Tag Archives: one small change

What Small Green Steps Have You Taken? Ready for More?

A few months ago I joined the One Small Change challenge. Today being Earth Day, I thought I would share how things went and where to go from here. Plus I’ll share some Earth Day tips from around the web.

How Did One Small Change Go?

My ability to stick with my changes for One Small Change were pretty varied. Getting to the co-op for fresh, mostly local and/or organic produce has been difficult to say the least. Saturday mornings just have not been the right time for that to be easy for me. But I’m determined to keep doing it when the schedule works out. I love the variety available.

Washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar is actually working pretty well now. I’ve used shampoo every here and there, but it’s maybe every 3 weeks. My hair seems to be adjusting pretty well. So far no complaints from family members. The baking soda and vinegar do a very nice job of keeping my hair clean.

Eating at least one vegetarian meal a week has been very challenging. The month I chose to do it in had a lot of disruptions to my routine, which meant more meals were put together as fast as possible, too little spare time to find new recipes. But once again, I mean to stick to this.

I didn’t even come up with a new resolution for this month. Those schedule disruptions continued in too far. Things are easing up now.

Each of these changes sounded pretty easy, but it’s amazing how hard it is in real life. The ones dealing with food require pretty serious changes in my routine. The hair care routine isn’t really much different from washing my hair more conventionally, so it has been easier to do.

From here, of course, I’ll just keep trying to live as eco friendly a life as I can manage. How easy that will be I just don’t know. But this is Earth Day, and that means people have spent all week posting suggestions.

More Ways to Go Green – Earth Day Blog Posts from Around the Web

Green and Clean Mom offers 10 Ways to Make Earth Day Everyday with tips such as spending less money, using post consumer recycled toilet paper and eating local.

Mother Nature Network of course has plenty of posts on the topic of Earth Day, but I like the reminder to do things, not just attend local Earth Day celebrations. I especially like the reminder to not eat meat for the Day. The guerrilla gardening tip is fun too. My husband loves making seed bombs. And don’t forget the great reminder to let your representatives know you care about our planet!

Mashable isn’t a site focused on green topics, but they get into the act with

5 More Ways to Go Green for Earth Day. I rather think kids will enjoy their link to Green My Parents. Could be a good tool for helping your kids learn about the very real financial and environmental costs of your lifestyle.

Blisstree shares 10 places to volunteer during Earth Week, and they share links to Serve.org or Volunteermatch.org just in case none of the opportunities they list are near you.

Read, Read, Read!

Books are wonderful for learning more about what you and others can do for the environment. If you know you’ll only read the book once, try to get it from your local library. If you’re like me and reread just about everything, your own copy isn’t that bad a deal. If you already own a Kindle or other ebook reader, buying an electronic copy is not a bad way to go either.

Here are some books to consider. I haven’t read all of them, but they look promising, whether by being good for the environment or being good for your family.

I have to start out with two of my favorites, Free-Range Kids and Last Child in the Woods. They aren’t specifically about the environment, but how else are we to get kids to care about the environment if they don’t experience it? That includes giving them the freedom so many of us had as kids.

More titles to consider:

Girls Gone Green
Green Guide Families: The Complete Reference for Eco-Friendly Parents
The Omnivore’s Dilemma and/or The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids
Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It
Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells—Our Ride to the Renewable Future
Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage
Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet
Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution

One Small Change Month Three & Month Two Review

Month three of the One Small Change challenge already? How did that happen?

Month two’s challenge of washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar went pretty well. It’s a different feeling, and one I’m still experimenting with. Hair still comes out soft, but a different kind of soft that takes some getting used to.

This month’s challenge is going to be a bit more difficult for me. I want to get my family to eat at least one vegetarian dinner a week. Getting others involved is always a little more difficult.

The hard part about this is how my family generally reacts to vegetarian meals. There’s one that everyone enjoys, Sand and Shells, but that’s it.

