Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Doing our part

Over the past several years, we have tried to become as earth friendly as possible.  I thought if I am going to continue to talk to you about things you can do to help the environment, especially today, Earth Day, I should probably share with you all the little things we have done to help.  Some are very small steps, but every little bit helps, especially if lots of people are taking those small steps.

1. We have completely eliminated disposable products, no more paper plates, plastic cups and especially no more plastic water bottles.  

2. We recycle.  A lot.  Almost everything.  Of course working with paper, I try to recycle as much as I can.  Actually, I try to reuse as much as I can and waste as little as possible.  There is also my husbands medical supply business with warehouse space where there is no recycling.  So every two weeks he fills his car up with the broken down boxes and brings them back to the house for our recycling.  On a regular basis, I think we have the largest pile of paper/cardboard recycling in town.  

3. We compost.  You know that you are into it when friends give you composting containers as gifts.  Seriously.  We had been composting for a while and my husband would use a bowl to hold all the food scraps and make a trip to the large composting bin on the side of the yard several times a day.  Thank you to our friend Susan who noticed this and got us a cute little counter top composting bin to hold the scraps until we can get them out in the yard.  My husband just spent the better part of the day  spreading the compost on our vegetable garden.

4. We have a vegetable garden.  We are fortunate to have a fairly large yard so we have a fairly large vegetable garden.  It is great exercise to work in the garden on a regular basis and there is nothing like eating freshly picked tomatoes and cucumbers.  

5. This goes without saying.  We have switched all our lights over to CFL.

6. As much as they grumble, we try to walk our kids to school as often as possible.

7. We bring our own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.

8. We don't use the sprinkler system, we catch water in rain barrels and spread it out over our garden.

9. We try to buy as much locally grown and organic foods as possible.  I am very fortunate to have a husband that not only cooks, but does all the food shopping as well.  We shop farmers markets as much as we can during the summer.  He is a great cook, so we don't eat out often and rarely eat any type of prepared foods.  

10.  My business.  I know fabulous letterpress stationery isn't a necessity, but there are some luxuries that we deserve to splurge on.  Especially if they are green luxuries.  I use almost all 100% cotton papers, a lot of them are from Crane.  You can see their description of their green processes here.   And with the exception of my computer and the designing and processing of the printing plates, just about everything else we do is manual labor.  I have a forty year old, completely manually operated printing press and we hand cut and die cut all our papers and products.  

If you want to hear more out the environment, food, policy and politics, you can check out my incredible husband's blog (incredible husband and incredible blog) right here,  He is an elected official, three time cancer survivor, dad and soccer coach and he likes to talk about his passions on his blog. Just make sure you sure you don't miss his dry, sarcastic sense of humor.  He is kidding some (most) of the time.  


  1. Hi Robin! This is Tara (from Postworthy). I really got a lot out of this post. I'm especially interested in composting and gardening. We live in an apartment with three balconies so I'm growing herbs and tomatoes, peppers, flowers and greens. I really want to compost! I haven't yet found the optimal solution though. Worms make me squeamish and I'm afraid of the smell of a container. Any ideas? Thanks!

  2. Hi Tara,
    I would check with the rules of your apartment building to see if they allow composters on your balcony, and if they do, something like this could work, And I don't think you need worms for it.