Howdy, folks. I realized that I haven't really checked in regarding how we're doing in the "green department" lately. So, here we go!
I guess the main reason I haven't done a check-in is twofold. For one thing, we haven't necessarily implemented much in the way of new concepts/strategies. We've just been chugaluggin' along. But, secondly, a lot of what we've been doing has become second nature, in a way.
I've had a lot of failures. Things I've said I wanted to try but haven't gotten around to. The biggest is cloth diapering -- I use them from time to time, but with some of Hadley's idiosyncrasies otherwise (first screaming issues with gas, now screaming issues with tiredness), I don't want to throw that monkey wrench at the babysitter (ie his grandma) right now. Others come to mind, like going zero-waste (ha...as I said...diapers?), trying composting worms (or, for that matter, continuing the ol' composting heap), and probably a dozen others. But, y'know what? We've got time. This isn't a race. And if it was meant to be tried, I'll remember and get the guts to try it.
The successes, though? Those "second nature" things? They're awesome. Here are a few...
- Paper usage. Wow, that phrase sounds BO-RING! What I mean is that we still, consistently, use cloth napkins and a kitchen rag. On the rare occasion, we purchase a couple rolls of paper towels (made from recycled paper), but that's mostly to fold up and use as napkins when we have guests or, let's face it, because kitties aren't always the cleanest animals. They're no dogs, mind you, but they can get pretty nasty.
- Food. This is a HUGE one. Our opinions on eating naturally (and, when financially plausible, organically) drive our shopping habits. We use the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen to help dictate when we should splurge on organic (apples and lettuce are a MUST) and continue to educate ourselves on what we're putting in our bodies. We stopped buying even the organic-based dairy spreads in favor of good, old-fashioned butter. We bring a list of the companies opposed to the GMO bill (which got shot down in California, unfortunately) -- it's crazy that even some "all natural" companies don't support transparency regarding their ingredients. Tsk, tsk. But, yeah. We eat way less meat (I wish I could say we've cut it out completely - our hearts break to think even of the well-treated animals and how they are murdered to make our meals - but it's part of the chain of which we are a part). We try to buy locally. Again, I wish we were locavores, but there are several challenges facing us there. We do our best, and I'm pleased with our attempts thus far.
Oh, and just like our cats, Hadley eats better than we do. If it ain't from me, it's organic. Already an awesome start.
- Inside/Outside. We do our damnedest to keep the chemicals to a major minimum, using cloths and eco-friendly cleaning products (although I have yet to find a way to TRULY deodorize the potty, especially since we're infrequent flushers...yeah, I said it) and flushable kitty litter (very, very, very little ends up in the trash). And our exterior is full of green -- a man-powered push lawn mower, a raised garden, zero pesticides, and a dormant attempt at composting. I hope to learn more about gardening and growing much more, but this past year was a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. Having Hads and getting the hang of BFing was the priority. Onward, ho!
- Personal products. Our soaps are, generally, naturally-based. I use my vinegar/baking soda 50% of the time; the other 50% I use naturally-based shampoos that I don't mind going down the drain. Our deodorant is completely natural (we finally found one that works for me AND is eco-friendly! Huzzah! I guess I'm one stinky mama). While I use hairspray on occasion and one or two of my makeup items are conventional, the rest are organic -- and, of course, none of it's tested on animals. I'm a minimalist when it comes to sprays and perfumes, and if it wasn't for my BFing weight loss I'd hardly purchase clothes.
So, there are some successes and some shortcomings. I refuse