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A little more Green

Last week while I was visiting my parents Gary called me with the news that our washing machine had stopped spinning and was making an awful noise. Yep, it was inevitable our washing machine had pooped out. So, we took a deep breath and went shopping. With hardly any arm twisting I managed to talk Gary into a front loading washer. Actually, all that had to be said was “it will reduce our water use by more than half”. That’s right, front loading washers use about 18 gallons of water compared to the old school top loader that uses up to 45 gallons of water and they reduce the amount of time clothes spend in the dryer because they spin the clothes at higher rpms. Plus it reduces the wear and tear on clothes from a conventional dryer therefore helping your clothes last longer. It took my first batch of laundry 40 minutes to dry. The oldy moldy dryer took about hour. I’ve never been so excited to do the laundry before! We sat in the hall this morning as a family and watched the first load of laundry get clean.

This made me think what are we doing to reduce our “footprint” and what could we be doing better? I often feel that for every one thing we do right there are 5 things we could be doing better.

So here’s a few things the Marcoccia’s are doing right.

  • We recycle. This is a big chore for us as we don’t have any curbside garbage or recycle removal. We haul our garbage two miles down to the community dumpsters and we take our recycling 30 miles to Park City. This has made us very aware of our trash and how much we throw away. Heber has a recycling center but they don’t take glass, we have to go to PC for that so we just do it all in one trip. Recycling has not been an easy task for us as we have a small space to work with and the plastics and paper get out of control very fast, but we try to be diligent and call each other out when we spy something recyclable in the garbage. By the way PC has an awesome recycling center.
  • We don’t buy garbage bags. We use the bags from the grocery store for our trash and recycle the rest of course.
  • We try to use cloth napkins at meals. I’m working on phasing out the paper towel habit. We have some friends who gave us napkin rings with our initials engraved in them so we can use the same napkin for a couple of meals rather than washing them after every meal.
  • We pay our bills online. In an effort to reduce the paper trail.
  • We use natural or biodegradable cleaning and grooming products. We have septic so my theory is the more natural things that go in there the better. Not a fan of chemicals seeping into the ground water and such.
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs are in the lights we use the most throughout the house and we are in the process of changing every light bulb to a more efficient one as they die out. We bought these light bulbs for family members for Christmas gifts one year not very exciting for the recipients but it meant a lot to us to encourage some green living.

And, here are a few things we could be doing better…

  1. Start taking my own bags to the grocery store. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately but not acting on it because I keep forgetting to take the darn bags with me. So from now on I’m going to have a stash of bags in the truck that stay in the truck.
  2. Use less water. IE, wash the dishes more efficiently and take shorter showers.
  3. Use the gDiapers I bought for Ellie. I’m so guilty. While I was pregnant we talked about using cloth diapers. We found gDiapers which have flushable inserts. Its been so much more convenient to use Pampers and Huggies. I hate myself for not being more diligent on this matter, but man poop sucks!
  4. Buy local when possible and join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this summer I want to get to know my food.
  5. Turn the heat down and put on another layer.
  6. Be more efficient on our trips into town to cut back on driving.
  7. Bake my own bread. Not sure if this is really “green living” but I’m looking for a way to reduce the amount of high fructose corn syrup in our diet. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately due to a chapter in the book An Omnivore’s Dilemma and I have been inspired by these blogs here and here. It will be one less plastic bag to recycle.
  8. Make smarter choices when shopping.
  9. Use the compost much more!
  10. Be more creative by finding new uses for old things.

A little more Green

Last week while I was visiting my parents Gary called me with the news that our washing...
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