Thursday, January 12, 2012
The hubby and I do our best to take opportunities to "be green." Nobody is perfect, and we don't pretend to be. But our intentions are good and, as we learn about more ways to be green, we do our best to incorporate them into our lives. Our reasoning is two-fold, and both seem like clear no-brainers to us. Firstly, we have a lot of love and respect for our environment. It is our responsibility, as active members of society, to help care for the world in which we live. Secondly, it is an investment in our health. By eating clean food, avoiding unnecessary chemicals, and exposing ourselves to as many natural materials as possible, we are creating a healthier environment for ourselves and our growing family. Here are my goals for going even greener is 2012:
1. Start Composting
Even a small, counter top compost pail can reduce waste and provide fertile soil for gardens. We plan on sprucing up the outdoors this year. Composting will be a great, environmentally responsible way to care for our gardens.
2. Cloth Diapers
I have given this a lot of thought, and tried to weigh the pros and cons of cloth diapering. While there is no surefire way to know what will work best for us until we try, my plan is to start with cloth diapers. If you launder the diapers yourself (as opposed to paying for a cloth diaper laundering service) it is the most cost-effective way to diaper. Also, it is much more environmentally friendly. A baby goes through a LOT of diapers. A newborn will go through an average of about 10 diapers each day; meaning that our baby might go through less, but could just as easily go through more. That's an awful lot of waste that can be drastically reduced by cloth diapering. Most feedback I've gotten from parents who cloth diaper has been positive. I'll let you know how it goes!
3. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
Buying local, organic ingredients can reduce pollution and support your local economy while providing you and your family with healthy produce. Joining a CSA is a great way to enjoy these foods, and will even introduce you to different produce that you may not have had before. I'm all about discovering new yummy food! We found a CSA with a local farm stand from a nearby town that we've heard great things about. I'm excited for the season to start so we can enjoy a greater variety of fresh, healthy, organic, local produce.
4. Lawn Care
We have lived in our house for 2.5 years, and are just getting around to fixing up the outdoors. Until now, all we've done to care for our yard is cut the grass. I did plant one tree our first spring. My parents got me a beautiful magnolia star tree for my birthday that year, and I absolutely love it. I was especially psyched about this gift because we adopted a "cut down one tree, plant another" policy when we moved into our house. There was a pine tree leaning on the garage that our house inspector insisted be taken own. I decided then that any healthy tree we had to take down would be replaced by planting another tree. Now that we are tackling our front and back yards this year, starting with fencing in the backyard this week, we are seriously considering how to care for our lawn. We hope to rely on rain, as opposed to sprinklers, to water the lawn. For our health, our dog's health, our baby's health, and the earth's health, we will not use chemicals to treat our lawn. We have found natural/organic grub killer, and plan to use good ol' vinegar and water to address any weeds we can't pull out ourselves. While our grass may not look quite as lush and green as many chemically-treated lawns, it will definitely be "greener"!
5. Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning
We already use eco-friendly detergents when we do our own laundry, and would like to do the same for our dry cleaning. Dry cleaners use very harsh chemicals that are high in VOCs (volatile organic compounds). We have spotted a few dry cleaners in nearby towns that claim to be "green" or "eco-friendly", but I've heard that many dry cleaners make this claim when it may not actually be true. I still need to do my research to find a dry cleaner that truly is eco-friendly. I'm on a mission and hope to find one we're happy with this year!
Is "going green" a priority for your family? What do you already do, or want to do, to be more "green"?