Yay for me! I remembered to bring my cloth shopping bags into the store today, avoiding the mad dash to the car at the check out line! So I got to thinking about the frugal things we do around here that are earth friendly too. We cloth diaper and use knit or recycled wool covers for the most part. I've actually enjoyed using cloth, however I am hoping that this comes to and end very soon, as it's time to start to house train the little man. At 2 1/2 years old, he already knows that soda cans belong in the recycling bag!
We heat with wood, primarily down trees and those cleared from the fence lines of farms in the area . Rob goes out and cuts and hauls them in the spring and fall. We have a few very old trees here on the property that need to come down before they fall down, and those will be burned too. I'll really be sad to see them go, but I think we've pushed our luck waiting this long as it is. I also do a majority of my cooking on wood heat for about 8 months of the year. This summer I'm planning on building a solar cooker, I'm excited to see how that works.
Of course there is the vegetable garden, which is providing close to 75% of all the veggies we consume. I'm working hard on adding fruit trees and bushes to supplement the elderberries and blackberries we already have. I have a young apple and cherry tree established and I'm putting in another apple, plum and pear this spring. A neighbor has offered some surplus strawberry plants, which will be a welcome addition.
I raise chickens for fresh eggs and Oberhasli goats for milk. I think goat milk makes the very best ice cream, hands down. I really enjoy hatching out the baby chicks, they are so cute and it's so much fun to watch them grow. I am certain that I could buy eggs more cheaply then I can produce them, however I think they taste much better and I know my chickens live a happy life. Nothing compares to a still warm from the nest box fresh egg fried sunny side up!
I'm still trying to decide if the misfit three footed cow, Eileen (get it? I-LEAN?) could be bred for a calf and milk. She was given to me as a companion to my milk cow after suffering frost bite and losing her right rear hoof. So far the general consensus from my DVM and other dairy farmers is that she could handle it, but I'm still unsure. She is a purebred Jersey and it would be nice for her to be something other than a lawn ornament.I line dry our laundry, as a matter of fact, the dryer hasn't even been installed in the entire 15 years I've lived here. It's stored in the basement and I wonder if it still works? I will probably never know. I try to use vinegar and baking soda for a lot of my cleaning and try to keep chemicals out of the garden too. I use a bit of Round-up early in the spring to help control the damned nettles, other then that, I'm pretty much organic. I've been told young nettles are very good to eat and I'll let you know if I ever try them.
I admit, most of the environmentally friendly things I do were started because of the monetary savings. 20 years ago, I wouldn't have been excited by a farm auction or a city-wide garage sale. My first choice in a vehicle would not have necessarily been a 4 cylinder, 35 mpg glorified go cart, but the bottom line is the bottom line. I'm a tightwad at heart and the planet benefits.