Monday, May 05, 2008

it ain't easy...

Since 1998, I have attended/worked at a university whose best-known cheer is: "Go GREEN! Go WHITE!" I've been "green" for almost a decade. I've owned t-shirts that claim I bleed green.
But I never really meant "green" in the sense of caring about the environment. As I mentioned a few weeks ago - I've never really been that environmentally aware (or even too concerned, I'm sorry to say...)
Until recently. I'm not sure what switched for me - but I'm suddenly "going green" right and left.
In the past week or so I have:
- switched about 18 light bulbs in the house from regular incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs
- purchased and used the lovely reusable grocery bags available at Meijer
- bought 2 big Rubbermaid tubs to collect recyclables (they don't pick up recycling around here, so we have to transport it to the local recycling center)
- made three new household cleaners from recipes I've found here and here
- challenged myself to start using cloth rags to clean the house instead of paper towels
- planted vegetables in containers on my front porch (after a little research and deciding I couldn't do a "real" garden this year)
- joined a website called Natural Mommy in search of more tips
- decided I want to try some canning/preserving this summer, but I have NO IDEA where to start - that's a new project for me
I'll try to keep you updated on my adventures in the Land of the Environmentally Friendly - it feels really good (and most of the time - it saves money!) And I don't list all these things to brag about how great I am... on the contrary, it's because I need your help!! I can often get really excited about new things like this, and then just burn myself out because I'm too impatient to take one step at a time. I mean, isn't it more fun to try 17 new things at once??
So bloggie friends - keep me honest, ask how I'm doing, and if you have any great tips/insights/fun green things you like to do - please share!!

4 thoughts:

Sarah Halter said...

I'm so excited and proud of you!! I'd love to hear what you think of the homemade cleaners. I haven't tried any yet.

On the preserving/canning, I've canned things like applesauce regularly, but I enjoy freezing much more, especially for vegetables. We've done green beans, corn, apple slices for pie, mashed sweet potatoes and pumpkin, broccoli and spaghetti sauce. For me, it's much easier and less worry about whether I got it right.

I hear you on trying to change a million things at once and then burning out. Maybe you could try one change a week or month?

Definitely keep us posted on how it's going!

Mark and Courtney said...

The biggest thing for us with recycling is just to make it a habit! Once you get going you won't stop. It doesn't hurt that our recycle bins are in the living room, right by the front door, so we can pick them up as we go and take them to the recycling centers (fire stations in St Louis City). :) You can do it!!

Julie said...

We are so into all that too! We made those changes about a year ago and they've stuck. Like Courtney said, you don't want to stop. Once you start noticing one small thing it starts to snowball and you never want to go back.

The biggest change I've noticed is not using paper towel's or napkins. I would love to switch to reusable toilet paper but I don't think that would go over well with the rest of the family.

Keep it up!

Julie said...

I'm planning on doing a patio veggie garden this year too!

Where did you find info on that? I know it's on the web somewhere, but it would take me days to find it.

Or, you can tell me what you're doing and I'll just copy you :)