I am the first to admit I am nowhere near cool. My carbon footprint could have come from a Sasquatch. Please don’t tell Leo. I do try. I actually even subscribe to Coolmom.org. Yes, there is such a thing. And, while the mere thought of hanging clothes out to dry six months out of the year, or jumping on a bicycle to usher my children to school is enough to make me curl into a fetal position, there are a handful of practices that I have implemented over the last couple of years since being introduced to Cool Moms. I consider myself a work in progress. The website even states “small actions=big impact.” Therefore, I am continuing to plug away at my “Cool Mom” to-do list. Here are a few ideas taken from the Cool Mom website that I am hoping will make me at least a little cooler:
- Recycle! Place recycling containers in convenient places, like the kitchen and home office.
- Set your home printer’s default to double-sided and cut down on paper waste.
- Think before shredding. Only long-cut strands of shredded paper can be recycled!
- Set your water heater at no higher than 120 degrees F (49 C).
- Has “convenience” left you with less time? Always doing laundry? Wash only dirty clothes, save energy – and give yourself a well-deserved break.
- Wash every other load in cold water.
- Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year. (Source: ClimateCrisis.net)
- Start mowing the lawn with a push mower. Use your muscle, not your emissions, to trim the grass. (This one is a piece of cake..see Garden Envy)
- Turn your thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and your A/C up 2 degrees in summer.
- Dress for the weather, not the thermostat!
- Take cues from other cultures. Hot day? Shut out heat with blinds and lay low. Siesta, anyone?
- Stay mindful while traveling: keep showers short, ask about recycling, and turn off lights, tv and air conditioning when you aren’t using it.
- Reduce waste while travelling: bring reusable water bottles to refill and avoid purchases that require lots of packaging.
- Count your food miles! Buy food grown close to home and prevent excess transportation emissions.
- Food grown locally stays fresher and better maintains its nutritional value when it hits your plate.
- Buy fresh food. Frozen food takes more energy to produce.
- Buy directly from local farmers: Search out Farmer’s Markets in your area. Keep money in your community.
- Use a gas, not a charcoal, grill for summer barbecues. Charcoal production is harmful to the environment in several ways: it leads to deforestation, the creation of carbon dioxide gases, and increased air pollution. (Source: Low Impact Living) (Time to tell Hubs the gas grill needs to go)
- Buy local food that is organically grown whenever possible.
- Support and encourage your local farmers to make the switch to cultivate organic crops.
- Teach your kids where their food comes from and include them when you cook.
- Eat less meat! Methane (a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2) emissions result from the raising of livestock.
There you have it! Not so bad right!?! Be sure and check out the coolmom.org website for additional tips and information!