ok, so i'm giving up on the photography part of the challenge. with a full work schedule looming in my future, i just don't see me finding the time to do that part of my challenge. however, i've had a complete list of things-we-do since i started this challenge.
so, here's my list.
1. hang clothes to dry.
2. wash dishes by hand - i think we've proven that dishwashers are the "greener" option. unless, maybe you have a magic handwashing technique like chris.
3. we compost EVERY scrap of compostable food. this means every non-meat-byproduct goes in the compost. this reduces how much we put in the landfill!
4. compost grass trimmings
5. have weeds rather than grass
6. we landscape with local flora (i.e. draught tolerant plants) and onsite rocks (pulled/rearranged from our own property - which requires no shipping and saves gas and money)
7. nathaniel carpools to work (which is how we make it on 1 car). starting in 2 weeks, we will carpool together.
8. we have only 1 car.
9. we recycle our clothes - donate or selling (i.e. yardsale, kid exchanges, etc.)
10. we keep our thermostat at 80 degrees in the summer, and intend on keeping it at 68 this winter.
11. when i'm a SAHM - i shower every other day. i guess this will change in 2 weeks. don't think my work buddies will like my "other day" stink. hahaha. (not that i stink, but i'm always HAPPY when that second day gets here and i can take a shower.)
12. we use glass rather than plastic (for storage, drinking, and eating). plastic is a petroleum product so by minimizing the use of plastic minimizes our dependence on petroleum.
13. i carry my own bags to the grocery store. if i forget, i get paper - and then give them away to mom's school for the kids to carry their stuff in (recycling).
14. take our lunch and breakfast in washable containers (usually glass) rather than plastic sandwich bags.
15. help grow produce at mom and dad's house
16. buy in season produce at farmers market (local or organic).
17. buy local eggs - only free range/cage free
18. buy organic/hormone free milk, cheese, and butter
19. use safe soaps and cleaners - never any perfumes, lots of vinegar and baking soda but my new favorite is the mint based method. works on windows AND the counter. i do NOT use antibacterial anything. i have bleach spray but it is minimally used. mainly only on the toilets.
20. we use steam for the floors, not any harsh chemicals.
21. push mow instead of ride mow (saves gas)
22. cook everything from scratch - less packaging, less waste, also less involved in shipping products since we use fresh produce and local dairy.
23. we have halogen floodlights
24. we use diapers that have no ink or chlorine. we tried cloth but the kids outgrew what i bought. yea, pottytraining would be ideal for the "less waste" part but, well, talk to them about that. holly tries and kendal isn't interested.
25. we recycle EVERYTHING that is recyclable. somethings we even have to take to another county to recycle. like, boxes. in our county we also have to sort everything - so we have practically an entire wall dedicated to recycling in our garage. we now have WAY MORE recyclable and compostable material than we have real trash.
26. i cook in bulk and freeze leftovers for later. this saves energy.
27. i can and freeze (some) fresh veggies and fruits. all of them i get for free.
28. we don't eat meat (well, i don't eat meat - the kids eat minimal meat, nathaniel eats meat everywhere but here). this saves gas (for transporting the animals for processing) and also the methane emissions.
29. i try to buy things with less packaging. like, string cheese - there is a local dairy that packages theirs 6 pieces in 1 pack. horizon brand individually wraps theirs. each have a great purpose (like if you were packing a lunch, horizon would be convenient) but i tend to buy the less-packaging style.
30. we use corn litter in the cats' litter box. i know this one sounds weird but when we throw it out in the woods, the deer eat it! plus it is compostable (not that we put it in our compost pile), but it isn't clay.
31 (for good luck) - we also almost always buy wooden toys - again, i prefer to AVOID plastic if possible!