Sunday, April 20, 2008

Waste not, want not...

I am not writing this post to be preachy or judgemental at all. The main reason I write this blog is to let my children know more about their mom and to keep a virtual scrapbook of their lives growing up. One day I want them to read this and know that their mommy tried to make a difference in their lives and others just by trying to help the environment and to teach them that one person can make a difference....I am far from perfect though. I still have areas that I need to work on too. This blog is for me and my family, so if I say something that offends, I don't mean to, I write for me!

I feel like I am a new woman. I don't know when it hit me or how...I just feel like this past year has been one of new growth. Maybe it was because instead of focusing on myself for so many years about getting and staying pregnant, I have had a year to focus on my family and the environment around us. I want my children and their children to have a safe environment...and to honor Earth Day, which is on Tuesday, 4/22, I am writing this post.

I feel like we as humans are extremely wasteful. So over the last year I decided that this household would reduce our waste as much as possible and I feel like we've done a pretty good job of it. Here's some of the ways we've done it...

1. We do all of our bills online. This saves paper, money, and time! I think the biggest is time-it takes me under 5 minutes to do our bills with just one click of the mouse.

2. We do not buy water bottles. I drink all of my water from Sigg water bottles. After I found out how dangerous plastics were to the environment and the potentially harmful effects-this was a no brainer.

3. We recycle everything that can be recycled! My husband is now a convert and wants to recycle everything. Sometimes I have to take stuff out that he's put in the bin that can't be recycled (yet!)-like orange juice containers.

4. To help the environment, we use only phosphate-free detergents and those free of artificial colors and dyes, those that are biodegradeable and not tested on animals. I have also switched to hair products and make up that is organic, all vegetarian based and not tested on animals. I use the Alba Botanica brand of products. My hair never smelled better either.

5. As a family of five with three small kids, we needed to have a car that would fit 3 car seats. Sure, we could have picked a bigger SUV, but one of the reasons we picked the Odyssey was for it's fuel efficiency. I still feel guilty driving a big car, but for now this fits our needs best and I know it's better on fuel and energy than a lot of cars out there.

6. We cook at home often. As I've said before I am a self-confessed restaurant snob. I love to cook too. I would rather cook a gourmet meal at home than eat a chain restaurant anyday. Don't get me wrong, I love to go out to dinner. LOVE it, but only at local restaurants with really good food. This saves us money too! Some people say that cooking at home is more expensive than eating out, but if high-quality food is what you are aiming for cooking at home is always cheaper than eating out. Oh, we eat left-overs too!

7. I wash all of our clothes in cool/cold water. This was a no-brainer too. Clothes still get clean even if washed in cold water.

Now the things I'd like to work on....
a)still considering the cloth diaper thing-leaning towards DOING it.
b)my biggest time suck is the computer. This week I am aiming towards only 15-30 minutes a day on the computer. Enough time to check emails, favorite blogs and post. I need to spend my time more wisely like reading a book outside, etc...

Like I said before, we are FAR from perfect. But I feel like I actually LIVE my life better knowing that I am teaching my children to help the Earth and to be better people.


Fran said...

Hello! I stumbled upon your blog some way....not sure how.....I lived in Georgetown for 17 years. My oldest graduated from the College of Charleston. It is nice to read blogs based around my "home". I live in Maine now and hopefully will return south soon.

I wanted to give you the name of a blogger who also made the decision to do cloth diapers. She also has twins! It is She got alot of input from other bloggers. Her blog is interesting. Her husband died shortly after the twins were born.

Congratulations on being green and good luck with the diaper decision!


Sweet Pea Chef said...

Great post! BTW, thanks for teaching me about the Sigg bottles. I hadn't heard of those! Do you buy yours online or at a store?

Slacker Mama said...

We use reusable bottles here. I just got a BPA-free one for day and for working out. I'll miss my "Life is Good" Nalgene, but oh well.

I need to do online banking. John's our money guy and he and technology do not mix.

magnolia mama said...

We love our sigg bottles!

I wanted to let you know that you've motivated me to get back into running and I'm hoping to do a half marathon at the end of June. I haven't run more than 6 miles since the marathon I ran in 2001.

Mad About Plaid Girl said...

I agree with you. I drive an Odyssey and we do recycle. We pay our bills online too. I really makes me cringe when I see so many soda cans and water bottles in garbage's just as easy to throw them in a recycling bin!

And my computer sucks me in, too. Sometimes we just need that as our downtime, though, you know? It's better than sitting in front of the TV w/a box of cookies! Or is it? :)

Stephanie said...

Hey there. I just came across your blog through others and love it!!! I tried to leave a comment on the Mommy Hair subject but it didn't take. I got it cut short and my sis said I look like a soccer mom. I have to agree so I am thinking of getting some highlights. Anyhoo, thanks for the recommendation on the water bottles. I'm going to buy one now. I just have to get my husband to follow along on that one. Come visit me sometime at my fairly new blog.