Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Easy Green Living

Mid-afternoon yesterday, the UPS guy showed up at the door with an Amazon box for me. It was my new Renee Loux book, Easy Green Living. I sat down to have a quick look, and quite a while later, I had read through most of it (not every word, but a solid perusal).

I like the attitude of this book. It's informative. It takes a gracious approach, saying that being green is not black and white. Renee encourages doing what we can, making progress according to our convictions and abilities. As with everything, making simple, gradual changes is a good way to proceed and progress. And we each have our own way of thinking about being "green" (or not).

Green living seems to be the current trend. It's what everyone is doing nowadays, though it was the only way possible to live in the not-too-distant past (it's funny how often looking back can show us how to move forward). We are saturated with messages and information about green living, and the barrage can get old and tiresome. But, to me, it's important.

Basically, I think it's just smart to avoid toxic chemicals and unnatural things in our atmosphere, in our homes, in our hygiene products, and in our food. And why not?! It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. In fact, it can be far less expensive and less wasteful to live this way-- that's part of the point, I must admit that there are still too many ways I am wasteful or abuse the planet :-), but I'm moving forward.

Here are some steps I've enjoyed taking toward green/natural living. I'll be taking more:

1. I've been making my own cleaning supplies for a few years. Each formula costs mere pennies. The products smell good and they work well, too! It's fun.

2. I use my new pyrex, flat-lid containers for storing food in the fridge. They're vintage! Pyrex is becoming a popular collectible (I've just learned). This is much more fun and attractive than using plastic and foil.

3. I use natural body care and beauty supplies. A variety of brands.

4. I use the clothesline for much of my laundry.

5. I don't use chemicals in the yard. I do some xeriscaping and want to do a lot more.

6. I've been collecting cloth market bags for grocery shopping, so I can take my own bags to the checkstand (and farmer's market).

7. I take what I can to recycling.

8. I have a compost pail in the kitchen (and I use it).

9. I use a French press for coffee! Better coffee. No filters with bleach to poison the coffee or fill the garbage. :-) No waste at all-- the coffee grounds go into compost.

10. I drive less, stay home more.

11. I buy local, organic foods when I can (but I do buy foods from afar-- spices, citrus, etc.).

12. I use cloth napkins. Really cute and colorful ones made for me by Michelle for Christmas.

13. I participate in a local CSA. I highly recommend this!

14. I've switched to using only non-VOC paints in the house (YOLO Colorhouse is my favorite-- another cool Oregon company).

Basically, I make choices gradually and painlessly. I don't act out of guilt or peer pressure, and I don't recommend that anyone should. We should all do what we are truly convicted and motivated to do. For me, the changes have been enjoyable.

What about you?