Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day to You

Or, Happy Birthday to me...whichever you prefer to sing...I'm going for the second one today!

However, Earth Day gives me the best excuse to blog about the changes we've made, which happen to be green.

I used to hate Earth Day and resent that it was on my birthday. However, as I've come to realize being a good steward is not the same as being a liberal (oh boy is that a loaded statement!). Actually, being a good steward benefits me, too-as you'll see, most of my green habits are all about me.

In the last year I've started realizing how very thrifty being greener can be. Well, you can make it expensive of course, but being simple--which is my ultimate goal--is both green & thrifty. I think the key to staying sane is to just be simple.

Okay, so on with it-what do we do that's simple (and green, and thrifty?)

*Use cloth diapers-even though they may use more water than disposables, I feel better using them because they are not filled with chemicals that find their way into my child's skin. And, it's one more thing I don't have to keep putting on my shopping list.

*I use few paper plates-but I'm married to the king of all things disposable, so it does happen.

*I use my (very cool, thanks to my friends) reusable shopping bags. Mostly to remove myself from the cheap, consumerism feeling I get when I see a dozen flimsy Wal-Mart sacks in my kitchen after a grocery run. Yeah, I know, mostly a selfish reason, but who cares?

*Minimal car use...for us anyway. I save errands for one or two trips a week mainly because it's a lot of work to get my crew out the door. Because Shane works nights and has a big part of our marriage, we have been able to get by with only one car, kinda (it's complicated, but that's the gist of it).

*We use Charlie's Soap-a chemical free detergent (and we use the household cleaner, too). It's great for diapers and for the environment-although, again I started using it for selfish reasons.

*We use glass mason jars to drink from and to store leftovers in (sometimes). I am trying to use less plastic, and especially less disposable Tupperware like containers.

*Earnestly attempting to reuse items before I toss them in the trash. Including leftover food-okay, I mean not reusing it exactly, that sounds like it's been used once already! I mean I am storing more leftovers, even if it's just a little, for lunches or to throw into a new meal.

*We shop at thrift stores, give to thrift stores and use Freecyle often. We also try to shop local when we can-like for beef, honey, health food items etc. We're limited in our budget & our choices, but we try.

*We use online bill paying for all our bills, paperless statements and email alerts. Of course its selfish-I can't stand all that paper in my mail box and on my desk! It also happens to be cheaper and greener!

And, what negates all of this (totally selfish) effort? We shop at the biggest peddler of made in China junk in the nation. The one that tries to put all their employees on part time to minimize benefits, maximize profits. With poor produce and poorly made products...

Oh well, at least it's my birthday and that makes me feel better!


Vicki said...

Man! Your post makes me feel bad about my NON green year! :P Perhapes we well be green someday again.. But for now paper diapers and paper plates are my friend... wink.

Wendy said...

Oh Vicki, don't feel bad, lol, like I said my green habits mostly benefit me :) And when my man brings in a ton of paper plates, believe me, I use them and feel a little sad when they're gone.


Luke said...

Happy Birthday!


Vicki said...

Um ya.. Happy Birthday too. :) My husband birthday was yesterday...

To make myself feel better Im ordering Tushies Diapers... :)

The Tarr Family said...

Happy Birthday Wendy!!! Well, the earth day thing is an excuse to get new plants at my house. Also, if you come over here, Walmart stuff will never look the same. Stuff can really be made even MORE poorly. :) All the good stuff goes to the USA... Can't wait to see you and Walmart! :) LOL