I believe the right place to start, is by laying it all out -
- Things I do that are good for the environment
- Things I've tried & thought were too difficult/time consuming, followed by excuses.
- Things I do that are baaaaad for our earth.
- I grow a garden, from which I can & freeze the harvest for later use in the year. Is it an organic garden? I think so- just our dirt, compost, seeds & water.
- We raise our own chickens, from which we collect eggs.
- We don't use paper plates, that helps a little, right?
- We don't fertilize our lawn.
- We use those spiral light bulbs that last 7 years.
- I sometimes make my own baby wipes.
- We have an energy efficient heating system - I think- My husband just explained to me why, but I was too distracted by the fact that he was wearing only his boxers.
- I sew, and try to repurpose items we already have
- I have made my own cleaning solutions - vinegar, water & baking soda - But the counter top just doesn't seem to be as clean as when I use bleach or an antibiotic spray bottle. I've tried cleaning out the toilet bowl with baking soda, borax & vinegar...gross. Just makes it smell like you dumped a jar of pickles in the there.
- I do clean out my drains with baking soda & vinegar, the kids do love to make volcanoes!
- I've tried using reusable shopping bags. I either leave them in my car, pile the groceries on top of them in the cart & forget about them until the boy has already double bagged everything up.
- I throw everything away. I do not wash out & sort out the glass jars, the cans or the cardboard. Our magazines, junk mail & old the science experiment in the back of the fridge - it all goes into the tall, black, trash can.
- I drive a big, beastly, SUV.
- Currently, I throw away around 7 diapers per day.
- I use Clorox and other harsh cleaning products.
- I own reusable shopping bags. I don't take them to the grocery, I use them at the library, or to tote something over to my mothers.
- I leave lights on all the time.
- We give the landfill 7 bags of "trash" per week, more like 400 per year.
Where do I even start?
What I have trouble with the most is that this is not how I grew up. I seem to have fallen into this mainstream way of life, the easy way of life. While I don't remember ever going to the recycling center (was there a recycling center 20 years ago?) my mother would save every milk jug & twist tie; almost all of our food, year round, was home grown. Beef and pork, apples, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberry jelly & raspberries - and it was "organic." We didn't call it that, it just was. (I realize I'm sounding like an old timer talking about the good old days.)
We still have fresh beef & pork from the farm, but our own garden here at home is a fraction of the size we had then. I want my children to have fresh, wholesome food, learn how to recycle, but mostly just understand this old way of life that's becoming new again, a sustainable life.