Green Living

Friday, July 24, 2009

I am doing my best to not focus on the I have been thinking of other things I could write about. In the interest of data-keeping, though, FF has moved my O date to 7/20 using temps, which lines up with O on the second peak day from my monitor. So that puts me at 4dpo today, which doesn't help my wanna-be analysis of the sharp pangs I was feeling yesterday evening...or the increased soreness up top that I'm feeling this 2ww..or that I was literally falling asleep mid-sentence last night at only 9pm (literally!! Ask Mr. A!). (Dang clomid/progesterone fake-outs!) But if you calculate my due date based on an O date of 7/20, you get a beautiful, round date of April 12, 2010. My mother in law would love it- she thinks all important things should happen on round number dates! I happen to think that would be a lovely due date, too! Let's pencil it in, shall we? (Cue the laugh line here!)

But anyway, back to my non-2ww topic of the day, we have been thrilled with the "green living" changes we've made to our lives/household lately. It is really amazing that more people don't do them! Here is what we've done:
  • Put up a clothesline: This has been so deep-down satisfying, I can't even explain it. I mean, the sun and wind dry your clothes for you...FOR FREE! It is so cool to hang up all the clothes and go back 2 hours later and have them all smelling so utterly clean and fresh. We haven't had any crispy-towel issues like some people get when line-drying...I suspect it is the fabric softener I use (more on that later). I can almost get 2 full loads on the line (we actually have three parallel ones), but for that I have to overlap ends of things and pin them with one clothespin and so they don't dry quite as well. So on Saturday's, I just wash the colors, then I wash Mr. A's work clothes (which I always hung dried anyway on hangers), and then I put in the white load. By the time the white load is done, the colors are dry! It is SO COOL. (Towels and sheets get done during the week.)
  • Planted a veggie garden and some fruit bushes: It has been so cool to watch real veggies grow from mere seeds. Some of the seeds are so small, I had a hard time believing it was true when they blossomed into actual things! I have only bought 2 bags of frozen veggies since May- we have been eating only fresh veggies ever since! Our favorites have been lettuce, green beans, peas, and carrots. (We were not impressed with the onions.) We planted the summer "crops" a little late, but we have 2 good lookin' zucchini's growing with more on the way, and we are about to have 800 tomatoes. Ha! Our corn is also doing well, and we are hoping for at least one cantelope and watermelon! Our raspberry bush gave us about 4 raspberries per day for about a week, but it looks like that is all we'll get this first season. We aren't sure if the blackberry bush will yield anything till next year. We are already planning on at least doubling the garden plot for next year.
  • Use vinegar for fabric softener: Yep! I have been doing this for several months now to save a little money. After all, you can get like a 2-gallon jug of white vinegar for at least half the price of one of the little softener bottles! I fill up the softener cup in the washer half way with vinegar and then fill the rest with water. The clothes absolutely do not smell like vinegar- just fresh! (I didn't believe it till I tried it, either.) And, this is something line-dryers recommend to help combat crunchy towels. Apparently, what makes the towels crunchy is the buildup of detergent/softener on the fibers that doesn't get rinsed during the rinse cycle, and the vinegar works to clean the residue away.
  • Create a compost pile: This has been a major plus when taken in conjunction with our veggie garden, but it would also be great for flower bed gardening, too. We put all veggie scraps, along with eggshells and coffee grounds into the pile, and Mr. A turns it every so often. It has cut down on trash (less trips to the dump!), and it has been great to throw onto the garden when it has all decomposed. We also put grass clippings and newspaper in from time to time.
  • Recycle: Our county doesn't recycle plastic yet (major bummer), but we recycle newspaper, cardboard, aluminum, tin, and glass. They have the recycling station located at the dump, so Mr. A just takes it all in one trip! I hope they start recycling plastic soon!
  • Thermostat setting: We have kept the thermostat at 76-77F this summer, which is a huge change and sacrifice for Mr. A who hates hates hates to be hot. We have turned off the a/c and opened the windows at night to cool the house down as much as possible, so it usually doesn't turn on until mid-morning or early afternoon. Also, if we're having a cool day, I'll keep it off the whole day and open all the windows. We just looked at our electric bill for July, and we used 1000 KWH less than last July!!! Wow!
  • Rain barrels: We just got 2 rain barrels to catch the water from our roof gutters, and they work great!!! Mr. A made a perfect arrangement of pavers for them to sit on so they're level, and we installed both of them in one afternoon. They are each 55-gallons, and we are now interested in getting a third!! We got them last Saturday, and they are both already full from only Monday afternoon rain and 1 short but heavy rainstorm yesterday. I had no idea how much water our roof collected!! We have been using the water from the barrels to water the garden and keep the pool filled. Free water!! (We got the barrels for a discounted price of $65 each from a local grass-roots company which is at least $35 cheaper than I have ever seen them in normal catalogs/stores.) I am going to move some taller perennials around in the fall to sort of screen the more visible rain barrel.
  • Driving the more efficient car: Mr. A has been driving my car or his motorcycle instead of his truck to work, and it has definitely saved on gas consumption. Sure, my car is not as manly as a truck, but I try to assure him that he is already manly enough to make up for driving a sedan to work. Ha!
Things I'd like to try:
  • Using one dishtowel per day for disposable paper-towel purposes (e.g., wiping off counters) and instead of using a sponge/scrubby to wash dishes
  • Using cloth napkins for everyday meals instead of paper ones
  • Using more natural-based cleaners

