Falling Short of Green Aspirations: An Eco-Reflection

It’s New Year’s Eve.  My living room is strewn with child-related debris, my husband is feverish in bed, and my offspring are tucked in—leaving me to evaluate my green parenting progress this year.

In truth, I dread this reflection.  Although 2010 was a year where I finally had more time at home, it didn’t always feel productive.  In fact, never have I had so much time and so few accomplishments.  After all, in previous years I was trying to balance parenting with teaching middle school, writing our book, and blogging.

To make myself feel a bit better, I have to remember that getting the laundry done, wiping child-flung yogurt off the wood floors, and keeping food in the fridge are actually achievements.  Being at home this last six months has been an absolute delight, and the toughest job I’ve ever had (And my former job was teaching 30+ adolescents!).
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Happy New Year from The Green Baby Guide!

green resolutions for 2010We hope your 2010 is filled with rich experiences and quality time with family and friends.  (Notice neither of those things hurt the environment or cost a penny!)  Whether you opt to start your own garden, cloth diaper your newborn, or switch from paper towels to rags, may you relish the green adventures in store for you this year.  If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our post on The Green Year, a great handbook for a daily dose of conservation wisdom.

I won’t officially call them resolutions, but my eco-hopes for the year include expanding our raised beds, strapping both children into the bike trailer for errands, and spending more time in the great outdoors.  Picking, freezing, and canning local produce (including our own) is my fantasy but we’ll see how it goes with two small children in tow.   Wouldn’t it be incredible to be able to put away enough fresh food to sustain us through next winter?  Sigh…
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The Friday Question: What are your Green Resolutions for 2010?

Do you have any plans to go greener in 2010? From the big things (install solar panels and go off the grid!) to the little ones (be better about switching off the lights!)—we want to hear what you have in store for the upcoming year. (We are also searching for resolutions to add to our own lists, so please help us out.)
solar-panels-on-house-to-reduce-carbon-emissions

If you need some ideas for greening 2010, we recommend The Green Year by Jodi Helmer. Read our review here!

New Earth Day Resolutions for 2009

Last year I made three resolutions on Earth Day, and I managed to accomplish two of my goals.  Once again, I’ll keep things simple by choosing just a few resolutions.  Baby steps, as they say.

I resolve to purchase carbon offset coupons when I travel by air.  I resolved to do this last year and didn’t.  Ever since I read that book about reducing my carbon footprint, I’ve felt guilty about traveling–something I used to think was essential for learning about the world, experiencing new cultures, and connecting with relatives across the country.  I thought buying the coupons would allow me to travel without the guilt.  Still, I didn’t do it last year.  Perhaps it just doesn’t seem right to “buy” my way out of this one?  We had a bit of a discussion about this on my last post.  I’m still conflicted.
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Happy New Year: Evaluating Last Year’s Green Resolutions and Setting New Ones

Thanks to my green resolutions from last year, I was able to make some big changes one step at a time.  Although I haven’t accomplished all of them perfectly, they did help to get me jumpstart 2008 in a much greener fashion. 

As I begin 2009 things seem even more hectic than they did a year ago.  Here’s the big news: I’m pregnant!  Our baby is due on June 15th, which is wonderful news.  It also means that I’ll be juggling a nearly full time job, growing a human being, parenting a toddler, enjoying marriage, writing this blog and starting a monthly column in Metro Parent.  It’s all great news, but already I find myself a little short of breath as I consider balancing it all.  So, this year my goals are humble, but they will still be a great fun to accomplish.

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My Green Victories of 2008

Looking back, I’m amazed at the many small changes I managed to take on over the last year.   I’ve included links–some to the Green Baby Guide articles discussing the topic, some to other sites that inspired me.

1. Stopped using disposable wrapping paper and switched to reusable gift wrap.

2. Switched to eco-friendly toilet paper.

3. Switched to eco-friendly laundry detergent, which I discovered was actually cheaper than conventional detergent!

4. Stopped using shampoo and started using baking soda, saving money and many plastic bottles.

5. Began recycling plastic lids.

6. Started turning off water to cook pasta.

7. Signed on to support renewable energy.

8. Started washing diapers in cold water.
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A Green Resolution: Switching to Eco-friendly Toilet Paper

This year, I solemnly resolve to switch from planet-killing conventional toilet paper to eco-friendly recycled toilet paper.  Most of my green practices end up saving me money: buying secondhand, eating lower on the food chain, and conserving electricity.  However, every once in a while my frugality and eco-consciousness conflict.  I just couldn’t fathom spending extra money on something like toilet paper. 

I already avoided buying almost all other paper products, so I figured I was doing enough.  I had this nagging feeling, though, that my T.P. preferences needed to change.  But why?  Would buying recycled toilet paper make much of a difference?  I learned that we wipe out virgin forests by supporting conventional brands.  Read more about it here.
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