Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Every Journey Begins With A Single Step

I have been living elements of simple living without really pulling it all together. I guess Simple Living might not be the proper term for what I am doing, but rather what the end result will be. I wish to live a greener life. To tread lightly upon the earth and raise enviromentaly responsible children. I want to lessen our footprints upon the earth and give back some of what we have taken.

This is taken from another blog of mine with the gist of some of my goals:

  • No more using store bags. We will bring cloth bags or totes when we do our shopping.
  • No more buying chemical cleaners. When what we have runs out, we will use natural alternatives (I will be giving away most of the cleaners we have, except the Tide Free we just got and dish detergent, which I will find hard to give up). Vinegar, baking soda and essential oils expected to be mainstays and I'm going to try to find Dr. Bonner's soap somewhere.
  • Moving towards natural body care. I would like to go shampoo free and start using natural soaps. Eventually move towards natural toothpaste or baking soda. We have rock deodorant but I never think to use it.
  • Cloth for bathroom use. TP is a huge expense and I feel bad as I flush so much of it down. When I read how many forests are clear cut in the name of disposable paper products, it makes me sick. We're also going to stop using disposable diapers (we usually don't use them, but DS has been getting rashes with cloth at night. We'll just use liners. The biggest size is getting hard to get around his hips anyway plus DD wants to wear them too so even just 2 a night adds up over time). I also totally use cloth for menstration now.
  • No disposable paper products. We've actually been doing pretty good with this anyway. We always use cloth napkins and I probably go through a small roll of paper towel every couple of months, but it's just as easy to use cloth.
  • Walk more. I need to anyway as it's good for my health. Plus if we walk to shop, we will buy less. I would love to go car free but it would be limiting not to go farther than we can walk with the kids (like parks, beaches, vacations, to visit parents, shop at stores out of town, ect...). Maybe someday :)
  • Buy less. We don't need as much stuff as we have. We need to stop buying things we only use once or twice and end up in the garbage. This is really hard with the kids as they love dollar store junk. Buy quality over quantity. Buy second hand when possible.
  • Replace all lightbulbs with the energy efficient ones. This we have mostly done. I am noticing a few that weren't changed that I will do soon. It really does make a difference.
  • Be more energywise. Shut off lights not being used, unplug things not being used, turn off computer moniters when not in use, make better use of cooking heat, use crockpot more, ect..
  • Hang all clothes to dry. This is way easier than it sounds. We save a ton of money by doing it too. We could probably easily get rid of the dryer, but I hate to.
  • Be more diligent in recycling and cutting down garbage. Right now, we have an elaborate system for our garbage so we have to. Garbage goes in clear bags, paper goes in a blue bag, other recyclables go in another bag and we have a compost bin. I would love to only have to put garbage out every other week or once a month (other than compost).
  • Eat healthier. I am trying to make all our own foods and cut out buying processed junk. Thing is we have a lot of that in the house in our year's supply of storage. I'm trying to find the middle ground. I would eventually like to go vegetarian but the thought scares DH, lol! I would like to go more organic but our budget can't really handle it with the cost of food around here. Eventually!!!
  • Garden. We are attempting to garden. The kids each have a planter they have planted a veggie they like in it and I have prepared an area out front for planting if the weather ever warms up. MIL said we could have a little patch of their garden to put some things in too.
  • Use the library more instead of buying so many books.
  • Reuse items or donate to charity if still in good condition but not needed. Reduce the clutter by at least half....and then some more.
Ok, this is not everything I want to do but it's a start. The hardest thing for me is giving up the books. Since we homeschool and the kids and I are bookworms, we'll have to find some middle ground. I have already started using the library a lot more and buying a lot less. I'm sure we could get rid of a lot of books if we tried.

I guess what I will be doing is blogging about the steps that we are taking and explain in more detail what we are doing and why. In short, I think we can be happier with less. I know I would personally be happier dealing with less mess and clutter, lol!

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