This random thought came to my head the other day – how is my life different from other friends that aren’t as green? How many things do I do in a day to help the Earth? I started to think of all the seemingly little things I have adopted over the years and there were quite a few. Obviously, I don’t do ALL of these things in ONE SINGLE day, but you get the idea.
I wake at 6am and jump in the shower. If it’s Monday, Wednesday or Friday I wash my hair with an environmentally safe shampoo that I checked out using the Environmental Working Guide’s Safe Cosmetics database. On the other days I just rinse it with water. Really no need to wash your hair EVERY day and use more products with toxins. I tried the no-poo method and it just wasn’t for me. I grab this awesome scrubbie thing that holds a bar of soap in it instead of using bath gel -less packaging and I’m not paying for the water in the gel.
Despite being on the, shall we say natural side of things, I do wear some makeup. Most of my makeup and my facial cleansers, moisturizers, etc come from the Whole Body spa, because I know the owner well and she only creates or sells items that are safe. I also use some whipped coconut oil on my legs as moisturizer and eye makeup remover at night.
As I head downstairs, I throw in a load of laundry, on cold.
I start to make breakfast for my children. On Tuesdays we have pancakes – made from scratch with half whole wheat flour, coconut oil and some flax seed meal on a cast iron griddle, served with real maple syrup.
Next I pack lunches and snacks in reusable lunch bags, snack bags, containers and water bottles creating waste-free lunches. The kids fill their own snacks and usually complain that “There isn’t anything good!” Sorry, no chips or candy for snack. Other moms who torture their children this way, please contact me! I need to find a “support group” for my deprived children. 😉 Can you hear the sarcasm??
We walk to the bus stop on most days. If it’s too cold, we drive, but I shut off the car – no idling. We live less than 2 miles from the school so I have to pay for the bus. Honestly, I do this because it’s easier for me to get them to the bus stop than all the way to school. Plus the bus goes right by our street regardless of whether they get on or not so this saves me gas.
Before we head out the door, the kids’ are responsible for taking the recycling to the garage. Our recycling bin fills in a day!
We are running low on lotion and lip balm, so I get all the ingredients out. While I’m at it, I mix up some more of my cleaners and check to see how the citrus infused vinegar under the kitchen sink is coming along.
I run all of my errands on one day to reduce my miles. I am dying for a coffee. So I stop at Dunkin’ Donuts, no reusable mug in sight, but I get the coffee in Styrofoam anyway – can’t do it all! I hit the library to pick up a new book or return others. Pick up the Upcycle It! items, then head to the grocery store, park the car and grab my reusable shopping and produce bags – they are always in the center console next to my seat. While I’m in the produce aisle, I try to buy as many of the Clean 15 as I can, where I can’t I opt for organic. The organic strawberries are so pricey and don’t look great today, conventional it is.
Lunch time. It’s cold and I really want some soup. Grabbed a mason jar from the freezer filled with homemade pea soup. It took 30 minutes to defrost and re-heat. Much more time than a can of soup, but hands down this soup was way better than any can! And no BPA.
I read some online environmental articles and freak out about yet another thing that causes some sort of disease or defect. I get upset that companies are allowed to put out products like cleaning supplies and personal care products (shampoo, soap, etc) without any safety testing! Then I calm down and just try to do my best.
Time for the kids to come home. My son loves getting the mail on his way in from school. Not too much since most of our bills come electronically and I get very little junk mail.
My girls and I head to the mall for a little shopping. I smile as they run to grab their reusable shopping bags without me even saying a word.
We have leftovers at least one night a week to reduce food waste. And homemade pizza always includes some sort of leftover to make an interesting topping. Lots of our food is stored in various glass jars/containers. While making dinner, most of the scraps either go to the compost or in the freezer to make stock with at a later time.
At times it does seem overwhelming. More so when I am at someone else’s home for an extended period of time and not in my own surroundings with all of my “gear”. Over Christmas, there were 12 family members in one house for 4 days. We used paper plates on occasion. My Mom does not have many glass containers, so I had to use plastic wrap to cover leftovers. I could still recycle, but others didn’t and I was too tired to pick through the trash – although I did once.
We can’t do it all, but I feel good about what I am able to do. I also hope that since my children are growing up this way, it will just be second nature for them to compost and recycle and they won’t have to remember to bring their reusable bags. It will just be how it’s done.