These are all the ways I have tried to make my existence a bit less acrimonious with the environment:
-organic food for the kiddos always, Tyler and me when it's most affordable or necessary.
-seventh generation supplies over all others: cleaning supplies, garbage bags, paper towels, even diapers from time to time (okay, not the laundry detergent...I love Tide and Dreft, but I do buy only double concentrated jugs)
-use more Tupperware and less baggies
-I suffer the heat a bit more than I used to by turning our AC up a bit
-gdiapers--this is the biggest change by far. They leak from time to time and are expensive, but they are guilt free since they are flushable, compostable, and break down easily if they must be tossed
-don't drive the royal blue FJ Cruiser I'd love to have (okay, I can't afford it even if I decided it an acceptable mode of transportation, but that's not the point)
-tossed my nalgenes and donated my plastic bottles to be replaced with titanium water bottles for Liv and me and glass bottles for Jude
-recently bought my first two herb plants (sage and oregano)
-never use hot water to wash my clothes
-shop locally when possible over the big bad corporations around town
-along with a few other less significant ones like being sure to switch the ipod off when I leave the house for a while.
-walk instead of drive to places like the park, market, and nearby restaurants
This is a pretty big deal for me even though they are pretty minor things to be doing. I am of the persuasion usually that asks, what difference is going to be made if I decide to put forth the effort to make changes in this area--probably none, or at least not enough of one to warrant any considerable work on my part. On the other hand, I have an easier time complying with and being more mindful of the needs of Mother Earth if I allow it to be the spiritual/moral issue I think it is now, rather than just a political/activist one.
I'm no naturalist, that's for sure. (I mean, I fill up my watering can at least three times a day for a few piddly flower boxes on my balcony and I LOVE eating at Outback still, along with In-n-Out. Did I mention that I still drink 1-2 cans of Diet Coke every day? And I appreciate nothing less than a solid, quick-absorbing role of paper towels right now.) On the other hand, I am making more of an effort to be mindful of the small changes that will eventually add up to some bigger lessons that I can teach my kids about using our resources wisely and methodically, certainly not wastefully or negligently. Some of my changes come from guilt, others are rub-offs from our church community and my brother, and still other changes are more a matter of my heart. More than anything, being eco-friendly, simple, and mindful is hard and unnatural for me. Plus, it's freakin' expensive. But like I believe about Wal-mart and why it's so evil: the cheapness of a product comes to us at someone else's expense. In this light, I don't mind paying an extra $.99 for a russet potato that's organic or an extra $1.50 for a gallon of Horizon Milk. Like I said, it's a Jesus issue with me now and it comes from asking the question of how to make Jesus a bit more present in the day-to-day affair of raising kids. I feel like these are things I have the energy and commitment to tackle now--not that I'm any master of it.
Two goals Tyler has for when we are at last home owners:
-solar panels on our roof and
When I talk about loving God and loving people more, this has surprisingly (to me) grown to be a way for me to make it a practical reality in my family's presence on the Earth. (That's it. Just sharing something that I've been processing the past several months.)