We still have so much to do. We'd love to hear from you - what you're doing, or what you think we should be doing that you don't see below.
If we're not putting something to good use, we make sure someone does. We mail our shoes to
We recycle paper, plastic, batteries and glass.
For the past several months, we only use cloth napkins, not paper.
Every time we get a catalog, Dushka emails the company and asks them to stop. This requires constant maintenance.
We are members of GreenDimes, who help get you off mailing lists.
Cleaning and cleaning products
We use biodegradable, Earth friendly detergent for our clothes and for our dishes. We use half the amount of product recommended in the package's directions.
We don't use any harsh cleaning products (we use Mrs. Meyer's or Caldrea.)
We almost never go to the dry cleaner (unless it's a suit and there is no choice.) About two years ago, Dushka saw the pile of wire hangers and plastic bags and vowed to wash and iron Luca’s shirts herself. She also washes at home anything that doesn’t say “Dry Clean Only”. When we do go to the dry cleaners, we return the wire hangers.
At our house
We have a programmable thermostat that keeps our house at 65° F degrees in the evenings and in the mornings and 62° F for the rest of the day and during the night. If we're chilly, we wear a sweater.
We don't own air conditioning - it's not necessary where we live.
Our toilet paper and tissue is made from 100% recycled material.
We've replaced some of our light bulbs, but not all. Working on it (some shapes are difficult to find).
We change our furnace filter every three months. (This is another new one - who knew a house had furnace filters?)
Our TV is nine years old and we've decided not to buy a new one until this one completely breaks down. It's actually working great. (Plus, it was the first big ticket item we got together.)
Recently, our Tivo wasn't working. Our first impulse was to buy a new one. Luca instead bought a new hard disk and fixed it. (Added bonus: pride and gloating rights.)
We unplug anything that’s not in use. Did you know that if the toaster or the cell phone recharger is plugged in, even if it’s off, it’s still using 40% of the energy it needs when it’s on? We just learned that this Friday so now we go around unplugging things (except Tivo, of course.)
The energy that we do use, we’re offsetting through Renewable Choice.
This is a big concern, particularly after seeing the news about a possible drought. We need to do more to conserve it, so pass along any tips.
We only turn on the sprinkler system when it hasn't rained for more than a week. (More often if it's really hot, which seldom happens.) Most of the plants in our yard are drought resistant.
We only use water-saving shower heads. You can’t really tell the difference.
We try to make our showers shorter. Greenpeace suggests choosing a short song and singing it. When the song’s over, so should the shower. At our house, there is definite room for improvement (both on the length of the shower and the singing.)
We also want to put a bucket in our shower to collect the water that comes down before it gets hot - we could use it to flush the toilet or water our plants.
We have a Britta filter so we never buy bottled water (this is one of the most recent things we've done and the water tastes great.)
We only run the dishwasher or washing machine when it's full.
Not buying what we're not using
We think twice before buying something. Do we really, really want/need this?
We're thinking that this December we won't send Holiday Cards. It's so much paper, ink, distribution costs.
We've recently canceled a few magazine subscriptions we can see online, and reduced our Netflix from three movies to one. It was getting to be too much of an effort to keep up anyway.
We turn down shopping bags. We use our own canvas bags, which we keep in the trunk of our car. Luca is a near fanatic about this.
We're not vegetarian, but eat very little red meat (less than once a month.) This is more of an effort for Luca, who's more of a carnivore.
We buy organic and local whenever possible. (We’ve been eating a lot of strawberries lately.)
Travel and commute
We drive to work together 99% of the time.
Since we have to use a car to go to work, we decided to buy carbon offsets with TerraPass.
We plant trees when we travel by plane, for business or leisure.
OK. Your turn - tell us what you do.