By Fredrica Syren:
My family and I have been on a green journey 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?
Making our own cleaners
Cleaning with homemade cleaners only
Using only natural pesticides
Using homemade fertilizers
Reducing food waste
Installing solar panels that provide all the energy we need
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
Buying at farmers’ markets
Buying package free goods
Bringing our own water bottles
Cooking at home
Making our own pickles, jams, krauts, teas, etc.
Using cloth instead of paper towels
Buying tree-free toilet papers
Buying organic anything as much as possible
Bringing our own food when out
Things we still want to work on:
- Going completely plastic free
- Growing more fruits on our homestead
- Biking more
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.