Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Everyday

Earlier this year I decided to join the "One Small Change" blog group, which committed to implementing one small change in their household to be more earth friendly from January till April (Earth Day). Being a blog group they would blog about how the change went in their respective households. I only blogged once, but not because I haven't been making small changes, just because it's hard to fit in computer time. Anyway, the hanky transition in our home took over a month, mostly because I took over a month to sew some up. I use super soft, thrifted flannel and it has been great. Next I made about 15 cloth napkins. (would love to insert picture here, but my camera is broken!!) This has been great too. I used Debbie Mumm fabric that I already had from a previous project and some that I had purchased because I just couldn't leave it in the store.

This photo of Brenna at age 2 with morel mushrooms always makes me laugh, looks like her head is superimposed!

As a family we have been making small changes for awhile now. My husband and I both working in the natural resource field have always thought more about the environment than most folks. But we have found particular joy in finding ways we can reduce our impact as a family. Some of these things we have done for years, like recycling and eating wild and foraged foods. Others like using old cut up t-shirts instead of paper towels and composting have happened in the past 5 years or so. I think that it is important for people to realize that they can't become a "Green Queen" overnight. These small changes have to be implemented incrementally or they will be to overwhelming to you and your family. Everyone needs time to adjust to changes and to throw a bunch of changes in at once would be quite overwhelming. So below is a list of things our family does to to reduce our impact on the earth listed in chronological order of which activities we began first.

- Eating wild game
-foraging for wild berries, mushrooms
- recycling
-picking up trash when out on walks
-organic flower gardening, no herbicides or pesticides
-using native wildflowers in gardens when possible
- making Christmas gifts, sometimes with used or wild plant materials.
- changing to CFL light bulbs
- using old cut up t-shirts for cleaning instead of paper towels
-using canvas bags for shopping (when I don't forget them!) We do pretty well remembering
- organic vegetable gardening
-canning, freezing, and dehydrating food from garden or given to us
- buying some produce and eggs from local farmers
-making our own maple syrup
-turning down the thermostat.
-buying more organic products
-very rarely buying meat at stores, relying mostly on wild fish and game and pork from local farmers
-buying clothing and household items at garage sales and thrift stores
- switching to more eco-friendly cleaning solutions (still work in progress)
- switching to hankies (still have tissues for visitors!)
- switching to cloth napkins
Changes we still want to make:
-raise our own meat and egg chickens
-make our own soap (Brenna has bad skin and I am trying to switch to natural skin care products, expensive!!)
- grown our own button, portobella or shitake mushrooms
- use/make more sustainable feminine hygiene products
- switch to less harsh health and beauty products
- grow our own fruit and more vegetables

I'm sure we'll think of more changes we want to make. Looking back at the changes we have made I am surprised. I guess when you do things little by little, they really do add up. What's your next "small change"?


AnneBrahaum said...

This post sounds just like something I would have written! I'll have to get some info from you on the people you get produce/meat, etc from!

KEVIN said...

Cool Blog. I like what you guys are doing. If you got time one day, check out my new blog site I just started
Its still kind of empty, but I feel that if you've got something to say, only if one other person is listening, then its worth getting it out there. I'll try to keep up with your posts. Peace