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10thtimearound September 30th, 2012 08:05 PM

Green as a Large Family?
Do you try to reduce your carbon foot print? As a large family do you have any hints or tricks? Any good tips on recycling?

We Compost Compost Compost... And more Compost. One of perks of a large is the amount of lovely compost LOL

I also can/jam most everything I grow.I just found the 2quart/2liter jars. A couple years ago Now i do 2x as much with half the work, energy and jars to wash lol.

I buy cases of products to try to reduce extra packaging.

I buy 2nd hand clothing to reduce the manufacturing impact.

My latest is buying used large drinking cups and metal cutlery(spoons mostly) instead of new since those 2 things go missing here much as socks!!

My hubby who is the Laundry King!Has a love /hate relationship with the weather. I swear he wakes up everyday dareing the weather to challenge his hanging Laundry! I have never seen anybody obsess about the weather as much as him LOL

Of course this goes with saying, all kids have stainless steel water bottle for juice ect for lunch as well reuseable containers ect.

I have to admit I still buy individual yogurts ect rather then divide 1 big container in reuseable cups/lids.....One step at a time right LOL

8forus October 16th, 2012 02:29 PM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
WHAT?? No one has replied to this!?? I can't wait to get back on tomorrow and reply :) We do a lot of what you mention above plus some!

8forus October 17th, 2012 10:55 AM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
I'm sure this will be all over the place as I have a major headache (accidental gluten ingestion) but can't seem to stay laying down :(
My reasonings aren't necessarily for reducing our carbon footprint *specifically* but for not being wasteful (the ole waste not want not mentality) and not using a lot of products that are harmful to us. And honestly we're still working toward being self-sufficient in each of these areas. I long for the day where each one of these are full-time 100% (for example - we don't grow ALL of our own food and we eat more meat than just what we hunt/raise - this is a goal and our reasons for doing so are our motivation to add a little more each year until we are doing it all 100% of the time).

We garden and raise chickens (soon to be rabbits and tilapia/fish, too). (((I know what's in my food and don't pay high prices for organic - but the wastes from each are not wasted as they are composted or used in the garden for things like pest deterrants - most of the cost of each is in upstart which evens out and winds up paying for itself - plus I use some of it to trade for other things I don't grow or I can sell some of the extra for a little extra cash)))

This leads to canning/dehydrating a lot of our food for the winter. (((I am not using preservatives/excess salt to can/dehydrate my food - my glass jars and the lids aren't leeching bad things into my food ... I don't have to worry about there being an ingredient in there that is harmful to any of us who have food allergies)))

Which also leads to composting. (soon to add vermiculture for what I hope to be better compost) (((Garden wastes, raw plant wastes from the kitchen, lawn clippings, leaves, chicken pen muckings, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea/herb leaves/stems, etc - depending on what it is where it goes and what's it is ultimately used for)))

I make my own laundry and dishwashing detergent and cleaners.... all. of. them. (This is one of the few things that is 100% all the time) (((The petroleum products and chemicals in the store bought products just isn't worth it - not to mention all that packaging that simply gets wasted and fills up the landfills ... it took time to get some of the recipes just right for us and it took years to change over completely)))

I'm a stickler about turning off lights, unplugging items (hubby was surprised at how much our electric bill went down by doing this - he didn't believe me when I talked to him about turned off but plugged up items used energy - he's a believer now), not using excess water (like running water while brushing teeth). (((This not only saves on the electric/gas/water bill right in front of your face but saves energy all down the line, thus in the long run not using as much coal/gas or needing to clean as much water at the water treatment plant in the long run - which saves electricity there as well as the amount of chemicals being used all the way around)))

We each have several re-usable water bottles and I do everything I can not to use disposable anything. Which I guess leads into making my own "paper" towels and stuff. The kids are not allowed to use real paper towels to wipe up messes - they must use a cloth one, whether it is a cloth "paper" towel/napkin or a dish towel/rag. We probably go through a small pack of real paper towels twice a year ... could probably be a lot less if dh wouldn't refill the towel rack every time he notices it is empty - but I'm still working on him! ;) My laundry has not increased because the towels are small enough to just get thrown in with a load of towels.

I used cloth diapers and either cloth, a keeper, or reusable sea sponge tampon for myself ... I also learned to sew some. I've done the math between buying disposable and using/washing cloth - hands down HUGE money saver with cloth. Then since we use an enviro-friendly detergent and line dried - more savings AND more enviro-friendly (and it was hardly adding any more washes than my already normal wash schedule).

