Helping to Save the Planet
We have had a vegetable garden for 13 years and it’s great to have all the fresh produce during the summer months. It saves us a lot of money because while our local produce market sells fresh, local produce, it is still more expensive than growing your own. However, we came to realize that our water bill kept getting higher and higher because with the built-in watering system Michael made, we were going through a lot of water!
That’s when we decided to get some of these water barrels. While it’s not pretty, they get the job done, we save money and conserve water. We still water the vegetables with the sprinkler system (we got a high efficient system) too but only when they really need a good soaking. We also have 4 flower beds and a bunch of potted flowers, so they all get watered with the rain water we collect. While our water bill has decreased, it still isn’t the dramatic decrease we were hoping for but it is still worth it in many other ways to use rain water.
Our town has a wonderful recycling program, that started about 3-4 years ago. Up until then, we really didn’t do any recycling and it had always bothered me. We collected papers and took back bottles to the store but that was about it. With the town program, we were able to eliminate about 80% of our garbage! I couldn’t believe how much of our waste was recyclable and I became almost obsessed with it. At first I would get excited that I had something that could go into the bin. My family once again, thought I was nuts. lol What’s nice about this program compared with others is we don’t have to sort anything. It all goes into a very large garbage can (and we can put out extra recycling in clear plastic bags if need be – we usually have 1 extra bag when they collect it all every 2 weeks).
It’s such a wonderful program and has really taught us and Shawn that a lot of what we throw away, can be recycled.
This year and just in time for Earth Day, we bought ourselves a compost bin. It’s something that we had talked about doing in the past, but just never made the leap into buying one. It makes sense though. We do a lot of gardening, so the nice extra rich, chemical free, dirt will be useful to us. Plus, it will have save money and eliminate even more of our waste.
We have a sealed container on our kitchen counter where fruit/veggie scraps go and even dryer lint (totally surprised me that this could go in there!). We empty it every day or two, depending on how full it is and in 4-6 weeks, we should have some dirt. I can’t wait till that day happens. Michael tells me that I am way too excited for composting but I just like that we can make something that we need, on our own with minimal effort. It makes me really feel good that we are becoming more and more self-sufficient.
Just a couple of photos of Shawn and Daddy putting it together on our back deck. It’s not where it was staying, but with the clouds threatening to rain, they were sheltered just in case. Shawn loves to help Michael with the tools and he really gets right in there with him. It’s great to see Michael teaching him but it’s also great to see them spending some quality time together too.