There is plenty of talk these days about being "green" and being "environmentally responsible". I do care about our planet but so far, I haven't always been the type of person that is actively green.
However, in hindsight, it seems that I turned over a new leaf sometime in the past four years and didn't even realize it. Having a baby changes your life in so many ways. Although life with baby is often rigged with impulse buy traps each time you go shopping, the fact that you're responsible for the well being of something so precious, makes you do a lot more research before buying. Also, these expensive little responsibilities may hang around for the next two decades so the choices made need to also be the most cost effective ones.
So, somewhere between wanting to give the best to our children while spending the least, we seem to have become a fairly green family. It wasn't very hard to do at all.
Here are some of the choices we've made:
* We have not installed air conditioning. The summer months can get pretty scorching but we figured that there are probably only a maximum of 14 truly unbearable days in a year. On those days, we'll go shopping!
* We mop the floors with vinegar or a fruit and vegetable scrap enzyme cleaner that we make ourselves. If you're interested in making some, google "vegetable enzyme cleaner" for some recipes. My tip is to use as much citrus fruits as you can for a better smell.
* We've recently started washing our clothes with soap nuts. These are called Sapindus in Wikipedia.
* We use cloth nappies almost all of the time. I have some leftover disposables that I keep for when we're traveling.
* We grow a variety vegetables in our garden. This is a lot of fun, especially with little kids. Eating organic can get very expensive but the plus side is that they are fresher, contain none of those harmful pesticides and may have more of the nutrients left in it. So, to avoid buying everything organic, the vegetable garden is a cheap and fun alternative.
These are just a few of the choices our family has made and it may not work for another family. Everyone does their own green bit. There are plenty of other ways to go green in our every day lives and you can see that going green goes hand in hand with spending our money wisely. It is not an all or nothing exercise. We can all do what we feel comfortable with and start out small.
I'm very motivated to continue trying to do my little bit for the environment. Its not only about saving money but also much more about not destroying our earth.
Two minutes later : I've come back here to add that I forgot to mention my most green accomplishment yet. Breastfeeding! If you're talking about giving your baby something local, pesticide free, not processed and with zero carbon footprint then this is the perfect product.