I've been trying for a long time to tread more lightly on the earth, and I believe we(as a family) have a long way to go.
Today I read about a challenge at http://hipmountainmamablog.com/one-small-change/comment-page-2/#comments. The idea is to make one small change per month, write about it in my blog, and on World Earth Day, April 22nd hip mountain mama will announce winners.
It will be great to follow others trying to reduce their footprint, and I hope I'll learn how I can make changes.
Some of the things I have tried to do, especially since having Charlie ( I realise that our having a large family can impact greatly on the earth), include the following:
- Using cloth nappies (diapers) as much as possible
- buying second hand clothing for the children
- recycling as much as our local council allows
- composting garden waste
- feeding food scraps to the chickens
- growing vegetables
- buying as much local produce as I can from the farmer's markets(its seasonal, it's within 100km)
- buying local, organic meat from our farmer friends, the Frosts
- Drying all our washing on the clothes line
- changing all our light bulbs to energy efficient ones
- driving a smaller,diesel car which is the most energy efficient in its class
We don't use cloth nappies all the time.I try to, but for some reason, if Mike or Lily changes Charlie, they gravitate toward the disposables ( I do buy environmentally friendly ones, but I hate the waste.)
So one change I will make is to be more consistent with those things.
I've been toying with the idea of using my old clothes (the fabric is still in great condition) to make a quilt.Maybe this is the incentive I need.
Bigger changes I'd love to make include buying a water tank to store rain water, putting in an efficient watering system for the garden,and putting solar panels on the house for our own electricity and to to put the excess onto the grid.
In order to do those things we are going to look into a "green loan" http://www.environment.gov.au/greenloans/. It involves having an audit done on the house, which will then make recommendations on how we can improve our home to be "greener". They will give us a $10,000 loan, interest free for 4 years. I think it is a brilliant idea, so will definitely look into it.
So, in January, the plan is to make my vegetable garden more productive. To start with I need to make the soil more receptive to water. This week I'll look into putting an organic soil wetting agent on the garden, and I'll get some mulch to help stop the evaporation. Other things to do include netting the tomatoes so that the birds leave them for us, and planting out more vegetables. So, a trip to the nursery is in order.
It's a beautiful warm day today, forecast 30 degrees Celsius. We went to the beach early and swam, but it was very windy, so we didn't stay long. Charlie has taken to throwing himself into the surf.He has no fear, so we cannot take our eyes off him for a moment. Luckily there's more than one st of eyes to do the job!