Thursday, February 28, 2013

The end of month two

So we are at the end of our 'recycling' month.  We won't stop though.  The hardest thing to deal with is the things that can be recycled but can't go into our city recycling can.  These include fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, and plastic grocery bags. The fluorescent light bulbs haven't gone out yet so when they do I'll have to take those to Lowe's.  I put a small plastic container in the laundry room to slip used batteries in.  Then I can take them to Lowe's also.  I also have a large bag of grocery bags in my car that need to go to the grocery store.  I tend to reuse these for different things but they multiple in my sleep.  I have also read that you can recycle toilet paper plastic wrap and such at the same bin as grocery bags.  I do wish that it was all at the same location.  It would make it easier!

Our goal was to reduce our city trash by 50%.  We have accomplished that and more!

Next up: Hospitality!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Going well!

This month's recycling project is going well.  We have already reduced the garbage by half.  We may have to make the big kitchen trash can the recycling can and the little recycling can the trash can.  Cardboard boxes seem to be a big part of our recycling.  So much packaging is such a waste.  The other day I bought my hubby two button-downed shirts.  They were on deep discount and were only $8 each.  There was about $7 worth of packaging in each shirt.  Took me 10 minutes to unwrap them.  I saved the pins for my sewing but there was a ton of stickers, cardboard, and plastic to keep the shirt looking like new.  It was just crazy.

The kids and hubby are doing well with recycling too.  The kids will ask if something goes in the recycling.  I occasionally find something in the trash that should go in recycling but mostly everyone is remembering.  Hubby has said it's a lot easier to dump the recycling than the garbage since the garbage needs a trash bag.  I'll take making it easier for hubby to take the waste out.

I'm now working on turning out the lights.  It's just a bad habit to leave them on.  We all do it.  I'm trying to just be more conscious about what we are using in our house.

Which brings me to our water bill.  I realized that our water bill had been really high the last two months.  So I went on a detective hunt.  The monkey helped with her little magnifying glass.  I turned off every water source in our house.  Toilets, ice maker, and washer.  I checked the water meter.  It was still 'ticking'.  I found a faucet that was slowly dripping outside.  I believe that was the source.  I turned everything back on, checked the numbers on the water meter, and left for a few hours.  When we returned, the numbers where the same.  I'm hoping we found the problem.  I talked to the kids about making sure the faucets were turned off tightly.

We are making a dent in our impact on this gift of the earth that God gave us!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February's project

After finishing up our month of no eating out, I needed something that requires a little less 'stress' for the family.  This month we are focusing on recycling.  We used to recycle.  A lot.  Then the city stopped recycling because of the expense it was costing.  We could take the recycling to a local drop off point, but that didn't happen for us!  For most families, that is probably not a big deal, but I like to throw things away.  I really do!  It's all part of my 'organizational' nature.  We have two big city trash cans.  During a holiday, they are both full.  I do take things to donate when they are nice enough, but I'm just not a pack rat.

A friend said, "Don't worry about it.  God is going to destroy the earth anyway!"  She has a point.  But I've decided if God gave us the gift of the earth, I should at least try to keep it from being completely trashed!  After all, think about all the gas I saved not driving to eat out last month!

This month's project took a little prep.  Our city started a new recycling program.  Homeowner's purchase a recycling can for $25 and then the city provides curbside pick-up on a weekly basis.  Form my figures, by doing this, I am saving the city about $16 a year.  We have our can.  I also cut out some cute recycling vinyl stickers to put on the trash cans in the house to put the recycling in.  It was my daughter's idea.  Where does a 4 year old learn this stuff?  (She said from Caillou.  Her preschool is called PBS.)  We have three recycling waste baskets in the areas where we most need them.  The kitchen one is right beside the big trash can.  Already I'm discovering that we really have more recyclable trash than not.  My goal is that each week we only have half a city can of trash (vs the 1 to 1 1/2 cans we had before).

I also plan to add in a few other 'earth' type things.  I'm still working that out.  But until then, happy recycling!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

January re-cap

Our project in January of "not eating out" was a success.  We did have one fail though.  About three days before the end of the month my husband got stuck at work without any lunch.  He would have just gone without lunch, but he wasn't going to be home until about 7:00 that night.  So we all gave him grace and said he could go grab a quick bite.  I was really the only one that never ate out because the kids and husband were both taken out to eat by other people.  Either way, these are the bullets of what we learned/accomplished:
-Eating out does cost more.  Although our grocery bill went up, it did not go up as much as our eating out budget.
-Spending time at home is so much easier than running out to eat.
-We really use a lot of dishes! (our water bill will be higher I'm sure!)
-We spend less on other things because we aren't 'on the way to get something to eat'.

Some friends asked if I had lost weight by not eating out.  Nope.  Nothing.  Of course I have been working out and I think my body is probably in that "hold on to everything it has" mode right now.  My husband has lost a few pounds.  Don't you just hate that!  ;)

Actually, in closing, I'd like to say how proud I am that my husband stuck with this crazy scheme of mine.  It was great to see him support me in this and use it to grow the family.  This month would not have been nearly as successful without him and his support!  You are my rock star!