I'd say we're starting off as a pretty average suburban family when it comes to sustainability. We recycle paper, cardboard, glass, and aluminum...most of the time. We try to remember our reusable bags (though we only use them at the grocery). We try not to waste too much water when we're doing the dishes...
Short story, we have a long way to go! Knowing that big changes seldom work if you make them too big too fast, we decided to set three small sustainability goals each month.
For month one these were our goals:
1. A new natural grocery store opened a couple weeks ago. They have a GREAT bulk foods section. Buying in bulk means switching over some of our eating habits. Instead of chips and crackers for snacks we're now eating nuts, dried fruit, and a low-cal granola. I'm cooking more with rice, beans and oats. In addition to all of these being healthier, they are also a lot cheaper. We did a buy a few airtight containers to get us going and have since also upcycled a lot of salsa jars.
2. We've always had cloth napkins, but before this challenge we saved them for "special dinners". In January we switched to cloth napkins full-time. This was an easy switch. (We did buy another pack of cloth napkins to make sure we would have enough.) Because James associates cloth napkins with special/fancy meals, he now thinks macaroni is an event. I'm not sure how long this will last, but for now it adds a fun dimension to simple family dinners.
3. Our City offers a free energy audit. We called and within a week our home was meticulously inspected by an energy person. The specialist offered tips on covering the attic fan vent in the winter, adding insulation to the attic, and weather stripping for the exterior doors. In addition to wasting less, these changes will also save us money and keep us warmer this winter. As I write this, we are in an ice storm...
As we've started with our sustainability mission, I've noticed all of us changing other things naturally. Bit by bit we're developing a kitchen, pantry, and lifestyle that we can all feel better about.
I'll be back at the end of February to tell you how month two goes.
Still in progress, KFW
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