Motivated by Hip Mountain Mama, I have been participating in her urging of families to make small changes that will accumulate to make huge changes in our impact on the earth and her/our environment. This event is called One Small Change. There are prizes involved for those who want to participate in that way, but the rewards of participating go far beyond a physical prize. I encourage everyone to visit and think about the changes they can make.
Earlier this month, I made two goals for the month. The first goal was to reduce our waste by using less throw away napkins and paper towels. I’m happy to say that this has went really well, and wasn’t as hard to keep up with as I was expecting. I had some cloth diapers that I no longer use that are very absorbent. We have started using them as napkins and for cleaning up spills. Unless there is something major to be cleaned, we can get several uses out of one diaper/towel before it is dirty enough to wash. I then just throw it in with the weekly washing of bath towels and washcloths. This is going to save us quite a bit of money too.
The second goal I had was to stop buying bottled water while out and about. Our well water has too much iron/sulfur in it to be drinkable, so we take jugs to the watering hole to fill them for drinking and cooking. When we are out of the house, it has been the easy thing to buy bottled water for drinking. I had hoped to get a stainless steel container and stop purchasing the bottles. I found a container I like, but I haven’t bought it. This winter has been hard for us, and for several weeks the icy weather kept us from being able to leave the holler and go up the hill to fill the jugs. Convenience won out in this one, and we ended up buying bottled water for home too. 😦 I’m hoping winter will allow us a little more leeway in the rest of the season.
Instead of continuing with this unattainable goal, I decided to get rid of a lot of our kitchen plastics and replace them with glassware. There are many dangers to using plastics in the kitchen to our health, not to mention that most plastics don’t break down well or at all. Storing food in plastic or using plastic in the dishwasher or microwave is the worst. I started by replacing our eating utensils with glass, specifically our bowls. I am hoping to find more ways to not buy plastic in the first place through store packaging. Over time, I hope to replace our food storage containers with more glass. I have been working on that for awhile, and have some mason jars and large lidded glass jars that I use for food storage. Reader’s Digest has a good article this month on kitchen plastics and which ones are the most dangerous. Check it out if you’d like more information.
For February, my goals are to change the bottled water situation, and looking into light bulbs. We haven’t switched to the energy efficient fluorescent bulbs yet because the disposal of them and the mercury they contain concerns me. I need to do some more reading on this topic and see what other alternatives there are.
It’s good to love our Mother. 🙂