20 April 2009

Green to Granola?

That is one week's worth of recyclable materials from Casa My House minus the fact we were gone for 2 whole days....

When we first started the recycling bit, it took a while to catch on. I found myself digging plastic containers and cardboard boxing out of the trash every now and then (um, eww). But, now it is so much of a routine, Conner even knows where the paper and plastics go (we don't have cans as I don't purchase carbonated beverages with the very tiny exception of parties or company).

In efforts to go "green"er and save some cash, we've also implemented the following:
  • No more dry cycle on the dish washer - Air dry all the way!
  • Full loads only in the washing machine, partial loads are a waste of water and electricity (obviously). Plus, we have a front loader which saves additional H20 and power.
  • Unplugging electronics that are not in use - everything from my electric razor to the can opener to the toaster oven and the laptop charger.
  • Reusable Grocery Bags - I've got 5 now, and I buy one every other week. What I love other than the fact that I'm being "green" is the fact that they fit so much stuff! As in, two gallons of milk fit in one bag, so it means less trips to the car (for my husband... well, when he does it...)
  • Michael brings home The Wall Street Journal every day for recycling (that's 25 newspapers a month!) (and have you seen how thick those things are?) as well as all the extra paper from his office
  • ....and other small things that add up....
When I spend time at other's homes that don't recycle, I find myself LITERALLY resisting the urge to dig through their trash and pull out the recyclable materials, stash them in my car and toss them in the orange recycle bags at my house.

Would that be wrong? - I wouldn't do it because I was being all judgey judgey, I'd do it because I want to help... Ok, I won't .... but, just know I think about it. Even on vacation, I consider packing up all the recyclables and bringing them home (and I have...).


I've been reading a few blogs, like the Mama Manifesto on how to take my "going green" efforts and transform or transition into "going granola", that is... incorporating more organic materials and less toxins into my tiny tots (and I guess myself and Michael too... ge'ez) while continuing my efforts to be as green as I can.

Why green to granola-ish, you might ask?
Well, for starters:
  • reducing pesticide, additives and preservatives intake for my wee-ones - read the following:
    "Artificial colorings and preservatives in food and drink are thought to contribute to hyperactivity in pre-school children, and while many still contest this issue, a recent study in the UK found that the proportion of hyperactive children was halved when additives were removed from their diets. Many additives—such as preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, MSG, hydrogenated fat, and phosphoric acid—are prohibited in organic food production." - source
  • toxins and chemicals used in "non-organic" foods and goods are harmful to the environment
  • organic foods have been found to contain higher levels of the "good stuff", basically maintaining their natural antioxidants, fructose and glucose as well as the other nutritional benefits of fruits and veggies say these people.
  • Interesting tidbit:
"Research at the Rodale Institute has shown that organic practices can remove about 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year and sequester it in an acre of farmland." - source: Tim J. LaSalle and Paul Hepperly, Regenerative Organic Farming: A Solution to Global Warming, Rodale Institute, 2008.

...and those are just a few benefits... (more can be found here or here)

Thing is - it's a little overwhelming. Where do I start? 

First off, I don't have a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods in my area (here is the part where I mention that Birmingham has Whole Foods and I cringe to think I don't live there anymore.... *SIGH* annnnnnd digression.)

Oh.... and organic is EXPENSIVE. As in, I noticed that organic applesauce versus Mott's Natural (I still buy the "good stuff"... no thick syrups, 100% fruit juice, little to no preservatives, please... etc.) and it was $1.50 more for the same amount. People! That's BUDGET BUSTING stuff.

My children never drink sodas (nor do I).
 (Mike = different story... he has a stash at work. FINGER POINTING, MICHAEL, FINGER POINTING!!) 

Conner is a very, very picky eater, so he doesn't eat well... but I'm doing my best people. Chase, on the other hand, loves chicken and eggs (which I do buy organic, cage-free with extra omegas.... blah blah blah), yogurt, aforementioned applesauce, fruits, etc. So, he's eating healthy... but not organic.

As far as cleaning products, I've switched almost solely to vinegar and water for most cleaning and then I use Seventh Generation for deeper cleanings. Soap and water are commonly used as well, but I do use bleach in the toilets and on the kitchen floor but then I rinse the residue away. I am also an avid Clorox Wiper for public places and things I KNOW need disinfecting. Clorox Wipes = not organic and surely full of toxins.

How do I incorporate more chewy granola into my slightly green life? Not straight up oatmeal, but maybe Quaker Oats Chewy Granola Bars with Chocolate Chips (which aren't organic, btw)?? Can't I just straddle the fence? 

                 Source: QuakerOats.com

Am I rambling? Answer: YES.

But, I'll close with this (it's printed on the back of a plastic cup we use to wash the boys during bath time, and is stored right outside my glass shower, so I read it every day....)

Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.  - Kenyan Proverb. 

(Psst.... product review and giveaway on Earth Day!!)


  1. What a nice post! We don't have recycling in my tiny town (unless you drive to this place that has a "cardboard only" dumpster. Which I do when we have cardboard). But I really liked that quote at the end too.

  2. That made me want to "Go Green!" :o) Thanks hun! How do I make the little orange men tie orange recycle bags to my trash can?

  3. I don't wanna go green

    and that's all there is to it.

    Try and make me !
    (Neener Neener)

  4. @ Rachel - There's a number in the municipal pages in the phonebook for Montgomery Recycling and they will send you a "starter" kit .... OR... just put a sign on your trash can that says you'd like a few orange bags and put it out with the trash on the day your orange truck runs (mine is Monday).

    Once you start using them, they replace them each time you set one out.

    @ Staci - You can't go green, you're too busy GOING DUTCH. Crazy Netherland lovin' fool.

  5. hmmm, not a recycling kinda girl, sorry, but we do burn our trash and only have like 2 sacks a month to take to the dump.. is that any better? (debatable- some say yes, some say no). As for organic however- almost ANYTHING that goes in Kylies mouth was grown here on Farm a la Bonnie- from eggs, to beef, pork, veggies, even non-homogenized non-pasteurized fresh from the cow milk. Mommy and Daddy however? we MickyD's it. Funny what were willing to do for our kids but not ourselves...

  6. I grew up in Gadsden, and my parents still live there. There is no real recycling program so it KILLS me when I visit (like last week) to toss all of that stuff (520 miles is a little too far to bring back to my home).

    Where I live, we've had a recycling program for years. In fact, we are awaiting delivery from the city of a 65 gallon can for all recyclables! It will be picked up bi-weekly instead of weekly, but who cares? It's 65 gallons and they will take chipboard and junk mail! I get giddy just thinking about it...


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