Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 ~ Update on 3 Gifts Challenge ~


Rhonda Jean over at http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/ has issued a challenge to help the environment (Our Dear Mother Earth ). Her challenge is to pick 3 ways (gifts) to help better our World this year. Please visit her blog and read the post on Sunday Jan 13Th , it will tell you all about this challenge. I've been changing my way of living over the last few years , but there's so much more I need to do. I want my grandchildren and their grandchildren to have clean water , trees to climb , animals in their natural habitats and uncontaminated dirt to play in. Please think about this challenge and join us , as we help heal Mother Earth.

1. No more plastic bags ! ........... I have gathered some cloth bags to use at the grocery store and for other shopping. I need to make or get some net bags for fruits & veggies. I keep them in the trunk of my car , so I will always have one. I plan to put one in my purse for those quick trips or impulsive buys.

As you're driving down the road , take a look around. I've seen so many bags up in trees and along the side of the road. They look awful and threaten birds , marine animals and other wildlife. Just think about how many of those bags end up in the landfill and how long it takes for them to decompose.

Just last week I saw a blue jay with a piece of a white plastic bag , carrying it to make a nest. I wonder what effect it will have on the nest or the baby birds.

380 billion disposable bags are used each year in the United States , only 1 % are recycled. I wonder how many end up on the roadside or entangled with wildlife.

Update ~~ Earth Day 2008

I've did pretty well with this challenge so far. I have cloth bags I keep in the trunk of my car , use them mostly for grocery shopping. There have been a couple of times I forgot to take my bags in . I want to make some net bags for fruits and veggies.

Update ~~ January 2009

I will continue to use cloth bags , I still forget them sometimes. Once I had the bagger just put the groceries back in the cart , I rolled the cart to the car and put them in my cloth bags. I like doing it that way , I can bag all cold items together and other items together. I found a neat nylon shoulder bag , that is great for holding meats , cheese and butter. If I have any leaks I can wipe it down when I remove the meats. I never got my veggie bag holders made , but before Christmas as I was getting the decorations down from the attic , I found my old backpack from my girl scout leader days , it had some drawstring bags in it. We made them for camping , they were made with open weave dish cloths. They'll be perfect for holding fruits and veggies .

2. I'm using up my last plastic jug of laundry detergent and plan to start making my own. Rhonda has a simple recipe for making laundry detergent , better for the environment and no more plastic jugs to recycle or that end up in the landfill.

Update ~~~ January 2009

I made the gel type laundry detergent a couple of times , I wasn't satisfied with its cleaning power. So I tried another recipe I found on Rhonda's blog , the concentrated version and I'm pleased with the results.

No more fabric sheets either ~ will use vinegar instead.

Update ~~ Earth Day 2008

I've had a problem finding washing soda , I finally ordered it off the internet. Just received it last week , will finish my laundry detergent and start making my own. I plan to ask my local grocery store about stocking it. I finished using my fabric sheets a couple of weeks ago and have began using vinegar.

Update ~~~ January 2009

I use vinegar when I plan to hang clothes out , it works well. One day I was at the dollar store and I found a dryer ball , decided to gave it a try , it works well in the dryer. I haven't bought anymore fabric sheets in 2008 .

3. Clean-up Mother Earth ~ I promise to recycle more , pick - up litter when I see it , buy items with less packaging when I can and buy more recycled items or items that can be recycled

  • Need to buy recycled garbage bags

  • Buy recycled paper towels ~ compost them ~ until I get a good supply of cloth napkins ~ purchase cloth napkins at thrift stores ~ give them a second life ~ buy 100% cotton so they can be composted when their life is through ~

  • Buy eggs in paper cartons ~ Get hens soon and have fresh eggs

  • Always consider buying the item with less packaging

Update ~~ Earth Day 2008

I have recycled more stuff , haven't found recycled garbage bags yet but I'm still looking. I haven't stopped using paper towels completely , but I buy the recycled ones when I can . I'm recycling the tube rolls to make fire starters. I have bought all my eggs in cardboard cartons and plan to recycle the cartons. Will soon be getting chickens and those cartons will store my fresh eggs. It's hard to find items with less packaging , so I have been buying items with containers that I can reuse. I do pick up litter anytime I see it laying around.

