Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Declaration

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.


  1. Heh. I make granola on occasion, but then find that I get awfully sick of it pretty quickly. We're cheap, which is surprisingly enviromentally friendly.

  2. All very good ideas. We try to do our part too, but I know there is more I could do.

  3. Good for you! Living in the greenest city in the US (according to some magazine), I'm surrounded by organic and recycling and HOMEMADE GRANOLA. Which is nice because it makes it much easier to be green. But also lame because you NEVER can be green ENOUGH! ;)

  4. Saw your comment on Take 90 West and had to come on by!! We have the same name anyway! Cool blog! Our family has been beginning to do our part also! Just the same, little bit at a time!

  5. I hid my paper towels in a cupboard - behind my rags, and hardly use them at all anymore

  6. Now you need to start composting! I'm told it's not too difficult. But being as my HOA doesn't like when I have dead trees in the backyard, I'm pretty sure they won't dig the rotting garbage!


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