It happened without me knowing. It was a slow, gradual process, but I have somehow become a progressive – modern day hippie. (The word hippie is totally a good thing.) If you had told me five years ago this is where I would have ended up I would have denied it and told you that you’re out of your mind. However, I’m happy where I’m at and learning to embrace my “hippie-ness”, if you will.
I can’t put my finger on the exact moment it started, but it was sometime after I had married my husband, but shortly before the birth of our first daughter. I was given a re-usable shopping bag by mother-in-law. She explained to me how she carried it in her purse, ensuring it was always on hand when needed. Instantly, I was hooked. That year, I put on my Christmas list that I wanted a set of reusable shopping bags, which my sister-in-law happily purchased for me. (She already had a few children and was on the hippie train, so she was more than happy to welcome me aboard.)
After I had my reusable shopping bags I started to think about how I could cut other “waste” from my life. While in the grocery store one Saturday afternoon filling my sixth disposable plastic produce bag I became disgusted. I would use this bag for the sole purpose of getting items from the store to home before throwing away, this had to change. I immediately found some nylon mesh washable produce bags online and ordered them. At first I felt odd in the grocery store and almost ashamed to use my produce bags, but I got over that in a hurry. I loved them. In fact, I loved them so much I ordered and shipped a set to both my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law.
Once our daughter arrived I purchased reusable/washable cloth diapers. They worked well, but they tended to leak which lead to a lot more laundry to be done than intended. I wasn’t sure if the extra water usage or disposable diapers was worse. Around this time my sister-in-law was having another child and expressed an interest in cloth diapers, it was then I gave her ours and switched to disposable. They worked for her without incident. I personally think that’s because she used them on a boy, but who really knows. All I know is that I gave it an honest attempt and could not make it work for our family.
The changes in our lives did not stop here. My husband and I continued to find ways to make our daily lives more “green.” We started frequenting the Saturday Farmer’s Market downtown and trying to make purchases local when available. We stopped purchasing harsh chemical laden household cleaners and started making our own. We even make our own laundry detergent these days and switched out our traditional dryer sheets for some wool dryer balls and essential oil. Turns out these are better for both the environment and your dryer. For a while I dabbled with making my own deodorant, but there are just some things I’m not ready to give up on just yet.
Maybe it’s all the educational shows, movies and publications my husband and I expose ourselves too, but we want to do our part in both protecting the earth and our daughters. Currently, we are struggling with what is being added to our food. Our town has a really nice co-op which we are contemplating joining. You don’t have to be a member to shop there, but you also don’t get all the same benefits as the members. We’ve gone this route as we have decided to purchase organic fruits and vegetables when it’s affordable. I’m not saying that it’s not affordable, but it’s easier on the pocketbook when the items are on sale.
We’ve always had a small urban garden, with the exception of this year. Our family is in the process of moving and the rental we have secured in the interim does not have the amenities for a garden. Growing up my mom always had a large garden. From which, she would can and store many items. I’ve never had the desire to go to the extreme she did, until this spring. There’s always next year.
This brings me to why I’m here, starting a blog. We’ve made a number of changes in our lives in the past few years and we’re going to continue to make more. Maybe you are at the beginning of your green journey or like me coming to the realization that your life has somehow changed. I just wanted to share and journal our changes and experiences. Maybe even help someone save a few bucks as I’ve been told I am extremely frugal. (I guess people consider that a compliment over calling me what I really am, cheap.
As you will come to learn my family and I love to spend our free time hiking, biking and exploring the world around us. We have two young daughters and we bring them along on all our travels exploring the countryside. I will be documenting our hikes, their locations, and posting pictures. I’m dabbling with the idea of selling my photos, but let’s just take things one step at a time. It’s only taken me two years to actually pull the trigger and start a blog. Give me at least another year or two on the photos.