Sunday, February 21, 2010

Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project

Jan at Thanks for Today has started a Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project and Contest. Click below for more details and to join in:
Y'all know I am an unabashed treehugger, so this is right up my alley! Jan is challenging us both to celebrate Earth Day (4/22/10) and to live a greener lifestyle (in and out of the garden) year-round.

I have a series of posts on my blog called "It's Easy Being Green" (click here to read them all). Readers have made great suggestions/comments on these posts, so make sure to read those as well. (And thanks to everyone who made the suggestions/comments!)

Last year, I waited until Earth Day itself to post about Earth Day. Jan's idea of spreading the word earlier makes much more sense! Here is my post from last year, which included: what we did to celebrate Earth Day, what we do to live a greener lifestyle year-round, and what we needed to improve on.

Here is a slightly embarrassing report on the latter:

Goal 1: Buy more local produce/support local farmers.
Result: Um. I give myself a big FAIL. I think I only went to the Farmer's Market one time last year.

Goal 2: Easy Energy Conservation.
Result: Fair-Good. I have gotten much better about turning off lights and not leaving devices not in use plugged-in. We have added a bit of weather-stripping but need to do much more.

Goal 3: Being responsible with my plant choices.
Result: Good. I have bought/grown more perennials that can take our extreme heat and full sun with little to no care.

Goal 4: Conserving Water.
Result: Good. I got a rain barrel, and have not used a hose since! I will during the summer, of course, but less than usual for sure. I'd love to have a rain barrel under every downspout! I really love that I can use the water from the rain barrel to top off the little fish pond, without having to worry about all the nasty stuff in tap water (and wasting resources).

Goal 5: Tend the compost piles better to increase yield.
Result: Excellent. Just watching the brown/green ratio and turning them about once a month gave us wheelbarrows of awesome compost. I was so proud!

Goal 6: Generally Consuming Less.
Result: Fair-Good. We have cut down on the amount of paper towels we use. I'm trying to take better care of our nice things to make them last longer (rinsing dirt off garden tools, oiling our expensive cutting board, etc.). And I've started carrying reusable bamboo utensils to avoid having to use disposable plastic ones.

As you can see, I still have lots of work to do on last year's greener living goals. I do believe that every little bit helps, though, so I try not to get discouraged by the enormity of a total transition to green living.

What are your greener living goals for 2010? What will you do to celebrate Earth Day?


Susie said...

I enjoyed this post Ginger. I think you did pretty good myself. I'll have to think about what I'll do to celebrate Earth Day.

tina said...

Buying locally is one I did not think of. It makes sense. I think you do great trying to live sustainably.

Dirt Princess said...

Great post! One of our local business owners has a container company, and he is going to start selling rain barrels! I am definitely going to be getting one!

I have started my compost pile. I got a cute little compast bucket to keep everything in.

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Ginger, you are amazing, really! You have no reason to feel the least bit 'embarrassed'...I think your honesty is admirable and what you actually do is much more than most people, to begin with! I'm interested to read your other posts. The way you wrote this up was perfect. Now it's easy to find related posts in one place, and they all tie in so well with the theme of this project--and I'm thrilled you joined in;-0 (Don't tell anyone, but Joe Lampl just contacted me and said he's going to work on getting a rain barrel for my grand prize for this project! Whoo hoo! (He has the blog: Growing a Greener World, and now a PBS tv show)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I know you live green just from reading your blog. I'm so impressed with how well you've done with your rain barrel!

Randy Emmitt said...

I went to the farmers market last week and got bread, radishes and rapi. Both very local as the growers live less than a mile from here. Check around and maybe you can sign up for a CSA and pick up local organic veggies every week all summer like we did last year. Hoofing it this year and Meg can stop at the Durham market after work on Wednesdays.

In case to have not firgured it out yet we are both tree huggers:)

Janet said...

Ginger, tree huggers are the best! I think you have accomplished a lot and have great goals to strive for. (and you have a new compost bin!)

Prairie Chicken... said...

you did good! you know what you could do to be even better?
Pledge to go veg at least once a week!

hahaha I'm always trying to convert people. But seriously, you did a super ace job at being greener! I'm impressed.

I still don't have rain barrels. This year I promise!

Ginger said...

Prairie Chicken - I've been incorporating more vegan meals recently. It's not much more difficult than our regular vegetarian cooking, and I feel so good when we eat vegan. Doing more of that is definitely a 2010 goal!

benbes said...

I love the way you write this post and They way you think green.
john deere gator

Meredith said...

Great progress! Don't worry about the fails, I say. We fell far short on two of our household goals last year and realized one of them is probably not doable right now where we are and on our budget -- but we exceeded all expectations on one of them, just like you did with your rain barrel. Did I mention this post has made me crave a rain barrel? :)

Jean said...

Those are great goals Ginger. I could use some of them as well (except for #1 since I do so much volunteer work for our farmers market!). I am going to try to do a similar Earth Day post soon.

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Congratulations,'re a winner;-)