Anyone have any suggestions for "green" things they do in their house? I'd love to hear!


Jen said...

i love all the green things you're doing! i want a clothesline soooo bad!!! we don't have a GREAT spot for one, but i might at least be able to put up an umbrella one... i'm definitely getting one if we get pg b/c i want to do cloth diapers and it's great to line dry those...

we're very close this cycle!!! i'd be due 4/10/10... is that an okay round number?! lol. she sounds like my friend who has to have the tv volume on even numbers...

Anonymous said...

I'd love a clothesline as well. We used one growing up, but we have nowhere to hang one now - too many trees in the way.
I use washing powder and vinegar instead of regular detergents - sometimes adding a drop of Dr. Bronner's citrus soap or another essential oil just for scent.
I use mostly vinegar and water and baking soda to clean around the house.
We're luckily on well water, so don't have to pay for incoming - just outgoing - which is a lot cheaper. I love the rain barrel idea though, because it was so hard last year for me to stretch the hose across to the garden.
You have some really great ideas there!

Hillary said...

Love all the things you're doing! Hang in there in your tww :)

The Wife said...

Heya! I've tagged you back on my blog :)

Jean said...

Love your site, its lovely. Keep up the great job your doing and almost returning to the days of my youth. Clothes lines and rain both...have 2 of in Florida and love to watch rainwater conserved in my rain barrels. My water is extremely clean in spite of the many oaks over my home. Keep those gutters squeaky clean so your rainwater is also. Keep any openings in your rain barrel covered with window/door screening to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your water. Keep those gutters clean so they don't breed in them either. I've invented a new gutter cleaning tool that my customers tell me is the "best gutter cleaning tool on the market today." Well you can judge for yourself by going to and watch the video, read the info on site then you be the judge. Vacuum out all gutter debris, whether wet or dry, while standing firmly on the ground. If I can do it at 70+ years, maybe you could too. Be Safe, Be Well, and God Bless America...use those rain barrel!!!!

Becky said...

I am praying for you during your 2ww. Very inspiring ideas! I would so love to have a vegetable garden. We didn't get settled into our new house in time to plant this year, but I am hoping to try to have one next year. We may have to use containers though since we rent. We also recycle, but I am not sure if we would if we didn't have curbside pick-up. I really admire your commitment to recycle without this convenience. We have also changed out our light bulbs to fluorescent ones.