Making a smaller foot print

Since Earth Day last week, I’ve been thinking about what my family and I do to make our footprints smaller.  Most things we do we have done for years.  We have recycled and composted for longer than I can remember.  Lights are only used in rooms where we are.   The majority of time I do laundry with cold water and use phosphate free soap. In the summer months I hang my clothes to dry.

The one thing I am extra careful about is wasting water.  I end up washing my hands and face in cold water because I always feel guilty letting the water run.   Half full water bottles, left over water from glasses and water from steamed veggies are used to water plants.  I try to only water my garden once a week in the summer months.  Our cars are not always the cleanest and I wouldn’t dream of hosing the driveway.

Our cars are good on gas (except my hubbies hotrod that he drives occaisionally in the summer).  We try to plan our trips to town wisely.  Our house is not huge.  I have a real problem with people building huge monster homes.  I’m sure they are nice folk, I know a few myself, but in this day and age I just don’t get it.  How much room does a family need?    As for garbage we only have a small can each week.  It always bugs me when I see people with more than two.  We never burn our garden waste that we can’t compost.  We take it to the dump where they compost it and we have to pay to dump it.

There is always room for improvement and right now we are in the progress of changing over our lightbulbs to more power efficient ones.   I wonder how many people do their part?

~ by sandy on April 27, 2007.

5 Responses to “Making a smaller foot print”

  1. Sandy this is great, I think more and more people are getting the message to leave smaller carbon footprints. I do many of the same things that your family does, I am also trying to cut out as much unrecycable plastic. If your interested head over to and there is a woman there going plastic free in 2007, she has come up with all sorts of ideas.

  2. BRAVO Sandy! so glad to hear other families are doing your part to leave a smaller carbon footprint. I have done many of the things your family does since the mid 1970’s. My friends considered me “unusual” then.I am proud to say that all three of my grown chldren continue to their part. My son recently visited a relative, told me that lights were on in every room plus three T.V’s that were not being watched. He said,” Why do they live that way, it is such a waste”

  3. It is a matter of people becoming aware… and it is interesting to see what your family is doing. We’ve tried to do the same thing -but I think the recycling and less garbage are the most difficult to get a handle on. Gardeners naturally tend to become composters, just because it helps the garden so much, but we all have a long way to go to impact society.

    Thank you for leaving me the new url- Your blog is such a highlight to the internet- the pictures brightened my day- maybe because your eye is so artistic and sensitive.

  4. We rarely have a full can of garbage by the end of the week. I am always amazed when our single neighbors have over-flowing cans for pick-up. We consciously purchase products with lower packaging when we can. We use cold water for laundry and washing hands and faces. I often use gray water to water plants. I recycle whatever I can and compost what I can. All our lights have been fluorescent for years. We keep lights out when we aren’t using them. I reuse things when I can and have become very good at retooling things for other uses – another good form of recycling. I always try to bunch up my shopping or other errands when I have to use the car (I always imagine us as a pioneer family that has to take the wagon to town 🙂 I walk to and from work everyday – even in rain and snow storms! I also walk to go shopping when I can. I have a basket on my bike for shopping. I keep my grass high. I keep the heat low in the winter (again, imagining that we are pioneers – go Laura Ingalls Wilder!).I plant a tree every year. I garden!! I grow some of my own food and I can veggies. I prepare much of my food from real ingredients. I buy organic and local as best I can – I even spend more to do so much of the time, but I eat much better, healthier produce because of it. I choose products that come from sustainable agriculture when I have a choice. I got rid of cable last year to reduce our TV use. I have given up mammal meat due to the multitude of environmental and health factors involved with it’s production and use.

    Geez! I never realized how much I actually did!

    Two guilty spots – I have the TV on even when I am not watching it and I take long, hot showers. The first thing I am still working on. The second – well I need it! I can’t give up everything!

    I am really glad to see that being aware of the environment and its needs is becoming a more common, mainstream thing.

  5. Your garden and photos are just breath taking. Absolutely enchanting…

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