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Monday, September 3, 2012

Do It Yourself for a Smaller Carbon Footprint

By Diane


compost binEach fall as my kids head back to school, I think of all the new things they will be learning throughout the year. It always inspires me to try something new, especially if that skill can help reduce my family’s carbon footprint. Here are a few new things to consider learning to help you live a greener life:

Build a Compost Bin: You do not need to go out to the garden center and buy an expensive, pre-made compost bin. A few boards of wood, a hammer, nails and chicken wire are all you really need. You can also use wooden pallets, often available for free from shipping companies, and stand them on edge to form a square. Lash them together with rope or wire and you are set to go. Try to avoid using treated lumber. Check out books like “DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner” for step-by-step instructions.

Learn to Fix Things: Just because your vacuum, bicycle, or lawn mower doesn’t work anymore doesn’t mean you need to throw it in the trash.  

Many small repairs can be done at home with tools you probably have around the garage. One easy source of ‘how to’ videos is YouTube. Just enter ‘How do I fix a….’ and someone will show you.

Get Creative in the Kitchen: Many pre-packaged food items can create a lot of waste. Learn to make homemade yogurt, bake your own bread or brew your own beer, and then store in reusable Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal.

Become Handy with a Needle and Thread: Clothes are expensive. Learning to mend instead of buying new items is a good way to save money and go green. Just because your child puts a hole in his pants, doesn’t mean they should go in the trash. Sew up the seam or invest in a sturdy patch and they will be as good as new. If your daughter has sprouted up three inches since last year and her skirt is too short, sew a strip of lace along the bottom to add a bit of length. This quick and easy skill will make it last for another season.

What new skills have you learned that help reduce your carbon footprint?

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster

5 Comments so far

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On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, Terri wrote

Excellent points! You are so spot on! What goes into the trash and more importantly, what doesn't, is so important! Great article :)

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, daisy in texas wrote

These are such great tips. I forwarded this post to some of my friends.

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, Jai from Oregon wrote

I've been planning on making some fancy compost bin but the one in your picture looks really nice and simple just the way it is. Thanks for the tip about using untreated wood too. I had planned on using pressure treated but I'll rethink that.

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, Pam from GA wrote

Those are such great idea because they save money as well as natural resources. Since I have been cooking more meals from scratch we are eating healthier, spending less on groceries and reducing our carbon footprint.

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, Sam wrote

we JUST started composting a few months back...these are great tips, thanks!


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