Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cutting back, and lesson learning!

Animal Vegetable Miracle. Great book! This is our book club read this month, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. While I am not quite disciplined enough to make the commitments that the author and her family made---yet---I have made significant changes in our home, and each day I get a little closer to being "green". By continuing to make conscious efforts to use green alternatives, we are teaching our boys lessons that ideally they will carry with them as adults, and one day (gulp) parents.

I have found that cleaning with vinegar and water (sometimes with baking soda, depending on the job) is just as effective as expensive cleaners. I can't tell you the last time I bought a bottle of cleaner...I do still have some unfinished bottles under the sink that I am having a hard time finishing up. Yes Tahnee, you are right....again!

NO MORE PLASTIC BAGS!! Woo hoo!! My purses have become totes. This way if I forget to bring in a reusable bag, I can still leave w/o taking a plastic one. Except for the day we worked with the sweet old(er) nun at Community Clothesline. Brian and I purchased a few large items and a few smaller items. A trivet, a book and a plastic funnel for putting birdseed into the feeders....and we TRIED to leave w/o a bag. She wouldn't listen. "No, really we don't want a bag, we live right around the corner, we can just carry it." She stopped what she was doing, looked me directly in the eye and said "They are free, just take one" So we did. You know because it was free. Sigh...some people just don't get it.

When we eat out, we try to eat at our local downtown stores. I can't live w/o my Panera or Noodles now and then...but we have some FANTASTIC downtown restaurants, and we are more than thrilled to give them our business!

I have now been irritated that it is taking so long patiently waiting for the city to have some mulch for Brian and I to pick up for the gardens. Instead of buying bags of mulch this year, we will take my dad's truck and fill it up to the heavens with wood from the city, and dump it straight onto spread it gently onto the garden. Never mind that it has been 2 weeks, and they still don't have any....patience right?

My grocery shopping has changed too. We still have our indulgences now and then, but we eat much more organically than ever before. And fresh. It means more frequent trips to the store, but it is definitely worth it. Too bad organic produce, and flax seed, whole wheat flour, and many of our other healthy choices don't have frequent coupons. I can't coupon as much as I used to and the Farmers Market doesn't take coupons at all (go figure)....but that is the price I pay for healthy eating!

These are just a few of our life changes, I am just a work in progress. I am truly excited about the direction we are going in, and I LOVE how enthusiastic the boys are getting about living simply. Of course, they are impressionable boys and at an age where having lots-o-stuff is always always always sometimes better. But they are listening when I explain to them the reasons behind our --um, madness? We enjoy reading the labels from food and personal care products to clothing and toys and everything in between. Still many many changes for our family to make, but I am excited to learn and grow...instead of treating it as a trend, I am relishing it as a lifestyle, and am sponging up what I am learning! plant a garden and keep it alive and weed free....remember my dream house yard? Working on that....

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