Several years ago, I was working at a school and was introduced to one of the teachers. Mr. So-and-so, my coworker explained in an awed tone, "makes his own homemade granola!". That was her way of referring to how environmentally friendly and health-conscious the guy was. He really did, too, and often brought it in for lunch. At the time, it seemed like such a nutty, hippie thing to be earth-conscious.
Over the last year, for some reason, the idea of being more earth-conscious has really begun to appeal to me. I'm not sure why, but all of a sudden I am recycling, buying organic (when I can afford it), and trying to reduce the amount of trash that our family produces. And you know what? It's not as hard as I thought it would be. Our city has an easy curbside recycling program, and our school collects anything that is made of paper or cardboard. It's just a matter of setting it aside instead of trashing it.
On the issue of organic foods, I have a long way to go. I recently started buying organic milk, and then I stopped again because I just couldn't spend $6 a gallon on milk. It hurt my feelings too much. I have compromised by making an extra stop at a local store that produces its own no-hormones-added milk, and their prices are about the same as the grocery store milk. I've also switched to all-natural peanut butter, again balking at the price for full-on organic. Other than that, I do try to buy the organic fruits, because that is mostly what my kids eat, and vegetables when I can. My big project this spring will be to attempt to grow a little organic garden with a lot of the vegetables that I regularly buy. We'll just see how that goes.
One other area that I am really trying to cut back on is the purchasing and using of disposable items. This one is a little harder. I have a husband who is happiest when using a paper plate and a Solo cup, although I am not sure of his reasons. But it occurs to me that I am repurchasing these items, along with Ziploc bags and paper towels, month after month, and I am just throwing away my money. So this month I am trying to reduce the amount of disposable products I use. Don't worry, we're still going to use toilet paper and Kleenexes, but the baggies and juice boxes in my daughter's lunch are gone. I own 87 pieces of Tupperware, and they are going to be used. It will mean more dishes to wash, but guess what, I'm washing them every day anyway, so what's a few more?
So there you have it: I'm green now. Well, not totally, perhaps just a shade. I'll welcome any suggestions you might have. Should I go ahead and spring for organic milk? What other things have you all tried that work well for your family?
Oh, guess what I made the other day: granola. It was surprisingly easy to make, and quite delicious. I'm going outside now to hug my trees.
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