Monday, October 23, 2006

Consumerism and your "footprint"

I was checking in on Sara's blog and she had a link to this interesting quiz. If you click on the link a map will pop up, put your mouse arrow over your country and select your language. I scored a size 9 - I was majorly penalized for eating meat & dairy and not buying more locally. Sara has a grocery list of recommendations for how to be more ecologically responsible as does Jessica. Here is what I am doing: the list is pretty short.
  • Started recycling - WOW what an eye-opener!
  • Cut back use of zip-lock bags in favor of re-usable containers.
  • Pack picknic lunches instead of eating out (After I started trying to reduce waste in our home I was just dumbfounded at how much we threw away at one trip to McDonalds!!).
  • Avoid highly-packaged snack foods like single serving chips, crackers etc.
  • Increase our fruit & veggie intake to cut back on our highly processed chips & cracker and Little Debbies intake.
  • Cook more from scratch and less from cans & mixes.

Wow, I am amazed that my list is that long!! Here are some other good ideas from their blogs.

  • Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle and reduce the amount that you drive-walk, cycle, carpool, or use public transportation instead.
  • Avoid purchasing disposable items with lots of packaging. Re-use items when possible, and always recycle items that are recyclable.
  • Focus on buying only package-free foods and less processed foods...
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...
  • Compost kitchen waste...
  • Be more conscious of energy and water consumption.

I also read a neat article by Miranda on buying food localy - how inspiring! I am still totally at the "this is so completely overwhelming!!!!" stage :-)

I was thinking yesterday about how sometimes we forget that we are of the earth - Adam was made from the dust of the earth - and we need the earth for us to live. We need the air and the sunshine and beauty and the fruits and vegetables and meats and eggs and grain of the earth. I was walking around with Katie-Abigail and we were both feeling crappy, but the sunshine and the fresh air and the beautiful fall colors made us feel better for a while. Our family has been so much happier at meal times now that I've not been serving hot dogs and mac & cheese from a box. We feel healthier since we've started eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. My girls are happier when I turn the TV off and send them outside. They can play for hours!! I am amazed. Everything needs to stay in balance - I know I could take this too far in a heartbeat - but it has been really neat to see the possibilities of a more wholesome alternative lifestyle.

P.S. Here are more links I found: kill-a-wat; digital crusader; vermicomposting; on a lighter note; a blog for dads


Amy said...

I am SO with you on being at the "this is so completely overwhelming stage"! I have started reading "Walk Slowly, Live Wildly" (thanks to your recommendation) and am amazed and inspired by all that stuff...but not necessarily ready to make lots of drastic changes, especially when my husband isn't all about it. anyway, just wanted to say how much I could relate to all the stuff you said in this post!


Faith said...

I'm so glad to hear you're reading "Walk Slowly, Live Wildly" too!! Sara has got a lot of really inspiring alternative ideas. But I'm right with you - my husband thinks it's all waky. He's always been turned off of anything "alternative" and I'm working on a post about doing the "alternative" lifestyle in balance and the dangers of going overboard with all this "green" and "anti-consumerism" stuff... It's just SO important to do what I can but really honor my husband. And be patient.

Amy said...

a good word of reminder to be patient with DH :) how can I expect him to see things the same way I do when he's not reading the stuff I'm reading? I am currently debating going for the whole cloth-instead-of-paper towels and napkins...he isn't convinced that is such a brilliant idea. he pointed out, and I thought of this too and kind of want to ask does that increase your laundry load? I mean, it's cheaper to not have to keep buying disposable towels/napkins...but it's not free to wash all the cloth ones...

anyhoo I've thought about blogging about this but haven't gotten around to it yet :) so I loved seeing your $.02 on the matter.