So I’ve had a few emails about the little banner there on the left, which has pushed me to get this written a bit sooner than I thought to (who knew peeps were already reading my bit of webspace, let alone paying attention to my ‘decor’!).
The funny thing is, I made that banner as a bit of a joke for a friend. You have to understand, my friends and family range from passionate environmentalist to “Re-cycling? Is that a new kind of spin class?”. So one of my *really* green friends and I were having a friendly debate about the the eco-friendliness of it all, and I at one point finally exclaimed, “Look, I’m living as green as I can be!” In other words, I might not be a deep shade of forest green, but I’m at least a good solid grass green, and darnit just be happy with that and back up off me!
I’ve always had a bit o’ the green in me. My parents were recycling way back in the day, and I’ve always continued that (yes, even in college…all those beer cans were lovingly deposited at our local recycling facility). I was giving money to the International Marine Mammal Project, a project sponsored by Earth Island Institute, from the time I had my very first checkbook (Save the Dolphins!). But in the past few years I’ve become a bit more green, a bit more conscious, as I feel many people are. Though that’s not to say that I’m going around lecturing folks about living an eco-friendly lifestyle…that’s not my thing. If you’re interested and want to know what we’re doing, great. If I’m really excited about something, I’ll tell you about it…once. I may give you a bit of the stink eye if I see you putting a recyclable item in the garbage, but that’s as fired-up as I get (ahem…unlike some folks I know!).
“Green as I Can Be” is about being as environmentally conscious as YOU can. Not up for cloth diapers? I dig that. Not willing to give up the SUV for ye olde minivan? I’m there with you on that, too. But there are so many other, even minor things that you CAN do, that won’t totally rock your world but WILL make a positive impact on our environment. You can be a nice shade of green without walking around in clothes made of hemp, riding your bicycle everywhere and shelling out the dough to have your house run by solar panels. Need a few easy ideas to get started or add to your eco-repertoire? Happy to oblige:
- Compost – When we moved into our current house, my husband delighted in the fact that with all of this yard, we could finally have a big compost pile! I swear he gets the biggest thrill out of seeing our compost turn into ‘black gold’. But you don’t need a big yard to compost, in fact you hardly need a yard at all. There are so many options for containers and canisters for composting, it’s gotten so trendy (even Target’s in on it!). And there are several benefits to you…you cut WAY down on the amount of trash you’re putting out each week, and in no time you’ll have lovely, rich soil in which to plant those herbs you’ve been meaning to grow.
- Recycle – A no-brainer here, but I know some have to make the actual effort to take their recycling in because their city doesn’t pick it up. Get together with a few neighbors and rotate who takes the load over each week. Not sure what to do with all of those plastic bags? Many grocery stores have bins at the front of their stores specifically for recycling plastic and paper bags.
- Reusable bags – Again, I’m not one to get up on my high horse and lecture somebody, but it does surprise me when I see so many people still using plastic bags at the grocery store. Most stores sell reusable bags for under a buck, and believe me, not only are you helping the environment, but it makes shopping so much easier! You can fit a lot more in each of those bags, which means fewer trips out to the car to bring in everything. And no more piles of plastic bags (thus no worries about finding a place for recycling them *hint hint*).
- Clean up your cleaning supplies – We’ve all heard about it…cleaning supplies are terrible for our fresh water bodies. Everything going down the drain and into our sewers hits our streams, rivers and lakes, making them unhealthy, which among other things make drinking water more expensive to filter (for a great, easy-to-read article on this, check this out). And no longer do you have to go to a specialty store or order eco-friendly products online (which you can certainly do!)…phosphate-free products have gone mainstream! Even Palmolive has put out a phosphate-free dishwasher detergent.
Here’s the thing. I know ‘going green’ can sound pretty overwhelming to some. There can be a certain pressure that makes you feel like you either have to be totally green, or just chuck the idea all together in rebellion against those standing on their soapboxes (made of recycled material, of course). But let me share with you a a big secret that the Green Ones don’t like to say too much: you don’t have to go ALL green to make a difference. Sure, it would be a tremendous thing if we could all do that (and by ‘we’, you bet your you-know-what that I’m looking towards Capitol Hill as I type). But think about it. If each one of us added just ONE little additional thing to our ecotoire, imagine the HUGE impact that would have on our environment? And believe me, once you add one thing, you’ll start adding others…you won’t be able to help yourself! It feels good knowing you’re doing something good to preserve this wonderful world for our children and their children’s children to enjoy (seriously…we don’t want them living in a bubble under the ocean, right?).
So be proud, be as green as YOU can be. You’ll be a stunning shade of olive in no time.
Here’s a few additional resources to help you along the eco-way (I’ll add to these as I find more):