Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Ever since I can remember I've felt major twinges of guilt when engaging in the simple act of opening a garbage can and depositing something in it. I blame it on the week I spent at 'ranger camp' in Northern Virginia. Anyhow, it's the kind of twinge you can't ignore. A twinge that says 'acknowledge me!', 'do something!'. So, two years ago Ty and I made it our priority to become more 'green'. I like to say that we just started to become more aware of what we purchased. And then it became where we purchased. And how we purchased. And then it became why we purchased. Basically, our decision to become more conscious of the things we did and the impact associated created a domino effect in our lives. It's infectious. It's addicting. We now constantly find ourselves wondering what else can we cut out? Here's what we've done so far:

-eliminated any household and personal products tested on animals.
-eliminated the use of paper towels, paper napkins and dryer sheets
-cloth diapering and cloth wipes for Everett
-use vinegar and essential oil-based home cleaning products
-began using a greenhouse
-planted and harvested our own fruits and vegetables
-began using rain barrels and a pump
-began composting...everything
-reuse and recycle as much as possible-posted a 'no flyers or solicitations' sticker on our mailbox
-became members of a local urban produce delivery program
-attempt to purchase as locally and as ethically as possible
-dry laundry on our clothesline
-utilize a car-sharing program for short, one way trips
-walk everywhere, weather and distance permitting
-purchase products with limited packaging
-participate in bottle and receptacle exchange
-attempt to purchase second hand toys and clothing for Everett
-attempt to purchase necessary household items locally or second hand
-sell/trade/give away unwanted items locally or to families in need
-installed a Nest thermostat

Our family still has a LONG way to go. We both drive SUV's, our house is in NO WAY 'high efficiency' and we sometimes feel overwhelmed with the changes we'd still like to make. Some of our goals for the future are to:

-improve and add to our rain barrel water system
-utilize green energy for powering our home
-bring our own containers for take out meals
-begin work on our home to improve energy efficiency
-continue to find ways to reduce household waste and food waste

I get a lot of ideas and tips from others - I love gaining knowledge from other families with the same vision. I'm part of several online groups focused on natural family living specifically for my city. We live a block away from a non-profit organization called "Green Calgary" and have found that the staff offer invaluable knowledge in many different areas of eco-conscious living. I also follow a group called "Green Mom's Collective" which shares daily tips on improving your green lifestyle. I also frequently refer to the Environmental Working Group website to check out the safety rating of specific brand-name products. I will say, sometimes I feel like my head will explode with all of the information AND misinformation out there. It's important to start small. Think of one change you'd like to make and start there. I promise, it's way easier than it seems!

Stay tuned - my next post will be the first of many in which I share my favourite green products!


  1. You've already got us "thinking green". All of Ev's valentine and b day gifts are in reusable, fun bags, boxes, etc. You're the best. Love, Mom


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