When Beth from Fake Plastic Fish (live life with less plastic) announced this month’s theme for the Green Moms Carnival, I quaked with fear. See, this is from Beth, who measures all of her plastic usage weekly, and has found ingenious ways to live without using (much) plastic. Beth is positive and lovely– the fear and guilt is wholly my own.
When I began to think about writing this post, I immediately thought of all the things I am not doing. The silver lining? Divine motivation.
Because of having to write this post, I have decided that we WILL NOT buy coffee in those small paper and plastic lined bags. We drink just too much coffee, and the amount of those we were throwing away was deplorable. So, thankfully, as I begin the “a day in the life” post, I have started buying my fair trade coffee in bulk, or in biodegradable bags I am hoping I can compost.
On a usual day, I stumble downstairs and make coffee, fast because my youngest is talking loudly a mile a minute, and I need serious help. After caffeinating and reading stories, I start to make breakfast. In my house, we were eating WAY too much cereal. All those liner bags that can’t be recycled were plauging me. So, I started buying granola in bulk from the co-op. Our oldest still joneses for the boxed cereal, but we are making the switch, fully. Our granola (and oatmeal) in bulk is in large mason jars (no plastic).
They pour on hormone free Vermont milk, too. Or I cook up some local eggs. I sweeten my coffee with maple syrup (an expensive, but natural and tasty way to sweeten– you just need a little, depending on the day).
I drive about two miles to work. Yes, I could bike. But have you ever seen what a teacher takes to and from school? This is a growth area for me!
I bring my stainless steel travel mug full of said coffee if I’m going in early, and my steel water bottle to drink tap or well water. If I’ve brought a lunch (no need many days, the cafeteria has many local and vegetarian options– yes, this is a public school), I pack in a no waste lunch kit, complete with a sandwich wrap.
At school, we compost at lunch, try to during snack, and recycle loads of paper. Our school uses non-toxic cleaners and just made the building more energy efficient. We still have lots of work to do, but there is slow and steady progress.
Once home, I play and visit with girls for about an hour. I’ve made a big effort to limit plastic and imported toys in our house. The girls have a wooden dollhouse, blocks, and other safer toys. Plastic legos and other toys have ended up here too, but there aren’t that many. I try to play mostly with them outside, if the weather is nice, in wide swathes of unstructured time. I might slather them with California Baby sunscreen and bug repellent (we’ve got the trifecta here in Vermont–deer flies, mosquitoes and black flies).
Then I ponder dinner. Some nights are better than others. I try to cook whole foods, with minimal packaging and processing. This is a constant challenge for me. We eat lots of quesadillas, omelets, pasta, paninis, and veggie wraps. Next steps? Making some of the packaged stuff from scratch– like tortillas and pizza dough. We store food in glass, compost our kitchen waste, and recycle everything we can. We also use only non-toxic cleaners in the whole house.
I’m constantly making strides, steps backwards, and learning. This is a lifetime journey. I just try to take it day to day and make the best choices I can.
What greener choices do you make with your family? What is your day in the (greener) life?
Find the other Day in the Life Posts over at Fake Plastic Fish (live life with less plastic) for this month’s Green Moms Carnival. It will go live on June 21th. Get ready to be inspired! Check out Beth’s most recent post about making her own energy bars and crackers. Rock on, Beth!