Update ~~~ January 2009

It has become second nature to recycle everything I can. I didn't find any recycled trash bags to use , but I'm definitely using less bags , since we recycle so many items.

I haven't given up paper towels completely , but we are using less. I have bought quite a few cloth napkins , we use them often.

I have bought all my eggs in the cardboard cartons , I'm saving some of the cartons for starting seeds . I will be getting chickens soon , looking to buy some anytime now , some of the cartons will be used to hold my fresh eggs. I try to buy items with the least packaging or containers that can be reused.

I have picked up any litter I come across , on the roadside , in a parking lot or elsewhere.

These are my 3 gifts to Mother Earth , but I'm sure I will be doing many other things to help heal her. I hope you will think about it and take this challenge. All these small things can really make a big difference , if enough people start doing them.

Earth Day Update ~~~ 2008

It's never to late to start making changes to save our Mother Earth , Earth Day would be a good start if you would like to take the challenge. I will be sharing some ideas on reusing and recycling this week on my blog , please share your recycling , reusing tips with us by leaving a comment.

Update ~~~ January 2009

I'm glad I took this challenge and I'm pleased I stuck with it. Most of these changes have become habits , habits that are good for ~ Mother Earth.

Thank-you Rhonda Jean for this wonderful challenge and the awareness it brings to the Our World. You are truly an inspiration and I'm so thankful I found your blog.

~~~~~ YOU make a difference in Our world !! ~~~~~

~ Green Hugs to You ~



LifeLessPlastic said...

Wonderful! You post really inspires me and reinforces my commitment to helping the environment. Thanks!

Lib said...

I took the challenge also , so far its going quite well. Maybe we can encourage each other.:o)
Have a great week.

MissKoolAid said...

I'm already using cloth bags and other reusable bags for shopping. I also want to make my own net bags for fruits and veggies! Let me know if you find a simple way to do these...

I'm going to visit that website right now and see how I can contribute to this challenge... it's good to know that we are not alone in trying to save the Earth, isn't it?


Peggy said...

Great post and great things to do to help mother earth

Anonymous said...

Outstanding post! :) Your so inspiring!!! *HUGS*

Pam Aries said...

A great idea! I agree. Yesterday..I noticed a million cigarette butts lying all around my neighborhood. I thought...I should pick all of them up. Now I will!

dabrah said...

A great post, I love your ideas. I've already been doing some of them, but there's loads left that I can do. I'll check out the challenge.

MissKoolAid said...

Just last week, I finished my box of regular garbage bags and bought some that are 100% OXO-degradable. Check out this website www.degradable.net for more info. I also bought biodegradable dish soap and am now looking for unscented laundry detergent that is earth friendly (not ready to make my own yet...)

The plastic bags that are still hanging around the house can be used as stuffing for handmade plushies, that way they at least get a second life.

Happy Earth Day!

Vickie LeBlanc said...

Beautifully written Joyce Ann. I so love the clean smell my homemade laundry detergent leaves my clothes with. I don't use any softner or any rinse at all but I might try vinegar now. We have a dozen cloth grocery bags in the car and yes, like you, I forget them sometimes but to punish myself I refuse to put my few items of groceries in a plastic bag so I take them out to the car in my arms. Our lifestyle is pretty much organic around our home - pretty much like the lifestyle you're living over there.

Canada is one of the world leaders in recycling (at least we're good for something, right :-)) and our province was rated number one in Canada - pretty neat !

Vickie LeBlanc said...

JoyceAnn - could you send me an email. I don't seem to be able to find yours on the blog. I would love to chat more with you via email - and this is only if you want to. My email address is on my blog.