Saturday, April 24, 2010

My environmentally conscious 4 year old

I meant to write a post for Earth day but completely forgot until this morning when I was filling up the sink to do some dishes and went into the laundry room to get a towel. Gavin saw the water running and came in there to find me and looked at me in a stern way and said "Mama, NO wasting water" and pointed to the sink. It was so cute that it made my heart melt! I had to pick him up and show him that I was filling it up to wash dishes and that that wasn't wasting water. But I was so proud of him for acknowledging the fact that leaving the water running was a bad thing. I told my husband about it and told him that Gavin was my little 'Earth saving buddy!"

Just last week too, he saw that the computer was left on (I am bad for leaving it on because I am on and off of it pretty much all day) he hunted me down and informed me that I was wasting energy by leaving the computer on when I wasn't using it. I of course told him that he was right and did a good job telling me and had to shut it off! I can't tell you how proud I am of him. He just started this in the past couple weeks and I'm amazed at how much he picks up on. He is definitely great motivation! It made me realize that even that young, kids can see the things that we do as adults that are wrong. They see the things we do and so they grow up thinking its OK to do these bad habits. Well, most kids anyway! I'm thankful that Gavin is outgoing and smart enough to call me out on the things I need to change!

So what I was going to talk about for Earth Day was the little things we are doing as a family to live a little bit 'greener' lifestyle. I know we could be doing so much more but we'll try to work up to that. We've made a lot of changes in our household the past 6 months that I'm proud of. And while what we're doing is good for the environment, which is always a good thing, we also have other motives for doing them that makes it that much more worth the effort.

First, of course you all know that I cloth diaper Gage. I started last July. I started out with just 2 diapers to give it a try. I thought that if I could have 4-5 to use during the day, it would save some money in disposables. Well I jumped in and never looked back! Other than not filling up the landfills with thousands of diapers, I also love cloth diapering because the money saving aspect. My cloth diapers have already paid for themselves by not having to buy sposies every week. But the main reason I like it is, what else can make your kids butt look so cute? Why in the world would you want to put a saggy white thing on your child's bum when you can get adorable, funky, awesome, fluffy, soft, absorbent, natural diaper on him that looks a million times better? I can't find one reason!

Second, We started recycling as soon as we moved into this house. Before, we had a dumpster right out back that everyone just dumped everything in. We didn't have to pay for it (it was included in the rent), it was convenient, and there was no effort in running out a trash bag and throwing it in. Now however, we have to take our trash off. We do have trash pickup but we have to pay for it and with all the new house payment and everything going on, we just don't want to pay for it. We take ours directly to the landfill, it's closer to take it there than a transfer station. My mom lives in another county and there you pay once a year, I think it's $75 or something and you get a card you can use all year long. Here, they don't have that. We pay $1 per bag, which isn't too bad. Using cloth, we don't fill up the bags near as often. But recycling there is free. It's not one of those places that pay you to recycle though but that's ok. Before we were recycling, we were getting a full bag of trash per day. Now we recycle almost everything and we're getting about 2 bags a week. So recycling = Saving money... which is good.

Third, I've always had well water my entire life. Then we moved into the new house which has city water. Now, if you've never had city water and then that's all you have, it's a huge change. I guess we could get used to it but I think it's disgusting! So I had been buying bottled water. I know, bad. I recently bought a PUR water dispenser and love it! I keep it in the fridge and when I get a glass out, I just open the lid and pour another glass of tap in. Simple. It's always cold. It tastes awesome and I don't have one thing bad to say about it. Plus it was only $24 on sale at Target so it was a great investment. I've probably already saved that much just by not having to buy water every week.

We also got a couple of those stainless steel water bottles. My husband uses his sometimes at work but to me, it gives the water a metallic taste so since I'm usually always home, I just use a glass.

And finally, I am addicted to reusable shopping bags. I love, love, love them. I have about 9 of them that range from the regular blue Wal-mart bags, to the beige Ingles (my supermarket) ones, to some really cute polka dotted and flowery bags. I thought I would need more than that but I usually take in too many. In the supermarket, I can usually fit an entire grocery cart full of stuff into 3 bags. 3 BAGS. That sure as heck beats the 50 little plastic bags that seem to always rip or the handles break and you gotta stand in the parking lot and pick up your food off the ground, chasing run away cans rolling under other peoples cars. There is no comparison. I'm the only one in my family that uses reusable bags and I can't seem to get everyone else to understand that you pay 50 cents to a buck fifty for a bag that's going to last a very long time that holds EVERYTHING. It's good for the environment and they make my life so much easier. It takes less trips to the car to carry everything in, and that's never a bad thing!

So that's my 4 little things I do. I know there's more but I'm pretty proud that we're taking small steps. The only one my husband is really for is the recycling because it saves him money and he's the one taking the garbage out but he humors me with the other stuff. He doesn't change any diapers and he would never take a reusable bag in a store but he has quit looking at me weird when I do these things so I think he's coming around!

What are some things you do to be 'green'? Do you recycle? Buy organic? You don't have to do much and it's so much easier and actually more fun than I'd ever thought it could be.