So I announced with a bit of fanfare and flourish that my theme for this year was to live greener.
I recognize that I already do some things that are considered “green” like recycling and composting, but I know that if I stepped up my game in this area, I would be doing the world a solid and I’d probably save some money while I’m at it.
So here it is, the middle of the first month of the new year, and I haven’t really attempted anything new.
I realized that when I set my theme, I didn’t actually have a plan for making that theme happen. And guess what happens when you don’t have a plan?
So starting with this post, I’m going to layout some areas that I think I could stand to use some improvement when it comes to living greener and start working on them. I hope that by sharing my list, it will inspire you to create your own plan for living greener.
Baby Steps to Living Greener
I need to work harder at using reusable shopping bags. I have a ton of them. Some of them need to be washed. One needs a seam stitched up. I’ll put my reusable bags back into working order and make sure I bring them with me when I’m out shopping. If I forget my shopping bags, I will either attempt to make do without bags (the recommended punishment for forgetting your bags outlined in Madeleine Somerville’s terrific book “All You Need is Less“) or, at the very least, use paper instead of plastic.
I need to recycle more. I’m pretty good about recycling paper, cans, bottles and plastic containers in the kitchen. But I’m completely awful about recycling those same products in my bathroom and laundry room. It really isn’t that hard to carry them from those rooms to my recycling bin, so I need to start doing that. I also need to remember that there’s this wonderful world of Pinterest out there that will tell me fabulous ways to recycle things I never thought you could. I would love to be able to repurpose more things instead of sending them through the recycling process or putting them in a landfill.
I need to make greener purchasing decisions. I need to try to purchase things that have less packaging or will create less post-consumer waste. So often, I just blindly pick out things in the store without thinking about what kind of effect they may have on the environment. Good examples: Juice boxes and food storage bags. I need to work on reducing my reliance on convenience at the expense of the planet.
I need to focus on less processed foods. As a busy mom of 3 with a budget to keep, I’ll admit that I’ve gotten used to buying cheap, processed foods, even when I know they may not be the healthiest for my family. This year, I’d like to work on making more things like seasoning mixes from scratch. I would like to work on incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies in our diet and learn how to make a decent loaf of homemade bread. I’d like less chemicals and less packaging when it comes to my family’s food.
I need to unplug more. I love gadgets and I love being online. But for my health, and for the sake of every single thing that needs to be plugged in, I need to remember to take more breaks. I need to spend a bit more time getting outdoors and connecting with nature. Spending time in nature is a great way to remind yourself why it’s important to live greener.
These are the things I will be working on over the course of the next weeks and months. I’ll be updating you with my progress and sharing projects that I’m working on along the way. If you have some great green living tips or projects you’d like to share with me, I would love to hear them! Just leave a comment here, or send me a note.
The world is a better place when we all work together!
My trick for remembering my reuseable shopping bags is to put them back in my car after I’ve finished unpacking whatever I’ve purchased. It took some practice but eventually it becamse a habit and now I’m never without them.
JoAnn C. says
Just this morning I cut up some old towels, and pillow cases and made my own disinfectant wipes. I use a ton of the store bought type but I needed to cut expenses somehow. As for bread, I bake bread twice weekly and I am only an email address away if you need any help.
Taryn G says
I am working on the same theme for my family for 2015! My first project is green cleaners. I searched Pinterest for ideas and then stocked up on Borax, baking soda etc. I want to feel ok about my one year old crawling around in the bathroom and not worried about the residual effects of cleaning the bathroom with chemicals. Second project is planning a garden for our new home!
Christina Brown says
Excellent, Taryn! Be sure to check out our “greener cleaner” recipes, too!