Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Green is Good

My blogger friend, Angi, has inspired me to write a list of the greener things that my family has adopted recently.

We downsized to ONE family car. Yes, it is an SUV, but the hybrid couldn't hold us all and our stuff. We get between 20-26 miles per gallon, and usually have more than one person in the car at a time. It takes more communication and motivation to get things scheduled, and I walk to the store when I only need a few things. BOB stroller saves my butt on this, it doubles as my shopping cart!

Most days, Jeff rides a bus to work and back. He walks 8 blocks to the park and ride, but sometimes if the weather is horrible or he has slept too late, Ryan and I drive him there. 

We subscribe to a local organic farm for home delivered produce. What we put in our bodies is mainly my responsibility and I take it very seriously.  I also made the majority of Ryan's baby food myself (it was so easy!) so I know exactly what's going in to keep him running around.  We have a small raised bed garden for the past 3 years and have had homegrown tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, and apples.  This spring, we dug up the south side yard and expanded our efforts. If all goes well we will have plums, leeks, shallots, parsnips, butternut squash, zucchini, and yellow squash to add to the usual. The lettuce already died :(

We've started eating only 100% grass fed beef-when we buy it. Cows are ruminants, and aren't meant to eat corn. I can taste a difference. It is pretty expensive, so we don't do it often. We've also discovered the joy of buffalo. It has less calories and fat than beef and is making a comeback.

Our daycare provider (Jenn) is a close friend who opened her own business this year.  While interviewing other agencies (before Jenn was set up) who would be caring for Ryan 2 days a week, I reviewed their menus. I was offended by the choices offered for foods.  When I read hot dogs and teriyaki chicken, I almost ran out the door!  Jenn is committed to provided organic foods when available and organic milk for my little guy. He LOVES going to play at her house and feels at home there. I never worry about him when he's with her.

All paint that we have used in this house has been no VOC.  We've redone 3 rooms and will possibly be changing a 4th in the next year. We also replaced a wall to wall nasty carpet with wool carpeting and a no VOC carpet pad.  It is the best feeling stuff ever on bare feet!

Ryan wears lots of hand me downs from Jenn's son, Andrew. So our clothing footprint in the infant sizes is pretty small. We sell some things at the consignment store, and always end up with a new toy or outfit when we go in. 

I line dry clothes when the weather is cooperative. Hopefully, it will be more cooperative soon! Our washer and dryer are not exactly new, so if we were to win more than $500 in the lottery, they would be replaced with a more efficient pair. (hear that lottery people, I don't NEED the mega millions, just a little off the top!)

So there's my Green sheet for the day. See if you can make a difference in your little part of the world too.

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring is Finally here!

A lot of things are happening around here. Here are some recent photos. We had two messy birch trees removed from our backyard just in time for the sunshine to start pouring in!

Ryan's curls are killing me! They are so sweet right from the bath, but are getting a bit matted in the back between brushings. I can't bring myself to cut his hair yet though.  Neither Jeff nor I had this much body in our hair as babies. I'm blaming my mother. :)

With the weather looking better, I am bombarded with constant
 requests for "Side?" (Ryanese for "May we go outside now, Mother dear?")  So we have been out in the yard quite a bit. Today I was presented with my first bouquet. My lovely son do
es not real
ize that you need stems to keep the flowers, but he's mighty good weed whacker!

His favorite outdoor toy is a flat river rock. It is his constant companion, and serves as: a cell phone (see photo), a ball to throw, and something to put into nooks and crannies.  He also enjoys digging in the dirt, which is great, since we have a garden, but we may have to leave a portion of it plant free to provide a chance for daily digging.
 Otherwise, we may come up with bare dirt and no veggies at the end of the summer.