Daily Archives: March 8, 2007


The problem with being virtuous and not buying cookies or ice cream while grocery shopping means that there’s never anything sweet in the house to satisfy the sudden violent craving that hits now and again.

Which makes me cranky while fighting said craving.

And sure, I could bake cookies, but I did that the other night. I’m snacky now, not an hour from now.

Meme! Meme! Meme!

In her ongoing efforts to inspire more environmentally friendly living, ai731 has created a meme!

Here’s how it works:

A. Copy the list below to your own journal and

Bold the actions you are already taking
Underline the actions you plan to start taking
Italicize the actions that don’t apply to you

B. Add one (or more) suggested action(s) of your own

C. Leave a comment to her original post, so that she can track the meme to your journal, and copy your suggested action(s) back to her master list. In a couple of weeks, she’ll post again with the expanded list, and possibly some comments about the most (and least) popular actions.

1. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs [We’re doing this as they burn out.]
2. Choose energy efficient appliances [As appliances require replacing, yes.]
3. Wash clothes in cold(er) water
4. Turn the thermostat of your hot water tank down to 50°C (125°F) [It’s a bit higher than 50, actually, but it has been turned down significantly.]
5. Install a programmable thermostat (or turn the heat down over night and when you’re out of the house) [The latter.]
6. Register with the Canadian Marketing Association’s Do Not Contact Service to reduce the amount of junk mail delivered to your house.
7. Eat less meat (particularly feedlot beef) [We eat mostly chicken anyway, free-range when we can get it.]
8. Walk, bike, carpool or take public transit as often as possible [This one is difficult with a baby/toddler who only has a finite amount of time between meals/naps, since public transport tends to take longer as the trip isn’t direct. If we do go out in the car we go as many places as possible to reduce the number of trips out. If we’re traveling long distances, we try to fill the empty seat with another passenger.]
9. Make sure you know what can be recycled in your area, and try to recycle as much household waste as possible [We’re really proud of this one: we realised a few months ago that we’re down to one small bag of garbage a week, and we need a second recycling bin to contain all our recyclables properly.]
10. Compost using an outdoor compost bin or an indoor vermicomposter [We do this more in the summer, but we’ll be building a better composter next to the house this year to facilitate winter use.]
11. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner [n/a — electric heat, window-unit a/c which is vacuumed regularly while in use]
12. Buy local, organic or fair trade food where possible
13. Reduce air travel [I think I’ve travelled by air once in the past five years. If we’re not traveling by car, I prefer the train.]
14. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
15. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
16. Plant a tree
17. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen (Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce) [I prefer fresh in general anyhow, and try to freeze my own]
18. Keep your car tuned up and your tires inflated to their optimal pressure
19. Use biodegradable dishwashing liquid, laundry soap powder, etc. [Just started — yay!]
20. Drink tap water (filtered if necessary) rather than buying bottled water [I usually carry a bottle of filtered water from home with me, but if I do have buy bottled water while I’m out, I save the bottle and refill it at home.]
21. Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth
22. Unplug seldom-used appliances and chargers for phones, cameras, etc., when you’re not using them
23. Plug air leaks and drafts around doors and windows with weatherstripping
24. Switch from disposable to reusable products: food and beverage containers, cups, plates, writing pens, razors, diapers, towels, shopping bags, etc. [We do this as much as possible. We use cloth diapers/training pants half the time, and disposable the other half. Cool thing: we used fully biodegradable diapers for the first couple of months after the boy came home.]
25. Consider garage sales, Freecycle, eBay, or borrowing from friends/family before buying a new tool or appliance [This just makes sense — what’s the point in buying something you may only use once or twice if you can borrow/rent it?]

My suggestion:

Carry reusable bags with you when shopping. [I try to do this, I really do, but my success rate punged like a stone once the boy joined the ranks of those who go shopping, because I’m so focused on getting him and his gear out of the car that I’m lucky if I remember my shopping list, let alone the canvas bags in the trunk.]

Okay, upon rereading the meme I see that this kind of slots into the general suggestion of #24, so here’s another one:

Showers use less water than baths do.