View Full Version : The Green Earth

06-10-08, 02:23 PM
I don't know much about helping the earth and being eco-friendly and stuff but I'm starting slow. What do you do to help save the earth?

I use my reusable bags for groceries. I worked at Wal-Mart for 8 years and got so sick of plastic bags! Plus when I shop too much and end up with too many bags at home. We do take them back for recycling but still....Mother-in-law lives here and she brings home bags too. I think I started with a couple NoFrills bags that clipped onto shopping carts and folded up nicely...until the snaps broke not too long after. Now it's grown to those and other store bags. And a cute one I bought at a bookstore. I keep some in each car and gotten to the point where I'd go back out to the car from the store if I needed one. The other day we went grocery shopping and I brought 2 or 3 bags. Wasn't enough but Wal-Mart had theirs right behind me for $1.00 so I bought one more. Still ended up with a few plastic bags and I felt guilty! LOL. I wish more people would do that. I heard how long it takes for plastic to disentegrate and I see the litter all the time. So sad.

I also got some supposedly green eco-friendly bathroom cleaner from Wal-Mart. We usually use Clean-Shower but if it's green like they say it is, I'd switch to that.

That's all I do so far. I'd conserve water by (what was the saying on an episode of Wife Swap?) "If it's clear, leave it there. If it's brown, flush it down". Something like that about toilets. That family also seperated the toilet paper and used every side but that's way too much for me! My theory is if you use toilet paper, flush. If it's just pee (for the guys), leave it there. That's do-able for me. But I have two young boys who love to flush and my husband could care less about conserving water.

Mom and hubby aren't into the eco-thing. They just live for themselves so I won't get pushy at them. I'll teach the kids a bit though...

What do you do? Feel free to teach, just say it in nice ways so I don't feel more guilty about not doing more. LOL.

p.s. riding bikes to work? No option. Too far and we work at night. Bus? Still don't know about that one yet......Hubby wouldn't go for that and I can't particulary picture that.

06-10-08, 03:34 PM
We recycle, but aren't crazed about it.

I let my lawn get pretty shaggy before mowing it, this saves gas, reduces noise pollution, and conserves water...and improves my outlook because mowing sucks.

We buy a lot of goods second hand (particularly me), and I wear clothes until they hang in tatters and are unfit to be worn in public, at which point they are worn to bed. yay.

We set the A/C at 77 or so, and the heat at 67 or so. We don't turn on either when the temp is between 55 and 90 ... typically.

We drive fuel efficient cars, and carpool as we can.

We like to buy in bulk as this reduces waste and saves time, gas, and money.

We try and be aware of who we are buying from and so perhaps give more money to companies that we think are good versus zombie brain-eating companies.

We eat meat to reduce the number of cows in the world. :D


06-10-08, 06:13 PM
We eat meat to reduce the number of cows in the world. :D


Yup! Can't have too many cows in the world! LOL. Or chickens.

06-10-08, 07:53 PM
1. we've got the flourescent bulbs,
2. I got great shopping bags at home depot, huge orange nylon(Ithink) ones that can hold tons of stuff.
3. I got a weed trimmer to fit my 18V rechargable system (mother earth news said it was good for the environment)
4.we compost.
5. Can't see spending money on a hybrid when we have two paid for escorts that average between 32-34 gallon.
6. I hang the towels to dry sometimes, can't do that with the clothes I wear though.
7. I recycle the aluminum, actually I recycle all the cans from the canned food too, I just throw them in the dishwasher when there's extra room, and the man down the road (which is closer than the recycling center) at the metal place pays me 80 cents a pound for the cans, and 15 cents for steel and iron and other metals.

I don't see too much need to conserve water, we have a well and septic tank, so the water is naturally recycled eventually.

06-28-08, 10:07 AM
Okay!! I've got my solar cooker made out of my two cardboard boxes. I'm going to attempt a pot roast in it today. Hopefully, the hounddog won't get to it. LOL. I'll let you know how it goes.

According to one of the solar over web sites, I'm saving energy both by not using the stove and the AC won't run as much either.

