Friday, September 17, 2010

Back to School -- The Green Way

So I got off track a little this year, but I am BACK! And as I re-commit to our family's green goals, I looked at how I pack my kid's lunches. Last year, we used a lot of Ziploc. I know. I know. Terrible. But this year, I committed to using reusable containers.

The cost can be prohibitive, however. I went to The Container Store and almost choked. But I didn't give up. Yay for Target! How happy was my son when he saw his favorite buddies decorating all of these containers! He loves his lunches. And I loved the prices. I got the water bottle and the snack containers in the Dollar Spot. It was $2.50 for the water bottle and large snack box and $2.50 for three of the small snack containers. Can you beat that? I can't even get a single box of Ziploc for that!

Now the large thermos cost about $15 but that equals less than a month's worth of juice pouches. So for those of you like me, trying to be green while keeping green in your bank account -- check out Target.

It is easy to think that it is expensive to live green. I know that I have to make tough financial choices all the time. I would love to buy all Organic. Right now, that is not a possibility. But that doesn't mean that I can't be green in other ways. And I am excited to say that this solution is not only eco-friendly but is actually CHEAPER in the not-so-long run! So I say Yay! Yay! Yay!

Check out my friend, Erin. She is out there inspiring the world to be more green. In fact, she inspired me enough to get this blog back going and to write this post!

Go Green

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baby Steps

So, I have recharged and recommitted. Today, I began the journey again with baby steps. As I was cleaning out my kitchen and dealing with trash and recycling, I actually took the time to sort through the trash and retrieve items that could be recycled that weren't. Not a pleasant task, necessarily, but eye-opening as I filled another bag for recycling that would've ended up in a dumpster. Pretty cool, huh? Baby steps. That's all they are. But every journey starts with them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

Kermit was not kidding. See what I did to these plants?
See, I posted last over three months ago. Why? For a lot of reasons, but most of all, because I felt like a COMPLETE failure. So here is my list of confessions -- I started using paper towels again, I keep forgetting to take the shopping bags I bought, and as you can see... I am a vicious plant killer!
So I was embarrassed and stopped writing. And then I realized -- maybe I am not alone. Many of us start out with all sorts of wonderful ideas and loads of commitment. But then life's difficulties tire and dishearten us. And at least in my case, I started getting lazy and falling back into bad habits. Has that happened to you?
Well, I'm admitting it and I am going to try to get back on the ecological bandwagon. I know that for many of you, this comes naturally. But I did not come from a conservation-based history. I am fighting a lot of years of habit. So, if this is second nature, please share your thoughts. If you, however, are more like me -- let's take this journey together. I'll encourage you if you can encourage me. And with each baby step, we can make huge strides toward a healthier home for ourselves and our children.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

This blog is dedicated to our family trying to live more lean and green (though hopefully not mean!). So a quick review of the first four months of our project. Successes: I am happy to report that we have had a paper towel dowel sitting empty for several weeks now. We are using cloth towels almost exclusively. My daughter is only using a single pull-up for bedtime. She is doing great on the potty (with the occasional accident) and I think that has been helped by using cloth. What cleaning products we have bought have been green products and we have worked with the kiddos about turning off lights and water. Finally, we have started our patio garden, including utilizing containers from our coffee to create larger planters.

Areas to improve: I want to use more homemade cleaning products and we have still been eating from boxes more than I want -- for us or the environment. Finally, I think that we still create more trash than we should. I am looking into a small composter that won't stink us out of the apartment. We could then lessen our trash and fertilize our new garden.

So that's our Earth Day Update. I try to think of it as a marathon, not a dash. Every little change we make matters. I'll keep you posted!!!

P.S. Check out my Earth Day Post on my other blog, 38 and Growing. I am supporting Heifer International. It is a wonderful organization that supports the planet's health while fighting hunger. If you want to help me buy a cow, please click here.

I Support Heifer International

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Here We Go!

Remember I told you that we got Sesame Street starter seed kits. And I told you they were fun and colorful and cute... well here they are. And here we go. These are the pictures from our planting day which was a couple of weeks ago.

We are growing watermelon (Cookie Monster blue ), orange sun peppers (Bert & Ernie orange), garden beans (Oscar the Grouch green), tomatoes (Elmo red), and pumpkin (Abby Cadabby pink -- my daughter's favorite). The kits come with stickers which really got the kids eager to participate. The boxes are supposed to make mini-greenhouses. We'll see what happens. We are very excited!

Remember all great things start small. And here is our start. Follow-up pictures to come!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Clean Out

Well, those of you who follow my other blog know that my family has spent the last week sick Sick, SICK! So we did not start our garden even though I got the cutest Sesame Street container garden set. I mean REALLY cute -- I will share this with you when we are able-bodied enough to embark on that brave new world.

After having been so sick, however, I was inspired to clean, Clean, CLEAN. And this included my pantry. Out with the expired food. Which I am ashamed to say was a lot. But you now what is scarier than a pantry full of expired food? Finding "food" without expiration dates! How is that possible?!?!?!

I have to say that this was eye-opening. When I started my journey over at 38 and Growing, I realized that I was living my life unconsciously. This evolved into my husband and I looking at our personal health, our family's health, and our contribution to the world's health. We were floating through life doing the "easy" thing, not necessarily the good thing. Well, there cannot be any good thing about food that doesn't expire -- either for our bodies or our Earth!

My eyes are open. I am aware. I cannot pretend otherwise. And that is good. I am going to have to learn to shop differently. I am going to have to work harder at preparing the food for my family. But it's worth whatever time and effort are involved because I'm worth it, my kids are Worth it, and this planet is WORTH it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Starting a Spring Garden

Well, next week is Spring Break for my kiddo and we are expecting beautiful warm weather so we will finally be starting a garden on our patio. I want to get the kids involved -- I think that it will be very valuable for them to see the work that goes into growing their food and I am hoping that they may be more willing to eat green things if they have an investment in them.

I found a great website that is dedicated to container gardening for beginner gardens. I'm very excited to get started. Do you have any great advice for a beginner? What vegetables would you recommend to get kiddos involved in?

I'll keep you posted. Maybe I'll have some pics to share.