MegaEarthy: 50 Shades of Green

Since I was young, I have been concerned for the environment. I even had a Greenpeace tote bag and T-shirt in Junior High. I probably felt that this meant I was “green.” Besides sorting the recycling for my mother, I’m quite sure I was not. But how much does one have to DO in order to say you’ve “gone green?” Are there different levels of greenness? When, exactly, can I say I’ve done my part and can stop feeling guilty for killing the planet?

So, how green am I, really? On the one hand, I keep my house toasty in the winter and as cool as possible in the summer. I let my car idle to warm up and while waiting to pick my kids up from school, sometimes with the air conditioning on. I buy products which are disposable, and are sold with far too much packaging. I could go on and on.

On the other hand, there are many things I do to try to be green. We recycle, and I recently put our bins where we can easily access them – they had been in a closet and I’m pretty sure I was the only one aware of their existence. I’m constantly turning off lights and TV’s (usually left on my on of my children . . . or husband). We buy local produce, when possible (which isn’t often, in our little town). I try to conserve water, whenever I can; I even purchased a high efficiency washer and dryer set. I still feel that all of these things do very little for the world; like I’m living at a low-level of greenness.

Our cutest cloth diaper, bumGenius in Lovelace ❤

A couple of months ago, I made a change that I feel ups my green level and actually makes a daily difference. I began to use cloth diapers on my baby. Now, I’m sure that I’ll be writing more about this in a later entry, but I’ll sum up for now. It makes me feel like I’m actually achieving something. After diapering my first two children in disposables, I’m proud that this child’s waste is no longer (she started in disposables) rolled up in indestructible, plastic packages, taking up space in a landfill for the next 1000 years. The amount of garbage we accumulate has gone way down, since making this change. Now, I’m still using disposable wipes (the hard-cord cloth mamas use cloth wipes!), so I’m still creating garbage in the nursery, but am feeling more green than ever! Babies tend to use 10-12 diapers a day, for the first 2-3 years of their lives. That’s a whole lot of nasty, if you ask me! It takes a small investment to start, but you save tons more, in the long run. It also takes a commitment to spend time washing and reassembling them, but it’s all worth it to make a difference in this way! However, I know that there is a lot more I can do, in my daily life, to do better.

We hold the health of the world, in our hands!

When it comes down to it, it’s the everyday decisions that matter. If you make a conscious effort to make “green” choices, then that’s the difference you make, today. I plan to ask myself, “how green can I be today?” upon waking, from now on, and to remind myself to make good choices throughout the day. There have to be at least 50 shades of green, in terms of how our daily decisions effect the health of the environment. I’m going to try, every day, to make my shade the greenest that I can.

What shade of green will YOU be today??

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