So far in my journey I have made a few minor and a few major changes to the way we live that hopefully will impact not jsut our health, but the environment as well.
Using cloth diapers was never an environmental choice, but I love that something we chose to do anyway is so good for the earth. And even better for the earth is my recognition that I can get rid of all disposable products (ah...except toilet paper. Let's not go there). So my first goal is
1) Stop using disposable paper and plastic products (except said TP).
Perhaps my biggest goals, though, are related to health and nutrition. I have been researching how contaminated produce can be and have focused on buying organic produce for Boogie. But I also buy him only free-range organic chicken, organic tofu, beans, grains, etc. for him. I have had a hard time convincing myself that I deserve the extra cost of organic foods, too. And since I am perfectly capable of making just about everything from scratch, my next three goals are
2) Buy only whole, organic foods for myself and my family.
3) Make all of our bread from scratch using the recipes in my copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
4) Eliminate as much processed food from our diets as possible.
One thing I want to mention. Before getting pregnant and having my son, I never really thought much about organic foods. But I did always kind of hate carrots. They always tasted weird to me. Since I switched to buying only organic carrots (which are quite affordable - they are the same price at my local grocery store as conventional), I have noticed that they never have that weird taste. Which repulses me because now I feel like I have been eating pesticides my entire life. My son will hopefully never know a carrot that tastes like chemicals.
My husband likes the diet soda so we have talked about ending his relationship (at least on an everyday basis) with this chemical-laden beverage. I know it is asking a lot of him to change his lifestyle so much, so I'm planning to go easy on this one. I won't be buying it but if we go out to eat, I'm not going to begrudge him a little caramel colored artificially sweetened water. For now.
And, finally, I have one more goal that will make our budget a bit happier. Other than avoiding impulse spending and using sales, coupons, and a rather large freezer to save money, when we get relocated I am planning to
5) Buy used and save the difference.
The now-famous Duggar family (of 19 Kids and Counting fame, for those who haven't seen TLC in years) have been known to use that phrase to describe how they lower their carbon footprint with such a large family, and how they afford the everyday expenses of life. I believe this can make a big difference in many aspects of our life.
So, for now, we are still camping our with my folks until my husband's career relocates us at an undetermined point in the hopefully near future. I believe we will be moving in the next 3 months or so, so some of these goals will take a little longer.
Does all this mean that my child won't ever blow his nose with a tissue or enjoy some store-bought graham crackers? No, of course not. But I'd love to raise him in a world of handkerchiefs and homemade, wholesome snacks because I believe that he will continue into his adulthood to consume less, spend less, and love the earth that yields so much for us.
If I can manage at least most of this over the next year or so, I'm hoping we can add in an organic garden next spring/summer...wherever we are...