Baseball season has started, so have my recycling program volunteer duties. Track season has started, so have my carpool obligations. Tonight we have kindergarten round-up for a very excited 4-year old. We also have countless meetings, a doctor appointment, two orthodontist appointments and a home repair issue that needs to be addressed this week. My life doesn't feel very light.
One of the boy's bikes has a flat tire, the screen for the kitchen window has gone missing and one of the dogs is sick. Bills and mail pile high in the office because instead of sorting through the mess, I've been helping with Algebra homework, finding green shirts for St. Patty's day, digging out last year's baseball pants for practice and making posters for T-ball meet & greet day. Chances are I will buy a new screen, continue to ignore the bills and be tempted to buy new stuff to make the poster rather than dig through my craft scrap bin. My life doesn't feel very green.
When I first started to blog - I had a To-Do List. There were things I wanted to accomplish, I wasn't thinking too big, just simple things. Paper towels, thrift store shopping and driving less. After I hit a couple of those goals, I started to get distracted by gorgeous front yard gardens, awesome all-local meals, riots for austerity and so on. And then I started kicking myself for being unable to do many of those things.
For those of you who are just beginning on your green journey, or for those like me, readjusting your green GPS unit to reflect your busy family life or a tighter budget due to the economy, join me. I'm going back to the green basics.
I'm reminding myself not to take more than one paper towel in the public restroom. I'm remembering to bring my book or my bike to the boy's baseball practice to keep myself busy so I'm not driving all the way back home only to drive right back two hours later. I'm making an effort to do the little things that can make a big difference.
My refreshed and renewed To-Do list goes a little something like this:
Drive less, walk more - Maybe this is a direct result of the weather finally warming here in Michigan, but walking to the corner store, to the park, with the dog or just quietly by myself has been a treat lately. Making sure to drive the boys to baseball practice - and stay there myself - means thinking in advance to bring the book / dog / bike that I wanted to use during that two hours.
Less Target, more thrift store - Last year I did a great job getting to the thrift shop, which happened to be close to a local Farmer's Market in my town every Wednesday. Then, I went back to work and was unable to get to the Wednesday market, so in turn, I missed my weekly trip to the thrift store. My boys are in need of t-shirts, shorts and much more, so this weekend I plan to take a couple of hours to visit a couple of thrift stores to see if I can fill the gaps in their closets. I might even return those PJs I bought at Target, if I can find a replacement pair!
Less yard waste, more compost - Hiding out in my basement I have a rather large, unused wire dog crate. It's my goal to retro-fit the hinged door, add a handle for easy rolling and haul it out doors. It can easily be filled with yard waste, grass clippings, potato peels and such that will make great compost and it won't cost me anything but time.
Less energy, more savings - This summer I want to focus on better ways to cool my home without the air conditioning. Strategically placed fans, opening and closing windows at the right time and closing the blinds. The same goes for water. Using dehumidifier grey water for flower pots, collecting rain run off for the landscaping and making sure the cool showers on hot, sticky days don't last too long.
More free fun - We have memberships to the Zoo and a couple of museums. We also have two parks, a library and an entire rails to trails bike path system within a few minutes of my house. Using these fun resources more often, even if it means buying breakfast for the family at the end of the trail or treating the kids to ice cream at the museum, means more time spent together as a family instead of sitting silent right next to each other at the movie theater. And, they just might learn something, you never know!
Less stress, more fun - No more freaking out about too many peaches to can or freeze, the extras will make lovely gifts to the neighbors. No more obsessing about where every single ingredient came from in each meal or weather or not I should have grown it myself in my landscaping bed. Most of all, I plan to cut back on the "Mom's busy, OK?!?" and turn off the computer and get outdoors. Shoot some hoops with the boys, take a dip in the lake, play fetch with the dog, or just sit quietly and enjoy the sunshine.
I am hoping as I write this, by leaving my To-Do list here, for everyone to see, I will stick to it, keep on course and follow where my green GPS leads me.