Wednesday, January 5, 2011
So I apologize upfront that a lot of my sustainable changes will most likely apply to my new home. As I start to decorate, clean and organize my new home I'm having to adapt and break some good Ol' American habits. This week was one of those weeks...
Day 1- CLEANING! So as you as most of you know I had my family here for a week and all the holiday festivities. The house was pretty much a disaster after, so I had to come up with some creative alternatives for cleaning. Here are a few things I figured out: Tea Tree Oil removes tar from furniture/carpet (don't ask how it got there, thinking maybe from the move) My All-Purpose cleaner works well for cleaning beer from carpet! Then of course I used all my other green cleaning tricks for the rest of the mess (come check out one of my "Putting Mr. Clean to Shame" classes for more info)
Day 2- Painting Supplies. So the entire house needs to be painted. I walked into Lowes (home improvement store) and was overwhelmed with first, the amount of supplies I needed to buy to paint my house, and second, the amount of plastic, tape and toxic fumes involved! Lucky for me I was able to find lots of sustainable products. I found eco-friendly masking tape, masking paper made from 100% recycled paper, plastic covers that are bio-degradable and bio degradable paint pans. I was really happy with their options and prices.
Day 3- Paint. I did a lot research on paint! While researching I had 2 main concerns, which is the best paint overall, and which paint is the most eco-friendly. There were a couple options I found. I ended up buying Sherwin Williams' 0 VOC, eco-friendly paint. A close second that I found in my research was Olympic 0 VOC paint line. I was really happy with the coverage and lack of head spinning smells!
Day 4- Recycled My Wrapping Paper, Bows, Bags. Yes, I was that person this year! I was the one saying, "are you going to keep that?" "Could I maybe have that bow back?" Yes, I know, embarrassing, BUT I saved resources and money! I have a container that I keep all my stuff in and organized and put those away for next year!
Day 5- Didn't use the dryer! To be honest, this was in large part to the fact that our dryer was out of commission for a few days, BUT I did laundry anyways and air dried it! Here's what I learned from that, it's really easy and actually saves a lot of energy. The only thing I wouldn't air dry now unless it's summer are towels. But, everything else dried great hanging on chairs, doors and racks! I'm going to keep doing it! (I apologize if you come over and my underwear is hanging up all over the house:))
Day 6- Planned out my errands. I thought about what I needed to get done this week and planned ahead. Chose to run the errands on the days I was already going to be out and figured out how I could do what I needed to do in those areas. Not only do I feel that I saved on gas this week, but I only took my car out twice this week! Saved the earth while saving money, LOVE IT!
Day 7- Bought an energy efficient shower head. Our shower head didn't even put out enough water to wash my hair, so it was time for a new one! (which reminds me, you should be washing your shower head every so often with vinegar and water to prevent mineral and grime build up) There are tons of water efficient options. My shower head has a "pause" option. This allows me to pause the shower while I soap up. It's simple, but does a great job!
Well, I made it, one week done 51 more to go! I honestly thought this was going to be a lot harder than it is. If you are already in the mindset, it's amazing how easy it is to make one small change a day...