July 8, 2008

Going (and staying) Green

When I first began writing this blog in the ethers of my mind, I envisioned it as a little gallery of my projects, mostly handmade fiber arts stuff like knitting and sewing. In the beginning, I just couldn't make my lazy self get out the damned camera, so many of the things I created while pregnant are now dirty from use or were given away to friends. Enter baby. Not much making or doing going on now, so please don't be disappointed by this blog's subtitle.

I think my mind has had a change of heart, where I am now really into reading blogs and other sites that chat up the whole green movement. Don't get me wrong, this is not new to me. I was a vegetarian for the last 13 years (I say was because I felt I needed to eat a little bit of fish and chicken during the pregnancy and while I am nursing due to low energy/iron, but I plan to return and currently eat 90% of my meals as a veg), I recycle like a fiend, I try to conserve water and lots of other resources whenever I can. But with the news of becoming pregnant, I began to get serious about all this green stuff. And what a great time to do it, with all of the interest out in the world. I assume going green was on my mind both for the health and safety of my baby and to preserve his future on this earth, but also because it's become a lot easier to choose green options. I remember going into a Burger King while traveling on vacation and having this Abbot and Costello-esque discussion with the cashier trying to explain that I wanted a Whopper but please don't put meat on it.

But I digress...I wanted to make a list here of some of the things I've done over the past year to make life greener for me, my husband, my son, and the earth. Hopefully they will inspire you to do your part too. Oh, and one more thing--PLEASE don't try and "outgreen" each other. There's nothing more annoying and counterproductive than guilt-tripping others into feeling bad about throwing out that plastic bottle. Yes, it's bad, but ragging on them just makes them less likely to make green choices. Educate, but don't bully. Here's my list:

1. Compost (if you have a yard)
2. Grow your own herbs and veggies (we're a little low on the veggies but I am trying to add some each year)
3. Buy locally harvested foods. Go to Local Harvest to find a co-op or farm market in your area
4. Take reusable bags to the grocery store. This one by Envirosax is great as it rolls up small to fit in your purse

5. Recycle
6. Use reusable bottles, like the Sigg one I have rather than buying bottled water

7. Drive less (duh)
8. Use green cleaning products, like those from Seventh Generation, Ecover, Method, or Shaklee, or better yet make your own. My favorite is a mix of 3/4 water, 1/4 vinegar, and some drops of tea tree oil as a disinfectant.
9. Use green laundry detergent. My best tip is to use vinegar in place of fabric softener and baking soda to whiten your clothes. Those dryer balls work pretty well too
10. Line dry your clothes whenever possible
11. Cloth diapers (see earlier post on this). Even using a few cloth a day can save the earth and save you money
12. Use old t-shirts in place of paper towels (I admit this is a hard one)
13. This is a little gross, but around here we have a saying "If it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down." You can probably guess what this refers to, but it's a good way to save water. I picked this up from a former professor who remembered seeing these posters around NYC during a drought.
14. Opt for hardwood floors over carpeting, or if using carpets, find ones made from natural products like wool or cotton
15. BUY LESS STUFF!!! This to me is probably the most important tip, although it's definitely the hardest to adhere to, especially for me. But when you think about how many resources go into making and transporting goods, you realize that by just buying less, you'd be helping the earth.

That's it for now...whew, that wiped me out! Hope you get a little inspired.

1 comment:

  1. That's a great list. It's so good for people to see how such simple things can make a huge impact.


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