Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Change the World Wednesday - eco-friendly holidays

WEEK-LONG CHALLENGE: At this time of year, many people are planning holiday dinners, family get-togethers, etc. Typically, decorations play into these events. So this week, we'd like your tips & ideas for decorating in a "green" way. And, of course, we'd like you to choose Eco-friendly decorations for your event.

Or ...

If you are not planning to decorate for a special occasion this year, we'd like to know how you generally adorn your living space. For example, do you purchase recycled items (wall hangings, knickknacks, etc.). Is your furniture made of Eco-friendly materials? Again, we'd love your tips & ideas for creating a comfortable, "green" living space ... and if you're thinking of adding anything new to your home, please choose an Eco-friendly item.

And don't forget, we're still working on a month-long challenge ...

MONTH-LONG CHALLENGE: This month make note of the electricity (Kilowatts) used in your home (find this number on your electric bill, by reading the meter, by using a home electricity monitor, etc.). Then, spend one month reducing that number by 10%. In December we'll come back and report on our success including the actions we've taken to reduce our usage.

We're pretty much minimalists in our house.  We don't have a lot sitting out and don't do a lot of decorating for the holidays.  In fact, while we have the Thanksgiving meal at our house for my in-laws, we won't decorate at all.  I think cooking and baking everything from scratch is enough.    There have been times in the past that my MIL will bring decorative paper plates for us to use, I usually just stuck those in a drawer and use the normal dishes anyway. I know she's trying to be helpful by doing this, thinking it's less clean-up for me.  However, I would rather use real dishes and put everything in the dishwasher.

The only holiday that Husband and I decorate for is Christmas.  We don't buy new things each ear, we just use things we already own and have been given to us.  I know there's a big debate on fake tree's vs real tree's and which is more eco friendly.  We personally have a fake tree that we've had for 7 or 8 years now. We didn't do it because we thought it was eco-friendly but rather I'm extremely allergic to the real thing.    But hey..at least I don't plan to buy another one anytime soon.

As far as normal, every-day decorating.  Again, we are pretty much minimalists.  We haven't bought a lot to decorate our house.  The photo's on the wall are almost all from trips we have taken in the past.   Husband recently built some shelves we hung in the kitchen and he put pictures of the nephews and family up there. I plan to put pictures of the kitchen before the makeover as well.   Anything that sits around was mostly given to us or we've had for awhile.  I personally don't want a lot sitting around because it's just more for me to clean.  Besides, having a big dog means her tale could knock things over.  I also have 6 nephews 5 years and under, so we don't need anything out they could mess with.

I also had an update on the month long challenge.  Husband and I FINALLY bought a new window treatment for the master bathroom.  We've been using the pink blinds the previous owners left since we moved in 4 years ago.  We re-did the master bathroom earlier this year and have been wanting to replace the blinds but they worked and we were lazy (ok and cheap).  We finally bought on that can be lifted up from the bottom or pulled down from the top.  The reason we wanted one we can pull down from the top is because this is a huge window that is directly across from the shower.  We couldn't lift up the bottom for light because then people can see in. I was more worried about this than Husband was, go figure.  Husband actually replaced the blind while I was on my long run over the weekend.  When I got home and took my shower it was sunny enough outside that I could pull down the top a couple feet and let in enough light that I didn't need to use any lights in the bathroom while showering and getting ready.  I love this!  Unfortunately right now it's too dark in the morning and at night when I'm mostly in there to take advantage of this, but in the summer I look forward to using a lot more natural light in that room.


  1. Our master bathroom has two windows in it. One looks into the backyard and I can always keep the blinds open since there are trees that protect the other house from seeing us. During the day, I do not need to even turn the light on. Thank God for blinds :)

  2. All Natural Katie - Aren't blinds great sometimes? I've loved having ours where we can lower the top portion, I do that all the time and rarely actually turned on the light in the bathroom while home these last 4 days.