06-28-08, 12:04 PM
I bought two re-usable canvas grocery bags.

06-28-08, 12:14 PM
I don't own a car but I did for one year and drove 3000 miles. So unless someone is using no electric power I doubt they are making a carbon foot print as small as mine. :) I keep telling myself to start curbside recycling. Very few people in my town do. My sisters family does so I' aware of what needs to be done. I think about inventing green technology though. I have an experiment right now with calcium chloride absorbing humidity. A desiccant cooling system could cool a building with a lot less energy.

06-28-08, 12:16 PM
A desiccant cooling system could cool a building with a lot less energy.

That probably wouldn't work too well in Phoenix. :D

Ya know, it's a dry heat.

06-28-08, 12:21 PM
1. we've got the flourescent bulbs,

I'm not going to lie, I bought these for selfish reasons. They are supposed to last for like 8 years. I've Sharpied the date I installed them on the base of each one.

If they don't last, there will be hell to pay! :D

06-28-08, 01:33 PM
That probably wouldn't work too well in Phoenix. :D

Ya know, it's a dry heat.

Actually it would work fine. A descant cooling system would lower humidity but then evaporating cooling(spraying water basically) would put a lot of the water back in the air thus lowering the temperature and increasing the humidity again. Then you repeat the cycle. So you could adjust the humidity or temperature over a range.

The fact that Phoenix is so dry means that you can use a cooling tower and merely spray water to lower the temperature. But that still increases the humidity quite a bit and it would be useful to dry the air some in many cases.

06-28-08, 03:25 PM
Well the homemade solar cooker is at 185 degrees F. I bought an oven thermometer at Walmart earlier. It's been in there since 11 am hopefully by 6 it will be done.

We put our first compact flourescent bulbs in when we moved into this house in 12/2000, they have just started to go this year so we've gotten about 6-7 years out of them.

I went ahead and bought the soda for the Fourth of July Cookout at the Club where my hubby's AA meetings are, so I don't have to make a special trip for that.

06-28-08, 04:05 PM
Well the homemade solar cooker is at 185 degrees F. I bought an oven thermometer at Walmart earlier. It's been in there since 11 am hopefully by 6 it will be done.

I made one last summer but gave up after one failed attempted to bake a potatoe. :)

I did not use double plastic on top. So I think I lost a lot heat that way.

I want to invent a simple solar heated design of a black plastic bag that will fit in a 2-liter bottle and hold say a cup or two of water get it hot enough to sterilize water.

The bag would have a width about the same as the 2-L bottle but be thin. The dead air in the bottle acts as insulation. I need a plastic that will work or a way to paint common plastic black and glue it or seal into a bag. The goal being something you could make in a survival situation. I had plans to make a you-tube video of me collecting garbage and fashioning the device, drinking a cup of tea at the end all while the Pink Panther theme song plays. I thought a double bag that one side inflated would help hold it in the middle of the 2-L bottle.

06-28-08, 05:06 PM
The flipping sun moved to the other side of the house, I forgot about that. I had it on top of the metal table we use to put the spa cover on, I think that would be the south side of the house.

If I had put it out at 8 or 9 am it would have been fine. It's cooked all the way through and HOT, but it's a chuck roast and needs a little more cooking. So it's on the stove finishing up.

03-06-09, 12:50 PM
- change the light bulbs
- change cleaning products / ang plastics containers.
- dont use syrofoam containers
- keep lights down,
- turn computer off when not in use.
- limit ac in the hot weather.
- use micro clothes instead of buying paper towels.
- buy sheets and towel, gardening pots from bamboo-
- use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning. ( i love the smell)
- I take the bus
- I try to recycle, but the apt doesnt.
- I hope everyone follow with the green stuff. It will help our earth if we all particapate.

