I’m pretty sure when you hear the words “Go Green!” you think about reusable shopping bags, stainless steel water bottles versus plastic bottles, and maybe even cloth diapers if you’re a mom, right? We all try our hardest, and we all have excuses as to why we aren’t doing more and I think that’s okay. We’re busy with family, work, doctor’s appointments, and the anticipation of our new arrival so our minds are a little preoccupied so we understand. When life slows down, however, here are five things that we are not yet doing to get our family on board with going green.
Growing A Garden
It seems simple. You dig a hole, add some seeds, fill the hole and water. In a few weeks, you have delicious vegetables ready to be picked. We’ve tried two different years to grow a small garden. We planted tomatoes, some herbs, potatoes, baby spinach, carrots and jalapenos. I don’t have a green thumb, gardening isn’t something I LOVE doing, but it is fun. It’s fun to involve the whole family in the planning, planting, and harvesting, but we just aren’t doing it. The easiest thing we did were the potatoes, in a large container garden. It was super simple… until the container became infested with ants. I want to do this, since produce prices are unpredictable, it’s a great use of our back yard, and great family fun.
The cost of disposable diapers is kind of ridiculous for what their job is. They hold pee and poop. They then get wadded up and thrown away, filling landfills and sometimes even sewers because people are (ahem) lazy. Sure, you can score some GREAT deals on diapers with coupons and rewards cards and such, but when you don’t have those coupons and the sales aren’t great, diapers are pricey. Cloth diapers are an upfront cost, but apparently are really worth it. Yes, you have to do laundry and flush the poo and it’s not a glamorous job, but it IS a great way to go green… it’s just not something we’re doing.
Combining Errands To Save Gas
Does this count as a green activity? Well, even if it doesn’t, it can help save the wallet! We have two days every week where we absolutely, no matter what, have to drive 30 minutes away for DS’s therapy appointments. It’s 30 minutes one way, so that’s 2 hours a week we are in the car driving. It isn’t fun, but he needs the therapy. On days that I can, I will do the grocery shopping right after since we’re already out. DH drives 30 minutes to work, and each week it’s different just depending on what he’s working. It’s not fair to him to make him do errands when he gets back to town since he works a 13 hour shift from 6p to 7a, but if we COULD, I would definitely have him do some errands. I wish we didn’t have to drive so much for appointments and work, but we have to.
Turning Off Lights and Unplugging
This is one of those things that just has to become a habit. We are sometimes too rushed to unplug and turn off and will often leave the house with a light or two on and plenty of things plugged in (computer, tv, cell phone charger). I ALWAYS notice when we get back home that we didn’t turn a light off or unplug and it irritates me. It’s a simple pull of the plug or a flip of a switch, but why is it so hard? I can only imagine with a newborn coming to the mix it will be hard to form this habit, but we really need to.
Cooking Versus Processed
Again, does this count? We purchase so many prepackaged items at the grocery and what is it wrapped in? Plastic, inside of a cardboard box. Sure, most people will recycle the cardboard box, but does everyone? When you cook at home, leftovers are stored in dishes. If you use zipper storage bags, a good majority of those can be washed and reused. I want to bake our own bread, and I wish we could have chickens to get fresh eggs. There’s something else that falls in line with this and that’s reusable snack bags. I saw some really cute cloth baggies for kid snacks the other day and fell in love with them… but I didn’t buy them. Would I actually use them? Could we adapt to them when we’ve used plastic baggies for so long?
Are there things you know of that could help you and your family be more green, but aren’t doing? What’s holding YOU back?