Saturday, February 02, 2013

green and simple

As some of you know, I am really getting into saving energy and green-ifying my (our) life as a young family. I really like most of the concepts of living simply, "green-ly" as our society calls it.

About a year ago, I wrote the following about changing to live more naturally: 

 If I could do it (which we just don't have money for some of this...unfortunate since it wouldn't cost much to do some of these things, and money is at least part of my motivation for simplifying), I would:

- get completely energy efficient appliances everywhere
- make all my own linens
- create a huge vegetable garden for spring and then fall, and can and freeze everything
- buy all organic meats and dairy
- convert J's truck into one of those machines that runs on leftover restaurant oil (he's also into this, but it would cost a heck of a lot up front)
- get solar panels put into our roof (would have to wait for our own house for this one)
- catch all the rainwater in barrels for our garden so the water wouldn't go to waste
- dry all our clothes out on the clothesline, or maybe just sometimes and have them dry inside most of the time when my allergies are too bad
- use cloth diapers
- use natural cleaning solutions: salt, baking soda, lemons, vinegar, etc 
- treat illnesses more naturally - garlic, vinegars, broth, whole food eating, probiotics, etc.

I have actually begun to do some of these things over the last year or so, which is exciting:

We really strive to not eat much, if any, processed food, and I make most of our food now - whole food eating.  I really think this is better for the young'uns, and we haven't been too sick since doing this more regularly.  We are also taking probiotics and taking daily cod liver oil, which is supposed to be great as a source of Vitamin D and as a boost to your immune system.  The kids have been great about it...I think it's been a gradual shift anyway over the years to this, so there's not too much of a change.  We also try to eat organic, although that gets a bit pricey.  But it's more do-able than it used to be!

We used cloth diapers for a while because I was borrowing from a friend.  But then she found out she was pregnant again, and asked for them back.  I have not ponied up the funds to get more at this point, but I still would like to cloth diaper.  I am also interested in doing gradual early potty training, but we'll see about that.  I think I should've started by now if i was going to do that.  I make my own wipes too, using this recipe - and they work great.

I clean naturally sometimes.  It's not an all-the-time thing, but it is sort of as I run out of cleaning supplies, I just replace it with a natural solution, and I find they clean well. Pinterest is a great resource for this. Vinegar, salt, lemons, and baking soda - all I need, apparently.

Also, medicinally - I have begun using essential oils a lot.  Eucalyptus oil is pretty amazing - fights congestion in noses and cold and flu viruses.  Although I am not above tylenol or motrin if really needed.  However, I have become a big believer in preventative techniques...like eating raw garlic regularly, taking probiotics, whole food eating, and cod liver oil (as mentioned above).  As a family, we got sick with a light flu-like thing in September, and have really not gotten a big sickness all winter.  Sniffles, coughs, and light fevers on occasion, but they never developed into anything serious.  Jon got the flu over Christmas vacation, but -he wasn't taking any of the above stuff, so...

I pretty much hang our clothes to dry now, instead of using the dryer.  As long as I have the loads spread out over the week, it works.  This is mostly a money reason...I read that the dryer is one of the appliances that takes the most energy.

Lastly, I did have a tomato and herb garden this past summer.  And it was edible.  I plan on doing it again next summer and maybe adding cucumbers, since Jeremiah loves them.  And I can try some pickling!

The other ambitions from that post are, admittedly, a big undertaking.  (solar panels?  A used-oil energy efficient truck conversion?) But, they are something I am interested in as a concept.

Any tips/tricks/ideas that you have to offer?

1 comment:

The Howry's said...

I know we have already talked about all this....I'm so happy whenever I hear of a friend doing similar things as me, it helps me feel more confident and less weird! We can't afford all organic either...especially meat, that's just insanely expensive! So we stick to the "Clean 15" and avoid the "Dirty Dozen" (I can get you the link if you haven't already heard of these!) Also, we can't afford grass fed, organic, humanely raised meat so we usually just skip it all together and stick to beans, wild rice, quinoa, nuts, and fruits and veggies. Oh, and we just started making our own yogurt from organic milk!! So yummy. That is all I have for now. I could write several posts about each aspect of what we do now, but I am sure that would bore most people. lol. Love you friend!!
P.S. Blogger asked me to prove I'm not a robot. I'm NOT a robot, I promise, but those word things are just hard to read, I almost always fail the first time! OK that was just a little sidenote. haha