Monday, September 3, 2012

On the Journey Towards Green

The Wood family has by no means "arrived" in the area of being green.  In fact, unless God speaks in a clear English voice to me about the subject, this mama will likely never enforce using the used sink water to flush the toilet.  However, we have arrived upon some convictions for our family on this subject.  I thought it might be fun to share them in case some of you find yourselves wondering what your family could do.  We don't, in any way, claim that these are things that all people should do...we're just sharing where we're at in hopes that it may inspire or encourage you on your journey.

Why green??  Well, for us, it started when we read the book The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.  The subject of the book is not really "green living", but it did convict our hearts as we realized that we have been entrusted with resources and we had not been taking good care...or ANY care...of many of those resources.  It convicted us in other areas as well, but those are blog posts for another day.

We started the beginning we simply recycled cardboard and that was all.  Then we added plastics and paper.  This family threw away a LOT of paper!!!!  We soon realized that we had almost no trash anymore and, for awhile, we even canceled our trash service.  A few months later, we started back up with the trash service because, even though we had very little trash, we still needed for it to go somewhere.  However, we were able to sign up for a lesser quantity, lower cost service.

 Next, we started using cloth napkins.  We keep them in a bowl or a basket in the middle of the table. I already had some cloth napkins, and I bought a couple more sets on clearance at TJ Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory. You could also make them from a sheet or your favorite material, but I haven't been that ambitious.  At first it was difficult to convince the boys that they really could wipe ketchup or barbecue sauce on the cloth napkin, but now they are pros, believe me!!
 Most recently, I have stopped buying paper towels.  I bought two packages of shop towels in the automotive department at Wal-Mart and this adorable large cookie jar, also from Wal-Mart.  I painted a piece of card stock with chalkboard paint and glued it on the cookie jar.  Again, it took a few tries to get the boys to wipe up their spills with these rather than running for toilet paper or the McDonalds napkins in the glove box of the car, but now they know just what to do when a spill occurs.  Ok...they don't always do it, but they know WHAT to do.

What about keeping these napkins and shop towels clean though?  It really has not added any work to my life.  I bought this cute little apple basket at Goodwill for 99 cents.  It sits in our mudroom and everyone knows that you bring the soiled napkins or towels into the mudroom, spray them with the "we hope this doesn't stain" spray, and drop them in this basket.  When the basket gets full, I throw them in the washer...maybe along with some towels or by themselves if there are enough for a load or with underwear...who knows.  Ok, not with underwear, well maybe not.  Perhaps you should never use the cloth napkins if you come to our house.  Haha!!!

There you have it...either my first of many or maybe my first and only post on green living at the Wood house.