Well, it’s been quite the week. We were on Spring Break vacation skiing for the beginning but the family took the 30 Green Days Challenge all the way to a condo in Whistler, BC, and we incorporated all of the energy tips we could muster.
Turning off lights and even training the kids that they don’t need as many lights on in order to sleep was key. Our heat turned down or off, and we used a fireplace and sweaters to make up the difference. With towels shoved under door cracks and energy-efficient replacement bulbs stocked for the replacement of burnt-out lights, we felt pretty great about the week of energy saving. One of the best parts of this whole program is that we are focusing weekly on a different green initiative, and as we all know from improving our workout habits – focus and repetition create lasting habits.
Next week, our challenge is to focus on water consumption. My family could potentially be the worst water consumer on record, except for me of course. (As a mom, I somehow don’t find much time to bathe so I suppose I am saving a ton of water with my twice-a-week cleansing sessions. But I probably shouldn’t be proud of that.)
Here are the plans the fam and I came up with for saving water:
- Our house is quite large and the upstairs doesn’t get hot water immediately. We have to run water for a few minutes in order for hot to appear. I will delve into this phenomenon and see if we can remedy the situation. In the meantime, my husband and I will brush our teeth and shower on the bottom floor.
- We live in Rain-Couver. OK, Vancouver, British Columbia, but we pretty much have a monsoon from November until March. Rain barrels could be filled within a few days, so I have been reticent to invest. But in the dead of summer with no water in sight, I would be grateful for a few gallons of recycled water. I will commit to purchasing at least three barrels. Maybe I can get a group discount with my neighbours and spread the environmental love.
- My son actually lambasted me the other day for letting the water run as we brushed his teeth. We will all heed his advice.
- Gardens are a personal passion. This week we planted organic vegetables in a cold frame and took advantage of the sun to plant hardier seeds in the garden. (Well, the kids planted pumpkins while I planed everything else). Starting from seed enables us to use water sparingly and we will also make a commitment to hand water the whole garden so as not to spray sidewalks and paths. And no more noon watering when most of the moisture evaporates in the sun.
- This may sound odd, but the family asks for drinking water all the time. We are blessed that tap water is full of nutrients and flavor, and yet I cringe at how many half-empty glasses pour down the drain. I vow to make our water more exciting by using ice and lemon slices. Maybe also put it in fancy glasses. The kids will sip it (and finish it) with awe.
- Our children’s school supports the Obakki Foundation to raise money for water wells in South Sudan. They have learned about the value of water to human beings and constantly come up with ways to fundraise for more water wells for communities where kids walk miles to fill a bucket instead of going to school. As it is our second week of March Break, the kids and I will come up with a fun idea that will support this fundraising initiative while we also try to conserve our own water.
I have found so far that the SC Johnson 30 Green Days Challenge has put the environment in the front of my mind at all times, and I am so excited by coming up with specific ways that my family can help.
Cheers to water!
While SC Johnson is the sponsor of the 30 Green Days Challenge, all opinions and comments within the post are my own.