Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nurturing the Earth: May/June

On Earth Day this year, I made a pledge for my family to make changes towards more earth-friendly living. I pledged to use the computer three hours or less per day, have at least one car-free day per week, plant native plants on our parking strip, and find one new green change that we can make in our family, each month. How has it been going? The computer commitment has been difficult, but I have been close. I have been reading a lot more, which I am enjoying immensely! Having one car-free day each week was too easy, since we already do that; I may have to increase that to two days per week. The native plants are on hold, but I am going to replace that promise with another until I can look into a mini-grant through Portland Bureau of Environmental Services for our street.

As for the promise to find one new change each month: In May, I remembered that I had been given It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living, and I pulled it out for help in finding ideas. This book is a terrific resource for examining areas in your day-to-day habits and finding areas that can be changed or improved. The book has a ton of resources, tips, and a whole section of ideas for improvements with boxes to check off as "want to target", "currently working on", and rate your success. The ideas, or "tips", are broken down into categories such as work, bathroom, kitchen, energy, etc. The great part about reading this book, for me, was seeing how much my family is already doing, as well as finding concrete ideas for doing more. Having the ideas broken down, as they are in the book, helps me find one specific change that we can implement each month. I chose to create a box in our house to store batteries that need to be recycled. That way, when an opportunity for recycling batteries comes up, such as Swap-n-Play's Trash to Treasure, I will have them ready to go.

I couldn't pass up posting this video clip, which I found when searching for a link to It's Easy Being Green-the same title as this clip...

Courtney Jarecki and her partner have started a Facebook pledge to get rid of one thing in their house each day for 50 days. For my June commitment, I have joined that and have been doing a modified version by getting rid of seven things each week and making sure that I bring those items to a place where they can be repurposed or reused. I am also implementing a "buy nothing" days during which I will not buy anything for 3 day blocks. I plan to do this each month, if not more often. Courtney shared this video to inspire downsizing, and I would like to share it with you.

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