My husband always says either that it would make a great side dish or suggests adding something to it, such as chicken, bacon, ground beef… you get the idea. He’ll accept the occasional vegetarian meal, but as a weekly thing may push his habits a little.

The two older kids are each challenging for this in their own way. Neither likes beans just now, although my son used to utterly adore them.

My oldest daughter loves barley in soup but not otherwise. She hates all nuts and nut products, except once in a while when she will enjoy cashews, but is just as likely to hate them the next day. She loathes couscous.

My son is just plain variable in what he will eat on any day, even favorite foods. He’s still highly resistant to all unfamiliar foods. On the plus side, he would take peanut butter as a food group if I let him. Except when he wouldn’t. He enjoys couscous sometimes.

I have some hope that a recipe with lentils will do well. They’ve all enjoyed those in homemade chicken soup, to the point that my daughter begs me to make it. Might be possible to get them eating lentils in another recipe.

I’ll probably start the first week with Sand and Shells, just because they go over well and the leftovers go into my daughter’s school lunches. Very easy lunch for her to bring, something I really appreciate in a leftover. This will also give me time to start looking up recipes and getting any ingredients I don’t already have on hand.

One Small Change Month Two & Month One Review

Here we are in the second month of the One Small Change challenge. Month one went all right for me. I didn’t get to go to the co-op as often as I would have liked. First week was easy, but the second and third weeks weren’t possible.

The last weekend of the month we were out of town. My grandfather’s 90th birthday and my daughter’s first birthday were the same day, so we had to have them together. The family had a big party for grandpa, mostly. But having them together like that was pretty special to me.

We’re still planning on continuing with the co-op as time allows. The produce was good.

So What About This Month?

This month I’m going to focus on what I use for hair care. I’ve kept it simple for a really long time – almost never use hair spray or other styling products, and I’ve found it rather thrives on being washed just over once a week. Unlike the rest of me.

No, I haven’t really tried delaying washing the rest of me for a week. I’m joking!

My hair is very long. I can almost sit on it. I’ve been meaning to switch from traditional shampoo and conditioner for a long time, but haven’t gotten around to doing the research to figure out quite what I want to do. I’m so far not up to the “no shampoo” level I’ve heard about. I’m considering the baking soda and vinegar route for starters.

I already use coconut oil sometimes in my hair. Makes it amazingly soft and is supposed to penetrate the hair. It’s also a good reminder to myself that natural products can work really well. I’ve tried jojoba oil too, which is lighter and also does a good job. Either only needs to be applied to the length and ends of the hair, not the scalp.

First Week with the Organic Produce Club

As I noted in my post for the One Small Change challenge, I joined an organic produce buying club, and this past Saturday was our first pick up. It went pretty well, except I forgot my reusable bag and our produce had to just rattle around in the trunk. Not quite ideal.

But the produce looked and looks mostly good. A small container of blueberries was included, which delighted the kids. The selection was pretty good, including some fresh cilantro and some other herbs along with the vegetables and fruit.

The organic carrots are gone already. One of my nieces came for a visit over the weekend. She’s an exceptionally picky eater but has learned to love carrots. At home she always gets those “baby” carrots that I’ll admit are quick and convenient, but lack any other advantages.

She loved the organic carrots. Nice, whole, just wash and eat carrots. It was really good to see that she could cope with them looking different from what she gets at home because that’s very often a big issue for her. And now her parents know that they can just buy her regular carrots if they want.

The produce included some collard greens, which I’m not so familiar with, but that’s a part of the plan, to have to figure out how to use certain foods. I didn’t want to do that this weekend with the picky eater possibly demotivating my kids, but now it’s all fair game!

I don’t know if we’ll make it out every week or so… that’s something I still have to discuss with my husband. The price is good for organic produce, I must say. We’ve been eating conventionally grown produce so long that the price difference is still there, and on our budget I do have to think about that. But we’re definitely doing more weeks. The exposure to different foods is worth it, as is supporting local farms with at least part of the purchase and getting organic produce.