Monday, April 20, 2009

go green:)

**Just a note..this post isn't really about Noah, but about our family in general!**

I've been taking my required Environmental Science course this semester (I'm about halfway through nursing school, in case you didn't know)...not something I was particularly looking forward to, but I've actually learned a lot, and have enjoyed it for the most part? Why? Well...for lack for a better term, we've been learning about "going green." I realize that this term is very much overused these days as it has become a real hot topic, so I guess I'm using it loosely. 

One thing that really opened my eyes to why living a greener, more environmentally responsible life is important was a podcast I recently listened to on Christian Environmentalism. You can listen to it as well here. For me, living green is not only about preserving the environment for Noah and other future generations and giving him and my family the most healthy choices I can, but is also about God's call of good stewardship in caring for His creation. 

While I am in NO way 100% there, I do enjoy learning more about easy things I can do to make a big impact. The big thing here, I think, is to take it slow and in small steps...trying to totally *go green* overnight is too tough (for me at least!). 

So, in light of this, and the fact that Wednesday is Earth Day, I thought I would share a few of the things we've been doing in our family to *go green* as well as share some of my goals for the near future. 

  • All of Noah's bath/skin products are environmentally friendly. We exclusively use California Baby products on him, and we all love them! 
  • All of Noah's baby food is organic. We use the Earth's Best brand, and there is honestly not one kind that Noah won't eat!
  • I am slowly converting Noah to cloth diapers and wipes. This met A LOT of resistance from Jimmy at first, but he's gotten over it. After trying a couple of different kinds, I've decided that the bumGenius 3.0 All-in-one diaper is best for us. There are a ton of other benefits for Noah in using cloth in addition to being easier on the environment, so that's a bonus too:) 
  • About 1/2 of our light bulbs are CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs.
  • We turn out lights when we leave rooms.
  • I wash all of our clothing on cold, except for Noah's cloth diapers and bibs (which get stained if I don't).
  • We *try* to recycle as much as possible (this can be a challenge as we don't have a trash/recycling service, so we have to sort it all out at the dump ourselves).
  • I try to use *green* cleaning products (currently I use the Clorox Green Works line, but I'm not completely satisfied).
  • We *try* to buy the best food (organic, whole grain, no *empty* snacks, etc) for Jimmy and myself as possible...okay, I try, Jimmy just likes what he likes.

  • Completely switch Noah to all cloth diapers and wipes at home, and use an environmentally responsible disposable choice (like Seventh Generation) when out/on vacation.
  • Try making some of our own baby food.
  • Switch mine and Jimmy's personal care products (shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, etc).
  • Cut down out showers to 5 minutes...which will be tough for Jimmy, who has a really bad habit of falling asleep in the shower in the mornings!!
  • Switch all of our bulbs to CFLs.
  • Visit our local farmers market regularly.
  • Cut out soda(or at least reduce to 1 per week? ok...realistically 1 per day).
  • Buy a water filter or filtering pitcher for drinking water and use a resuable bottle instead of buying bottled water at the store.
  • Actually USE my reusable bags...and not only at the grocery store.
  • Overhaul our food choices...even though we *try* there are many more areas that we can switch to organic or another better choice (if organic isn't available).
  • Find better environmentally friendly cleaning products (since I'm not totally sold on the Green Works stuff), or make my own!
  • Find better environmentally friendly laundry detergent.
  • Figure out some way to make recycling for us easier (a new bin system?).
  • Turn our computers off completely at night.
  • Unplug chargers and appliances when they're not in use.
  • Opt out of paper bills, pre-approved credit cards, and other junk mail.
  • Use rags instead of paper towels.
  • Recycle old boxes, paper, toilet paper tubes, etc for future craft projects with Noah.
  • And if I'm really brave, try the Diva Cup and cloth liners (I hope I'm not offending anyone with this one!!)
**I would also LOVE to start a garden, but since I have a black thumb in the flower gardening department, I don't know how practical this one it will be an extra, REALLY lofty goal:)

There are a TON of resources out there on how to live green. In fact, a blog I really like, simplemom, has a great post today on 40 Ways to Go Greener At Home (Besides Recycling). And of course there are other blogs and websites solely devoted to *greening* up your life. Just don't get overwhelmed with all the information out there, because there is A LOT of it (some are better than others!!).

Just get out there and do a little research. You'll be surprised at how simple it is to live greener, and how many benefits there are (like saving you money for one!!) But like I said, don't try to overhaul your entire life overnight...that is WAY to hard! Still, and not to get on a soapbox or anything, there are small changes that anyone and everyone can, and should make.

So that's my post in honor of Earth Day! Stayed tuned for your regularly scheduled Noah posts:) Until next time..


wrcdgc said...

Good for you for trying to change. I am trying to do better myself but cloth diapers that's a huge change. Good luck!


Wilson Ramblings said...

Lauren, those are great ideas! It's so good to try and leave a lesser footprint and every little thing helps. That's one of the reasons we started using cloth diapers with Nathan. I think we live very near each other. Maybe we could get the kiddos together some time! :) As far as the children's museum with a 9 month old... it's $8 per adult and if your willing to spend the $16 for you and hubby, I think it would have some fun experiences, although he wouldn't really "get" them. Lots of textures to feel, and things to pull up on which he'll probably be doing by then. If nothing else, it'd be something "non-beachy" to do for a day! :)

Carisa said...

I love your post, I finally was able to visit you on your blog ;). I have enjoyed browsing through your blog, little Noah is so cute!

We do sound a lot alike in our desire to take better care of God's earth and his children ;).