I read last week that Earth Day is one of most important holidays on many school calendars. While Earth Day was Sunday, April 22, it is important to keep Earth Day in mind every day – not just once a year. At the very least, Earth Day is a good reminder for all of us to up our own personal commitment to the environment, revisit our everyday habits and look for ways to further “green” our lives. In short, this day should inspire action. In kids and adults alike.
Last year on this blog, I made a few Earth Day resolutions hoping that you, my fellow cloth diaperers, would join me. This year, I thought I would recap my resolutions and my progress in the past year. And I’m adding some new ones for the coming year, hoping you’ll do the same. I mean, we are already on the right track by using cloth diapers…from here it’s easy to add green practices to your everyday life.
To recap my 2011 resolutions:
- Compost. Done. Since August, we’ve been faithfully collecting our kitchen scraps in an old coffee canister under the sink and adding it to the composter along with dry leaves and yard waste, even through the winter. No useable compost yet, but we’re getting there and the rising temperature can only help. Grade: A
- Join a CSA. I’m on the right track. I’ve done the research, but haven’t signed up quite yet. Grade: C
- Eliminate paper napkins and reduce paper towels by half. The paper napkins are still in the cupboard. BUT, we’ve invested in several sets of cloth napkins that we use almost every day. I moved the paper towels under the sink where they are not as easy to grab and started dating the inside of the new tube when open it and it’s been taking us anywhere from 3-4 weeks to use an entire roll, which is a significant reduction. Grade: B+
- Run at least one errand on foot per week. This is a work in progress. I probably do this once every two weeks on average. Some weeks, I run three errands on foot and other weeks I drive everywhere. Grade: C
- Reduce trash-to-curb. Apparently we had been using the wrong size trash can for two years, so even with a smaller one, we are only filling it about half full. This week, we’ll be putting out two kitchen-sized bags of trash. Not bad for a family of four. Grade: B
Now, for the new Earth Day Resolutions. In addition to continuing to work on the above, my Earth Day Resolutions for 2012:
- Garden. We recently bought a large raised bed for the backyard and filled it with a mix of soil and compost (purchased, ours wasn’t ready yet). The goal is to grow a kid-friendly garden full of vegetables that are organic and ready to eat from our back yard like carrots, corn, peas, lettuce, tomatoes….and hopefully a couple of pumpkins!
- Shop and eat local. I’m resolving to buy local whenever it makes sense both to support local businesses and reduce our carbon footprint. Frequent the hardware store in my town, farmers markets, my garden and local restaurants, especially those with a locavore attitude.
- Reduce wrapping paper waste. The amount of paper we threw away after Christmas was sickening. Multiply that by every house on our block and every block in the country. I do love a beautifully wrapped gift (probably more than the next gal), but I need to do better. I’ve started to recycle wrapping paper and bags, use old book pages or newspapers – or better yet a scarf or something cool – to wrap gifts. My friend has been making cute gift bags from scrap fabric for her gifts, they are beautiful and reusable!
- Adjust the temperature. Our standard indoor temperature is 69 in the winter and about 75 in the summer. I’m thinking we can go definitely dress warmer in the winter and get by with 68, possibly even increase to 76 in the summer (though my sweaty husband may disagree on that one!).
- Keep talking about cloth diapers. As my girl gets older and cloth diapering is just a part of daily life, I don’t talk about it quite as much as I once did (to anyone who would listen!). I’m making it a goal to continue to be a champion for cloth diapers and talk to the new and expectant moms I meet about the benefits of going green and using cloth!
So that’s it. Nothing drastic. Totally doable, right? Here’s to Earth Day 2012 and inspiring action in our own families and communities. What are your Earth Day resolutions? Join us on Facebook and tell us yours!
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.