June 29, 2007

90% Emmissions Reduce

As you know I am working on reducing my emissions, not by 90% but reducing them. So I sat down this month and kept track of how much gas we used. Normally Americans use 500 gallons of gas per person per yes. To break it down that means for a family of 3 we would be using 124.8 gallons of gas per month!! That would be over $400 in gas per month!! Wow. This month we used one gar for 75% of the time. I rode my bike to and from work at least 3 days a week. We also took trips on the weekend to go hiking were we drove over 40 miles total. Our total gallons used this month were 42.5. If we reduce our emissions to 12.5 gallons we would be reducing our emissions to 12.5 gallons we would hit the 90% mark. We also went over in gas when I had to use my car for work to drive over 60 miles and I know my husband uses the car for work purposes as well. I know that the month of July we will be using more than 42.5 gallons because we have to drive to Denver (200 plus miles) twice and we are flying to New Jersey at the end of the summer - I don't know how to figure those miles in but I will be over.

Once I get my gas and electric bills I will post the difference on those. I have been using the clothes line outside to dry 80% of our clothes so the dryer only runs about 2 hours on the weekend. Hubby still uses the clothes dryer when he does laundry during the week. If I was a stay at home mom and I did all of the laundry I would hang it outside, but I am not and I need the help that Hubby gives.

I have also bought 3 of the CFL (is that right) low energy light bulbs and installed them in different fixtures. We will see if that helps the electric bill as well.

June 25, 2007

Hiking, Hiking and More Hiking

I know I have not written in awhile and I am trying. But I forget. Also the past couple of weeks I have been exhausted in the evening and exhausted in the morning and exhausted in the afternoon. I was exhausted for a reason - we are going to have a baby!! We are very excited and man - second time around it is easier. I had about two weeks of being so exhausted in the evening I could hardly take care of Mikayla and I was a little sick in the morning but a bowl of cereal took care of that. Now I feel great, I don't even feel pregnant!

Well on the weekends we have been taking Mikayla hiking in the beautiful mountains around us. Last weekend Mikayla also got to go to a mini-livestock show put on by the local 4-H. She petted mini sheep, goats, ponies, horses, cows. She loved it! She even led a mini pony around! I will post pictures this week - I promise.

Yesterday we headed up a place called Rainbow Lake and went for an almost 2 hour hike. She rode in her backpack the whole time, on my back no less!! Great workout for me. Later that day on Sunday Mikayla and daddy played in her little pool. They both had a blast. We ended the weekend by going to see Bruce Hayes, a local musician, playing in the park. What a great weekend.

I promise I will post more often! Not ready to commit to once a day but I will try to post at least 3 times this week.

June 13, 2007

How is your green challenge going?

I am no where close to some others but at least I am trying. Let's see how I am doing.

Electric bill - I have not bought any special light bulbs yet, I am waiting for some light bulbs to burn out. I would hate to waste a perfectly good light bulb. But maybe this weekend I will buy a couple and replace a few. I am also turning the lights off a lot more than I use to. The clothes line is working great, I have only been running the dryer for maybe 2 hours the whole weekend instead of all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Now if I could get Joe to hang the clothes out when he does laundry in the middle of the week - that would be accomplishment. (Not gonna happen!!) I tried to wash all of our clothes on cold and was not happy. I know the clothes will get much cleaner if I use warm.

Gas for the car - Joe and I are pretty much using my car only. I ride my bike to work as much as possible and he takes my car the rest of the time so instead of paying for gas for 2 cars we are only paying gas for one car. But it seems as if we are filling it up more, trips to Lake City for my 10K run (over 120 miles round trip), trip to Crested Butte to go for a hike (60 miles round trip). I estimated that we spend about 70 gallons total on gas per month - I am keeping track of how often we fill up and how many gallons so I will see at the end of the month.

Plastic Grocery Bags - I have two canvas bags that I take to the store every time and I try to remember to bring left over plastic bags. Hey mom - if you any extra, spare canvas bags laying around I would love it if you would mail them to me!! I should have about 10 canvas bags, that way when I do a full load at the grocery store I am set - no more plastic bags. I have also been using a reusable bag for Mikayla. I am on the look out for a cute lunch bag for me and a different one for her.

Garbage/Compost/ Recycle - I recycle everything that I can and it is not much - plastic 1 and 2, clear, green and brown glass, tin cans and aluminium cans. I do wonder how much actually gets recycled in a small town. The clear and green glass just go to help cover the landfill! I need to reuse more glass containers and plastic containers as well - especially the ones that I cannot recycle. I needed more TP so I bought recycled TP and I plan on keeping this up. My grocery store does not offer recycled paper towels - otherwise I would buy these as well. I have invested in a lot of towels so I am using cloth towels for cleaning the kitchen, napkins, cleaning the house and anything I would have used paper towel for in the past I am using cloth towels. I need with the compost pile. If you have any advice please let me know. I am looking for something small (garbage can), dogs cannot get into, does not smell, and if a potential home buyer (our house if for sale) would not know what it is. That brings me to my next question - if I start composting now (I would use it for kitchen scraps) is it worth the while if we sell our house in the next couple of months and we move across the country? I would not transport compost material.

That is it for now.

June 11, 2007

A Great Weekend

This weekend Mikayla went for a long hike - well long to her. We hiked up Mt. Crested Butte. She climbed from the base area to half way up the Peachtree lift (bunny slope). It took us at least 15 mintues of steep uphill. Then she did some walking and some riding in the stroller the west of the way up and rode the whole way down. She loved it and it was sooo pretty and of course I don't have pictures - sorry. Then we had lunch with Jen in town and Mikayla got to play with her friend Solas or now as she calls him Soleman! She got that from me. Sunday we stayed home and relaxed and Mikayla went fishing with dad. She held a worm in her hand and saw three planes. Well that was our weekend at the O'Connell house. How was yours??

June 3, 2007

Clothes Line

I finally got a clothes line. I have wanted one for a long time but never took the time to get one. Well with the challenge to reduce emissions I finally bought one. This way I do not have to run the dryer as much. So of course I had to take a picture and of course Mikayla had to be in it.
Daddy, Mikayla, Skyler and Teo - all having a good time outside in the beautiful weather.

You can't catch me!

On Saturday I went to Lake City and did a 10K run. Daddy hung around with Mikayla in the park while I ran. Elle, the girl in blue, is Mikayla's friend from daycare. Elle's mom, Leah, ran the 5K while pushing her 2 year old and 5 year old. Go Leah - she finished fifth for the 5K!

This afternoon we headed to the lake for some fishing and fun. Daddy caught a very small fish