Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Going 'Greener'

Green is such a buzz word these days. It's easy to get caught up in it all. And I do believe that recycling and being responsible with our resources is extremely important.

Now, I also believe that the world is not going to get 'better'. The Bible tells us there will be wars and rumors of wars and that the world will wax worse. Basically, it's going down hill no matter how hard we try to stop it. But, that does not excuse us from taking care of the earth that God has given to us. And I think it's a good witness to others for Christians to appreciate God's creation and to take care of it. It certainly can be a good way of presenting our amazing God to those who do not believe in Him.

It's been kind of fun, as I get back to the source of food and try to make things 'from scratch', I find myself having less trash and even less recycle.

I feel like I am living pretty 'self sufficient' for living in an urban setting without any place to grow my own foods. Or at least, I'm working my way towards that.

We recently switched our garbage can in the kitchen to recycle for paper. And I took a small garbage can and put a grocery bag in it for trash.

I'm not sure how much less we actually put in the trash-but we do recycle a LOT of paper. Myia and Samuel love to do crafts with our computer paper. I love it-but I felt really guilty throwing that much paper away. Now I don't. :)

As I throw things away, I try to figure out if I could change something slightly to have less trash. I don't think it's worth going crazy over. But if the change presents itself in a natural way, why not try it?

I also use glass jars for my raw milk. So I reuse them. It has reduced my recycle load-which I take to a recycle center. It gets to be nuisance, so the less I have, the better!

And, while I am all for recycling, I realized that a lot of resources goes into packaging and shipping everything. And even the process of collecting and bringing the recycled products to a recycling center, AND the energy used up to change that recycle into products is draining and worth avoiding if possible. Hence the reusable glass Ball jars for milk. Recycling is a much better long term option then throwing things in the trash. But not producing the stuff to begin with is a better option.

Again, I know that is not possible 100%. But I'm having fun doing what I can.

I am currently working on a water filtration system so we don't use a gallon of Poland Springs a day. That is not only expensive, but it's very wasteful. The prescription drugs in the water make that a more difficult choice for me... But that is another post.

It's been so much fun. As I get closer to the source of my food, there is just so much less packaging to deal with.

I was reading Michael Pollan's book 'The Omnivore's' Dilema' and it really opened my eyes to how many miles our food travels and how much that costs the environment and us in the long run. The average food on our plates travels 1500 miles before it lands there! That is insane. Some come from other countries, some from across the states. And some, goes around in circles.

I ordered some organic orange extract when I ordered my TT Coconut Oil. I looked at the label the other day-it's made and packaged in NJ. But it was shipped from Ohio. It had to go to Ohio, to be sent back to me.

Sometimes that is necessary, of course. But, for day to day living and eating, I think it's possible to try to make less of an impact on the environment and to help support local artisans and producers. Or better yet, to try to learn to make some of these things on our own!

Buying foods from local farmers and artisans (think cheese, breads, pastries, candies, fermented drinks and foods, jams, etc.) is the best choice all around. Not only are you supporting someone who has learned a lot about that particular product, but they will most definitely choose the best, healthiest, tastiest ingredients. It will have a lot less (if any) preservatives and less packaging. Food that sits for years on a shelf has to have a lot of preservatives and packing to be even remotely safe for consumption.

And gas prices might go down with so much less oil being spent to transport our foods! We can all go for that for sure!

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