1. Reduce energy consumption -
for our southern friends, set the A/C to above 90 - We didn't use A/C all week even though it was warm some days. We got lucky that the last 4 days have been very pleasant. Today is supposed to get up to 95 so the A/C may come on but we've turned it up 3 degrees from where we had it set last year.
use only cold water in your washing machine - I did this
line dry your clothes instead of using the dryer* - I got a drying rack since we aren't allowed to have clothes lines in this neighborhood (Have I mentioned I really want to move?) and I dried a few loads of laundry out on the deck. The only problem I noticed is the clothes are very wrinkly, any ideas on this?
2. Reduce water usage -
save the water in a bucket that is discharged while warming up the shower and use it to water plants or for other things* - I did this all this week and really enjoyed it. I'll definitely be continuing this one.
3. Change your food habits -
try to buy organic and/or locally grown food - I found a few more farm markets in the area that have organic veggies and fruits, I also found a very close source of free range eggs and chicken. The woman unschooled her son until he graduated so I'm very excited to be supporting her
minimize pre-packaged foods and make more of your own from scratch - I made bread for our sandwiches this week and biscuits for breakfast Sunday, we did eat out more this week than usual because my dad was visiting this weekend and we were busy with him
use cloth bags at the grocery store instead of getting paper or plastic* - I did start doing this a few weeks ago but was often forgetting my bags, this week I remembered to bring them everywhere, not just the grocery store. It seems to confuse them at the drug store. If I forget my bags I'm just not using a bag at all even if it means some juggling
4. Reduce your dependence on paper products -
print out only what is necessary - I didn't print anything this week
try out a a 100% recycled TP and tissue brand - I've replaced all the toilet paper with a recycled brand, it isn't nearly as soft but we will adjust
This wasn't on the original list but I started using hankies instead of Kleenex
6. Reduce Single Occupancy Vehicle usage - This is the area I didn't do so well in. My dad was visiting this weekend and we drove to Dover to go to the Nascar race (he's always wanted to go to one), then we drove around trying to help him find some stuff he needed for a hiking trip he is going on. Then my husband's car needed work which meant 2 more trips to Dover (about 40 miles each way) I actually did way more driving this week than normal. However, I will keep reducing my driving as a primary goal. On the upside, I drive a hybrid and get 45+mpg so it could be a lot worse.
*7. Do something that lasts more than a week -
replace one bulb per day with a Compact Fluorescent light bulb - did
take your name off of junk mail and mailing lists for catalogs you don't want - didn't get around to yet
While I already did most of the suggestions, I feel good about what I added on this week and will keep it all up. I'm finding that really thinking about the impact of my actions is becoming second nature and enjoyable.