Friday, April 23, 2010

FC&G Challenge: Can You Do the Top 5?

Above you can see my herb bed, alive already with sage and a little cillantro.  It makes me happy, because the sage is a product of trying something new, plus being a little lazy:  Last year, when the nip of fall was in the air and I was struggling to close the garden down with my husband away on business, I remembered that sage was supposedly a perennial, so I decided to not pull the plant.  All winter long I was sure it was dead, and that I was going to have to finish my chore of cleaning out the herb bed before planting this spring.  But here we are:  it is in full leaf, and I have a quantity of sage in April that I usually don't see until August. 

To me, that fits with my mission here at FC&G:  I want you (and me!) to practice sustainable living, one small choice at a time.  So, I thought it would be good to pause and hit my top five sustainable choices that I believe almost anyone can do, regardless of budget, location, beliefs on environmentalism, or hecticness of schedule.

  1. Hang at least one load of laundry to dry each week.  To get the most bang for your buck, especially if you can hang the laundry outside in warm weather, try to hang sheets or jeans on a windy day.  The wind will make them soft, and you will avoid an hour or more of running the drier.

  2. Make your own laundry soap.  If you are feeling a little insecure about trying this trick (it is safe, I promise, but sometimes changing habits can make you nervous), use the homemade stuff on sheets, towels, blue jeans, and work clothes.  Your budget will thank you.

  3. Bake at least one batch of bread or cookies each week.  You will save money, and you will be in control of what you and your household eat.

  4. Find one way to replace something disposable you purchase with a reuseable substitute.  Here are my instructions for ersatz cotton balls; what other disposables can you reduce or eliminate?
  5. Turn waste into treasure.  Try to find at least one thing this week that you would have disposed of, and devise another use for it.
Can you do the top five this week?  Will you commit to doing them every week?  Let me know; leave a comment below!
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