Discussion for Earth Day April 22,2012

day2dayApril 22, 2012

Today is Earth Day.

Try to do something special for the earth, not only today, but every day.

Since Earth Day, 2011, we have used a compost bin and use fabric shopping bags.

We try to buy products that have less packaging and try to stay aware of little things that help the environment.

I know this topic has been discussed before, but I'll put it forward again as part of our Earth Day observations

What do you do to help the environment?


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I have two compost bins, we recycle all tins, bottles, etc. and paper goods.
I try to conserve water as much as I can. I am sure there is more but that is all that comes to mind right now.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:16AM
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I use a variety of tote bags to take to the co-op, the grocery store, the library, etc.

I wash and reuse most all zip bags and plastic food storage bags in my home.

I am a member of our local food co-op and shop there as often as I can. I support local food producers by purchasing eggs, meats, vegetables and fruit grown locally or in my state whenever I can.

When the price of gas gets high, I take fewer long or unnecessary trips. If my knees were better, I would get a bicycle.

I only put out my trash bin when it is 2/3 or more full and recycle all items allowed by my city.

And I try to conserve water.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:46AM
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We recycle as much as we can. Also have a new front load clothes washer and a new HE dishwasher, which really help with water consumption. When we had the bathroom redone last summer we installed a heat pump water heater which is supposed to be super efficient and save a lot of electricity.

Since the 3 new appliances, our water bill has only been $40 a month (at times it was as high as $100 - and it's been the exact same amount for about 9 months so it must be the minimum charge) and the electric bill has dropped.

I use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store but can't seem to remember to take one into other types of stores.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:10AM
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I gave my old washer to Goodwill, as well as the dryer. My new washer is more efficient than a front loader. I bought a brand new wringer washer three years ago. I hang my clothes totally and let the sun dry it. In winter, I use one of my vacant greenhouses to hang clothes. Believe it or not, I can have five loads washed and hung to dry in the time it took my old washer to do one load.......and they're cleaner.

I compost all suitable material, recycle everything recylable and what little is left will usually fill one garbage bag a month.

I grow most of my own fruits and vegetables and preserve them. Have my own flock of chickens and use their manure on my gardens.

All my errands in town are done on one day, in one trip and I traded in my SUV three years ago for a 30 mpg car.

I do use fabric shopping bags.

We installed a ceramic-clad hot water heater and it only kicks on once a day on off-peak hours. We built a solarium where the old porch used to be to windbreak and get solar gain in winter. We replaced the hoggish electric resistance heaters for a gas fired boiler with zones, so we only heat the sections of the house we use and can keep the other areas cooler. I use blinds to all windows, shut at night and open in daytime for the solar gain. I even installed a pitcher pump in my kitchen so that large quantities of water can be pulled up without using the electric pump from our spring holding tank.

I use a minimum of paper products and disposibles ie washable cloth napkins. I buy organic real 'soap' by the gallon and use it for all our soap needs from laundry to dispensers and everything in between.

I do not subscribe to anything I can't get online and buy as much as possible in bulk.

Yes, I patch and darn and sew much of my own items and I cook almost entirely from scratch. We butcher our own meat some years as well since my son has a farm.

Put bluntly...........neither my husband nor I are consumers. We buy what we need and that's about it and I'd rather have a tooth pulled than shop for the fun of it. IOW we live plainly and love it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:38PM
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I probably fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. I do all the easy things (re-usable grocery bags; wash and re-use ziplock bags; house windows all tinted and heavy wood blinds on windows with most direct sun; recycle paper, glass, plastics; overhead fans to help keep the house cool and set the a/c & heat temps to barely comfortable levels; conserve water where I can) and a few of the things that take more thought and effort (no pesticides in the garden; use of eco-friendly maleluka mulch; use of drought tolerant plants; shrubs and trees planted specifically to shade some windows).

