Wednesday, April 06, 2011

little switches

Sometimes, little switches make a disproportionate amount of difference. Over the past 6-7 years, I've become quite a bit more environmentally conscious. I HOPE that the little changes we've made around the house will eventually  make a big difference, but the fact of the matter is: these little changes are just a drop in the bucket. To make a real difference, we all need to make little changes. For that matter, we really need to make big changes as a world to make a big difference. Here are some things we've done to try and make a difference:
  • Our city has a very easy, no-sort (hence no-hassle) recycling program, and I'm pretty meticulous about recycling paper, glass and aluminum. Weekly pick-up means you really don't have to have tons of recyclables laying around for very long. I estimate, that by recycling rather than trashing recyclables, we've reduced our trash output by about 30%.
  • Even though I detest the light put out by fluorescent light bulbs, we've made the switch. I don't hate them any less, but I cope.
  • By moving closer in to the city center (and moving to a smaller city), we've cut our commutes by about 50%. This is not only environmentally conscious, it also makes it so we can afford gas!
  • I consign my clothes (when they're in great condition), and donate them (when they're in not-so-great condition). Same for the girls' clothes. JB wears his clothes til they're worn out, so they are usually unsuitable, even for donation. Realistically, that should be my goal for all of us. But I gotta live somehow right?
  • I try to donate toys where they'll get the most use: classrooms, day care, or a family who is short on funds.
  • I have begun composting, and it really makes a difference in the soil quality for my small herb garden. We avoid some manufactured chemicals by composting food waste.
Here are some things I think we SHOULD do - most of these are bigger changes, which is why we haven't made them yet:
  • Further lessen driving. I go home for lunch many days, and that adds one more back and forth car trip to each day. With gas prices continuing to increase, reducing driving by at least one trip per day makes good financial sense, along with environmental sense
  • Begin avoiding plastic containers - things like food storage containers, etc.
  • Quit buying so much new stuff. Seriously. We have way too much stuff.
  • Move away from manufactured fertilizer/weed control for the lawn. I am so reluctant to do this, as I don't have a clue how to maintain our stupidly big yard without chemicals. And truthfully - I'm afraid it's going to be WAY more work than I'm willing to do.
  • Move to a less meat-based diet. I don't think we could become vegetarian (my family LOVES meat), but maybe just a few subtle changes to lessen meat consumption?
My 2 children need to learn to be good stewards of the world. I hope that, with these little switches, I'll help them learn by example.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here

1 comment:

panamamama said...

I don't use stuff on our lawn, but we have no grass! :) I want to sod this year and have a great book with natural recipes for lawn fertilizers etc. most have beer and other such strangeness in them...

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