Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why should I go Green?

It seems to be the new trend, everywhere I look things are organic, bio-degradable and "GREEN". Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm noticing because I am feeling the draw to do my part to make our planet better for our children and our childrens' children. These products that have less chemicals cost more and organic foods cost more-you'd think they'd be less considering less went into the production of them-or maybe this is an ignorance of mine that will soon be discovered.

This year, 2010 is the year that I try to do all things possible to further my education and lessen my "footprint" on the planet...What an adventure! Won't you join me? I'm sure that there will be many hurdles and even a few falls along the way-but, the point is to take this average American family to a different level of living. I know that one family won't make a huge difference, but many will. If this blog can encourage others to move in a similar direction than I'll have accomplished what I hope to...

Where are we now? Well to be honest in Nevada on a scale of 1 to 10, how much we seem to care with our current habits, we're probably a 5 and a half. We don't recycle (yet). We consume products that have more to the packaging than what's actually inside -why do they do that? Food is going to be one of the "hurdles". I love documentaries and PBS (when we had cable) but I've seen so many bad things about the way that chickens, beef and fish are being raised to meet the needs of the masses. I know we need to make changes in this area! We don't buy organic foods (yet) but if you asked us, "we eat pretty healthy" and by healthy we mean that we don't drink soda and consume minimal junk food. One topic I am mildly aware of is the fact that farmed fish are ruining the wild populations. So, there is much to learn about food consumption, for the improvement of my family's health and the betterment of the industry standards. I would love to someday be a family that is completely self sustained with the exception of trade and barter (haven't yet thought of how I could get fresh fish). I know it would be hard to run a farm and that it is not likely that the average person could grow their own food, but I have some ideas that would make it easier and even attainable. Well last but not least, we are terrible pack-rats and have "stuff" everywhere! I recently threw away over 50 baby food jars after posting them in the free section of craigslist with no interest... It was gut-wrenching, why did I do that? What else was I to do? Continue to store the little glass jars precariously in our already over-filled garage, just waiting for a use? Well if I had thought about it a little longer and not so hastily thrown them out because I was tired of the "clutter" I might have found many solutions...

On the upside we did try to grow a garden last year-it was a miserable failure due to unforeseeable circumstances, but we will try again. We made a compost bin from pallets it's almost to the brim with grass clippings and all the acceptable kitchen scraps. Nothing seems to be decomposing, probably because it needs to be turned and it's too heavy and full to do so. Well, that's just another thing to figure out.

The real turn of events-less than three weeks ago I switched to cloth diapers, even though my youngest is already a year and a half. After talking to someone about the negative health issues of disposable diapers, of which I was completely unaware. All this time I thought it was an environmental and economic move for which I should make the switch. Now I had to, I figured "hey, we're going to have one or two more children so might as well get used to it now". When I told my husband, I did not get the response I was expecting, he made me think it was his (unspoken) idea with his what's the big deal attitude-let's do it. Well I was so apprehensive, the thought of it was more than daunting it was petrifying. But I bought a dozen prefolds (the basic cloth diapers) a snappy (used instead of baby pins) two covers and one fitted diaper (the new kind with snaps) called the "Ellara" it's pink camo print-too cute to pass up. Then I washed them as instructed and the first day was such a breeze I was embarrassed with myself for making such an internal fuss. Well the next day was a little more difficult but by then I had calculated the number of disposables I was responsible for in landfills for the next 500 years and I was determined. In fact I was hooked, I had become a cloth diaper junkie! My mom recognized my new "disease" and surprised me at Christmas with 5 more fitted diapers, two all in ones, cloth wipes, a yuck sack, and a sprayer attachment for the bathroom! I was so excited I even joined and offered to volunteer for the RDA!

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