Thursday, October 23, 2008

Being Green - even when one is busy

Whatever happened to the time? I’ve been in my new home now for more than two months and have barely come up for air! Between sickness, work and friend/family commitments, there has been no time for writing. I have, however, tried to be green. I’m not always successful (as attested to by the fact some of my takeout containers are Styrofoam and they have ended up in the garbage – my bad for not using my hot pot or tiffin!)

As you know, I’m expecting. I am getting slower and slower, which is impacting my ability to do the things I want to do. Take gardening for instance – big plans, little headway! But my veggie garden is prepped for spring. And my bulbs will be planted this weekend no matter what! It will just take me 5X longer, that’s all. I think gardening is a green endeavour. Every growing thing is helping to clean the air!

We have been trying to clear out the garage – which is where we put all the ‘stuff’ that we don’t know what to do with, is for a garage sale or will be stored. It’s a disaster! So I’ve slowly been going through boxes of things – tagging stuff for a spring garage sale, sharing items like clothes on freecycle as they won’t store well in our shed in this damp winter climate, and selling things on craigslist.

I also have a big load of fall clothes that I’m taking to consignment and I will check out another consignment shop that is in my new neighbourhood to see if they will be a good place to take my nicnacs and collectibles. The clothes that don’t get taken will be donated or freecycled, helping to keep them used while they are still good. I’m happy that the things I don’t have a use for will be used by someone else.

I freecycled another batch of boxes we used for the move and then yesterday I cut up a few odd boxes I had and put them in the recycling bins for pick up today.

I’ve been trying to find a piece for our crib – we broke it when we moved, but I’ve had no luck locating a stationary rail for it. Our son then broke a wheel off the new crib – but since I bought it at auction I can’t return it. So I salvaged that by taking all the wheels off. Awkward for under bed storage (too low) but it’s still usable this way. Sadly I think the original crib will now be taken to the dump as I can’t fix it and I’m not comfortable freecycling it as it’s not safe the way it is and must have the rail replaced, not taped up or something. It’s not worth a baby’s safety to extend the life of a piece of furniture.

I’ve been trying really hard to recycle everything I can. I’ve even saved the milk cartons and taken them back to our condo as that city recycles them. And from now on, I’ll be taking them to the recycle depot when I have a batch or giving them to my sister to put in her bin. I also give my parents the #’s of plastic we can’t recycle as their city accepts all number 1-7. And I’m trying to buy used when possible – since that’s the best way to keep things out of the landfill. We even got a toddler bed for free – and then the bed rail to go with it. Gotta love freecycle!

As we get closer to having our baby, I’m struggling with the choices there, too. Bottles are now very expensive since they are all bpa free. I have some that my son uses, and we’ll use those. I think I’ll buy glass for home as they are cheaper and I prefer that to plastic, anyhow. As for diapers – I know I’ll use some disposable, but I want to do cloth diapers – and to use them on our son when at home, too. I’m hoping to acquire some and I’ve been checking craiglist for a good deal. I’m also considering a diaper service as for $32/week I can have both kids in diapers and someone else does all the washing. I may do that in the beginning, at least, and then do it myself. As the weather warms, I can hang them outside and that will save even more money and more energy.

We are also considering getting an energy audit. It’s $150, but then if you follow through, you can earn back that money and rebates, etc. for your upgrades done in the next 18 months. And your monthly bills go down as you energy wise your home. I’m thinking it might be worth the money even if we don’t do any huge changes. The little changes will probably add up all on their own.

So that’s my update. I’m still plugging along – trying to do the right thing. I even bought my son a metal sippy bottle – it should last him for years. I’m actually jealous because I don’t have one. I’ll have to look for one as cool as his and use it for water, thus eliminating the need for plastic bottles there, too.

Every day is a challenge – I try to do the right thing and make good choices, but it’s sometimes the choice between easy when I’m exhausted or taking more time to be green. And that can truly be a tough choice.

Well, you can see what I’ve been up to – if you have any great ideas, let me know!