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Green Pondering over 2008

January 1, 2009

A *lot* of things have changed over 2008.

I think the two things that stand out most in my mind is my huge change in relationship status (from a military wife to single mom) and the change my house has undergone.

I’ve always been a firm believer in turning off the lights when you leave the room. Turning off the water when you brush your teeth, using dishpans in the sink, instead of wasting tons of water (and then using the water to water plants). But I’ve never really had children old enough to help, or husband who stood behind me on it (and most of the time we lived on base which really isn’t conducive to much but staying in your house and not making waves)

But this past year and a half saw us:

  • putting up a clothes line and using cloth diapers (back to my roots like I’d done with my first child)
  • Using cloth wipes  in the bathroom and on the baby,
  • using all natural soaps made by my friend/sister Holly, that’s including in the laundry room (and adding pennyroyal and teatree oil to the detergent which in turn keeps off the mosquito’s outside).
  • Making and using cloth market bags.
  • Making a lot more of our clothing,
  • putting greener light bulbs in every single light socket we have.
  • Putting in a garden,
  • saving our own seeds,
  • canning,
  • making my own vinegar,
  • making my own bread, tortilla’s, muffins, cookies etc from scratch.
  • The only pre-made snacks we buy now are crackers and popcorn.
  • Catching rainwater (in my pitiful system of 5 five gallon buckets placed strategically, but it’s what we can afford) to water my porch plants
  • if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down….
  • replacing things around the house as we can afford it that save energy (dishwasher that does actually save us gallons of water, messing about with the toilets and adding new insides until they saved gallons of water, new light fixtures in places where the lights tend to stay on a lot or were really dim, so we used 3 or 4 lights on instead of one)
  • freecycling things as we came across them and realized we didn’t use them, or hadn’t used them in at least a year.
  • composting all our non-meat food waste and putting in a burn barrel (with ashes going to the composter)
  • Planning grocery trips for once a month (using less gas) and planning them for the most efficient use of gas/time.
  • Got started cleaning out the forest behind my house, so far almost an entire car has come out of there, not to mention literal bags of broken glass (wrapped in plastic bags seriously) old washers and dryers, whole bottles, string like you wouldn’t believe, an old fence laying down on the ground and lots and lots of rusty cans. (yes, my tetnus is up to date)
  • actually USING my fabric stash instead of buying new fabric. I only bought things that I actually used right away with the exception of my Halloween dress (which I didn’t end up with time to sew) and I probably spent about 30 dollars total on fabric, and that includes PUL for cloth diaper making!

This Year, there are more things I’d like to do

  • buy a pressure canner and canning a LOT more
  • sell my creative endeavors in my etsy shop, versus leaving them laying about.
  • put in raised garden beds
  • composting all kitchen waste
  • having a LOT larger garden
  • planting bamboo as a living fence around my property line
  • Finding a way to store my laundry water and use it for garden water
  • Getting a pump hooked up on my shallow well to use for the garden and the kids pool (and maybe laundry) (this will be difficult since it’s against city code even though the well has been there forever, but I live next door to the city water guy)
  • Finish cleaning out the forest behind my house and using that area for random woodland flowers, a place to hang out, and hanging lots of ‘fairy’ ornaments, mostly wind chimes and various glittery hanging things according to the kids.
  • Put up an addition on the house
  • fix the back porch
  • getting the chicken tractor built and getting chickens
  • researching whether goats are ok in town or not and getting 2 if it’s ok with town codes. Wanting a milking goat.
  • most likely raising rabbits for meat
  • growing my own grains for MY gluten-free flour (on my way with amaranth and beans, however rice will be a bit of a kicker LOL)
  • Getting a grain mill

I’m sure there’s a LOT more that I’ve forgotten in each list, but with my 17 month old heading into nap time (we’ve been awake since almost 6am) she’s getting a bit toooo bandit like to comfortably think and stay on the internet anymore! LOL

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