Our little bit

For Earth Day, 24HRS (a local Vancouver newspaper) ran some articles on the environment. One piece showed 12 ways that a family can reduce their carbon footprint. I was feeling pretty good that of the 12 things mentioned, our family is doing 10 of them.
1. Use a reel mower (not electric or gas). I took that one step further and got rid of all our grass, now I just need to mow the boulevard
2. Scooter. I’ve had a scooter for almost 3 years. Still, I need to ride my bike more.
3. High Efficiency Furnace. We replaced our 45 year old furnace with a high 96% efficient model.
4. Cold Water Detergent. I don’t know if our detergent is “cold water”, but we do all are washing in cold tap water
5. Laundry Line. Nope, we don’t have one. I’m going to look into this…
6. Hot Water Timer. Nope, don’t have one. I’ll think about it, but this may not work so well with our tenants, since I don’t know or control their schedule and when they would like hot water
7. Composting. We have two composters and 1 rain barrel.
8. Farmers Market. We are 1 block from a farmers market from May through October, although I don’t think we buy much stuff from them.
9. Lighting. I replaced all of our incandescent lights with compact fluorescents.
10. Cloth Shopping Bag. We have several cloth/reusable bags, and I haven’t used a plastic bag since the beginning of February.
11. Thermostats. Our furnace and two gas fireplaces are on thermostats. The electric heaters are all connected onto one timer, but each heater has its own temperature setting. One of the fireplace’s thermostat is broken though and I’ve been reluctant to shell out $160 for a new one.
12. All purpose green cleaner. I just recently started mixing some of my own cleaners. Right now I have an all purpose cleaner that contains vinegar, washing soda, castile soap and borax. We’re still using commercial floor cleaners. I tried using baking soda + vinegar for the floors but it left a lot of residue. I also want to look into greener dishwashing soaps.

I’m not sure any of the above will actually make a difference in this world, but these are some of the only things I can do. I’d like to take some positives out of it because a lot of the news these days as it pertains to the environment, climate change and greenhouse gases really ain’t all that good…