Posts Tagged ‘harvesting rain water’

7 More Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

 

Yesterday’s blog post provided seven simple ways to go green. Here are seven more eco-friendly ideas to consider. They don’t take a great deal of effort but can make a big impact.

Conserve Water
There are many simple ways to conserve water that collectively add up to a significant reduction in water usage.

For example:

  1. Shower less frequently and for shorter durations.
  2. Run dishwasher only when it’s completely full.
  3. Wash only large loads of laundry. F
  4. ix any leaky faucets.
  5. Install a low flush toilet (or upgrade your existing toilet for free).
  6. Install a drip system into your garden and/or xeriscape your yard.

Harvest Rain Water
There are several different designs for rain catch systems, but the basic tenant remains the same: collect rainfall water to store and use as desired. Commonly water in rain catch systems is used for watering a garden or yard, but you could use it for any non-potable purpose from bathing your dog to washing your car. There are ready-made systems available for purchase, although it’s relatively easy to make your own.

Hang Dry Laundry
I never hung laundry to dry in the sun until I started cloth diapering. It was then that I learned that “sunning” diapers was useful for removing stains and smells. Once I realized that my diapers dried much quicker on the line than in my dryer (I live in a very warm and dry climate) I started to hang dry most of our laundry. In fact hanging laundry is one of my favorite chores. I find being outside and the repetitive nature of line drying to be very calming. I also appreciate anytime I can use a renewable resource to complete a chore.

Little A helping hang the diapers

Carpool
Going to the same event as a friend? Work in the same area as your neighbor? Consider carpooling as a way to save money and use less fossil fuels. Additionally having company on car rides can make a long commute more enjoyable. Some areas have High Occupancy Vehicle lanes designated for vehicles with more than one person in them. Typically these lanes move faster during periods of heavy traffic which saves you times as well as money.

Compost
Composting is so easy to do and super beneficial if you plant a garden. You can build a compost bin or purchase a ready-made one from the store. Many cities’ Waste Management Divisions also sell composters (for cheap) made from recycled garbage cans if you really want to reuse! Once you designate an area in your yard to collect compost, you can put your food scraps and yard waste in it. This will reduce your garbage as well as provide rich soil for your garden. Check out Composting 101 for more information about how to compost.

Little A helping with the compost

 

Think Twice Before Throwing Something Away
Before throwing something in the garbage consider if there is a better alternative to the item ending up in the landfill. Could it be re-purposed into something else? Is it something someone else could use? Could you donate it to a thrift store or post it on freecycle or the free section on craigslist? Even if something seems like garbage to you, it could be valuable to someone else. It’s worth thinking twice about an item before tossing it in the garbage; giving the time to examine an object’s potential can be inspiring. You might discover that you enjoy the creative process of re-purposing items.

Leave a Place Better Than How You Found It
There is a saying in the hiking community “leave no trace behind” which means leave no evidence of your visit there. While I agree with this concept, maybe we can take it a step further by leaving a place in  better condition by picking up garbage others have left behind. When you visit a park or recreation spending just a few extra minutes picking up garbage can make a big difference. Not only does it make for a cleaner space and remove objects that can be harmful to the native wildlife, it instills a sense of community within us.

There are so many different ways we can nurture Mother Nature and connect with the earth. What will you do this week to Go Green? Would love to add your ideas to our list!

Thinking of switching to cloth diapers, but unsure where to start? Check out tomorrow’s post about the basics of cloth diapering.

-Sarah