Monday, January 14, 2008

Three Gifts Challenge

Rhonda in her Down to Earth Blog challenged everyone to change three things to benefit each other and the earth. I've accepted the challenge. Now I have to decide what three things I need to do. Really I do most of the obvious things and some things others consider extreme. For example: Cooking in a solar oven.

Things I do currently: I use cloth napkins, cut up old towels for cleaning, use air conditioning and heat only when necessary (otherwise I use ceiling fans and adjust dress), buy mostly organic and local, minimize car trips, cook in a solar oven, grow my own fruits, nuts, and veggies, use lights sparingly only at night or overcast day, clean with non-chemical cleaners (see clean and green post), buy food with minimal packaging, compost, line dry my clothing. I have removed my carpet and installed porcelain tile. I won't have to replace it if we flood again and it requires nothing but human power to care for it. I draw the line at toilet paper. I buy toilet paper (although I have read on some sites about other options!).

So I've really been thinking about what else I can do. Here are some options.

  1. Not use any bags from stores at all. Bring my own.

  2. Cut grass bi-weekly instead of weekly in summer(I'll have to see if this is feasible in our area.) Minimize lawn by installing landscaping and gardens.

  3. Research solar possibilities for my home. We are going to build a studio for my business adjacent to our home. I believe we could install a solar system to power our home and my business.

  4. I'm already getting chickens. I'll use them for pest control instead of poisons. (Does anyone know of an organic way to get rid of red ants? They eat us if we do not control them. I have tried many things. None except poison have worked so far.)

  5. Try to stockpile enough groceries for three to four weeks to minimize trips to shop.

Any other suggestions? What are you doing?

Here is a picture of my garden! Look how it's grown. I recently planted bok choy, tom thumb lettuce, arugula, and calendula. I'm going to plant tomatoes, peppers, and celery for transplant.


Daisy said...

Your garden looks beautiful!!! Fantastic suggestions on living more simply. I am trying to do the same, but it's a very difficult transition from typical American living to living green. I made my first foray into this though and purchased five canvas tote bags from Safeway for my grocery shopping. Just tonight, our dog had an accident in the living room and my husband says, "Hon -- where are the plastic Safeway bags???" "Uhhhhh, we um, don't have any anymore!" Yikes. It wasn't pretty. Maybe I'll have to edge into this slowly!

Kristi said...

One little change at a time is best. I think my husband looks around and wonders exactly when did he agree to all this?!

Lisa of Longbourn said...

I just found your blog linked from Lady Lydia's Homeliving Helper. And also just this week I received an email that advised: Get Rid of Ants - Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Don't know if it works or if you've tried it. But I thought I'd share.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Kristi said...

Hi Lisa,

Welcome to my blog. Thanks! I will try this suggestion and let you know how it works.


Egghead said...

That cornmeal suggestion is worth a try. I read if you put a Bounce fabric softener sheet near the ants it will repel them. It is supposed to repel mice, bees, and mosquitos as well. The down side is that you would have to carry it in a pocket or something to repel bees and mosquitos. I haven't tried it but thought I might this spring and summer.