groceries away.  But it really does save me a lot of extra driving (and $$$ in the gas tank!) in the long run.

3) If I am cooking something in the oven I’ll try and make the most of it.  As long as the oven is hot, I’ll cook a quick batch of cookies (the break and bake kind of course!)  And I’ll cook larger portions to allow for leftovers which can be reheated in the microwave.

4)  I run the spin cycle on the washer a couple of extra times to get more moisture out of the clothes to cut down on drying time in the clothes dryer.   And fold clothes straight out of the dryer to cut down on wrinkles and ironing time.

5) We closed the heat vent and closed the door to the spare bedroom for the winter to conserve heating costs.

What ONE THING can you start doing today to make a difference?

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  1. I read this post yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about my list since. So here is my short list.

    I do my dishes in the Dishwasher. Yes, it is actually better for the environment do use the dishwasher, see this article

    I don’t take the newspaper

    I use my wood burning stove to help our heater on the cold days. I reduced my heating bill last year by $150-$200 per month by doing this.

    We live in the country and don’t have curbside recycling, so I cart the aluminum cans to a collection bin as needed. No special trip, it’s gotta be on the way.

    I too hit the grocery store on the way from work.

    I focus on reduce and Re-use
    I re-use all boxes and packing material, and since we have a business we get lots. I even reuse those padded envelopes that stuff comes in.

    I have my T2T business, and a lot of my furniture is re-purposed. I have at least 3 items made with old cabinet doors from our home remodel.

    I try to buy very little new. Except clothing. It’s amazing what you can find at thrift stores and garage sales.

    We take my son’s car on long trips, it gets the best mileage.

    I save and re-use those plastic grocery bags. ie: Son’s lunch at school, trash can liner, garage sale bags.
    (i always forget to get the canvas bags I keep in my trunk).

    Keep in mind, these things save the individual lots of money too, which is a great incentive to do them.

    Well that’s my short list.

  2. my favorite eco friendly thing is the grocery sacks …. i have used them ever since i got married 17 years ago …. i have LOADS of sacks now that are relegated to grocery bag status … some of them are the cute sacks my kids carried to preschool…. perfect for smaller or fragile things like eggs and grapes and yogurts … but i also have ginormous bags from summertime beachiness that are now relegated to grocering and they can hold a freezerful of food …… and the nicest bit is i neither have plastic bags to throw away, nor do i have them here, cluttering up my house …..

    i was just going to give you one … but i have another fave … no paper napkins or paper towels …. i have LOADS (like 100) dishtowels …. and before you say “water waster” i don’t think they take up any more water because they just get thrown in the laundry as we go and they are in a load that would be anyway …. same with cloth napkins …. this is another habit i started right when i got married …. i made all these “decisions” about how i wanted my “home” to be … it was tiny apartment but i wanted to recycle and be eco conscious …..

    i might need to blog about this too .. apparently i have a lot to say !!

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