Sunday, January 31, 2010

One Small Change, January wrap up, February Aspirations.

Well, this being the last day of January, it is time to think about my One Small Change.

My One Small Change for the month was bringing my own bags to the grocery store and forgoing the plastic.

I will admit to one day forgetting the bags and having to use plastic. In retrospect, it came down to the very reason why I chose this small change. Rushing out of the house and not planning ahead meant that I left my bags at home.

But I have gained a lot from doing this challenge. First, I have a collection of really cool bags that I was able to make from materials around my house. Second, for 99.999% of the time I was conscious of this one small change. Bringing bags has yet to be a thoughtless habit, unlike the practice of using plastic bags. But this may good. Because if bringing fabric bags is not a thoughtless act then I find that using plastic has also turned into an act that I am more aware of.

For February, my One Small Change will be to concentrate on the one non-renewable fuel source that we use in our home. Propane gas. I will tackle this in several ways. First, our hot water tank uses propane so I will be wrapping it this month. Second, because I bake a lot, I will be more conscious of using my oven more efficiently. No longer will I bake only one item at a time in the oven. Instead, I will plan ahead and make sure that ,if I am baking bread, I will have several other things baking in the oven at the same time. I will also exploit the top of my woodstove to heat food up. I look forward to sharing some the things we are doing in this pursuit.

Also, I will not be reverting to my plastic bag habit but will continue to use my fabric bags! As a budding seamstress I am really enjoying using reclaimed materials to make our bags.


Wendy said...

Glad your bag challenge went well--that was mine, too. But I haven't been able to make any new (badly needed) ones yet! Interesting challenge for February--good luck!

Lisa said...

Good for you!! I look forward to hearing how you manage your new challenge. Dave and I are challenging ourselves to eat more fresh and local foods.

Shaunta said...

Everyone has such good ideas for limiting energy use. I think I'm going to have to use that one for March. Good for you on the bags! I've thought of making one of those bag keepers, but teeny tiny to fit in my purse, so that I can bring plastic bags with me to the store and reuse them since I already have a ton of them at home.

Wendy said...

I like your observation that forgetting your cloth bags makes you more mindful of having to use plastic. That's how I feel, too. I almost never forget my cloth bags when we're going to the grocery store, but I often forget to have cloth bags in my car, and so when I'm just out, and I decide to stop somewhere for a "few things", I invariably end up with a plastic bag. Luckily, recreational shopping is no longer part of what I do, and so we don't get much plastic, but it's still there.

Hip Mountain Mama said...

I am so glad to hear that bringing your own bags was a success..and something you will carry on with! Your Feb change also sounds great. I think baking things at the same time is will hopefully help to keep you organized also!
Good luck!

Kathy said...

I am so often frustrated when I arrive only to find I've left my resusables home.

Aha! But if I remember and forget to bring them in to the store, I don't mind the walk back out ... it's a little extra exercise. lol

I'm being much more careful about use of the clothes dryer and if it's the last thing I do this spring, I'm getting my outdoor clothesline put up again and in use ... I love that thing.