Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Kids and I Are Going Green – and Hubby, too!


April 22, Earth Day, was the day I decided to get serious (again) about recycling, and exposing my kids to another conscientious way of living.

Prior to recycling, one “green” change that has been in place in my home is our growing number of spiral light bulbs. That change was in jeopardy of getting started on the day that I balanced myself on a step ladder placed in the tub to replace the ceiling light bulb, only to discover that the length of the spiral light bulb was too long to fit the cavity of the light fixture. “Okay” I thought, “So much for that.”

But, I did not give up. I was determined to find a lamp that needed the five dollar light bulb that the packaging said would last five years. I found the lamp, replaced the bulb, and clicked on the lamp. “Is this as bright as my old light?” I was still a skeptic.

Still, I bought more of the unique looking bulbs, determined to do something "green." I also realized that the price is less when you buy in larger quantities. (duh)

Another thing we’re doing is turning off lights and televisions when no one is in the room. The kids are beginning to get it, and even my husband, but we have to keep working on him.

For example: The kids and I are out and my husband comes home before us. As I drive onto my street and our house comes into view, the kids say, “Daddy’s home!” How do we know? The house is lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s aglow, almost in flames. He’s so sweet - he turns on the front porch lights, the pole lamp, the side light over the garage door, and the light at the garage pedestrian door. All, so that his precious family will be able to "see" when we approach the house.

And that’s just the outside. If it’s a day when he is feeling energetic and has gone around the house looking for projects, we know everywhere he’s been without asking him. Why? Because the light is on in every room he’s been in.

I digress - back to recycling.

On Earth Day, we decided to start small (didn’t want to overwhelm anyone), with just the plastic. I used my surplus of brown grocery bags to begin the collection. Four bags later, we still had not taken them to the recycling center. I gave up, and threw it in with the Monday trash pickup. We started again, adding paper and cardboard. This time, fortunately, a little angel gave me some help. I was out with a friend who needed to drive to the recycling center. Voila! It turned out to be on the same road as my girls’ piano studio. Now it is part of our routine to stop on the way back home from piano lessons.

While there, we all grab something and throw it in the huge receptacles. The first time we did it, I had to pick up my two youngest daughters to help them, but now they’ve figured out how to put some muscle into it. They’re pros. We laugh when we drop stuff and have to pick up flying paper. They complain if it’s cold, but I know they are proud of their contribution to the future of our Earth.

We are still nowhere near the best at recycling. Most of the trash upstairs still goes into the bin for the Monday trash pick up, but I notice that it is not overflowing anymore and we seldom have large cardboard boxes sitting beside it on the street. Check back with us to see how we’re doing!

If you want more literature on being "green," go to www.ewg.org/healthyhome. My organic gardening friend, Judy (find her in my blog followers), passed this helpful info on to me.

What percentage of your garbage gets recycled?

5 comments:

Judy Thomas said...

Way to GO!
I don't know what percentage of my garbage is recycled. We do recycle glasss, plastics, cans, paper, mixed paper and electronics (when our son was younger, he was the "can man" at the transfer station- we had a milk crate for him to stand on as he pitched in the cans).. We have three compost pits and one worm composter for kitchen scraps, and a weed-pile for things we don't want to recycle back into the veg garden. I also like to "pre-cyccle," that is, not buy the darn stuff in the first place!
Hey, what about an entry on pre-cycling- that is, I was thinking specifically of all the useless stuff we think we need when we have a baby, stuff we use (or not) for a few months or one year!!!??

Judy Thomas said...

I Love the phtos- three stair-step kids!
jt

Anita Martin said...

JUDY-Pre-cycle...I like that. It ties in with my goal to get rid of the clutter in my house. It may tie in with another posting that I've been thinking about...stay tuned. Thanks for the comment on the kid pic. I had actually tried to visualize your son, DTV, on the milk crate when I read your first entry. Nice memory for you.

Beth said...

I thought your girls were playing a game when I first looked at the picture. It probably is fun for them.
We only recycle paper and cardboard right now but that will change when we get recycling in the neighborhood.

Anita Martin said...

BETH,I like reading the comments! Keep'em comin'...and, I like the picture of the kids in the blog follower section. Even though my vision is lacking, I can tell the girls from the boys, at least!