>Greening the Weekend Chores

>Is it easy to become green? Live a more eco-conscious life? It seems like after taking the basic steps – recycle, compost, start a garden – it takes a little more effort to incorporate additional green habits into our lifestyles. Today Husband and I spent more time in the yard getting ready for spring. Here’s the Green Task List from today’s chores.

1. Brush pile. Dear darling Husband cut down a small tree last weekend, and today was the day to get rid of it. We thought (briefly) about renting a chipper and chopping up the entire thing, but decided against it. Why? It’s free to drop off the branches etc. at the brush dump. The brush dump staff will chip this wood and add it to the dump’s mulch pile. Mulch is free to city residents. Why pay to rent a power tool when we’re already paying for the service with our taxes? Decision: take the branches to the brush dump. Pick up mulch when we need it. Cost: $0. Time spent: three minivan-loads to the brush dump about a mile from home. Green factor? Pretty darn good. Rationalizes keeping my (not a guzzler, but not exactly fuel efficient) minivan, too.

2. Basic Maintenance on south side of house. This is the side with the tulips, the mums, the annuals, the Hen & Chix plants, mint, and if I’m lucky, hollyhocks. I raked out the old dry leaves, cut down the old dead mums, lost my clipper, took all the dead and dry goodies to the compost bin, found my clipper, moved a shepherd’s crook with two wind chimes, and pronounced the area ready for spring. Green factor? Typical, which is good.

3. Emptied and moved the rain barrel! We planned to set up the new rain barrel under a downspout at the back of the garage between the rhubarb and the garden itself. We dropped it back there, went back to our normal lives, and then it rained. And filled the barrel. I’ve used the water to clean bunny litter boxes and rinse out the compost bucket, but it was still three quarters full and too heavy to move. My solution: hook up a hose to the spigot and water a few bushes. I drained enough of the barrel that it was light enough to move, and then recruited Husband to put a few concrete blocks underneath it. Now it’s propped high enough that gravity can help me use the hose with more success, and Husband will reattach the downspout and aim it toward the barrel itself – hopefully before the next storm arrives. Green factor? Great! The neighbor behind us (a new gardener!) saw it and now wants one for himself.

4. Basic weekend chores: laundry. I bought a pair of anti-static dryer balls to replace fabric softener. So far, I’m seeing – or should I say feeling? – good results. If they work in the long term, it’s another victory for green living and fewer chemicals in our lives. Simple and eco-conscious, just the way I like it.

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  1. >What great suggestions! It can be so difficult to learn legitimate and practical green solutions because of how many misconceptions there are surrounding conservation. Check out our myth-busting video “What’s Your Big Green Lie?!” which gives a taste of the widespread ignorance of green issues at http://www.biggreenlies.com.

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