Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A very successful year!

It's hard to believe that over a year has passed since I started this challenge.  I've learned so much from you, my readers - thank you so much for your support, encouragement and comments!   Although I didn't manage to make 366 changes in one year (my original goal), I am very proud that I added an additional 128 changes to my family's repertoire. Some of them didn't work out, but most of them have been lasting changes.

Because of the number of changes to date, I'm only going to highlight the ones that didn't stick.  Everything else has been added, relatively smoothly, and has now become habit about 90% of the time.

Here's what I couldn't keep doing:

2. Environmentally-friendly ant killer
8. Buy environmentally and body friendly face moisturizer
13. No more disposable coffee cups
15. Eliminate baths for kids; have showers instead
17. Use GoodSearch for Internet
21. No more plastic takeout containers
25. Only buy ethically farmed/fished seafood
27. Carbon off-set all vacation travel
30. Make my own hand soap
35. Use vinegar/water to clean eyeglasses
53. Ban Styrofoam
62. Only use dishwasher at night
63. Turn off "heat dry" feature on dishwasher
67. Get rid of mould in shower with hydrogen peroxide
81. Place compost bags in all rooms
120. Return plastic pots to nursery
123. Bring my own containers to bulk store

Not bad, eh?  (Eco Mama pats herself on the back).  I'll keep striving to implement changes that work for my family, and continue to improve current habits to try to get 100% compliancy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eliminate plastic wrap (Change 128)

This is a change that shouldn't be too hard to make.  Like Ziploc bags, I hardly ever use plastic wrap in the kitchen.  Occasionally, I use it to wrap the end of a block of cheese, or cover a bowl to put in the fridge.  Any paint brushes are wrapped in plastic wrap if we are in the middle of a painting job. 

I am almost at the end of the current roll sitting in my kitchen drawer.  I've decided that once it is finished, I will not be replacing it.  I will get into the habit of placing everything int he fridge in a resealable container.  I will cover dishes with re-usable covers or aluminum foil (yes, I know, not very eco-friendly, but it can be recycled if necessary).

The biggest challenge will be finding something to cover my little fruit fly trap - a bowl of apple cider vinegar covered with plastic wrap, with holes punched in the top.  Any ideas for a replacement cover?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Use a microfibre mop (Change 127)

I picked up a book from the library this week about eco-changes around the home.  It was an interesting read - put out by the makers of Method brand cleaning products.  It had some neat tips, but most of the tips were either not do-able (i.e. get rid of wall-to-wall carpet)  or things I was already doing (i.e. get rid of poisonous cleaning chemicals).

One of the tips caught my eye.  The writers suggested using a microfibre cloth mop, instead of the traditional dunk mop.  Their reasoning is that the microfibre traps dirt, and therefore prevents it from spreading around like the regular rag-style mops.

It just so happens that I have a microfibre mop sitting in my cleaning closet that I never use.  I won it at the cleaning party I had last summer.   I've hardly ever used it.  i dont' know why - I guess I'm in the habit of using the dunk mop.   I've decided to switch to the microfibre mop.  Combine this with the vinegar and water I use to clean with, and I'm anxious to see if my floors are any cleaner than before.

How is this more eco-friendly?  Truthfully, I'm not sure, but hey, the makers of Method can't be wrong, can they?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cutting down on canned bevereges (Change 126)

This is an easy change for me - I rarely drink canned bevvies, so giving them up should be a snap for me.  It's DH and the kids that I'm a little worried about. 

The kids don't drink soda pop as a rule, but I do keep ginger ale and Coke on hand for upset tummies or special treats.  I also have club soda which I mix with juice to make our own "pop".   DH likes his G&Ts, so I don't think I will get him to give up tonic water.

Due to DD1's ongoing medical issues, we are eliminating artificial colours, etc. from our diets.  So I have decided that once this current pack of soda is gone, I won't be buying any more.   I will relegate club soda "pop" to a treat served at my parents' house.

I found an interesting fact on aluminum recycling (  Although we recycle our pop cans, the initial environmental cost of producing the cans is quite high.  Not purchasing them in the first place is a good idea.

Another good idea to reduce our carbon footprint.