Monday, April 23, 2007

Going green and putting away the Green Card

Since Emily was born, I have spent more time than ever before thinking about the environment and my affect on it, my "eco-footprint" as the kids are saying. This isn't a recent jump on the enviro bandwagon as the media has done lately. It has been on my mind a lot, although in their defence, moreso since the media has been printing articles almost everyday on how regular people can reduce the wear and tear on the earth.

I started by removing all the nasty chemical cleaners from our house when Emily was a baby. I infrequently used cloth diapers, always used organic baby wash for her baths and occasionally bought organic produce if the price was right. We replaced our Tungsten bulbs with CFL bulbs. It wasn't much, admittedly.

I've stepped it up in the last year. I've started to get delivery of organic produce every Friday. I use cloth diapers constantly on Hope (except at night). I've joined an Organic Buyers Co-op for all my cleaning products and dry goods. We compost. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. I'm simply making a laundry list and I realize that there is a lot more I can do.

This weekend the Ottawa Citizen, probably like every other paper in the country, had a lot on the environment in honour of Earth Day. There was an article about a couple in New York City who realized that one of the major factors affecting the environment is our consumerism so they decided to stop spending for one year on everything except food and rent, hydro and those sorts of necessities. So, no clothes, books, lattes, no nuthin'. Not only did they help the Earth, they also helped their bank account and paid off (quickly) a multi-thousand dollar credit card debt.

So, I've challenged myself to do this for one month. There will be two blips though: our trip to Boston and my trip to Kitchener (where I simply must buy a giant hunk of summer sausage but hey, that's food so it doesn't count). Also, my birthday is May 10 so I will be spending my birthday money (should I receive any.... HINT) on the garden. Aside from that, no red tea lattes from Starbucks, no books from Chapters, no donuts (for Emily, of course) from Timmy's. I started yesterday and so far so good. So, my Green Card is put away for the time being.

I know I need to reduce my consumer behaviour. I buy too many little things that I really don't need and that habit is no longer a question of me wasting my own money but also one of wasting resources, energy and chemicals in the production of all these things I don't need.

Want to join me?


little b said...

I don't think it would include food producing plants, right? since that is still food. (i was going to stop at the nursery on the way home to add some more veggies to my ever expanding garden).

Are you starting May 1st? Is John doing it too? As you can see, I'm considering it. I'm this || close to commiting.

Karen said...

I don't think it would include food producing plants... the people who did it in NY did include restaurants though so if you/we were to stick to the original method, that means no eating out and no Soup Peddler!

I started yesterday and no, John isn't doing it. Just me.