03-08-09, 11:14 AM
-About half our bulbs are flourescent.
-We use our own plastic grocery bags.
-We use the clothes line for drying maybe 3/4 of our laundry, and
wash most everything on cold using the smallest cycle possible.
-We try to plan our errands so that we don't do extra driving.
-We definitely recycle.
-We buy pre-owned stuff whenever it's practical, and I love thrift store shopping for clothes! Hate clothes shopping, but love finding great high-end stuff at the thrift store. I'll find stuff brand new with the tags still attached.
-Keep lights off when we're not here, and lights turned off in rooms we're not using.
-Friends and I take the bus sometimes when going on outings to neighboring towns.
-I carpool with friends when doing errands whenever possible.
-I use neem oil when I have to spray for bugs in the garden
-garage sales are great for finding furniture, pots for the garden, etc.
-we buy in season local organic produce

There are websites that you can measure your carbon footprint, and if so inclined can donate to offset it - I wasn't sure if it's okay to post a link to one, because of the donation thing. If you google carbon footprint calculator you'll find them.

03-09-09, 07:12 PM
Farmer's markets! I love them, the produce is always sooo much tastier and you significantly reduce the amount of transportation. Plus it supports local farms!

Go get yourself a set of VERY VERY THICK DRAPES or CURTAINS. Hang them in every window of the house during the summer! It helps keep the house as much as ten to fifteen degrees cooler, no AC needed. :) During the winter, take the drapes down, and voila! The house becomes warmer, no heat needed (up to a certain point!).

Make sure your house's insulation is good. Bad insulation makes for massively bigger electric bills because your house doesn't retain its temperature.

Whenever possible buy things made of bamboo-it's durable and so easy to grow more of! Plus it's soft. I like it better than cotton for sure!

Try and support local business whenever possible; there's lower transportation costs involved.

Print on both sides of your paper if at all possible. :P There's also more expensive paper made from cloth fibers, but it isn't very professional looking. Recycle afterwards!

Get paperless billing and automatic payment for all your accounts. Opt out of magazines and make sure to try and recycle all junk mail you receive. DH and I take the sensitive paperwork after we're done with it and use it to start the grill or to have a small bonfire if it's chilly.

Speaking of grilling-try doing more minimal cooking. Human beings evolved eating uncooked foods, and when it's safe we still can. Veggies and fruits that are in season and from the farmer's market are absolutely delicious raw, and less cooking time for your meat (searing or grilling as opposed to slow-roasting or frying or baking) means less energy used.

Of course, there are a lot of crockpots (and otherwise!) that are Energy Star approved. If you're in the US that means that the appliance is energy friendly and held to a certain standard as far as energy consumption goes.

Keep appliances unplugged when they aren't in use. Just turning them off is helpful, but they can continue to drain energy if they're still plugged into the wall! An easy way to do this is to just get power strips and you can unplug the strip from the wall as you go out.

You can try growing your own produce, herbs, etc., as well, but with the whole ADD thing I was never terribly good at that. :P

Keep up regular maintenance on your heavy appliances, and especially on your car. A well running machine is a more efficient machine!

The Green Works cleaners from Walmart are amazing! They smell like marigolds and work just as well as other cleaners (and I think a little better!). Plus the smell doesn't give me killer headaches. They have a whole line of them, be sure to get the all-purpose cleaner if you want to do more than the bathroom as bathroom cleaners are more stringent than all-purpose and may mess up your other belongings.

Another thing that a lot of people don't think of-get yourself a good big external hard drive for your computer. Then, instead of printing paper copies of all your bills, bank statements, etc., just save a copy onto the external. Be sure to unplug it from the comp when you're through, and run a virus check on your comp before you use it to keep from infecting it and losing your data!

Try acupuncture. It uses more natural remedies, and less chemicals overall. Plus it works amazingly-I was barely able to walk with a cane before I started going, and now I'm starting to run and work out again. I was walking on my own again without three months, and the modern doctors never could figure out what was wrong!

If you have dogs, you can compost their poop and use it to fertilize your flower beds-just no vegetable gardens! Google dog poop compost to find out how. I'm going to as soon as we get our own house! That way we aren't making little doggy-poo time capsules to throw in our landfills. CAVEAT: if you can't compost, don't just not pick up your dog's poop. It's dangerous, as it creates an environment that's perfect for spreading infectious diseases.

Hope these helped!!