Saturday, December 29, 2007

One Big Footprint!

OK - It's true. I have big feet - both figuratively and literally. Looking around my home I find the idea of a Year of Living Greener a little bit overwhelming. I have so much stuff - and I can't just toss it to make it go away. Now, even more than before, I have to make sure to do the right thing and dispose of items properly. I wish we could compost - that would ease the guilt I have about cleaning out my fridge. With Christmas just past it is full to the brim, but so many things didn't get used up in time and will have to be tossed. And that's just one little spot in our home.

I have a lot of decisions to make, that's for sure. We need a serious declutter around here and I will pack away everything we don't need for a garage sale this summer. I'll also consign some things, donate some things, freecycle some things - the list goes on. When I think about clearing out, I know I can recycle a lot, reuse some, and I've had success with putting some things on craigslist and freecycle so that they get one more use (at least) before being recycled. But still, all this takes time - a very precious commodity around here.

What about cleaning? I know I should replace all my cleaners with more environmentally friendly ones - but the frugal woman in me says I have to use up what I have first (and that the 'good' stuff is expensive!)

What about food? Do I need to go all organic, do the 100 mile diet, eat no meat? I have a child with allergies, so good food for him is important. And how do I get all this good stuff? I have so little time as it is, going to the produce market, organic grocer, etc. is time consuming (and did I mention expensive?)

I want to do the right thing - but the big box stores have the right price and usually what I need. I can get it all in one place and save money. Of course then I'm also not using so much gas - driving around for stuff isn't green either. But shopping there isn't green... Oh - too many things to think about.

As for transportation - I use both car and transit (a necessary thing if you have a small child to go to daycare and terrible transit service where you live) I go one way and my husband goes the other - it takes us each 1.5 hours to get to work. Crazy! So we will think about a house and a better location - yet how will that work with our current home in the middle of our commutes already? Work at home? Work sometimes at home? Change job location?

The more I think about it, the more questions there are, the more the choices abound - it really is quite overwhelming all the possibilities you have to consider. And now that 'being green' is the buzzword, more choices are thrown at us everyday.

This journey should be an interesting one. Seeing the difference in our lives from now to the end of 2008 will be exciting. I think I'll take pictures of our home now, too. After all, being more conscious of what I do will also mean living more simply - buying less 'stuff', being more organized, and in the end, probably being less messy!

I'll sleep on all these ideas in my head. Choosing what to start with is important. I know it can't all be done at once, but rather as a succession of baby steps.


Peter and Roma said...

Wow! - So much to think about, but as you said you can take baby steps. The longest journey begins with the first step. And each step you take will help our beautiful planet Earth.
Voluntary simplicity really is the way to go - it is so freeing. 'Want what you have' rather than 'have what you want'.

patshag said...

My first reaction was 'Wow! Jackie has a lot of good ideas.' If more people thought that way can you imagine the changes that we'd see? I agree with all your ideas Jackie. You can't change overnight but start with just a few things and keep adding to it.

That's what I'm trying to do.


Kat & Jer said...

Hi Jackie,
Roma sent me your blog address, what a great idea! The more people we have like you, the better this little old earth will be.
Why can't you compost? Is it because of some rule where you live? If that is the case, maybe you can get the rule changed. Or the other option is to have a worm bin in your house. There is lots of information on the internet about the it. Good luck!
Kathy Allen, (Peter's sister)