Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Going Green.

I've never really thought of myself as an environmentalist, but growing up in Africa and India has allowed me to appreciate the little things in life. Yes, we live in the suburbs, drive an S.U.V, throw out an incredible amount of trash, still use plastic bags at the grocery store...yes, yes, we're still that percentage of people who are unfortunately contributing to the demise of our beautiful planet and its resources!! But we're changing; really we are!!!!

Firstly, I'm very very proud to say that I've been using cloth diapers with my second child. I haven't been able to do away with the disposable ones completely, but I know that the garbage has several less dirty diapers now. (Is that an oxymoron?) Now using these special cloth diapers (they're really cool with a fleece lining and snaps) led me to switch to a non-toxic bio-degradable vegetable based cleaner. It claims to clean ANYTHING from false teeth to diesel engines!! My husband was so impressed with the product that now we use it on all our clothes. What's great about it is the clothes come out smelling just clean; not of lavender or vanilla or anything like that. In fact, there's a line on the cloth bag that the stuff comes in, that says, "If you want fragrance, then pick some flowers!!!". Anyway, I was inspired then to try some other natural cleaning products, which I must say, are pretty good. They smell really really good!! You know, if they hired me to be their spokesperson, I' m pretty sure I could sell the product. Especially the laundry detergent (Charlie's Soap, by the way!!); I'm practically gushing about it!!

My husband and I made an effort to buy energy star appliances. Yes, they're good for the environment, but they're also saving us money. And then of course, there are the reusable grocery bags, which can carry a ton of stuff. Not good in some ways, because then that just causes me to buy more. But then again, it's less plastic in the land fill, right? Unfortunately, what's happened a couple of times is that I forget to take the bags, and then end up buying more bags out of guilt!! Hey, they're only 99 cents each, but I think I have enough bags for a month's supply of groceries now!! Shh, don't tell the husband!! I promise I'll remember the next time!!

So, are we making a significant difference to the environment? I don't know, but if each of us did our part, etc...etc...The whole is certainly greater than the sum of its parts; the effects will be multi fold as each individual participates in this change. (I've always wanted to use the word 'multi fold' in my blog!!). Can we go back to a simpler way of life? That really is a tough question to answer. I won't call myself materialistic...well, I guess it depends on whose perspective it's from.....but I know that there are certain amenities and luxuries of modern day life that I have grown accustomed to. Would it kill me to give them up? Probably not. But one does want to live in the real world; not some secluded forested area, where people don't' shave, or use deodorants, or watch no television, and weave their own clothes. I agree, the great Mahatma Gandhi did the last one; maybe all of the above. Of course, there was no such thing as deodorant in his time....But the point I'm trying to make is: are we too far gone to change? Or is there hope for us, or at least our children? Well, right now, I will continue to recycle and reuse....and pray.

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