Doing our part {Listography 2011}.

Each Wednesday, Danielle, @ Elleinad Spir, Emily, @ Notorious MLE, and myself are working our way through the lists of Listography 2011.
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Last week, it was romantic comedies, this week, the tides have turned to a more serious topic, but no doubt of equal importance (per your comments- & the ever-growing list, it's clear these films serve a crucial purpose)... 

List some ideas for earth friendly living.

The "mere" task of saving our planet can appear daunting and overwhelming at first glance.  But there are so many ways that every single one of us can do our part to reduce, reuse, & recycle, often with minimal effort.  Using this article from Real Simple as a guide, I've listed a few simple ideas... all changes that we've made.

Turn the thermostat down. 
A simple adjustment that saves energy, and saves money.  Win-win.  This fact from Real Simple says it best:  "Turn it down two degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer and you’ll keep nearly 880 pounds of carbon dioxide from warming the earth."

Wash less, bigger loads, colder water.  
Let me just say that this change is both by choice & procrastination (specifically the first 2- wash less often... bigger loads).  Seriously though, an incredible amount of water is wasted by throwing just a few items in at a time.  When I do wash, almost everything is washed in cold.

Plug in a laptop, not a desktop. 
One of the best changes we've made this past year is getting rid of the desktop and purchasing a laptop.  We use a docking station in our office, so if the kids need to use it, or if I can get OFF of the couch and actually sit at a desk, I have the option of shutting it, docking it, and using it as a desktop... best of both worlds (and major energy saved in the process).
Turn off the tap. 
A simple, but huge change... especially with little kids who like to play with soap bubbles while washing their hands, or let the toothbrush hang from their mouth while "brushing their teeth"... and especially with a sink that is endlessly full of dishes (very tempting to leave that water while powering through them).  But thankfully, Hailey went through a course on the importance of saving water, and proper hand washing.  So sometimes she keeps me in check, and vise versa.
Skip red meat once a week.  
I bought Food Matters for Ryan for Valentines Day a few years back (because I'm romantic like that), by Mark Bittman.  Life changing.  Less meat.  More green.  Again- win-win all around. 

Donate vs. discard.
Reduce, reuse, & recycle... Check, check, & check.
Carry a water bottle with you. 
This is in an effort to save plastic, save money, and DRINK WATER (like Jillian says so).

Give your car―and driving habits―a tune-up. 

Again, Real Simple says it best:  "Tune up your car according to your owner’s-manual schedule (usually every 30,000 miles) and raise your car’s fuel efficiency anywhere from 4 to 40 percent. Bonus: You’ll increase your fuel efficiency and save on gas." 
Think local food. 
I am really excited about this one.  Last week, we signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) program since it just became available for our town.  Yesterday, I felt like a kid under the Christmas tree, opening our first box, and we can't wait to put it to good use.  A nice supplement until our garden starts to produce!

Bring your own bags to the market. 

Obvious, simple, but a hard habit to break... even with all of the reusable bags sitting right in the back of our car.  Always rushing, always forgetting.  But trying.


Writing this list has served as a reminder of how much money is saved by making small changes and little investments.  What ideas do you have for earth friendly living?  It is a work in progress to say the least, and the more we share, the more we can accomplish.  Together. 

The link's at Emily's place today, so head on over if you have a post!  And speaking of heading over, head over to Jessica's too-  if you'd like to learn how to make a 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake (and many more recipes)!

*What is next week's topic you ask???  Wonder no further.


  1. 1-Your CSA haul looks scrumptious.

    2-I failed at reusable bags until I got some that folded up small enough that they fit in my purse. Suddenly, no excuse! I like Envirosax, but there are other brands that do the same thing.

  2. Living with purpose is so important. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. I just made a really long (mostly crazy) comment that may or may not have been lost in the blogosphere. Because it's not turning up.

    I think the eventual conclusion I came to was that I needed to finish my coffee. So I'll spare you a recap of the rest of the crazy and get to work on waking up!

  4. @Rebecca (Reluctant Floridian) So I'm not the only one with this issue?? Thanks for the idea. I love it, and I'm on my way to look it up!

  5. @Mary @ stylefyles Yes, coffee's a definite necessity... some days- very much so :).

  6. We have the reusable grocery bags and I'm ashamed to admit they get forgotten too much of the time - but I'm trying to change that! We took them last time and I'm always so impressed with how many groceries can fit in there!

  7. turning off the water is a big thing for me. I grew up in CA during drought years, so I never leave it husband however....

  8. This is an awesome reminder and great tips, Torrie! I always unplug, turn down the thermostat, donate, and bring my own bags. But I need to work on doing more. I try to carpool when I can and on the weekends I try to ride my bike and walk everywhere (if possible).

  9. Wow!!! You're amazing!
    I love the tips! The thermostat one is super amazing how much of a difference it can make! I need to get my bike out of the storage shed! I don't eat much red meat. I only eat it at special occasions at my parents house, or when I'm at In-N-out! :D
    Great job on everything!

  10. Great tips, Torrie!

    Only thing I can add is that I also never take a bag while retail shopping either. This serves two purposes:
    1. Save a bag / the planet
    2. Doesn't reveal purchases to the hubby as they are tucked away safe and sound either in my trunk or OVERSIZED hand bag. Oh, and we use cloth napkins too. :)

  11. I had like 5 minutes this morning before I had to jump in the shower and i HAD to come see your post. I love this list- I need to remember some of this things so I appreciate that your posted it. Especially the reusable bag one. I am that lady with loads and loads of stuff in her cart but I need to go more often and buy less so I can use the bags more. Anyway, that is on my to-do list.

    Thanks for the shoutout! You are beyond sweet with that and your email and as soon as the craziness is gone (tomorrow afternoon) I am going to really lengthly respond to it. Is lengthly a word? LOL! So Happy for you and that your day ended well yesterday. YEAH! Write you soon! Love you to pieces!

  12. I really need to bring bags to the grocery store. I'm so bad about using the plastic bags there. I do keep them and recycle them and use them to bring my lunch to school, though. I guess I could just get a lunch bag. I have been thinking a lot more about eating local and cutting out meat more frequently. I've been shopping for produce at farmer's markets and I've been looking for animals raised in open pastures and grass fed rather than grain fed. I'm also trying to not eat meat that has been injected with hormones. Good tips!

  13. we too are skipping red meats more often than usual these days. i feel it's a plus for my health, my wallet, and the environment.

  14. We don't have a desktop anymore either...And I really don't miss it!

  15. I'm proud to say I do most of these things! I would feel guilty if not...

    Happy Weekend!

  16. We are on the same page here...Every year I add 2 or 3 more things to do in an effort to live a little greener. Last year we eliminated plastic baggies. (my husband behaved as if I took away his basic right to life). We switched to wax paper and storage containers. We are also joining a local CSA this year. Over the past several years, our efforts have really started to add up to feeling better about how we live and what we teach our son about living responsibly. Next on my list is to switch to all glass storage containers (vs. plastic) and my husband wants to start a compost pile. (although I'll admit I am hesitant to do this but the options for composting see to be growing.)
    Great post Torrie!

  17. Interesting about the laptop, never knew that. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with green information thinking I can never make a dent in this hole, but these are great doable tips - Thank you!


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