Watching the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just made me sick. I could only think of the Lord’s warning regarding the “evil and designs of conspiring men” in these last days (D&C 89). But it was also a wake up call for me about the importance of “going green.”
I am not an activist, by no means. I don’t march on D.C., don’t send letters to my Senator (yet) and have never made the journey on a Greenpeace boat. I am a shop-a-holic with more plastic Wal Mart bags than anyone in Arkansas. It looks like I intend to die with the most bags and win. But this….the oil leak, struck a chord in me. It’s time to consider going a little more green, one baby step at a time. My children are watching.
My first baby step in going green was to buy re-usable bags, and actually ~*take them with me*~ when I went shopping. I happened upon several, by chance, at the dollar store (I was originally planning to just add to my collection of plastic bags with my purchases). They had PINK ones <swooning> and a blue one with a Pink Flamingo!! (for the story about why I have a thing for Pink Flamingos, go here). There was a canvas bag with Pink trim….oh!!!
Progress Report: I have taken all of my bags with me into the store 5 times!!!! And today I bought another canvas bag with blue trim. My kids now take the bags right back out to the van after we put groceries away without being told. <gasp> We truly must be getting greener. While it is true I shop frequently, please understand, I combine my shopping with other reasons for going into town. We do the “green” thing. Believe me, if we lived in town, we would have bikes.
Did you know you can use your old, worn tires for growing potatoes? Put your soil in the center, add your potato seed and grow “up.” As the greenery grows, add more soil and stack another old tire (as many as three tires) on top. At harvest time, you will have potatoes in there…. The kids and I tried to grow peanuts in a tire once, but it ended up as a condo for a Red Ant community instead. A couple of peanut plants grew with a few peanuts on them (I am convinced that central Arkansas is built upon a massive Red Ant civilization and they are battling to take back their ground from the humans). I will try again, move the Ant condo, I mean, the peanut tire-garden, to another part of the yard.
I picked up a book from the Library, “Do One Green Thing’”
by Mindy Pennybacker. I browsed through it and found some suggestions were so simple, advice on what fish to avoid due to over-fishing, when to buy organic and when not to bother, natural cleaner recipes and many more topics. I’m going to buy this. (Is shopping online considered a “green” activity?)
Homemade Laundry Soap. I have made this twice and love it. I use Ivory Soap in this recipe. I am not a fan of the fragrance of Ivory soap, but the scent does not get into your clothes while washing. They come out smelling fresh and clean.
We re-cycle our newspaper and make gift wrap. We use spray paint, acrylic paint, stamps and stamp pads. We also did this for a Homeschool Group activity.
I liked the suggestions at Simple Mom, 40 ways to go green, and realized my family is greener than I thought. We shop at thrift stores, grow our own herbs, have a compost area.
Readers Digest.com is a favorite site for just about anything.
We considered adding a wind turbine to our home, so I Googled, “Wind turbine kit”; this page of links came up, which included a link for Wind Turbine science kits. Cool…..homeschool project!!
I needed a planter for my Zebra Grass, so I dragged in an old stainless steel spare tire cover that once hung on the back of someone’s old van and dug it into the ground. You would never know it. However, I do live in a high lightning strike area and since my zebra grass got hit once, I wonder if the “planter” was an attraction? hmmmm
I don’t know, do something crazy; Google “going green” and see what comes up. I have discovered that going green can be cool and can be done one step at a time, line upon line…..hmmm..have we heard that somewhere? If we want our children to turn out better (and greener) than we ever were, we have to do better ourselves. (Train up a child in the way he should go….) We’re better at being green than I thought. How about you? Were you “green” before “going green” was cool?
What “green” things do you do in your home?
Teresa is a widow, with 4 children, 2 of whom are on the Autism Spectrum and still homeschooling over the age of 18. One more is a homeschooling teen. She and the family embrace their Inner Rubber Chickens on a regular basis with a good hard squeeze, leaving a puff of feathers in their wake. You can find their squeezings, family life and a few homeschool things at Wockenflock Daze.