Saturday, January 1, 2011

Organic living, 4th quarter: 2010 New Year's Resolution Revisited

(By the way, is it New Years or New Year's? I'm going to err on the side of it being possessive.)

Here we go. The last post on this particular topic. One last run around the block.

Things that I have learned and/or realized:
*It's really uncomfortable to me to watch someone throw something away that is easily and fully recycle-able, like paper. Or cans. Or wrapping paper.
*Howard Co. has a kickin' recycling program, though we can no longer recycle styrofoam. It's really uncomfortable to me to throw styrofoam away, too.
*Eating much more vegetarian-ly has caused me to lose a bit of weight, kinda, though I've griped on here before that it hasn't. I measure weight gain and loss by the way that my clothes fit, which right now means that I'm starting to look for new jeans (which are, mind you, pre-baby jeans). This is an interesting and paradoxical situation for me coming straight out of the holidays where I have not abided by anything resembling moderation.
*I haven't purchased raw beef or chicken for...months.
*Organic living is really more about sustainable living for us, which means that when I just purchased a new pillow for myself a few days ago and was deciding between two different ones, I ultimately chose the one that was made from sustainable materials, taking that into consideration over the other one, which was not.
*I am trying to be more aware/conscious about all products around me, not just food. Meaning, that I factor this mentality into other purchases--lotion, toothpaste, shaving gel. Parabens and phalates are everywhere, unfortunately.
*Tom's of Maine toothpaste has an odd taste at first, but I quickly became used to it.
*I don't like the "green" shaving lotion.
*There is a branch of literature studies called "Eco-criticism."
*Abby enjoys recycling.
*Our family recycles a lot. Our garage becomes rather over-run by recycle-able packaging in 1-2 weeks. We have one bag of garbage in our kitchen approximately every 2 weeks. We empty the other garbage containers in our house about once a month. Our recycling - landfill garbage ratio is pretty good, I'd say.
*You can't recycle paper packaging with the waxy coating on it, like a cardboard milk carton.
*Eco-friendly cat litter is quite comparable to the traditional "clay" litter and way better environmentally.
*Our compost bin has really really reduced the amount of garbage that we throw out. Even though we have a garbage disposal, there is still a good amount of waste that can't be put in it (like carrots). We may not be around this house long enough to really enjoy the fruits of the compost's labor, but it still makes us happy that we have a better place to put this waste.
*Soy candles. Mmm.
*Programmable thermostat. Effective.
*Low-flow shower head. Relaxing.
*Cloth diapers. Easy to use. Easy to launder. Less guilt. That being said, Abby needs to embrace using the potty. It would be nice.
*Meijer is fairly organic-friendly. Marsh is not.

This has been the first "resolution" that I've seriously made. It's totally doable, and small shifts in our way of living that I already see as making a difference. Here's to a society that continues to understand the importance of such changes!

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