This post is all about our goals – what we’ve accomplished so far on our path, and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

What We’ve Done So Far:

– Started composting!

– Started a garden (Meyer lemons, avocados, apricots, plums, cherry tomatoes, serrano peppers, romaine lettuce, Celebrity tomatoes, strawberries, rosemary, garlic)

– Sprouting our own seeds (working on garlic, avocados, lemons, and apples)

– Switched to cloth bags, mesh produce bags, and reused ziplocs for grocery shopping

– Saving all paper scraps and sheets of paper that would normally be destined for the recycle bin (plan to try making my own paper)

– Saving toilet paper rolls to use as seed-starting pots

– Saving any glass jars that come into the house to use for freezing (berries, pesto, etc), and for storing dried goods (beans, grains, rice, etc)

– Downsized my closet (less clothing means less washing, and I didn’t wear most of that stuff anyway!)

– Make our own homemade cleaners

– Make ‘shampoo’ and ‘conditioner’

– Use reusable water bottles (Mine is metal. I need to get Sean a metal one so he stops using the plastic one)

– Using cloth napkins instead of paper towels at the dinner table

– Have a towel system in the kitchen (3 towels hanging on the stove – “Hand” towel, “Dish” towel, and “Yuck” towel, denoted with clothespins that say Hand, Dish, and Yuck).

– Rinsing glasses, plates, and bowls instead of washing (unless they actually need it: i.e. melty cheese on the plate)

– Guinea pigs switched over to fleece and towel bedding instead of pine shavings

– Save empty Kleenex boxes (once we run out, we won’t buy anymore, but switch to handkerchiefs) and shoe boxes as guinea pig hidey huts (they LOVE cardboard boxes!)

– Buy toilet paper wrapped in paper rather than in plastic

– Wear clothing until it doesn’t pass the sniff test (especially true of jeans, pants, and jackets)

– No make-up and lotions

– Don’t shave every day (or even every week… or month)

– Wash hands, clothes, and dishes in cold water (something I’ve always done)

– Pay bills online (saves paper and $ on stamps)

– Budgeting!

– Use white boards or expo pens on mirrors to write ourselves notes instead of wasting paper

– Cooking 90% (or more) of our own meals

– Buying mostly from a local farmer’s market (make sure to ask about their growing methods to ensure organic food, etc)

– Cut out processed foods almost completely (about 90% of our diet is now “real food”)

– House of 6 adults are now down to one small trashcan-worth of garbage every week (down from two large)

– No A/C in the house (only a small fan that Sean turns on when he sleeps, mostly to drown out the noise of the guinea pigs drinking, will forgo this once we have space to have the guinea pigs in another room)

– Don’t use the heater (came into the house and found it turned on on two separate occasions. turned it off immediately, and no one’s tried to turn it on again since.) Instead, we just wear sweatshirts and put an extra blanket on the bed.

– Now, this one is probably going to cause some controversy: I don’t shower every day. I shower about 1-2 times a week. I’ve been doing this for years (since middle school or high school), and no one ever complains about me smelling (unless I forget deodorant, but that’s the case with everyone). Daily deep cleanings are bad for you. Do your research.

– Don’t wash the dog every week. (My mom made us wash her dogs twice a week growing up, but then again they went to the dog park every morning and got excessively dirty) We only wash her when she gets dirty, or rolls in something gross.

Future Goals

Goals to cut grocery bills:

– Growing our own produce in our garden (want to expand. a lot!)

– Baking our own bread

– Brewing our own beer (I got Sean a home-brew kit for Christmas, and he made one from a ‘ready-made’ wort. It was pretty good. Now he wants to experiment with making his own recipe!)

– Would LOVE to get some chickens or ducks for eggs (Also, maybe some pygmy goats for goat’s milk in the future?)

– Beehive for honey (and to pollinate our fruit trees)

– Switch to alum stone instead of deoderant

Goals to lower electricity/water usage:

– Install solar panels

– Install dual-flush toilets

– Install grey water irrigation system

– Put bricks in the toilet tanks (reduces the amount of water used to flush the toilet)

– Switch plugs over to power strips to be turned off when not in use

– Get more rechargeable batteries and switch over things like remotes and cameras

– Get a clothesline and air-dry clothing


– Get rid of all Tupperware and switch to glass jars, bowls, etc

– Make toys for Kiera out of old clothing and rags instead of buying new ones she’s just going to shred to pieces anyway

– Switch to a holistic flea-treatment for Kiera

– Switch to handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex

Now, I assure you neither of these lists is complete. I’ve been working on this list all week, and I keep thinking of more stuff to add. That being said, I will probably just keep adding to this as I think of more stuff, and just highlight the new stuff in a different color. But for now, enjoy, and I’d love comments about how you conserve energy, water, waste, and money, and what you think about how we do! 🙂


About elizabethanne

I'm 22, living in Southern California, and trying to figure out this crazy thing called life.
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2 Responses to Goals

  1. Emma says:

    – If you don’t have any bricks laying around you can also just fill up an old water or soda bottle (or soap bottle or whatever else is laying around that’s water-tight) and drop that in the tank. Then you don’t have to go out of your way to find a brick and it’s one less bottle going to the landfill.
    – Do you compost? If not you should add it to your future goals list.
    – You left out cutting back on/eliminating meat & animal products from your list of things you’ve already done.
    This is an impressive list. I’ve slowly implemented a lot of these over the course of several years and I’m still struggling with some of them. It’s pretty amazing that you’ve done all of this at once.

    • I totally forgot about the compost pile! Thank you for reminding me -adds it to the list- We don’t really have any water bottles or anything like that (always hated plastic water bottles, and we don’t drink soda or anything), but we plan to pick up a couple bricks the next time we’re at Home Depot. As for the cutting out meat… I know that technically it probably should be on the list, but (1) I feel like I’d be cheating if I added it because I didn’t /want/ to stop eating meat, I /have/ to stop eating meat, (2) today marks the end of Sean’s vegetarian month, so he’ll probably go back to eating meat, and (3) I have a meeting with my Dr. next Tuesday to talk about the reasons I had to stop eating meat in the first place, and get an ultrasound to see if I have the problem I think I have (it’s genetic, and I’m already having symptoms, so I probably do), and potentially look into getting the surgery to fix said problem (in which case I’d be able to eat meat again… though now I don’t know if I’d want to). It’s all very convoluted, but ultimately I felt like it shouldn’t be added to the list.

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