Green @ Home: Simple Small Steps, Part 4

Green @ Home: Simple Small Steps, Part 4

Sarah Coffey
Jul 31, 2008

Name: Sarah C
Location: Chicago, IL
Profession: AT Editor

It's the end of July, which means that Green @ Home month is coming to a close. I've loved taking a peek into my fellow editors' lives to see how Janel, Heather, and Sarahrae incorporate green ideas into their homes. Following their brave examples, I thought I should bite the bullet and add myself to the line-up. So, here are a few of the little things my husband and I have done to green our home:

Green Move #1: Reuse. We try to reuse things in our home whenever possible. To make these drapes, I cut up an old tablecloth and sewed it onto the ends of some shorter curtains I already owned. The dresser is a hand-me-down we painted white. When we do buy new, we look for high-quality and/or multi-purpose pieces that will last us a long time. When we get rid of something, we try to donate it, sell it, or recycle it if possible.

Green Move #2: Eating organic. We eat mostly organic and/or local food at home. We bought herbs at the Green Grocer this year and we've been growing them in containers on the back porch. (Everything's been coming along well, except for the arugula, which was eaten by bugs!) We shop at a range of organic and local grocery stores, from big ones like Whole Foods to small ones like our corner bodega (where they make the most amazing fresh salsa).

Green Move #3: Drinking filtered tapwater. A couple of years ago, we stopped buying bottled water and stuck a little Brita filter on our sink. We've stayed with the system, using filtered tapwater for drinking, cooking, and making coffee.

Green Move #4: Walking, public transportation, I-Go. We've been car-free for a number of years now. Our main mode of transportation is a combination of our own two feet and public transportation. When we need a car (usually if we're picking something up or driving somewhere that's not accessible by bus or el) we use Chicago's I-Go car sharing service.

Other small, green moves: Recycling can be a problem in Chicago. Despite its flaws, we continue to use the Blue Bag system until a better recycling program comes to our neighborhood. We've also gone mostly paperless at home, we use green cleaners, and we use CFLs. One area we need to work on is reducing our consumption in general. We're looking at ways to buy less energy, food, clothes, and furnishings.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Green @ Home this month, including AT Editors and readers. We learned a lot from those brave souls that gave us a glimpse of their lives!

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