April was BUSY! Not only does April contain Fashion Revolution week, but it was Earth Month! This year, I celebrated Earth Month by participating in the Eco Life Challenge stretching and practicing my eco life skills for the whole month. Some of the big takeaways from the month for me include composting, gardening our own food, reducing our energy consumption, and using what we have well.
We began composting almost 2 years ago, which is a big deal when you consider that we live on the second floor of our apartment building. I have one 5 gallon bucket and a large 16″ pot that we compost in. Initially, all food ideas that are compostable go into the 5 gallon bucket, when it gets full I move some of the compost to the other large pot and turn both every few weeks with a hand trowel. The 5 gallon bucket has holes drilled into the sides and bottoms for adequate drainage and ventilation. We do slow down adding to the compost in the winter months when it doesn’t get very warm. But after a few warm weeks in the spring, it perks up and we have some nutrient rich soil for our summer container garden.
Gardening our own Food
I’ve always loved gardening, when I was in high school and raising rabbits for FFA I had a small garden in our backyard where I grew strawberries, bell peppers, and squash in the spring. Our container garden has grown cherry tomatoes, and lots of fresh herbs. I’m hoping to grow strawberries, tomatoes, garlic, celery, and some peppers this year in addition to plenty of herbs; basil, dill, parsley, cat nip, lavender, and rosemary!
If growing your own food isn’t an option, I recommend farmer’s markets. I love being able to support local farmers and get fresh produce that I couldn’t grow at home, like fresh corn or broccoli. Plus you can also find local dairy & meat which is also a treat!
Reducing our Energy Consumption
Living in Colorado, makes it easy to air dry our clothes not just in the warm months but also in the winter. It’s plenty dry enough to air dry year-round here. But I do enjoy air drying more in the summer months when clothes can dry in the sunshine and warmth. Over the years, we’ve made sure to replace items that go out with more efficient options including LED bulbs and low energy electronics. Another big way we found to save energy is to unplug things we aren’t using at the moment. Like my camera charger that I usually leave plugged into the wall or the blender in the kitchen, if we aren’t using them we can unplug them. Because even if they aren’t on they still draw energy.
Using what we have
Recently while cleaning out some tubs in the tops of the closets, I found a bunch of old tee shirts from our time in Waco where my husband went to seminary. Old College shirts & what not. After going through them, we decided not to cut up all of them but most I cut out the front design and turned the remainder of the tees into rags for our kitchen. We have been using these in place of kitchen towels for a few months now. I keep a bucket in our pantry for the dirty ones and toss them all in the washer once a week. I even made a few toys for Asher with the scraps too scrappy for rags. He loves them & we gave new life to something we weren’t using. I plan to use the fronts of all those tees to make a tee shirt blanket because we have a few of those and love them.