I’m a child of the ’80’s and growing up I don’t remember much emphasis on being green. Back then, most people just did as they pleased without any thought to how their actions would affect the environment. Everything went in the trash after being used and it never got a second thought. The most “green” I can remember is that we had a recycle bin in our 4th grade classroom and the teacher mandated that we throw all paper in there rather than the trash. I can still hear her saying, “We must save the trees – It takes 20 years to grow a tree…” as she walked about the classroom.
As far as I thought, I was being green! I threw all my unwanted paper in the recycle bin!
Little did I know that I was just scratching the surface of what being green really means. It’s not just something you do – It’s a way of living.
I’ve tried challenging myself recently to do more and teach my kids the importance of being green by taking action instead of just preaching what you should do. Following renewable living guidelines found on the Tetra-Pak website, I made a few changes in our household..
- made smarter choices at the grocery store and looked for “renewable” packaging such as cartons
- shorter showers with the help of a timer (this was a tough one!)
- stop using paper towels
- bike or walk whenever possible
- swap your paper coffee cup for a mug
- take the tetra-pak happiness quiz
How did I do? Well – lots of my favorite grocery items already come packaged in a tetra-pak carton, so making the appropriate choices at the store were pretty easy to find. I wish more foods were available in cartons such as these, but I’m sure we will get there in due time.
Showers…..I’m the queen of the hour-long hot shower, although indulging in one is not very green. It’s wasteful of both water AND energy, so I challenged myself to a quick 5 minutes.
Paper towels.. Oh how I love thee! Always conveniently by the sink ready to dry my hands or help me clean up a spill. Always clean & easy to discard when done. So. very. bad. for. the. environment. I just decided to stop buying them for awhile and see how I do without. I still like having them around the house, however, taking a break from them helped me cut down on using them for everything. I just left the spindle empty to remind myself of what I was trying to do.
So did I bike or walk whenever possible? The truthful answer is sort-of. I don’t own a bike, but I did hoof it a couple of times last week picking up JP from school. We live around the corner, so idling in the car for a 1/2 hour during pick up time seems unnecessary. Plus, the weather is getting warmer and walking is good exercise!
Turns out that my favorite designer coffee house sells these re-fill mugs. I originally bought these because they were being sold for 1$ each and I needed coffee travel mugs. I also learned that they will fill your cup instead of giving you a paper one if you request it. Ditch the paper cup whenever possible!
…And finally I took the happiness quiz.
It takes time for good things to catch on in society, but I believe we are doing a good job in educating our kids on the subject. I knew this for sure the day my 7 year old came home and asked me why we didn’t have 2 trash bins – 1 for trash and 1 for plastic. I looked at him dumbfounded and realized he made better sense than I did!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.