Monday, January 23, 2012

Speed Bumps and Solutions to Green Living [#CTWW]

This week's challenge comes from Reduced Footprints.

This week, please share road blocks to green living. If you're not struggling with any road blocks at this time, then please share ones which you've heard from others. For example, one of the most common reasons is that it's too expensive.

Then ...Take a look at the road blocks shared and offer solutions. The idea of this challenge is to help us all find solutions and "bust" all excuses for not living green.

Today, I am sharing some of the road blocks I have experienced on my path to more eco-friendly and green living. I am going to take after Jen and Joey and call them "speed bumps." I have learned to pick my battles because they are slightly bigger eco-friendly fish to fry (no, not frankenfish).

Speed Bump: 
The amount of paper products used in our house is unimaginable. Sometimes, I feel like little evil elves come out at night to steal our toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels. There is nothing better than throwing away a used tissue and not having to worry about washing a handkerchief, but the guilt reminds me that paper used one time is very wasteful!


1. Purchase and use cloth napkins and rags (we already reuse old socks and washcloths for cleaning rags)
2. Offer, do not force, for others to use them

Speed Bump:  Heat

My husband hates to be cold (and I do also). If he could move to Florida or Mexico, he would in a heartbeat. The man walks around in short sleeves and shorts while I am sporting 2 wool sweaters over a long sleeve shirt. When we are at home, we keep the house at 67 degrees (68 degrees recently because it has been very cold). During the night, I bump it down to 64 degrees. One degree can make a big difference, but a husband complaining every 5 minutes might not be worth it.

1. Drink more hot tea
2. Put more blankets on the couch and the bed
3. Snuggle up to stay warm
4. Add eco-friendly insulation (long term solution)

Speed Bump:  Water
My husband's solution to the above speed bump (when I do not allow the temperature to be set above 68 degrees), is to take a hot bath. Oh, the amount of water that baths use is unbelievable! In addition to letting water run in the bathroom and in the kitchen when not actively using it also increases water usage.


1. Turn water off when I walk by (not recommended)
2. Offer to wash the dishes (use cold water, turn off when soaping up)

Final Note:
I do not mean to call my husband out so much here because I am wasteful myself. My husband has come a long way in supporting me and being more eco-friendly. I am grateful for his support! I hope that we can continue to remove waste from our lives.

>> What road blocks or speed bumps have you experienced?  How have you dealt with them or going to deal with them?


Jen said...

Ahh paper. I made some unpaper towels but Joe loves paper towel and one day I found the largest roll in the history of time in our pantry. He must have had it downstairs in his pile of stuff he got when his plant closed years ago. Seriously, it is the size of a small tire. (they do come in handy when dealing with bacon but I will never admit that to him).

I actually think making cloth napkins and tissue could be fun! Think of all the cool fabric options (OMG ROBOTS AND DINOSAURS).

Unknown said...

Jen - A roll of paper towels as big as a tire! My husband would go crazy!

I have 2 PeopleTowels that I received from a rewards program, but I need to get some small cloth napkins we can use. Making my own is a great idea also because I have a sewing machine.

Jen said...

I wish I had a picture of it when he brought it is like a small car tire.

Good Girl Gone Green said...

Great post, katie! I try not to waste water but sometmes it just happens. :(

Rae said...

Stopping by from the meet and greet; let's hope my comment gets through this time! I love how you've outlined your roadblocks and taken time to think through some great solutions. The desire to be warm in the house is a tough one to figure out, but hot water bottles and snuggly blankets along with a few thin layer of clothing works well. I find keeping my feet warm makes a big difference to the way I feel overall.

Warm wishes Rae aka mrs green @littlegreenblog

RubbishGeek said...

Also blog hopping thanks to Small Footprints and CTWW.
I do feel guilty about paper towels, and started wondering why I use them, and when. In reality it's because they are closest to hand when there are spills or stickinesses to wipe up in the kitchen, so I'm going to stop buying them! I also won a people towel which I try to take with me to work to use for hand drying. I'm over blogging at Let's waste less and tweeting @RubbishGeek Good Green Wishes all!

barefoot mama said...

It is really wonderful what you are doing on this space. I'm sure our sweet Earth is very grateful:)) WAY TO GO and thanks for the tips!

EcoGrrl said...

Ive been 2 yrs w/o paper towels and now can't imagine using them...keep a cloth napkin just for greasy stuff like bacon, greasing pans, etc. And if u do occasionally use one, compost it rather than toss :)

Unknown said...

Great ideas! I completely agree with the paper towels being at hand, so I put out some dish cloths to pick up spills. I also like the idea of composting the paper towels (I have thrown one bag of tissues in the compost before).

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