It just hit me that this time last year I was a much "greener" person. I was composting and planning a garden (epic fail.. but I tried!) buying lots of organic food, recycling, and much more. Lately I've slacked off quite a bit. I could make a lot of excuses, like the fact that I am nine months pregnant and have had a very complicated pregnancy. There's also the fact that we lived with my in-laws for the last six months. However instead of making excuses I have made a list (I love lists! I am so weird..) of things that I am CURRENTLY doing that are kind to the earth and things that I SHOULD be doing. Currently I am:
Cloth diapering almost exclusively: This one has improved since last year, I cloth diaper Kainan almost exclusively and plan to do the same (or even exclusively) for Mikaela when she is born. I also use cloth wipes.
Line drying most things: Everything except rags/unpaper towels (because we use a lot and need them fast) and some diaper inserts. When I do use the dryer, I use dryer balls which help save drying time.
Using completely natural cleaning products: Okay here is one that I am GOOD at. There is probably nothing that is really toxic in my house. I make most of my own cleaning products and the ones that I don't make are safe and natural. I plan to post with some cleaning "recipes" soon, Method is also great!
Using natural products, period: Laundry detergent, dish soap, bath and body (I make a lot of these too), kids stuff, there are very few products in my home that aren't completely natural.
Reusable everything: Cloth diapers, unpaper towels or rags instead of paper towels/napkins. We rarely use 'disposable' paper products. I even invested in some cheap plastic (but reusable) cups, plates, bowls, etc. last year for birthday parties. So far I have used them twice (Kainan's birthday last year and my baby shower) and they have already paid for themselves.I also re-use shipping packaging since I ship things fairly often.
"Mama cloth" aka cloth menstrual pads and cloth breastfeeding pads. Again, when I first heard about these I wasn't really sure, but they are actually so much better than the kind that you throw away. At the risk of sharing TMI, they are just much nicer on your "lady parts." I don't know if I would personally use cloth pads for heavy periods (but then again, I hate pads in general) but since I am getting an IUD after the baby it isn't a concern for me. GEM cloth makes great products and has very reasonable prices.
Buying organic when I can: It's really hard to do where I live, but I buy lots of "basics" organic. Milk, eggs, apple juice, whatever veggies I can find. Unfortunately our Walmart seems to be carrying less and less organic food, but we live near a discount grocery store that sometimes has what I am looking for.
We are getting chickens! I am so excited. I have wanted chickens for a while now and we should be getting about five of them within a week. Organic eggs are expensive and Kainan absolutely loves to feed the chickens and chase them around at his aunt and grandparents house, so I know he will be excited too.
I'm sure there are more things that we do, but making this list made me feel a little bit better! This is my "other" list of what I need to be doing.
Recycling: The town that I live in (or outside of) does not have recycling services so we will have to take our recycling to another town and drop it off. I need to look into this because I don't remember what they take and what they don't.
Composting: We just moved, so I need to get this started again!
Gardening: Same as above. The problem is I am NOT very good at gardening. I have the book "organic gardening for dummies" and I have read it a couple of times, but I'm still really bad at it.
Buying less processed food: Here is a big one, we do a lot of cooking from scratch but we definitely eat too much processed food. This one is really difficult because my husband likes to keep junk food around the house and if it's here, I eat it. I definitely want to start buying less just so it isn't around.
Stop buying water bottles, etc.: I JUST started using my Brita water filter again, but we had been buying bottled water for a while. I am horrible about bottled water, it just tastes better to me. We also bought a reusable coffee mug for my husband today so hopefully we won't be doing as many gas station stops for coffee.
Use reusable bags: Josh doesn't like these, I don't know why! I used to be really good about using them but I have slacked off. We do re-use the plastic bags (in smaller trash cans) or take them back to Walmart, but it would still be better to use less of them, especially since I already have the reusable bags.
Well that's it, maybe my lists aren't so bad after all. We have only lived here for a couple of weeks and I've already started doing most of the "green" things on my list. Feel free to comment with any ideas for me or what you have plans to do to be "green" this year!