But on the down side: I don't have a compost bin; I live in a house that's too large for two people; I have a swimming pool that takes too many chemicals and too much water; I don't grow my own veggies; I have 5 animals but none that I would feel comfortable eating (although we keep pointing out that GrayC the 22 pound tabby would feed a large gathering!). I don't have chickens although I would like to. I plan to put in a rain barrel to gather rain water for the orchids but i haven't done it yet.

I do not live the self-sustaining life that my farm relatives live.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:18PM
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We recycle everything the city accepts, and take our glass to a store that will accept it.
We have a compost bin.
We have a large vegetable garden and I can some of it.
We are organic in our yard.
We air dry our clothes, inside on racks in the winter and outside in the summer or whenever possible.
We do practice some native plantings, and other systems (such as rain barrels) to minimize water use.
We use cloth bags and reuse all plastic bags by either washing zip-locks, or reusing for groceries, trash, or for cat boxes.
Our house is set up well for passive solar, so we can reduce heat use. We manage the blinds in the summer to keep the house cool, and do not use the air conditioning.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:13PM
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Wow...if there is a prize to be won here, Calliope, I'm sure it would be you! When I started reading your post, I at first thought you were pulling our collective legs, but then realized that you were indeed describing your life. I admire you tremendously, but I don't know when you find time to quilt. A while back I listened to someone being interviewed on CBC. I believe she wrote a book and I must see if I can find the name through Google. Anyhow, she started in January one year and vowed to make one change in her life that would benefit the earth every day for a year. At first it was easy, no more paper towels, use cloth shopping bags, etc., but as the year progressed she had to make more drastic changes. She sold her car eventually her fridge!! Can't imagine no fridge, but she shopped at local markets as she needed things. Anyhow, can't remember a lot of the details, but it was interesting. Not all of us are able to grow our own veggies or have our own chickens, but we could all take a lesson from you and if we looked hard at our own lives, I'm sure could make a few changes that would help to sustain our planet.

So I nominate Calliope as the "Green Queen" of the Quilting Forum.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:20PM
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I've had a front end washer since Maytag put out the first ones in the US, oh, 15 years ago or so. I've always been an organic gardener with a compost pile, because I was raised that way. Certainly I have white blinds to pull against the summer sun, and I keep the house cool in winter and just put a heating pad in the foot of my bed.

I get plastic grocery bags because you have to pick up after your dog when you walk her in my subdivision, and even in my backyard I don't want it to be too sewer-esque.

I'm afraid my earth friendliness is mostly not watering my yard when it dies in summer, and not heating my pool in spring--even though I have an in-ground RainBird sprinkler system and a gas pool heater.

I do wear things out. Clothes, appliances, phones--I never buy new just to have new. I'm more the opposite, hanging on to old favorites too long.

Oh yeah, I get other people's bagged leaves in fall for my garden. One year I got over 100 and stored them in my garage until my pile needed them--took a bunch to my mom's for her garden. I reused some of the bags even, for my regular garbage. I nab them off the curb, and sometimes bags of grass in summer if I spot them. And I pick up used coffee grounds from StarBucks but never, ever, ever buy coffe there. :)

I have to say, the extreme composting is hilarious fun in the fall--like a scavenger hunt on garbage day. And then come the pumpkins!!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Both Calliope and Petalpatsy deserve a medal. As do we all.
After reading all these posts, I realized that besides my compost bins and recycling, I do many of the things mentioned BUT not as much as I could or should do.
Bravo to all who try to make things better.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:46PM
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This has been interesting and up-lifting. lol, no medals here.... it evolved as much from circumstances, tradition, and personal choice as the result of a sudden awareness of good earth stewardship.

My mother was raised by her g'parents in a Quaker farming community. Much of what I know I learnt from her and my father. Simplicity and industry are valued and fanciness eschewed and it is a matter of personal preference how one chooses to interpret that concept. I was 'green' long before that phrase was coined.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:36PM
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