When making our 2008 New Year’s resolutions, Chris and I agreed that we’d be kinder and gentler to our environment. Moving into our new home has helped in that we’ve established some “green” practices that should aid in accomplishing that goal.
We’ve moved into a neighbourhood where we can virtually leave our one car in the driveway after work (okay, with the exception of playing kid-taxi). I work from home (and have become almost paperless in doing so) and I haven’t driven in three months. Within a 10 minute walk of the house we have grocery shopping, restaurants, cafes, banks, all kinds of neighbourhood services and the railway line. When we walk to the shops, we take the reusable cloth grocery bags – no more plastic for us. We sort our waste and use our green (garden waste), red (garbage) and yellow (recycling) bins. We purchased a manual push mower to do the lawn and we have a renewable water source in a huge water tank, pictured above (to allow us to water the gardens and wash the car as there are very stringent water restrictions here, otherwise). Our case a week plastic water bottle habit has been replaced by a water cooler. And, of course, we use the half flush whenever possible (see earlier post)
All of our new appliances are energy efficient. We have only a clothes washer (a front loader) and no dryer, so we use the ample natural resource and a clothesline for drying laundry. The house has great exposure and tons of natural lighting, yet it stays remarkably cool, so minimal use of AC and lights is the result. Our candles are getting a workout too.
The power outlets here are unique. They are individually controlled and you actually have to turn them on before they’ll deliver the juice. I’ve found that I’ve become far more conscious of my power use as a result.
So, almost two months into 2008, I think we’re doing pretty well on at least one of our resolutions. How are you doing on yours?