Earth Week

Saturday, April 18, 2009
Earth Day is coming up this week--April 22nd, to be exact.  To celebrate this year, Lucas and I have decided to have a week's worth of challenges.  We will be celebrating Earth Week, starting Sunday, April 19th lasting until Sunday, April 26th.  Here is our list:

  • Use minimal lighting.  Every day, we will turn on lights only in the room we are currently in, and only if absolutely necessary.  On Earth Day specifically, we are going totally lightless--no lights at all except the little nightlight I use to nurse Lincoln at night.  We managed this for 4 days after Hurricane Ike and even talked about having one day a week where we didn't turn the lights on at that point, but never actually did it.  So now, we are going to!
  • No paper towels or paper napkins.  We will only be using cloth napkins and cloth towels/old t-shirts for cleaning.  I've wanted to try doing this for awhile, also.  Looking forward to it.
  • Line dry clothes, if the weather allows.  We do not have a very efficient clothes dryer, so I really think this can make a big dent in our energy use if we line dry as much as possible.  
  • 5 minute showers.  This one will be hard, but I also think it is the most important one. Water conservation is one area that I would really like to improve on in our house. When I was little, someone once told me that if you turn off the water when you brush your teeth, you can save the equivalent of 3 swimming pools worth of water in a year. I recently read a more recent statistic that the average faucet produce 2 - 2.5 gallons of water per minute, so turning off the water for 2 minutes of teeth brushing twice a day could save 10 gallons a day!   That has always stuck with me, and I always turn off the water when I brush my teeth.  I have tried and tried to take shorter showers, but I still struggle there. 
  • Unplug electronics when not in use--we have a bad habit of leaving our phone chargers plugged in all the time.  This week we'll unplug them as soon as we're done charging.
  • Continue using our reusable grocery bags--and start using the reusable net produce bags my mom gave us when we were in Omaha.  Also, we are really good about taking the reusable bags every time we grocery shop, but sometimes don't remember when running to the store for non-grocery items.  
  • Go on a nature walk--or 2.  Work on the garden and yard.  Just be outside and enjoy the earth!
That's our list for Earth Week.  What do you have planned?  Please leave your ideas in the comments--I'd love to add to our own list.  I will update how we did on our challenge as the week progresses.  And, look for a special Earth Week post coming up on Monday!  I'm really excited about it, and can't wait to share =]

8 comments:

  1. Kelly
    That is great Earth Week list. I might try doing some of those things too. Thanks.

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  2. I like your list, great ideas.

    I have just switched to reuseable totes and produce bags. I was going through so many in a month it was crazy. I just made the switch and it feels great to help the earth! My next project is to eliminate papertowels, which I've started this week.
    Thank you for your inspiration!

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  3. My plan for earth week is to get better at the stuff I do already. I usually use reusable shopping bags but not always, I am going to starting use them every time. I usually turn off lights when I'm not in the room, but my hubby doesn't I'm going to get him to be better.
    Hopefully soon my Lily will be big enough to wear the cloth diapers I bought when I was pregnant.

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  4. A few little things we've done is switched out light bulbs, use less water, use eco friendly water bottles, and I'm going to try to take my kids on walks more often instead of driving everywhere!

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  5. I really want to start my organic vegetable garden this week--I'm hoping Saturday would be a good weather day to be out in the sun! Good list!

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  6. We replaced our leaky faucet. That will save on water conservation. And the weather has been perfect so my clothes are getting hung outside. I always like the smell of that better anyway!

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  7. I just went to Tuesday Mornings and got all new cloth napkins! No more paper towels here!

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  8. I plan to use my reusable bags more often. I tend to forget them occasionally and need to work on that.

    I also use cloth diapers and plan to start alternating using the dryer and hanging to dry. (Drying helps the PUL cover to remain "sealed". I used to always hang them, but when my PUL began to leak, I read that to fix this, you need to dry them on high heat.) Rather than dry them every time, I plan to alternate.

    I already turn out lights not being used and my 6 year old is getting very good at it as well!

    I plan to work on water issues... turning off water while brushing, as well as drinking less water from a water bottle (drink filtered water in cups instead).

    I enjoyed reading this post!

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