A group of us are meeting on a regular basis and discussing the material we are studying in a course called Think Resilience.  We are using this think tanks material as a springboard for discussion and it has been fascinating.  Each member is doing what they are personally comfortable with in regards to changing their behaviors from a consumer to a conserver.

One item we have heard repeatedly is folks would like a list of what others are doing to get some ideas so I asked members to submit what they were interested in sharing.  I will add their good works to this list as I receive them.  Thanks to all who are participating and sharing!

Just a note on the tab titles.  So many of these actions span titles, making it is hard to pick which one to put it under.  For example, buying local food helps reduce packaging but also greatly reduces transportation used to get food to the plate.





  1. We had solar hot water installed.
  2. We converted two open flue fireplaces to sealed gas units
  3. We had a contractor assess the house leading to sealing a number of leaks (I understand that Duke Energy will now do these assessments for free) and to a significant upgrade of our insulation.
  4. We had two companies give us estimates to install rooftop PV but learned that we had too much shade on the property for this to make sense.
  5. We use a clothesline instead of a dryer.
  6. We installed a timer on our hot water tank.
  7. We use gray water to flush our toilets.
  8. We don’t flush our city toilets until necessary.





  1. We drive a 12+ year old Prius that is about to turn over 140,000 miles.
  2. We ride our bicycle to destinations as much as possible.
  3. We park our car and walk to as many destinations as possible instead of driving to each.





  1. We purchase as much food at the local farmers market as possible and always bring our own bags.
  2. We shop bulk food at the local coop and bring our own containers
  3. We are trying a phone app called PaperKarma that helps you stop junk mail.
  4. Purchase beer in growlers eliminating the need to recycle bottles and cans.  Shopping local for beer too!
  5. We compost.
  6. After we learned Americans throw away an average of 40% of our food (we were guilty) we have focused on not throwing out any food.  We have our food waste down to about 1%.
  7. We are canning local foods.
  8. We started making our own toothpaste.  We use 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda and mint flavoring.  We love it.  It took some getting use to but my mouth feels so healthy now.  Our sink doesn’t get as dirty and our drain is cleaner too.  A win-win-win.
  9. We use organic, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar as a face toner and hair conditioner.



We have started our own organic garden.