I’ve admitted before and I’ll say it again: I don’t pretend to be the greenest mom on the block. That said, we do try to live as environmentally-conscious as we can, and we’ve made it a goal to raise our kids that way. But we know there is always more we can do.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about Earth Day, what it means and how we could honor it in the midst of everything else happening in our lives. The day came and went.
Then it hit me: Earth Day doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to be about that one day and what we do on that one day. To those already trending green, it should simply be a reminder, a fresh start in the commitment to living consciously and respecting our earth. So instead of trying to do something special just on Earth Day, I decided to make a few Earth Day resolutions (like New Year’s resolutions, except I am really going to try to keep these ones – ha!). I consider these small changes and goals to work on all year long.
I loved how cloth diaper advocate, Kelly Wels, said it on her blog last week: cloth diapering made her an eco-conscious mom. I think that’s true for a lot of us.
While my Earth Day resolutions aren’t anything groundbreaking, I am resolving to make a few simple changes that I can reasonably fit into my life, including:
Compost. I have a composter in my garage that I have yet to set up. This one won’t be hard, I just need to do it.
Join a CSA. My equally-green friend in a neighboring town recently mentioned there wasn’t a Community Supported Agriculture program available in our area, so she’s working on bringing one here. I’m resolving to help her do that, sign on myself and encourage our friends and neighbors to buy shares. I think eating locally-grown, in-season veggies can not only reduce the carbon footprint by not trucking our food across the country, but also it will be a healthier choice for us.
Eliminate paper napkins and reduce paper towels by half. I honestly do not use that many paper towels. We dry hands and dishes with kitchen towels and I use cloth washcloths for cleaning the countertop, washing dishes, cleaning up spilled juice and spit-up, dusting and everyday floor washing. However, I do clean with paper towels. A lot. So I think there can be some reduction there – my goal is to reduce paper towels by half, even for cleaning. I’m embarrassed to admit that we use paper napkins almost every day. I hope to switch over to fun, colorful cloth napkins and eliminate the paper ones completely.
Run at least one errand on foot per week (weather permitting). Our town isn’t conducive to doing everything on foot (we just don’t have everything nearby) and it gets cold in the winter, so I am not going to over-promise on this one, but I can definitely do more walking – to the grocery store, the post office, even taking my son to school. It’ll reduce our footprint…and hopefully my waistline!
Reduce our trash-to-curb. We’re already decent in this area and the composting and paper product elimination will help, but I think we can do better. Our family of four puts out about one half-full garbage can each week, but I think our recycling can improve and I’d love to get down to only one bag of trash each week.
There you have it. My environmental goals, my Earth Day resolutions out there for all to see. I know that by cloth diapering, we’re all already taking a huge step (I often think about how much bigger our trash output would be if we were not using cloth), but taking a few more small steps could really make a difference and I will update you on our progress.
What Earth Day resolutions did you make? If you haven’t made them yet, it’s not too late to do so!
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday. Learn more about Sarah here.