One Car Experiment Update

ONE MONTH IN

It’s been a month as a one car family and honestly, it’s been easier than expected. Here are the 3-reasons it’s worked well for us:

  • I mostly work from home
  • All of my necessary services/errands are within 2-miles
  • I have 99% of my groceries and household supplies delivered

The main changes have been:

  • Most days my little and I bike to her school (1.5-miles away) which is great because I’ve stopped “working out” and been getting more outdoors time bicycling.
  • We’ve established that I get the car Monday and Wednesday and my husband the other days. He’s gotten a carpool together and so the days I get the car, he’s getting a ride with a coworker.
  • I plan all of my meetings, errands, speaking engagements, etc. on the days when I have the car.
  • Finally, #Uber has helped out twice. We spent $8 on Uber rides this past month.

The Benefits

  • My husband is getting up earlier and home earlier because of the carpool which our little loves
  • Bicycling is very meditative/therapeutic for me and gets my heart pumping!
  • Bicycling to school has been an interesting growth opportunity for our little. She doesn’t love doing it in theory, although once she’s on the bike she enjoys it, but she’s also been learning to adjust her attitude about it and that’s been amazing to watch.
  • We are saving a ton of money (a minimum of $500/month) and lowering our carbon footprint.

We agreed to give it 2-months before we caved in and bought a car. I’ve realized that having a car is just so “easy” that even though I live 6-minutes by bike from a Trader Joe’s, I had never biked there before. I’d like to believe that even if I got a car I would keep biking to places within my 2-mile-radius, but I’ll be honest…I’m as lazy as the next human. I kind of like “forcing” myself to bike by not always having a car. I hope my family agrees to an extension on the experiment! I’d love to go for a year without a second car.

Be a spark in the world!

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Sustainability: 3-Tips for Waste Free Entertaining

Save $$ and the planet by going waste free for all your parties and picnics. Because a lot of our entertaining is done outside by a pool, all of the materials I’m going to suggest here are BPA-free plastic (so they don’t have the harmful chemical BPA in them which many plastics do.)These materials are also nice because they are very lightweight, so it makes it easy to transport them for picnics, etc.

As a side-note, when I entertain INDOORS, and for our everyday eating and drinking, we always use glass and ceramic because I prefer not to have food on plastic, even BPA-free plastic, for the majority of my dining because I just think it’s a good idea.

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#WasteFreeLivingIsSmartLiving
#WasteNotWantNote
#APennySaved
#BeASpark
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Tip #1: Set-up a recycle/waste/dirty dishes area that is cleartrashly marked.

This is what our recycle/waste/dirty dishes area looks like and it works really well. We placed a pop-up leaf collector on the left for recycle, had a trash can for waste and then a random plastic storage container for dirty utensils/dishes to land until we washed them. A lid on the waste and dirty dishes bucket helps keep the flies at bay.

We have the sign, pictured below, taped to the top of the trash can. It is a helpful reminder for people that the utensils are not disposable, and reminds people that aluminum cans can be recycled.

trashsign

 

 

Tip #2: Serve drinks such as WATER, lemonade and ice-tea using a drink dispenser

I have 2-of these beverage dispensers and they are fantastic. Because they hold almost 3-gallons of liquid, I never have to refill it for parties of less than 30-people. I use one for water and the second I usually fill with lemonade or ice-tea, although I’ve also served sangria in it. Because it is double-wall insulated, it keeps your beverages cooler with less ice, and there is a removable cone that you can use for ice if you don’t want your beverage to become diluted. This is also made out of a BPA-free material, so it’s a safer plastic for drink storage.

Buddeez Double-Wall Insulated Beverage Dispenser with Removable Ice-Cone BPA-free http://amzn.to/2aYSsel

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Tip #3: Use reusable plates, cups and utensils

NOT ONLY are disposable plates and utensils a WASTE, they are so FLIMSY that frequently they make eating difficult! These thick, reusable plastic items are DURABLE, colorful and lightweight making them easy to use. I’ve included a few options below.

36-piece set with utensils BPA-free Reusable plastic plates, cups, bowls and utensils $15.35. These items are listed as “kid-size” but they are a good size for adult hands. I would say they are only 25% smaller than adult size items and are not awkward at all. I’ve used all these items personally and seen many adults use them without thinking twice because they are kid-size NOT baby-size.
http://amzn.to/2aJroiH

18-Piece Resuable BPA-free plastic cups, bowl and plate set $12.99. Although it says it’s a “kid-set” the size is fine for adults too!

http://amzn.to/2b5Yuup

 

 

 

If you want larger “adult” size items check out these other BPA-free options. The only adult-sized item that I really like is with a PLATE, because it’s easier to get longer items onto it. However, for everything else I actually prefer the “kid-size” items above.

10-inch Plates $7.99 for 6: http://amzn.to/2aEOKFR
Bowls $10.99 for 6: http://amzn.to/2aEMZsr
Tumblers $8.99 for 6: http://amzn.to/2aJsQS6
Plates and Goblets $11 for 6: http://amzn.to/2aDGvqd

 

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Sustainability: LED Lightbulbs are CHEAP, Go Green and $ave Green

When I had a physical store, only 3-years ago, LED light bulbs were still quite expensive. I even had some that cost $45 for A SINGLE 40-watt equivalent bulb! But now they’ve come down SO FAR in price that what used to be a “good idea” is now a “no-brainer!”

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Just a quick overview: LED light bulbs are the best choice for your household lights because

  1. They use the least amount of energy to produce light (they use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs)
  2. They stay much cooler than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs which means you don’t need to run the AC to cool off the house
  3. They last FOREVER. A high quality (there is a difference in quality) LED bulb will last 20,000-50,000 hours versus 800-1,000 for a typical incandescent bulb
  4. And an added benefit is that unlike fluorescent bulbs, LEDs have no mercury in them, and they don’t take 60-seconds to warm-up to their full brightness

71cZO8q2ByKL._SL1000_And now that they are so inexpensive ($3.40 for a bulb that will last you 18.3-years of typical use), they will save you money that much quicker. My favorite brand of lightbulb, which I sold at my store, is a brand name you have probably never heard of because they use to sell exclusively through architects and designers. They provide a lot of lightbulbs to hotels and casinos because those businesses understand the cost savings that LED lights can provide. But now you can get my favorite brand on Amazon!!!

By the way, the biggest complaint people have 51bZSlWRmFLabout non-incandescent light bulbs is that the color is too blue. The color of light is referred to as a bulb’s “color temperature.” If you buy a light bulb with a color temperature of 2700 (or 2700K, the “K” stands for “Kelvin”), you will get that nice warm color you desire. But just remember that a 40-watt light bulb will always look warmer than a 100-watt light bulb, even if they have the same “color temperature”, because it is less bright.

If you like bright white or “daylight” bulbs, then get a bulb rated 5000 or 5000K. This Amazon link has both 2700 and 5000K lightbulbs.

This is the bulb I use in my home for task lighting, reading and ambient light. It’s the 60-watt equivalent in 2700 color temperature and it’s $20 for 6-bulbs ($3.40 a bulb!)

So GO GREEN and $AVE GREEN. It’s a win-win situation.

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#Sustainability

#LEDLightbulbs

 

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