Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blog Action Day - Our contribution to the environment

This is a day late - but here it is. Our households contribution to the environment is as follows:

Kitchen - we are vegetarians / aspiring vegans. We do consume eggs and cheese on an occasional basis and someday hope to kick their butts to the curb entirely. But for now it is baby steps in that department. I try to buy as many organic foods as possible, with an emphasis on locally grown items. However, we do live in northern ontario so are quite restricted in the winter months. This past September i attempted to freeze and preserve as many local vegetables/fruits as possible so that they would last us into the winter. Now, being that this was my first attempt at this I wasn't sure how much to do - and alas all those items will likely be gone by Christmas. ha ha I just didn't buy/freeze enough. Next year I know to DO MORE! I did have a small garden in my back yard - the postage stamp size of a back yard. I grew tomatoes, herbs and peas. My grandmother had a fair size garden and she was very generous to us. The rest of the stuff we bought at the farmers market all summer long.
I cook most of our meals from scratch. This reduces the amount of pkging that comes into our house. AS well, we tend to buy in bulk - further reducing the amount of pkging we see. We use our blue and yellow bins faithfully and I compost as much kitchen waste as possible.

Bathroom - All of our personal care items are organic and as natural as possible. We have preserve toothbrushes and a hemp shower curtain.

Bedroom - when a set of our bedsheets was frayed and time to go bye bye, I replaced them with bamboo sheets. Whoa, wonderful fabric let me tell you! This is the only new purchase in that department. The rest of our replacements have come from hand-me-downs from my mother. She is always good to 'pass on' her sheets and towels to us. Any of our clothes we no longer wear have gone to charity or to other family members. We have two kids so the youngest gets the hand me downs. We have also bought the odd thing at a second hand store.

Household - All of our cleaning supplies are homemade - mostly consisting of vingegar, water, and essential oils. Our laundry detergent is also made by yours truly. The clothes get hung outside in the spring thru fall. The cold weather up here in winter time wouldn't be ideal for a clothes line. ha ha All of our lightbulbs are energy efficient ones; our monthly average power consumption is 300 kWh. (the average households kWh is 700); I turned down our thermostat on the hot water tank quite considerably.

Transportation - prior to moving to northern ontario I used the public transportation system to go to work and run errands most of the time. We also walked or biked to most places. However, since moving up here, that has been reduced quite considerably. I still manage to bike when i can or walk when I can.

There you have it - our contribution in a nutshell. It is a work in progress - we can still do a lot more to reduce our footprint on the earth. I am open to suggestions at any time on other changes that we can make.

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