How deep do I dive into “Being Green”?

Should I just dip my toes into the water?  Should I wade only waist deep?  Or do I freely dive (well more like do a cannon ball because I am a horrible diver) into the world of “Being Green?”

Currently I am standing with my feet in the water wondering whether or not I want to get fully wet.  In no way is my house 100% eco-friendly.  Honestly, the idea is a little overwhelming.  There is so much to learn, and my knowledge is limited.  This will not stop me.  The idea that is most crippling is money, is it really feasible for a low income family of five to live green?   Another factor is people.  For some reason I think that the Christian community might have a hard time with my new found passion.  Most of the comments I receive are about this fallen world and good thing this isn’t our home.   One day, Jesus will come back and restore this earth to perfection.  Until then, I will appreciate His art and take care of it.  God made me in His image, and although I have fallen short- I still want to respect and honor His image.  I love my community- and I pray that they will understand my desire to honor God’s creation, self sustain, learn, and ask questions.  This is my conviction, and part of the conviction is to raise awareness.

Luc and I were talking about this in the kitchen the other night as I looked at food labels.  “How far are we going to go in all of this?” I asked, “And as we learn new things we can’t just turn our eyes at we know.”  For example, Kaleb loves noodles.  My first thought is to pull out the Top Ramen (it is fast and very cheap), but then I look on the back of the label and the little bag of seasonings is just too much.  I can’t do it, how could I feed this to my son?  I think of Matthew 7:9-11 “9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  I understand this is a little out of context but in my mind that is what I’m thinking- why would I give something to him that is not whole?  I want to give good gifts to my children.  I want to give their bodies a chance.  I am affecting their health in the future.  That is a lot of responsibility and as a mother this is my role.

A lot of instances in life I am asking myself, “Why do I do this.”  Why do I wash and condition my hair every day with Pantene?  Why can’t I make my own shampoo and conditioner?  Why do I put the clothes in the dryer when it is sunny and windy outside?  Why do I buy vegetables at the store when I can grow them myself?  Why is there the need to buy brand new items (clothes, furniture, household items)?   I feel that this world has gone so far away from truth and reasonable living- and I am very guilty of this.  I think about other people in different parts of the world.  I bet they have never seen so many food items that I see on a daily basis.  How can I complain about my lifestyle when others are suffering?  What can I possibly do to help this world and His children?

I will do the best that I can do.  I will not let limitations or ignorance stop me.  I will be a good steward with what God has given me- and I will ask  Him to show me the way.

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One thought on “How deep do I dive into “Being Green”?

  1. You bring up a good point. Most Christians don’t understand going green. I think it’s the conservative aspect of Christians- most tend to be conservative republican and anyone/thing green is liberal on or a liberal adgenda. But most Christians fail to see their responsibility in caretaking of the garden. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, I don’t believe their responsibilities in caretaking the planet were lessened any. It’s like sending a kid to his/her room. Just because you were made to leave the living room and sent to your room does not give you license to trash your room and never have to take care of it again.

    Anyway for some of us “going green” is easy because it’s how we grew up. I grew up in California. A state in perpetual drought and budge problems, and growing up on ranches out in the middle of nowhere. I mean, grocery shoping was a once a month trip that took 2hrs to get to town. Sounds very oldfashioned BUT with that lifestyle you grew up taking 5 min showers every other day, using “phosphate free” products because you didn’t want to contaminate your already limited water source. Only turing sink water on to rinse your toothbrush and wash your mouth- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let the water run. Taking your own bags everywhere- not just the grocery store, and you recycled EVERYTHING! We made new meals with left overs and ate what we had or grew. We learned to plans meals around what we had and eat with the seasons.
    It makes me laugh when Oregonians talk about “leading the green movement” because what people are starting to do is what many people all over the world have been doing for generations. When I moved in my early 20’s people made fun of me for using my own grocery bags. I was most appaled by having to pay $5.oo/week for recycling bins- bnow they are a courtesy- go figure.

    What has caught me off guard is the food. There was a time when cooking from scratch was more economical than buying boxed. Not anymore. And that’s been the hardest transition for me. Organic and natural are now selling points and people- even farmers now mark up their foods to sometimes more than grocery store prices. So that’s been hard.

    We can’t protect our kids from everything, but we can do our best with what we know because the Bible does tell us “to whom much is given, much is required” meaning we are accountable for what we know.

    So here is what I do and hopefully it helps:

    Ramen- make ramen, don’t use the packet- or use very little of it. Use chicken stock when ever possible- I use Better Than Bouliion- it looks expensive but it goes a long way!
    I buy Delmonte and Farmhouse products when ever I can- because Farmhouse is all natural, has been for years, and they are inexpensive pastas. Delmonte uses more fresh ingredients and less chemicals than other makers of the same products. These products are in all supermarkets and you don’t need to go to a specialty store to get them.

    Non organic fruits and veggies- wash, wash, wash! If you can get non chemical sprayed great, if you can’t- wash wash wash. Thicker skinned things are going to have less of a threat than thin skinned things like berries.
    Plan your menu’s around what’s on sale. It takes a little work, but your $’s will go farther in the long run. Take your savings and stock up on sale items.

    And most importantly, learn to do with out or less. I know it brings to mind “I’m already doing with out!” but here me out.

    I stopped buying cheap popsicles and we make our own from fresh squeezed juice. Because it doesn’t happen very often- it truely is a treat. Also, I will spend the extra money on 100% fruitbars- just not all the time. Your kids are small enough that anything frozen on a stick is a treat- I even froze a lemon slice in ice cubes so leanne could get to the “treat” in the middle. It was fun and she liked lemons so there- cheap instant treat.

    If you want more tips, I strongly suggest you get a book from the library called “What to do with Toddlers and Two’s” I don’t know the name of the author but it’s written by a lady who headed up the national head start program for about 15 years. The book is FILLED with “green” ideas if you will. How to make toys and games with everyday items AND it includes some great easy, inexpensive, meal ideas that kids will love!

    There are so many more tips and tricks I can give you but I’ll leave you with this for now. If you ever have any questions or wonder, feel free to ask. I’ve been doing this my whole life.

    GB-Tish

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