I live in a dark house with a green man.
By this I mean it's not about turning off lights at our place when you leave a room, you gotta present a good reason to turn them on.
Like I said, dark house, green man.
We have a water timer in the shower (a four-minute free timer from the Queensland state government. The kids love it.)
We're pretty typical really: we avoid plastic bags and we compost and recycle. We've got energy efficient light globes (not that they're ever bloody on anyway) and we avoid cleaning chemicals. (Avoided most ardently by me. Cleaning?)
It's a cliche but true: there's a natural cleaning solution for every chemical we've created.
My favourite: the food-safe "spray and wipe".
Dissolve a tablespoon of bicarb soda in hot water and add a cup of vinegar. Top up with cold water and there you have it. Fresh smelling cleaning spray. And if the kids put their vegemite toast on the table just after you've wiped it you don't need to worry about them ingesting a bunch of evil stuff.
I've said it before, I am eternally grateful to my mother in law Jen for making Adam a cleaning dude. Long before Shannon Lush, this fella was mopping floors with hot water and eucalyptus oil. Marvellous man.
One more chemical-free idea: make your own washing powder. Sound insane?
It's so damn quick and easy. And it works really well.
I use Amanda's recipe:
2 cups finely grated soap
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda (I use Lectric soda)
1 cup bicarb soda
I use about a third of a cup per wash (using a front loader).
I found Dr Bronner's here in Australia but it's a bit expensive to be grating up. I've used good old Lux flakes which worked well, and am currently grating up some Sunlight soap.
Jen did about a hundred loads of washing for me when she was here for a week recently. She loved the homemade powder so I made up another batch to send back to Armidale.
It doesn't really properly say thank you for my green man, but it's something.