Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

In honour of earth day today I spent the day working on my yard and getting things ready for this year's veggie garden.

Okay, full disclosure time... I was planning on doing it anyway, it was just convenient that yesterday was earth day! ;)

I really do try my best to be conscious of what impact I have on the environment, though there is so much more I could be doing, many of the "big" things, like having a hybrid or electric car, for example, are simply out of reach for me, due to the financial cost involved. However, there are many "little" things that I do to be as earth-friendly as I can, within my current means... here is a list:
  1. Every light bulb in my house is an energy-efficient compact fluorescent
  2. We use a programmable thermostat to maintain a temperature between 20 to 22°C, depending on the season and time of day, and often don't use the furnace or central air at all in the spring and fall
  3. I keep a small veggie garden as well as an herb garden... you just can't beat home-grown tomatoes, beans, peppers, carrots, etc... so much yumminess!
  4. Planting bee-attracting wild flowers in my yard
  5. Composting yard clippings and garden trimmings
  6. I do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizers on my lawn or garden. I get down on my hands and knees and yank out anything I don't want in there
  7. We bring our own reusable cloth grocery bags for shopping
  8. We like to seek out locally grown foods, and try to buy produce from within Ontario when possible (full disclosure - I can't live without things like coffee & chocolate, so I would never be able to make it on a true local or macrobiotic diet)
  9. I really enjoy patronizing farmer’s markets
  10. We use non-toxic cleaning supplies, or simple "home solutions" like vinegar, or baking soda. This includes laundry detergent & dish soap that is phosphate and nitrate free
  11. We do not buy bottled water, and have instead invested in a reverse-osmosis filtration system for our kitchen sink that supplies us with our drinking water
  12. Bringing our own water with us in reusable bottles/containers
  13. All of our laundry is washed in cold water
  14. We try to purchase products that use as little packaging as possible, or are made using post-consumer products
  15. We buy recycled toilet paper
  16. Our city has a fantastic waste-management program that requires all waste be sorted into three specific categories for separate processing... this allows us to ensure that we are recycling all paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum products. All compostable/biodegradable materials are sent to a different facility for use in biomass energy production. This ensures that very limited amounts of garbage end up in landfill.
  17. Both my husband and I work from home (I own a small home-based business, and he telecommutes), so our car is not used very often
I think that's about it... of course there is so much more that we can do, but at least it's a good start, right? Many small measures add up to a nicer big picture!

Happy Earth Day! :)

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