The Crunchy Domestic Goddess Blog has encouraged readers to share their Green Goals for 2009. Here, I've included my 2009 ECO ACTION goals as well as 2008 accomplishments.
As I write this out, it looks like a lot, but I realize how much I was able to comfortably do in 2008 even though I was quite sick for about 4 out of 12 months.
I hope this inspires others to try a few things.
Winter Energy Saving - 2009 GOALS:
- Use humidifiers more consistently to make the house feel warmer (even though it's cooler)
- Reduce heat loss by using window drapes and insulation kits (in addition to mini-blinds), and door draft stoppers
- Decide on a place to put up clothes drying rack indoors in cold months to air dry more loads of laundry
- Continue to do the things started in previous years
- Use or preserve all the winter veggies root cellared in the basement
- Go get a lap blanket and a cup of hot tea, rather than turning on a heater, if I get cold while doing sedentary work in my studio
Winter Energy Saving - 2008 DONE:
- Replaced the thermostat with a programmable one and set it to lower temps
- Dressed more warmly, even indoors, to tolerate lower thermostat settings
- Brought out extra blankets and quilts
- Used the woodstove only as needed, wood cut sustainably from our own property
- On sunny days used box-fan to pump warm air from the sunroom into living areas
- Kept doors to unused rooms closed
- Shifted sleeping and waking hours to maximize use of daylight for illumination, and let the house cool off during darker, colder hours
- Learned and used root cellaring techniques to store fruits and veggies in our unheated basement
Food and Household - 2009 GOALS:
- Select, buy and use a solar rechargeable reading lamp
- More food and goods purchased from local producers, at farmers markets, etc.
- Set up and use rain barrel to catch water for veggie garden
- Mulch garden early to minimize water loss and weed growth, using leaf/grass mulch from our property
- Learn about simple cleaning solutions to make and use at home
- Reduce the amount of non-recyclable packaging that comes into our house
- Go to the town's toxic waste day to dispose of non-rechargeable batteries, and other items safely
- Use rechargeable batteries from now on when ever possible
- Establish routines for taking out the compostables (If it sits inside for too long, yuck!
- Take cloth bags into all stores, not just for groceries
- Phase out use of Britta Filter system (non-recyclable unless the company changes its policy) and find a way to make drinking tape water more palatable (Allowing a pitcher to sit so chlorine taste evaporates? Adding lemon? Or just getting used to it?)
- Use a glass for water around the house rather than a Nalgene bottle. Use Nalgene bottle only for time away from the house or work outdoors.
- Maybe get a stainless steel water bottle to replace my old plastic Nalgene bottles. Water that sits in them over night acquires a taste that makes me uneasy.
- Find my grandmothers handkerchiefs and cloth napkins and start using them.
Food and Household - 2008 DONE:
- Replaced all light bulbs in the house with energy savers
- Continued to compost most of our food scraps
- Learned to grow veggies from seed started indoors and set out when the weather warmed
- Reduced standby power consumption by rewiring studio with all equipment grouped on outlet strips to be turned off when not in use
- Dried some loads of laundry on large wooden rack (want to do more but lack privacy)
- Cooked most food from scratch using non-processed ingredients
- Started using 7th Generation cleaning products and other eco-friendly cleaning products
- Used the library more or bought used books, fewer new book purchases
- Almost all new-to-me clothes purchases were gently used, second hand (Except undergarments. Ick!)
Transportation - 2009 GOALS:
- Run more local errands (1-2 miles from house) on foot or by bicycle
- Modify a used stroller with large wheels or get a "granny cart" to transport groceries home on foot
- Use bicycle more, have seat post adjusted for a better fit, find the most comfortable way to carry purchases or library books
- Learn to use regional bus lines for errands and outings as possible
- Get comfortable using trains for trips to cities 1-3 hours distant, instead of driving
- Remove unnecessary junk from my car to improve mileage
Transportation - 2008 DONE:
- Took a summer vacation without air travel, patronizing mostly locally owned restaurants and more local lodging
- Combined errands on single outings to reduced driving
- Drove at or slightly below the speed limit in the slow lane on the highway
- Used cruise control more
- Kept to a leisurely pace on surface streets
- Ignored the hotheads who wanted to speed around me
- Did better about leaving early for appointments so I could drive more efficiently
- Opened car windows in warm weather at speeds below 45 MPH rather than using air conditioning