Thursday, July 12, 2012

Living Thoughtfully

I had a huge garden harvest today. It felt really good to know I produced all this wonderful, fresh organic food for my family. After rinsing off my veggies, I started to look around the house. Am I really living up to my "living as naturally as possible" ideal? I know I can still improve in so many areas. I thought it would be fun to try and figure out all the things I already do and then make a list of things I hope to do soon. I would LOVE comments on this post. What do you do in your home that is not on this list??? Maybe I can motivate you and you can motivate me!!!

Things I already do:

grow all my own organic veggies
anything I have to buy- organic only
compost all food & yard waste
buy only organic dairy products
buy only antibiotic free meat & sustainable fish
purchase only organic and socially responsible coffee
use all natural make-up and beauty products
natural health remedies 
eat local when possible
recycle everything I can
100% recycled toilet paper
use cloth napkins
solar panels on house
no air conditioning
use cloth shopping bags
low flow toilets and shower heads
no pesticides in yard
use only natural cleaners in house
buy organic food for our pets
run laundry/ dishwasher during non-peak hours
read the ingredient list for everything I buy
drive a clean diesel car
natural laundry detergent
do not use plastic to store food or cook in
use a whole house water filter
shop at consignment stores
use cast iron pans
use no or low VOC paint
save lids, toilet paper roles, etc for kid's crafts 
unplug many appliances when not in use
reuse wine corks (I am creating a huge cork wall for a message board)
reuse jars as glasses or storage containers
only charge computers, phones, etc. at night
reusable water bottle
purchase 100% recycled printer paper
waste free lunch for the kiddies

Things on the To Do list:

rain barrel
bake all my own bread
take a canning class


  1. I LOVE your list. Ae you allowed to have chickens where you live? I am trying to get them legal where I live. How are you doing with your list?

  2. Hi Natalie,
    You have me beat by miles and miles. Good luck with your to do list!
    Love, Aunt Carole

  3. I listed my stuff at in a pdf if interested :)

    Thoughts: you don't need a class to learn to can, truly. Read the instructions that come on the pectin, or just google! Also, evaluate your driving habits ...ride a bike...

  4. Hi Erin! Yes we can have chickens here. Just have to talk the husband into it ;). My list is coming along nicely, but wow Ecogrrl great job! I realized looking at yours that I left a couple of things off mine, but you also gave me a lot of good ideas! Thanks!

  5. You are way ahead of me. I live with my parents and only one of the three of us have a job (dad is disabled and I am focusing on college). I have to convince my mom and dad everytime I try to get us to go greener. I have got us on the Energy Star light bulbs, have us recycling though I need to find out how to recycle more of what I have. We can't compost in my neighborhood so I want to find someone who I can add my compost stuff too or wait till next year when I get a community garden plot and do the composting there. I try to get them to buy organic whenever possible and we eat whatever we can get from my Grandpops garden (which is organic). I am about to fix up my bike now to use and get my late fees paid to start using the library more. We all try to arrange our schedules to use the car as little as possible (though my dad breaks this all the time). The last time we got laundry detergent, I got my mom to buy detergent made from plant materials. I use Vegan shampoo and conditioner and I think the lotion I use is eco-friendly (it's Burts Bees milk and honey body lotion). I use a re-usuable water bottle most of the time but on the rare occaision when we buy a plastic bottle at a gas station, me or my mom uses it until we see the plastic start wearing down and then we recycle it. When I clean my room I use Baking Soda or Vinegar or now the Eco-friendly Detergent to some water and add a drop or two of essential oil to make it smell nice. We don't have a garden yet, but I hope to do so next year and I also plan to can some of the harvest to use during other parts of the year. Also next year, I'm hoping to join with a friend or two to buy meat from a local farm that has grass fed cows and a local chicken farm (that I still have to check out). Oh, and also with some friends get food from local farms through a CSA program. I'm also going to buy cloth napkins soon and I'm thinking about buying a glass re-usable water bottle, I have a plastic one now. I'm a little worried now that it might be breaking down and leaking toxins in my water. Oh and I use re-usable shoping bags when I remember to use them (which I'm trying to be better at) and I shop at thrift stores and used book stores often.

  6. oh, and we use cast iron pans and I try to unplug things after I'm done using them and I've been doing my best to make myself healthier and prevent sickness with exercise and a healthy diet and when I do get a sore throat or need help sleeping or something else, I look to ways I can get better through all natural ways like diet or lifestyle changes.

  7. Hi! Thank you for commenting. You are doing awesome! And I can tell you are really motivated to do more. Only thing, please don't keep re-using those water bottles from the gas station. I used to do that because I thought I was making less waste, but those #1 plastic bottles are only meant for single use and will leach chemicals into your water over time. And definitely never drink water out of those after it has been left in the sun in your car. (Or heat up any type of plastic in your microwave)The heat just makes it leach more. I freaked myself out over chemicals and plastics and got rid of as much as I could. I saw that you mentioned this about your reusable bottle. Yes, glass or stainless steel is better. Keep up the good work. Would love to hear your progress. :) Also, love the community garden idea. When people see you doing that, you will be motivating others as well!