Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jumping on the bandwagon!

It seems everyone else is blogging about the past year, so I was thinking how we were living cheap and green in 2008.

I'm a big believer in baby steps and doing what you can. It would be great to be the perfect eco-family but let's get real: it doesn't work that way. But I do look back at seemingly small things I've done that have made an impact.

Probably one of the most noticeable has been our trash level. Months back I joined in on Enviromom's One Can A Month Challenge. I never expected to lower our level to only one can, but we did! It also led me to investigate composting, and to be much more conscious of buying products with less packaging.

And the up side to the bad economy was that we became more conscious of our driving habits and energy usage.

We have almost stopped using paper towels thanks to our super absorbent kitchen towels (think sham-wow) and by sheer luck, our trash pick up started picking up recyclables #1-7.

We switched over to low flow shower heads and put aerators on kitchen and bathroom faucets...and never noticed a difference in performance, just in our water bill.

Lots of little things, over a year...but it has made such a difference in our budget and in our impact to the environment. Living cheap and green is the way to go :)

But overall, I think what I am most proud of (and probably have never blogged about?) is that my son is picking up these little habits...and thinking about them. I am proud he rinses his cup and sets it on the counter for later use instead of using 5 or 6 cups a day, and that he turns the tv off when he's done watching, and puts recyclables in the bin.

So my assessment of the past year? Pretty good job...except I still haven't made homemade yogurt yet! (See March 24th's entry!) Sounds like I have a New Year's Resolution...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

With work and the holidays, I have been neglecting my blogging, but hopefully I'll get back to it more in the New Year.

In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Postcard update

I got the postcards in the mail about a week ago. They came faster than I expected and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. They were like actual postcards- nice thick paper weight and shiny front picture side.

There was the pre-printed message I included, but also plenty of room to write a personal message too. So all in all, I am really happy with these cards and plan to do them next year too!

So, the only problem was...the stamps. It seems the only postcard stamps are tropical fruits. The stamps look like this:
Kinda weird for Christmas cards, but hey, I figure people will really only be looking at the picture on the front anyway! I think I will look into those make-your-own picture stamps for next year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Can Holiday Cards Be Cheap and Green?

I struggled with the idea of holiday cards this year. By far, the cheapest and greenest thing to do would be to send e-cards. No photo cards to pay for, no stamps to pay for, no trash from envelopes or pollution/carbon from the transport of the cards from my house to all over the country. So the simple answer would be e-cards...right?

While e-cards are definitely the cheapest and greenest, I just can't do it. I LOVE getting cards in the mail. I LOVE seeing pictures of my friends and relatives' kids as they grow. I save those pictures every year. And I love hearing from people I don't necessarily hear from any other time of year. So how do I reconcile sending cards with my budget (I send out a little more than 50 cards...that postage adds up!) and trying to be kind to the environment?

Here's what I came up with. Postcards. I found holiday themed postcards at snapfish and York Photo. Not only does that eliminate the envelope trash (or recycling, we'd hope!) but the postage is cheaper. So I am happy with being able to share the holiday spirit while finding a way to make my greetings a little cheaper and a little greener.

Monday, December 1, 2008