Green City by Alan Drummond taught us about a city that was built with eco-friendly concepts from start to finish. Although we can’t rebuild our home to make it more environmentally friendly, there are lots of things that we can do to help conserve energy just by adapting habits around our home and adding a few simple changes.
Picture-Book Inspiration to Go Green
We learned about “green homes” when we read the picture book Green City by Alan Drummond. In this true picture book, the small town of Greensburg, Kansas that had been destroyed by a tornado was able to rebuild with environmentally friendly methods. In fact, all the buildings (schools, banks, residences) were made to meet certain standards!
From solar power to recycling tornado damaged materials, Greensburg has succeeded in rebuilding in many eco-friendly ways that I didn’t even think before. Their ideas for making a more environmentally friendly home can be extended in to our homes too.
Green-ing Our House: Making Our Lives Environmentally Friendly
Oh we are so bad in our home! But here are some of things we plan to discuss to make our lives more environmentally friendly and things to do together.
Lights: “Turn off the lights!” is a common refrain in our home, because so often people leave the light on when they leave a room. It drives my husband crazy to find a room with no person and lights on! After reading this book, we decided to find a motion detector light for the school room side of the basement: so often my youngest children, who cannot reach the basement outlet pull cord simply leave the lights on instead of finding a stool and turning it back off. A motion detector will be perfect for my 3 year old to still gather toys or books, but also let the light naturally turn off when no one is in the room to use it!
Water conservation: The kids and I have talked extensively about not letting the water run when we brush our teeth. We can tell we waste a lot of water when we let it run. Also, we plan to shorten our shower times!
The thought of water collection in our current rainy season may sound silly since we have no shortage right now. But it makes so much sense to collect the water to use on our garden and plants! When we went on our Waste Water Treatment Plant Tour a while ago, we learned how much work it takes to get water suitable for human drinking. Thankfully, my house plants are not quite so picky on the water they need. We decided to collect some water during a day of rain to see how useful collecting water could be for us in our area at this time of year. I know that as we begin our spring gardening, collecting water like this will become very handy. We are looking in to a collection drum.
Insulation: The first winter we lived in our house was very cold! We bought additional insulation for our attic and the upper portion of the basement walls (which did have exposure to the outside). Now we know the insulation helps. It especially helped us reduce our dependence on heating during the -40° days this winter! Adding insulation was a great way to reduce our heating needs.
Reuse and Recycle
Recycling: We do have free recycling pick up in our neighborhood, so recycling our plastics, papers, and glass is a no-brainer! If you don’t have recycling pick up in your neighborhood, it may be more difficult to recycle. We keep our recyling bin easy to access via the garage. I wonder if we’d remember to recycle even more if we had an indoor place for it too!
Compost: We have never saved compost for gardening (I am not a gardener!) but we do grind it in a garbage disposal in our sink. We learned from our Waste Water Treatment Plant Tour that even that is sometimes not helpful! If it is not ground small enough, it still gets caught in the first filter and sent to the garbage dump. Along with our water conservation drum, we will consider finding a composting solution!
Environmentally Friendly Home Checklist and Reminders
To help ourselves remember to conserve power by turning off lights and using less water, I made some printable reminders to post in places. In order to help you get started thinking about these same concepts, I made a printable checklist to download as well! Both of these are available in the Line upon Line Learning VIP Resource Library. For this Earth Day season, it is also provided below in a super-easy just click to download format! I want to make sure we all get the message.
Click this image below to download your Environmentally Friendly Home Checklist and Reminders.
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