Hello, Earth

I apologize for the lack of posts this week - my computer started acting up on Sunday, so I took it into the shop on Monday to nip the problem in the bud. Unfortunately, I was told it needed a new logic board, so they took it away from me for repairs for 5-7 days. Though I knew it would need repairs, I wasn't expecting them to take it from me immediately. I was completely unprepared, and didn't even have a chance to say good-bye! I almost cried...I wasn't sure how I was going to cope without my computer for a week, much less telling my clients I was out of commission for a while. Thankfully everyone was very understanding, and I tried to look at it as an opportunity to do non-computer things. Stephen teased me Monday night because he caught me staring blankly, clearly out-of-sorts without my precious computer.

Needless to say, the folks at the Apple Store finished it early, and I got it back yesterday - woo hoo! No harm done, I guess. So last night I got to work on colorizing one of my illustrations, just in time for today - Earth Day! I love the idea behind Earth Day. One of my fondest memories growing up was every year on Earth Day, my family would plant a tree in our yard and sing "Happy Earth Day" (to the tune of Happy Birthday). That small act instilled the idea that celebrating our earth was so very important.

Today I was thinking of all the things my family does to contribute to a green lifestyle. Here are some examples:

1) Recycle! We've been recycling cans and plastic for a while, but ever since we've started recycling our paper, it's amazing how dramatically we've cut down on garbage - our family only goes through 1 bag of garbage per week.
2) As lightbulbs burn out in our house, we've been replacing them with CFL bulbs.
3) We use non-toxic or homemade cleaners whenever possible.
4) When shopping, we bring in tote bags instead of using paper or plastic.
5) All of our small kitchen appliances are unplugged when not in use.
6) Instead of plastic water bottles, we use stainless steel bottles.
7) And if I don't finish the water in my bottle or glass, I use it to water our houseplants instead of dumping it down the drain.
8) We buy local whenever possible. We're fortunate to have a grocery store that stocks local foods, and an amazing farmers market. Our family also participates in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for our produce during the growing season.
9) We also have our own veggie garden!
10) We've adopted the "If it's yellow, let it mellow" rule. Meaning, only flush the toilet when there's a #2...
11) Our clothes get washed in the cold cycle - it still does a great job!
12) Walk or bike to do errands whenever possible.

Even though I feel we do a really good job minimizing our carbon footprint, I still feel there is more we can do. Here are my green goals for this year:
- Start composting our waste
- Collect rainwater in barrels to re-use
- Install a clothesline to dry clothes outside

What do you do to help the environment? Happy Earth Day, everyone!