Let’s see. I have been going green now for about two years. Since that time, I have gone from being really rigid in everything I do to the point where my house started looking like a garbage dump – minus the rotting food – because I was saving everything (ex: cereal boxes, bottle tops, popsicle sticks, etc.) believing each item had a second or third life in it before meeting its maker in the trash. On the flip side, I recently declared my latest compost bin a wash after it became infested with worms, other than red wigglers, and have been unashamedly tossing kitchen remnants into the trash and becoming an apathetic contributor to our local landfill.
Going green is not really hard, but it has been a constant effort for me over the past few years. For a period of time, I was really eager and excited and shared my mission of change with anyone who would listen by educating them as well as making some major changes in my home. Although I was successful for about one year, eventually convenience would occasionally take precedence over environmental concerns and I found myself slipping back into a few of my old ways that included heavy paper towel use (I’m not sure what it is about paper towels), forgetting to turn off unused lights, and lingering in the shower for a very, very long time.
I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, which possibly is due to the fact of how hard they are to keep. It is not really the resolution, but rather not having a plan or steps as to how to accomplish the resolution that has been my downfall. With the start of a new year, a new beginning, a new period in my life, I am feeling more of a need to continue my original mission and continue making a difference in my children’s lives by teaching them ways to appreciate and preserve this beautiful environment with which we have been blessed.
It warmed my heart, but also put me in check one day when my oldest son nearly accosted his sister before she threw away her apple core in the trash can. “No. You can put that in the compost bin,” he said. He caught it, I did not, and then I had to explain to him that our latest compost pile was no more. At that, he put me through the third degree with so many questions that I finally had to tell him, “just because.” That is the best I could come up with at the time.
I am happy that my efforts over the few years have made a positive impact in my home and with my children. I am figuring the times I have been a little less green are just detours, although self laid, but part of the traveled road to greener living. There are many areas where we, as a family, have been successful with the changes and they are a part of everyday life. We never leave home without our Kleen Kanteens being filled with water. We use eco-friendly personal and cleaning products. I am a crazy, scratch cooking fool and we do not remember life before freshly baked homemade bread, which I make several times a week.
I am pleased with our progress, but I became a little comfortable with our accomplishments and slowed down on the mission. There are many other changes we can make that are easily done and I hope they will become more part of the everyday thing we do. I made a list and it was quite long. Since I wanted to have greater success this time around, I decided to choose one thing I could do now that would get me back on track. My plan is to accomplish that one change to my satisfaction and then move on to another item on my list.
Recently, I reconnected with an old friend. We use to have such a great relationship where we spent hours upon hours together. Sometimes, I rarely slept because of how close we were. Basically, we were inseparable. Rekindling our relationship brought a fresh and new outlook on my life. I have chosen my first challenge for the New Year and am now motivated to work towards completing the changes I have listed.
Paper towels have always been so convenient for me whether wiping a dirty little mouth, quickly cleaning up a counter spill, or repeatedly drying my hands. With fabric in hand and thread in sewing machine needle, I am determined to free myself of my paper towel dependence and enjoy a life filled with cloth napkins. I plan to still buy paper towel and may even opt for recycled paper, but there will be less rolls and less arts and craft projects completed with rolls left behind from our use.
Has going green been a challenge for you or not? What one change will you begin or continue to keep you on track on your green journey?