Hip Mountain Mama's One Small Change challenge, I made a commitment to bring more cloth into our daily lives and subsequently reduce the amount of paper and plastic products that we use and therefore throw away. I happily continued using my reusable grocery bags, lunch bag, and coffee cup.
I bought some reusable produce bags from Qwerty O on etsy.com. I love these bags! I think the clerks at the grocery store are somewhat annoyed (because I end up putting more than one type of produce in a bag together), but I've been really happy with the change.
We also used cloth napkins all month, and we will definitely keep up this habit! It was fun to go to my local thrift store and choose a fun and funky assortment of cloth napkins. We usually use them for a few days and then put them in the wash.
I also purchased some cloth sandwich bags from Qwerty O's Etsy shop. It was great to buy them from this shop because they're actually sewn by her daughter who is saving all the money she makes from their sale for college!
So, I didn't actually use these great bags this month...but that's not because I was using plastic instead. I just don't really use baggies that often, and lately have been taking salads for lunch, which I don't need the bags for. But I'm happy to know that I have them to use instead of plastic baggies.
Overall, I am very pleased with the small changes we made in January.
So, for February, I'm turning towards our energy use. Actually, in January (without planning to), we turned our thermostat down three to four degrees. When Sadie slept over at her Grandma and Grandpa Peterson's house at the beginning of the month, the room she stayed in was much cooler than her room at home. And she slept through the night for the first time in months! So, we immediately turned our home's temperature to a more reasonable 66 degrees (from my preferred 69/70 degrees) and we've kept it there all month (I'll admit it's because Sadie has continued sleeping through the night and I'm convinced that's part of the reason...poor thing was just too hot!).
So...along these lines, I'd like to continue making small changes that will affect our household energy use. I plan to be more conscious about turning off lights that aren't being used. I also want to start evaluating the "vampire" power use in our home. Vampire power is the energy that small appliances use when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. Studies have shown that this energy can account for around 10% of residential energy consumption! The easy ones to start with will be cell phone chargers, microwave, computers, and hairdryer.
I look forward to making this one small change in February!