Ways I go Green (Blog Sweepstakes Idea)
When I was growing up, environmentalism wasn't the huge industry it is today. I remember my parents teaching us basic lessons about respecting our surroundings and taking care of the earth. The scriptures called it our stewardship.
We were taught not to be wasteful. We were taught not to litter and that we shouldn't hunt for recreational purposes, only to provide food. When I was about ten, my dad and my uncles butchered a bull and I carried the heavy tongue that felt like wet sandpaper in the house to give to my aunt. She didn't want it to go to waste.
I can remember service projects where we took garbage bags out and picked up rubbish along the side of the road. I was stunned at the number of beer cans and I hated picking up cigarette butts that had been in who-knows-who's mouth. I remember the Indian Chief looking over the littered streets and a tear running down his cheek. I felt sad for him and because of those experiences, I don't litter.
Since then, taking care of the earth has been taken to new lengths. I know I don't do as much as many others. It hasn't become my crusade and it isn't something I think about every day. But I do try to do a few things. Some of my efforts give me the double benefit of helping the environment in a small way and saving me money. Be sure to add your own tips, if you have any.
I have water bottles that are refillable and I drink water from the tap.
I mend my kids' clothes instead of always buying new ones. I also makeover clothing items, like add a ruffle to a skirt that's too short or repurpose a dress into a jacket.
I re-use plastic grocery bags, but not just as bags. I knot them and use them as packing filler when I'm shipping things. These take the place of bubble wrap or peanuts.
I turn lights off when I leave the room.
I don't turn on the television during the day (but I do have my computer on all day).
I give hand-me-downs to relatives or the thrift store. I also shop at thrift stores.
We have a shelf of school supplies and when someone is finished with a folder/pencils/pens/paper/notebooks, etc, if there is any life left in it, we put it on the shelf. The next time school supplies are needed, we check the shelf before making a trip to the store. We also reuse backpacks until they're worn out. The kids don't get new backpacks every year.
I prepare home-cooked meals and we almost never eat fast food.
We eat leftovers.
These may seem small, but they help promote the idea that we use what we have and we try not to be wasteful. Every little bit makes a difference.
(image from http://neuronarrative.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/cody.jpg?w=193&h=240)