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Old 04-06-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
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Small steps to a green home?

I'm looking for suggestions for small steps to make the new home we are about to move into "greener". Flooring and paint are already brand new, so it will just be what we put into the house I can change. We've already made a lot of diet changes making from scratch and buying organic when possible. I'm already planning to only take my green and homemade cleaners with us (Babyganics, Dr B's and vinegar/EO blends, basically). Most toiletries (shampoos, soaps, hair care, my deodorant, etc) are already natural or organic. We only buy CFL bulbs and have toilet tank banks and water-saving faucet aerators on order. There are poles for my clothesline (finally...a first for us) already there, so I can use my dryer less. I'm planning to stick most of my plastic storage containers in the moving sale and any slowly buying glass and saving jars. We use cast iron or stainless steel for cooking. The only Teflon we own is my George Foreman grill that I just got and don't want to part with. We use combo of cloth diapers and biodegradable disposables and I have the material to make un-paper towels if I ever get around to it. Family cloth is another not-gonna-happen idea. I'm planning to start small with some raised beds and container gardens since we're moving too late to plant a full-size garden. I'll do more next year. I'm also planning to get a compost system going. Next spring after we are settled and have the money to fence the yard, we're planning to get chickens again and possibly dairy goats. I don't have a lot of extra money (read none) to take big steps right now, however, I know there are tons of other small things we can do. I need ideas!

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Old 04-06-2011, 05:15 PM   #2
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Wow, you're doing so much already!! Maybe you can make some reusable baggies with your fabric. Or make extra unpaper towels and trade for some baggies. Or make a fabric shower curtain liner to replace the plastic kind if you have one.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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Re: Small steps to a green home?

Come ooooon, just TRY FC! Seriously, even if just you use it for pees it makes an impact. I started out that way and didn't intend to take it any further than that. Now I use it for number 2 as well. And even my DH, who said he absolutely was not going to use it when I first started, has since tried it and fully admits that it's nicer than TP. I HATE TP now. Sadly, we have coin op laundry and it's hard for me to keep up with my laundry. We get stuck using TP now and then and I feel like I'm slummin' it
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:07 PM   #4
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Re: Small steps to a green home?

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Wow, you're doing so much already!! Maybe you can make some reusable baggies with your fabric. Or make extra unpaper towels and trade for some baggies. Or make a fabric shower curtain liner to replace the plastic kind if you have one.
I really do need to get my plastic baggie habit under control...I do use more of them than I should. I also need to replace my shower curtain...I guess it would be a good idea to look for or make an eco-friendly version instead of the PVC one I usually buy. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: Small steps to a green home?

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Come ooooon, just TRY FC! Seriously, even if just you use it for pees it makes an impact. I started out that way and didn't intend to take it any further than that. Now I use it for number 2 as well. And even my DH, who said he absolutely was not going to use it when I first started, has since tried it and fully admits that it's nicer than TP. I HATE TP now. Sadly, we have coin op laundry and it's hard for me to keep up with my laundry. We get stuck using TP now and then and I feel like I'm slummin' it
I've considered it before, but I've just never taken the plunge. Maybe I will....
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:50 PM   #6
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Re: Small steps to a green home?

I agree with the FC. When I first started using cloth diapers (which was a huge step, as no one I knew uses them, and everyone thought I was insane for doing it) I read on the different CD sites about family cloth, and I just thought it was sooooo gross. I mean reusable toilet paper? Who would do that? But then as I was washing our cloth diapers, I realized . . . the cloth wipes I use to clean my boys' bottoms are way worse than anything I would use. If it isn't gross to use cloth wipes on them, why is it gross for me? So I tried it, and I love it!
But anyway, if you want other ideas . . . I am very slowly baby-stepping into a greener lifestyle myself, and so far for me the biggest thing has been getting rid of all disposable products. If you don't have time to make unpaper towels, just go to the store and buy some cheapo dish towels. I found some really cute dish towels on the dollar aisle at Target, and that is what we use for napkins. And the dish rags we already have I use for wiping up anything I used to use paper towels for. I wish I could convince my allergy-prone husband to let me buy him some handkerchiefs, but he refuses to give up tissues. Sigh.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:36 PM   #7
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If you buy any new furniture make sure it dosen't have formaldehyde in it. Several places in ca manufacture formaldehyde free wood products . Also use zero voc paint.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: Small steps to a green home?

You're already doing SO great!!

I make bowl covers that can help with your changing from plastic storage to glass. Most of my leftovers go into regular cereal bowls with a cover unless they have to travel.

Shower curtain is a great idea. I got a fabric one several years ago (called Hookless, so I don't have to mess with metal or plastic rings) that washes up beautifully!

I have to agree with the FC bandwagon. We don't use it 100% (mainly because I don't have enough - should get on that) but it's a GREAT small change to make!

I don't think you mentioned menstrual products, did you?

Let's see... kitchen cloth (not just unpaper towels, just rags for multipurpose), cloth tissues, dryer balls and dryer sachets (for when you're not hanging laundry), metal/glass straws, sandwich wraps/snack bags, stainless steel water bottles, cloth shopping bags/produce bags, cloth gift bags for birthdays/xmas. That's all that's coming to mind.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Re: Small steps to a green home?

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Originally Posted by Rebeldream View Post
You're already doing SO great!!

I make bowl covers that can help with your changing from plastic storage to glass. Most of my leftovers go into regular cereal bowls with a cover unless they have to travel.

Shower curtain is a great idea. I got a fabric one several years ago (called Hookless, so I don't have to mess with metal or plastic rings) that washes up beautifully!

I have to agree with the FC bandwagon. We don't use it 100% (mainly because I don't have enough - should get on that) but it's a GREAT small change to make!

I don't think you mentioned menstrual products, did you?

Let's see... kitchen cloth (not just unpaper towels, just rags for multipurpose), cloth tissues, dryer balls and dryer sachets (for when you're not hanging laundry), metal/glass straws, sandwich wraps/snack bags, stainless steel water bottles, cloth shopping bags/produce bags, cloth gift bags for birthdays/xmas. That's all that's coming to mind.
What kind of material do you make bowl covers out of?

Also, would a polyester shower curtain liner be okay or is that still too "un-green"?

I use a Lunette cup with cloth pantyliners, although I do need to make or buy a few more after I use us the last few disposable liners I've been trying to finish off.

I already use kitchen cloth for most things (bar mop towels), I'm just planning to make some "lint-free" un-paper towels for things like drying washed fruit & veggies and maybe for bacon.

I have to admit I have a serger and plenty of extra flannel, so family cloth would be free to make...just my time. Plus I already have a couple of extra wetbags that would be small enough to hang on the TP holder.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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Re: Small steps to a green home?

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What kind of material do you make bowl covers out of?

Also, would a polyester shower curtain liner be okay or is that still too "un-green"?

I use a Lunette cup with cloth pantyliners, although I do need to make or buy a few more after I use us the last few disposable liners I've been trying to finish off.

I already use kitchen cloth for most things (bar mop towels), I'm just planning to make some "lint-free" un-paper towels for things like drying washed fruit & veggies and maybe for bacon.

I have to admit I have a serger and plenty of extra flannel, so family cloth would be free to make...just my time. Plus I already have a couple of extra wetbags that would be small enough to hang on the TP holder.
The links are in my siggy if you're interested, but the outer is 100% cotton woven, the inner is a coated ripstop nylon.

I'm pretty sure my shower curtain is polyester, which is probably not the greenest option, however it's more green than the vinyl or any other disposable type. I've been using the same one for nearly 4 years now and it's holding up great!
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