Baby steps in green became great strides for me this year. Here is a Top 3 List of green actions I tried, followed by an Honorable Mention for something that was not quite so successful:
1. Planting a community garden bed. Not only did this succeed wildly in saving me money and giving me peace of mind about where my food comes from, but I ENJOYED the activity immensely. With very little start-up cost and minimum upkeep (I visit about every other day for 5-10 minutes), my 4-by-8 raised bed has already given me loads of lettuce/arugula/greens and promises tons of peas, carrots, onions, radishes, broccoli and strawberries within weeks. The garden also inspired me to start coursework in October 2010 to become a Master Gardener with UCCE.
Awarded the NEVER TOO LATE Green Trophy.
2. Using nontoxic cleaners. Some of the first baby steps I took in this blog were to begin employing vinegar, baking soda and my own safe mixtures to clean around the house. The house remains just as clean as before (wink, wink), yet now I don't put any bleach, Tilex, Drano or other toxic chemicals down the drain or into my family's bodies.
Awarded the NEVER TOO LATE Wreath of Health.
3. Drying clothes on the line. Personally, this project seemed the most unlikely to succeed due to the time expense and the weather conditions. Yet, I was both able to find the time and endure the desert heat for months, which saved me money and gave me some much-needed meditation minutes while hanging clothes.
Awarded the NEVER TOO LATE Cup of Sustainability.
And an Honorable Mention goes to the attempt at diapering my youngest in cloth. She didn't go for it, and I couldn't seem to find the right wrapper. She will soon be toilet trained.
All in all, a successful year. Tentative green plans for 2011 include making a worm composting bin (!), canning some of the abundance from my garden, volunteering locally with the Master Gardener program and using Craisglist and Freecycle instead of buying new.