I found out about Thursday Thirteen through my friend Breana's blog. It sounds like a fun idea, so I'm going to try it out for awhile. Also copying Breana, I'll start with my green list -- 13 things that I do regularly that are green. Then next week I'll share my list of 13 un-green habits :)
Lee Vee's 13 Green Habits
1. I'm an avid recycler. It helps to have grown up in a city that now recycles more than 50% of its garbage, and to have had parents who got me in the habit while I was still living at their house. Anything that can be recycled curbside (paper, cardboard, glass, foil, plastic bottles with necks, tin) or at my local grocery store (some plastics, plastic bags) does get recycled.
2. I always carry cloth bags to the grocery store. I have quite a collection! I have bags that say New Seasons (my local grocery store), Whole Foods, Nature's, Hillsdale Farmer's Market, Switch Shoes (local and favorite shoes/accessories store), OraSure Technologies (a company I used to work for), and Covance (my current employer). Anyway, I rarely forget to bring them with me, and I wonder how many paper/plastic bags I've saved in the 5 years that I've been doing that?
3. I use "green" cleaners. Regular brand household cleaners make me sick. Seriously, the chemical smell from them, ugh. Not good for little children and pets, either. So I'm happy to be using mostly vinegar for clean up, but also brands such as Seventh Generation and BioKleen (a locally-made laundry detergent). The green cleaners biodegrade much better in the environment than regular cleaners (read: less toxic for all nature and living things).
4. I use "green" toiletries. Our toothbrushes and Mike's razors are the Preserve brand, and are made from recycled plastic. Not only that, but once we're finished with the brush/razor handle we put it back in the container it came in, and mail them in bulk to the company who made them, and they then use the plastic to make park benches. Pretty cool. I also love Dr. Bronner's liquid magic soaps as they are biodegradeable, all natural, and you can use them for just about anything (except toothpaste, bleah).
5. We own a hybrid car, a 2001 Prius. We call our hybrid Sippy, as it does sip gas and save us a lot.
6. I significantly reduced my junk mail and the number of catalogs that come into the house by signing up for GreenDimes. I can choose what catalogs to continue receiving and which I want to stop. So rather than receiving paper that just goes straight into the recycling bin, it doesn't get made for me or sent to me at all.
7. We use a reel lawn mower. As soon as we moved into a house, we brought a reel mower, and have never used a gas or electric one (although we've gotten offers!). The bonus is the added exercise it gives us, the bad part was the learning curve when figuring out that the blades really do need to be taken in to be sharpened. Tall grass + dull blades = a pain in the backside.
8. We use Klean Kanteen bottles for water (they even make a sippy cup version for small hands) and try to remember those as much as possible so we don't have to buy and waste plastic bottles. Besides, the water in the stainless steel tastes better to me, and there is no leeching of chemicals into my water when the temperatures get warmer.
9. We use cloth napkins, kitchen towels, and rags and just wash them when they are dirty. I think I go through a roll of paper towels about once every year.
10. Our cat litter is Swheat Scoop and is made of wheat and biodegrades easily. There are no chemicals to harm the cats or the environment, and no, it does not smell.
11. We use cloth diapers for Jake. Saves a lot of resources that are used to manufacture disposable diapers plus they don't end up in a landfill. Plus it is economical for us as well. It has been estimated that disposable diapers for one child for 2 years costs about $2500 (probably more if using more environmentally and child friendly brands, such as Seventh Generation) whereas cloth diapers for one child is around $600 and can be used for subsequent children!
12. We eat a mostly vegan diet. An enormous amount of resources are used to produce a small amount of meat and to raise dairy cattle. You actually save more resources by eating less meat than you do if you gave up your car.
13. We shop at our local Hillsdale Farmer's Market. I'm trying to make this a regular thing. I love going and seeing the people who actually grew/made the food that they are selling. I love getting to know what is grown locally and when it is in season. Luckily our local farmer's market operates year-round -- every Sunday except for December through March, when it is every other Sunday.
After those, I'll leave you with some cute pictures of Jake taken today. We played with the train and put as many animals on the train as we could.