It’s really interesting how not too long ago, “going green” was a complete myth. Of course, I remember a 4-H project on Recycling and getting a free tree to plant one year at McDonalds on Arbor Day (oh, the irony now). It just seems that there has been such a focus the past few years on a newly concentrated effort to be more globally conscious. Call it a response to Global Warming, Al Gore, more natural (and man-made) disasters and a bit of celebrity push, it seems everyone is getting on the green bandwagon these days.
During the past few months, I have really been thinking about lots of ways to honor my body, God, our creation and life in general. Call it me climbing on the wagon myself if you must, but I feel that we do have a responsibility to care for the earth we have to walk upon and also the life and body God has given us to steward. I am in no way the poster child for good self care–I know that many of my poor eating and exercise choices got me to where I am today. But ever since my aunt began pastoring a church in North Carolina and had a vision for a community garden, it has become a common topic at family gatherings and also in the Cracraft household. We’ve talked about having our own garden one day, helping the folks at the College start their own community garden, taking a group of students over spring break to visit and work at the Anathoth garden in NC. The conversation between the Beau and I about how much STUFF we use and have has been constant and I love it. It has been challenging to think through how to implement this in our home and even starting those conversations about how we want to raise our kids to cultivate their own respect of our environment and their bodies–very exciting and challenging.
We have taken small steps in our household to become more sustainable and I am so thankful for the wealth of resources we now have via the internet on the subject. We have several friends and family who also are venturing forward with these initiatives in their homes, but also understand many folks are overwhelmed with the information that’s out there, don’t understand why you would choose to drastically change your eating habits, cleaning habits, where you buy your food, where you choose to eat out, etc.
Again, it’s all about baby-steps. We have honestly been thinking about this, researching watching documentaries since the beginning of the year and are slowly implementing those changes. That’s about 7 months if we’re all on the same calendar. It’s not been easy. Some things began early. I made the decision to not eat McDonald’s after January 1st (other than for their $.49 ice cream cones and $.99 cent hot fudge sundaes). Then we started getting local eggs. Then watched more documentaries.
I’ll be sharing a few of the resources we’ve digested (perhaps even a links page up top) as well as what we have done practically to date. Inspired by my friend over at Naturally Chic Mama, here are our (current) GREEN initiatives in the Cracraft household (and yes, it starts with the three R’s):
- Reduce. This has been hard–discipline is involved. Do you really NEED that new dress/earrings/shoes/etc? Can you buy it in bulk (specifically food products) to reduce the use of plastic involved in the packaging? Still working on this one.
- Reuse. We’ve been using reusable shopping bags, cloth napkins and one day will use cloth diapers. We also bought cheap plastic plates, cups and bowls for nights our small group or a group of students join us for dinner rather than use disposable ones.
- Recycle. We have had a recycling bin in our kitchen next to the regular trash for a while and even though we don’t have curbside pick up for the recycling, you’d be amazed at the difference it will make. We only put our trash out once every two weeks (and sometimes once a month) and there are still only a few bags at that.
- Eat more locally. We are very thankful to have a farmers market in our small town and a local farm that has a Vegetable, Beef and Egg CSA. (oh my!) We started out with the egg CSA and are loving getting a weekly share of veggies and beef as well. It definitely has drastically changed our grocery budget (although you do have to plan to pay for everything up front) as well as our menu and has been totally worth it.
- Using organic products. This is one we are just venturing into. In addition to food, I’ve been using Bare Minerals make up for quite a while, but after seeing this post from my new favorite blog, Young House Love, I switched to Organic Wear and I love it. The BEST thing is, you can get it at CVS and it’s cheaper that BM! The list of other organic products we’ll use around the house is on the rise!
And a few things on the horizon:
- Make our own cleaning supplies
- Start using even more natural body/beauty products (shampoo, soap, etc).
- Make a compost bin once we’re in the new house
What tips have you and yours implemented in your house to honor your body and our world?