Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I haven't struggled out of my jammies yet, so I have not donned my green wear to avoid the pinches! In honor of the greenest day of the year, I thought I would share a little with you about our family's green choices.

I haven't ever really lived in a conscious way about how my lifestyle was affecting the earth. I am not really sure why. I actually think it's pretty sad that most evangelical Christians don't really think about the way their life affects others and the planet. And we certainly aren't teaching our children to be good stewards with the earth.

God created the earth and gave it to Adam and Eve. He wanted them to flourish and take care of it-- I wonder why that's not our priority anymore?

Anyhow... after the Bug was born our first taste of green came in the form of cloth diapers. We were bothered that we were producing so much trash that was going to take so long to decompose in landfills. We did our research and ordered some Fuzzi Bunz. We have enjoyed using cloth. We use disposables still when Bug goes to church nursery or stays with a sitter. We also have used disposables when she was fighting a major diaper rash and when she had the runs really bad. I guess overall we would be part-time cloth diaperers, and we feel good about the waste we've cut down on!

Our second dip into the green pool came when Bug started solids. We decided (OK, mostly me, but Hubby usually succumbs to my evil plots!) to make our own baby food! That sounded a little crunchy to us newbies, but we actually really enjoyed the experience. I found a great website that helped me get started and it was really easy to make the purees! I just steamed or cooked the fruits and veggies and then used my blender or food processor to grind them down. We froze them in ice cubes trays so each cube was about one ounce. It felt good to know exactly what our baby was eating since we bought frozen fruits and veggies with no additives or used fresh.

I think becoming slightly green also helped us see small changes we could make around the house. We collect recyclables to turn in locally, turn off the water when brushing our teeth, unplug and turn off things to conserve energy, using reusable water bottles and filling up at home, keeping the thermostat set a little lower this winter to save gas... really the little things start adding up!

Our country seems to be showing more awareness for our planet and how to live more gently with less impact on the environment, which makes it easier for the average family to be a darker shade of green. One way we've seen this is the explosion of reusable bags available in stores! The Whole Foods in the next town has offered reusable bags for awhile, but our small-town Wal-mart now sells reusable bags for $1.00! We were so shocked, and excited to be able to get some there and begin using them! My biggest hurdle with the bags is remembering to take them in the store with me! I read this week about a mom who keeps them next to her child's car seat so she sees them when she's going in the store. I've implemented that!

We also don't buy new clothes for Bug (OK, honestly we haven't bought her anything thanks to all our generous baby showers!) but when we need something for her we plan to look at yard sales and consignment shops. We would like to switch our light bulbs to more efficient energy saving ones, but we'll probably wait until we've run out of regular bulbs!

I don't feel like our lives are drastically different with any of these changes, but I do feel better about the way we're living and the choices we're making! If we're still around in 2042 playing with our grand kids, we'll be glad we tried to keep the place nice!

How green are you today?


erin blakley said...

nice...great post on St. Patty's day!

Jenny said...

What a great post for St.Patricks day. I'm ashamed to say we aren't very green. I haven't ever thought of it this way.

Wait, wait, we did join a co-op where we pay a fee and receive a portion of what the farm grows. It is suppose to cut down on gas and support a farmer in our local area!

Maybe I have a little green, but thanks for making me think about it in a new way!

JanMary said...

Happy St Patricks Day (for yesterday) from N Ireland.

I agree we as Christians should show good guardianship of the world we have been given to live in.

We did our own baby food, recycle as much as possible, use alternative Bags for Life instead of plastic ones etc, but I think we should be doing more.

Thanks for the challenge.

Our minister spoke to us about Tearfunds Carbon Fast for lent which challenges us to be more aware of our actions on the planet.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

How cool! How did I not know you cloth diaper? You guys are doing great in making some green choices!