In the quest to ” go green” many of us have become pretty good at recycling our cans, remembering to take our reusable bags to the grocery store and turning off unnecessary lights and appliances.However there is so much more that people can do to reduce their carbon footprint. My family and I have taken “going green” it a step further and have come up with a couple of what I think are unusual but simple and easy to implement ways to reduce our impact on the environment and become more eco-friendly.
Three Unusual Ways Families Can Go Green
Mow The Lawn Naturally
Although there is a movement across the United States to switch from the traditional green lawns in front of our homes to drought tolerant landscaping which is better for the environment in terms of water use, many of us including myself still have the traditional grass lawn. However that doesn’t mean you can’t have a green lawn and not be eco-friendly. Just by changing the way you mow your lawn can decrease the amount of green house gases released into the air by gas powered lawn mowers. At my house we are doing our part to reduce these emissions by utilizing an unusual and eco-friendly way to mow our lawn. Instead of using our gas powered mower we now use our pet bunnies to mow our lawn.You might be thinking that there is no way a rabbit can keep a whole lawn trimmed but you are wrong. Rabbits are eating machines and eat several times a day.One rabbit can consume more than a pound of grass and greenery in a single day. A group of them can eat more than a cow in a 24 hour period. Our yard is completely fenced so the rabbits can’t get out but if yours isn’t you can use a plastic baby yard to keep your rabbits from hopping off. If you use this method you will need to move the play yard frequently to insure that you end up with your entire lawn trimmed. In addition you will need to provide the bunnies with a shade covering and water to drink inside the play yard. By using bunnies to mow your lawn not only will you being reducing greenhouse gas emissions you will also have some great family pets to enjoy.
2. Family Television Time
To reduce the energy used by the multiple televisions in our home we have instituted family TV time. Instead of everyone watching TV in different parts of the house we all get together and watch the same TV. At the beginning of each week as a family we pick what television shows we will watch each night based on each family members favorites. If two shows are on at the same time we Tivo one of the shows to watch later that night or on another night during the week. We also use Tivo if my husband and I want to watch a TV show that isn’t appropriate for our children to watch. Besides reducing our energy consumption family TV time also brings us closer as a family and allows us to get to know what our children like, monitor what they are watching on TV and discuss any questions or observations they might have about what they are watching. If someone doesn’t want to participate in family TV time then they can do another activity that doesn’t use any additional energy during that time.
3. Personal Towels
With six members in our family it seems like we are always washing clothes and, especially towels. I don’t know how they do it but somehow my kids can go through a huge stack of clean towels in less than a day. To combat this I have started assigning each person a specific color of towel to use for the week. Once they have used their towel to dry off each family member hangs their towel to dry and reuses it the next time they shower. To some this may sound gross but if you really think about it the towel was basically used to dry off an already clean body and although damp its not dirty. If properly hung towels will dry well and not get a mildewy smell. Reusing our towels is an eco friendly practice that reduces the amount of energy used during the washing and drying process and also results in a lower electricity bill as well as less laundry folding to do.
These are just three of what I think are a little bit different ways families can become more environmentally friendly.However, by thinking outside of the box I’m sure families can come up with several unusual ways they can “go green” and reduce their impact on the environment.
Jack Rabbit Eating Habits written by Ryn Gargulinski