Sunday, May 29, 2011

Take stairs whenever possible (Change 119)

Have you ever noticed how many movement-saving devices there are in our modern world?  Motorized transportation, escalators, elevators, moving sidewalks.   We've become so used to having something else move our body, that we are forgetting what it is like to move ourselves.

This point was brought home to me this past weekend.  I flew to Halifax to watch my mom become President of her charity organization.  We had a great trip, and I was proud to be part of it.  I've always thought I was fairly movement savvy, but I noticed several interesting things about myself while I was there.

My hotel room was on the third floor, yet for most of the weekend, I took the elevator to my room.  The airport had escalators and elevators to take me between floors for arrival, departure and baggage claim.  We took cabs to travel a few blocks around the city.   And I asked myself, why am I using these labour-saving devices?  Do I really need them or is it just habit?

I decided to try moving myself instead, and see how hard it was.  You know what?  It was pretty easy.  My room was a short flight of stairs down, across the landing and another short flight to the lobby.  I used the stairs to go up and down a level when I was at the airport.  I walked all over the city on Saturday, and enjoyed every minute of it.

If we all started taking the stairs, or walking a few blocks, the health benefits and environmental benefits would be enormous.  Less obesity, less pollution.  I'm going to try to translate this change in attitude to other aspects of my life.  Could I walk the kids to school?  Can I walk to get the mail?  How about the store or a friend's house?

In the mean time, I'm going to take the stairs whenever I can.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Water my plants with grey water (Change 118)

Life has been busy.  Apologies for not posting sooner, but I haven't seemed to have a spare moment to myself lately.  As such, the eco-changes around my house have come to a bit of a stand still.  I haven't regressed (much) but definitely haven't moved forward.

But with the end of the crazy schedules in sight, it's time to continue down the path of "greenness".  I will make a partial habit a full habit with the next eco-change.

Watching DH get our rain barrels ready for installation was exciting.  The thought of not having to use city water to nourish my gardens is wonderful.  Then I started thinking about my indoor plants.  I don't have many, but those I do have are watered using tap water.  Why couldn't I find some way to water the plants without turning on the tap?

My children's lunch bags are a great source of recycled water.  I send them thermoses every day, filled with water.  Sometimes they come home empty, sometimes they are full.  Whenever I think of it, I dump their thermoses on the plants.  But truthfully, I'm just as likely to grab a glass or jug and fill it from the tap, as I am to use the thermos.

I'm going to take a page out of the rain barrel book, and ALWAYS use recycled or grey water to water the plants.  There is the bath water from my kids, their thermoses, water from the dishes, the dog's bowl.  The sources are endless.  I just have to remember to use them.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Buy environmentally and body friendly shampoo (Change 117)

The toiletries and cosmetics in our house are slowing turning green.  This week I purchased a shampoo that should be safer on the environment and better for my body.   Unfortunately, the brand I purchased does not appear in the Skin Deep database (  But, I'm getting pretty savvy at reading labels, and can say that there aren't any parabens, pthalates, fragrances or SLS or other really bad ingredients in this shampoo.

It smells like apple cider (yummy), and leaves my hair feeling clean and soft.   DH has even commented on how nice my hair smells.  The shampoo was a reasonable price for the "green" component of it, so I am happy to stick with this new brand.