"Phase It In"

This idea of "Phase It In" is one I heard in a presentation at work. The phrase was coined in reference to a school district that wanted to "Phase Out" pick up trucks for their district fleet and "Phase In" more fuel efficient vehicles that better fit their needs.

This story reminded me of a question a friend asked awhile ago in regards to cleaning products. Her question was whether she should use up the products she had already purchased and Phase In the new, more earth friendly products as needed. I don't know that I ever formally responded to her question, so here is what I think:

It is perfectly fine to Phase It In! My personal belief is that if you are going to throw out cleaning products, laundry detergent, trash bags, paper towels, etc. without using them up first, that is simply counter productive. It's just like the vehicles in the above example, the school district could not financially change out all their vehicles at one time, but it was something that could easily be accomplished as the leases were up on the current trucks.

Some real world examples:

At our house we have started purchasing 100% cotton sheets. Our daughter has organic cotton sheets on her bed, but my husband and I still have the regular cotton sheets. We will replace ours in time as they wear out.

We have also taken this approach with replacing light bulbs. Since our house had previous owners, we have allowed the existing bulbs to burn out before replacing them with more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

So I encourage you to, in any way you see applicable for your own life, to Phase It (Green) In!

Tuesday's Green Tip - Grandma's Going Green and you can too!

Grandma's starting to go green in her own way. We spent several days with my husband's parents and I happened to notice a few ways in which Grandma is in fact going green.

In the laundry room I noticed Windex with vinegar (although Grandma can make her own at a fraction of the cost, it's a starting place), Method wood cleaner and Hefty Recycled content kitchen bags! What a great example she will be to her grandchildren!

New Year's Resolution - Dealing with paper

This may sound a bit silly or even crazy, but my New Year's Resolution for 2009 involves paper. In the new year I am going to attempt to greatly reduce the amount of paper in my life. I feel as if most paper in our house is manageable and easy to recycle . . . the newspaper, phone books, cereal boxes . . . it's all the mail that we get that seems to become an overwhelming paper problem at times. Bank statements, bills, credit card offers and just plain old annoying junk mail.

I am going to attempt to reduce (and recycle any that I do collect) the mail in our house. These are the ways in which I am going to do so:

1. To subscribe to paperless bills from those that offer this service. At the moment we have quite a few bills that are done this way, bank statements, auto and home owner's insurance and phone bill, but there are others that we can eliminate the constant stream of paper.

2. There are services which you can subscribe to help eliminate junk mail by simply taking you off their mailing list. For example the Red Plum advertising inserts that we receive at our house mid-week can easily be stopped.

3. This is the big one. I am going to attempt to only touch each piece of paper once. So, once the mail is read, it will be immediately sorted into recycling, filing or shredding and that's it. The only paper I will touch again will be a payment stub for a bill, but referring to number one, I shouldn't have any payment stubs if they are all paperless (except for our water bill, because I don't think the City of Columbus is quite up to date on this one, but I will check).

Happy New Year!