With the UN Climate Change Conference struggling along, I’ve been thinking, rather despairingly, that I’m misguiding my energy working towards my children’s parenting security  when I can’t even guarantee my children a planet to grow up in. That seems pretty basic. Elisabeth has just finished  the harrowing The Road by Cormac McCarthy and we’ve been wondering what we can do. It all seems so big.

J-le over at  The Twinkle in My Eye has also been giving this some attention. This is reposted from her blog, at  Greening the Twinkle’s Future

I’ve been inspired by a range of factors to tread more lightly on this earth. Those factors include:

My head has been filling with ideas on how we can lessen the impact we have with our lifestyle and I’ve finally decided to put them all in one place, categorised, in public, to challenge me to go ahead and deal with them instead of just thinking about them. So here goes.

Here’s the list:

The things we could do more of:

saving water

  • collect excess water from kitchen and bathroom sinks and bucket onto garden/indoor plant
  • collect cold water from start of shower and bucket onto garden
  • install rainwater tanks – large for whole roof, small for verandah
  • collect more greywater and direct it onto the front (non-edible) garden
  • use more greywater-friendly cleaning products
  • plant more indigenous plants in front yard
  • buy a front loader washing machine in the long run

saving gas

  • put more clothes on before choosing to put heater on
  • reduce draughts around windows and doors
  • keep hot water service turned to fairly low temp
  • consider double-glazing
  • close vents not really needed (eg kitchen, bathroom in evenings)
  • keep thermostat low-ish
  • consider pelmets above windows
  • cover bathroom fan
  • put insulation in bathroom and laundry ceiling
  • put insultation in walls when weatherboards are replaced

saving electricity

  • be more vigilant about switching off lights
  • find a replacement for halogen downlights
  • switch appliances off at the wall
  • turn computers off at night
  • put in a smart switch for computers and maybe tv
  • switch to buying green energy
  • look at solar in the long term
  • buying 5-6 star rating appliances (not in the near future – most of our whitegoods are new-ish)
  • don’t use the dryer except for emergencies
  • only use air-con on 40+ days if possible, and don’t set thermostat too low
  • close all blinds on hot days
  • install exterior blinds or other shade treatments
  • use cross-ventilation on hot nights (find out out how to open top window on front door)

reducing waste

  • be more vigilant about separating recyclables
  • make the most of the worm farm and compost
  • find the best solution for dog poo
  • get a diva cup or similar
  • toilet-train the twinkle
  • get hankies instead of tissues
  • use microfibre cleaning cloths
  • consider rechargeable batteries
  • buy less pre-packaged meat and veg
  • buy less processed food in general
  • find creative uses for rubbish and recyclables (eg toilet rolls as seedling tubes, softdrink bottles as mini greenhouses)

sustainable transport

  • walk more!
  • get the bikes serviced and get a seat for the twinkle
  • investigate local produce to reduce food miles
  • produce more food at home
  • use public transport as much as possible

There’s lots of things that we already do, and there’s plenty more we could improve on. There’s more stuff that needs to be on that list that I have forgotten in my big brain dump just now. I will add them as I remember or learn them, and I plan to talk myself through it on my blog.

Molly adds:
Readers, I’d love to hear your ideas on what you are doing or could do more of to green your children’s future.