Leftovers - I was in a great habit of at least packaging my leftovers for us to eat the next day or so ... only I seemed to be the only one eating the leftovers as the children grew up so more were going bad than I was able to eat. Soooo, now I package up leftovers into individual-sized portions and freeze them - then pop them out into a freezer baggie - no more going bad! Leftover veggies always going into a huge container - when full I make a huge crockpot of veggie soup which I rarely have leftovers of.

Along the line of re-usable water bottles - I make my own coffee drinks. I use mason jars - cold brew my own coffee - mix up the bases for about a week's time then when ready to drink I throw ice in and go. I do similarly with flavored waters - I put fruit in bottom of a mason jar, cover with ice and pack down, let sit in fridge, then when ready to drink fill with more ice (cause the other is now melted) and add water to the top. (Any of these are easily transferred into my other re-usable bottles if glass does not mix well with my destination.)

Since we have various food allergies, I also make snacks at home - usually a week's worth at a time and just package them individually so they are grab and go.

I also make a good bit of our own spa and hygiene items. I reuse mason jars like mad to store a lot of our stuff in.... bath salts, facial wash, body scrub, etc. I'm experimenting with some herbal tooth powder and deodorant (I haven't used traditional deo in a long time - I switched to Tom's and Jason's many years ago - and now trying to make my own to cut down on waste and save money).

I began switching over to herbal medicine some 20 years ago - this has a done a lot toward reducing a carbon footprint and saving money and most importantly our health and shortened-span of sickness shows the success of this endeavor. We treat anything from ear infections, to flu, to the poison three, to strep throat with herbs (just a note - I am not irresponsible with this - I get an official diagnosis from a dr AND when we're all better I take us back for a nurse's visit to verify *and* *chart* we're all better ... plus I'm working on my own medical degree and have worked in the medical field for years with pregnant and lactating moms).

I'm sure there's other stuff but it's probably gardening related like water catchment and saving seeds and pest control blah blah blah. I'm sure there's other stuff around the house that I'm not thinking of either (types of curtains to help with temp control, using blankets and long sleeves instead of turning heat way up, etc). Using plastic bottles for potted plants and our newest thing - a window farm so we can continue to grow lettuce through the winter. I used to bake our own bread before I found out gluten was slowly killing me.

Sorry to have written a novel!!!

clouise October 17th, 2012 11:43 AM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
Wow, that's an impressive list. We really don't do anything special. We do recycle, but that's it.

#5in2005 October 17th, 2012 12:26 PM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
I do care about my carbon footprint, I've always hated stuff that came with a lot of packaging, but I have to admit that most of it is financially motivated, and as the kids get bigger and use more (and also, now that all my kids are in school so I have "room" in my brain) I've found that I've been making changes bit by bit. I definetly don't possess the same passion for it as some others.

8forus October 17th, 2012 12:31 PM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
My true passion is self-sufficiency. Reducing the carbon foot-print, reducing my financial commitment, etc is definitely a plus but the true motivation is that self-sufficiency goal. It's taken years to get where I am and I also suggest making changes slowly or else you won't sustain the changes over time.

UrbanMomma October 17th, 2012 02:20 PM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
I like the color green, thats about it.

Counting our Blessings October 17th, 2012 02:34 PM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
We raise our own meat chickens, egg laying chickens, compost, garden/ can and froze 500 lbs this year, make our own laundry soap, deoderant, lotions, buy all clothes 2nd hand, toys are all used, sew some of our dresses, only use a dryer 5 months a year in Wisconsin, and thats off the top of my head.

But yes, we try!

Babymakes8 October 17th, 2012 04:50 PM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
We raise our own beef, chickens for meat and eggs, goats for milk, a veggie garden, plus we hunt and fish, we can some, and make our own laundry soap.

8forus, mine is more towards self sufficiency, too, instead of being green. Being self sufficient and being green just seem to go hand in hand.

Oh, and a few months ago I completely TOSSED the microwave out of the house. It is GONE. Dh keeps saying we'll get another one, but I keep finding ways AROUND his reasons, so he can't rationalize buying one lol

Just_Marie October 17th, 2012 09:34 PM

Re: Green as a Large Family?
I buy high efficiency appliances and recycle plastic, cardboard and soda cans. That's about it

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