By Fredrica Syren:
This week world scientist issued an warming: We only have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe. What happens if we let climate change continue? Small episode of additional warming matters because it increases the risk of profound or even irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems. Global sea level will rise that will put many people around the globe at risk.There will be more heatwaves and hot summers and, for many parts of the world, worse droughts and rainfall extremes.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with all this information and have the feeling you want to close your eyes to the whole things. Personal action is super important and we should always try hard to reduce our own carbon footprint.
My family and I have been working on this since 2006. I think most people assume I was “born green.” The truth is that, before 2006, I did favor organic food and I did recycle … and I think that was about it. Once we made the decision to reduce our carbon footprint, we executed changes over many years. I truly believe it takes baby steps to go green and that you have to challenge yourself over years because few people can carry out drastic changes right away.
For over 11 years, we have been taking measures toward a more sustainable life, and 3 years ago we took the leap and went zero waste. I still feel there is room for more improvement, but there are days when I just want to throw in the towel and give up. And then I’m reminded of why I do this — my kids — so they will have a planet to live on and to make sure they grow up as healthy as possible.
The question is this: What changes have we made to reduce our carbon footprint and to live a more green life?
Only buy organic clothes
Printing on 100% recycled and bleach free paper
Removed our lawn
Buy used clothes as much as possible
Making our own household cleaners
Making coffee to go
Cleaning with homemade cleaners only
Recycling water for the garden
Using only natural pesticides
Using homemade fertilizers
Reducing food waste
Paying bills electronically and refusing paper statements and bills
Read books electronically
Use recycled materials for arts and crafts
Only using energy from our solar panels
Driving one car
Washing laundry with cold water
Hanging clothes to dry
Buying used as much as possible
Living a minimal life
Fixing what is broken
Giving up on most plastic
Buying in bulk
Baking all our breads
Making our own jams, mustard, ketchup etc.
Buying at farmers’ markets
Buying package free goods
Bringing our own water bottles
Cooking at home
Skipping paper paper towels and napkins and using cloth instead
Making our own pickles, jams, krauts, teas, etc.
Using cloth diapers
Using cloth instead of paper towels
Buying tree-free toilet papers
Buying organic anything as much as possible
Bringing our own food when out
Packing school lunches zero waste and in reusable bento boxes
Things we still want to work on:
- Going completely plastic free
- Biking more
- Grow even more of our food
I gave a speech about living green and reducing waste last week. I told the audience that our list of accomplishments is long and what we are working on is short only because we have been pursuing green living over many years. You must be kind to yourself and know that nobody is perfect.