I enjoy the Mother Earth. I know she's on hard times. The warming, the extincting, the carbon footprints, the whole deal. I super get it. I am willing to help a gal out. I've been reading lots of green lists lately and there is an overwhelming amount of information on the subject out there. The intimidating number of tips for greening it up at treehugger.com is enough to make me give up the whole thing and buy a Hummer. Finding a green starting place for two grown-ups, a second grader, a dog and a goldfish is taking some time. The following habits are the ones I see around most frequently. There are definitely some adjustments to be made here at Casa Rosenberg and we're trying to turn it around with varying degrees of success and enthusiasm.
Turn down the hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Easy one. Showers at our house are always rushed and tepid. The days of the long, hot, relaxing shower went away when we turned down the hot water heater for baby safety reasons and cut showers short for not-enough-hours-in-the-day-too-exhausted-for-the-luxury-of-cleanliness-please-God-just-one-hour-of-uninterrupted-sleep reasons. Plus, when you are extremely sleep deprived, water hitting your skin sort of hurts.
Buy local and/or organic. The organic thing can be spendy but the stuff that's in season is usually a little easier on the wallet. We go to a sweet little farmers' market by our house on Thursday evenings. I buy a couple of vegetables and some berries out of peer pressure but I am really there for the kettle corn. I've heard that our kettle corn guy has questionable politics, and I still can't quit him. Damn him and his cauldron.
Use reusable shopping bags. We have a bunch of these that we bought at Trader Joe's. It feels awkward to use the Trader Joe's bags at other markets but to get another set of bags just to use at Von's is ridiculous. That the issue of reusable bag branding loyalty is taking up any real estate in my brain is even more ridiculous. Pray for me.
Turn off your computer completely at night. I am doing this now, although it makes me the teensiest bit queasy. Part of me knows I don't back up my files enough. (Unless "never" is suddenly enough.) Another part of me knows that sometime in the near future, I will go to turn on this little Powerbook relic, and it's just going to flip me the bird.
Buy reusable water bottles. We did this. Didn't take long before all of ours tasted like coffee, even after repeated washing. Need to get some bottles designated for water only. Difficult since every vessel in our home is used as a vehicle for getting more coffee into the grown-ups.
My husband Jeff drives a hybrid. I drive an aging station wagon. We have a front loading high efficiency washing machine. We have a low efficiency refrigerator from the Nixon era. We are switching over to those spiral-y light bulbs. We are switching over to those spiral-y light bulbs except when they don't really fit in certain lamps and look weird. With greening, as like most things, there is oh so much room for improvement over here.
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