Sunday, March 30, 2008

Going Green

Well, I have decided that it is my responsibility, as well as everyone who inhabits this earth to take care of it. I mean, it is the only one that we have, and it is probably tired of being used and abused. Because of this, I am going to take a stand, or at least do my part to help stop the abuse. If the Earth and I somehow switched places, I would want the Earth to think about me and preserve me for future generations.

So why now you ask? Why take a stand now? Well, I have always tried to recycle my cans, bottles, and newspapers, but to be honest (and I feel bad admitting this) that's about where my commitment ended. As long as it didn't take too much trouble for me, I would do what I could.

So what has changed? Well, since I have been home, I have watched some discovery channel shows about wildlife and animals, and sadly enough it seems that the majority of the shows are talking about the depleting populations of *insert given species here* and how we will see the extinction of this animal within our lifetime. Even when we went to the zoo, some of the zookeepers matter-of-factly said "This animal is so endangered that we CANNOT save it in time. We WILL see the end of this animal within our lifetime". I then turn the channel and hear about a protest that someone is doing to protect the land from building, such as the 241 expansion project. Just the other day I heard about a homebuilder who allegedly continued to build on a supposed sacred Indian burial ground despite protests from the Indians as well as finding the remnants of human remains. From what the news report said this homebuilder just tossed their "findings" in a collective area and kept quiet about what they found continuing to build and sell property on that land just to make a dollar. And of course let's not forget our ever increasing gas prices because of our reliance on foreign countries for oil.

I then picked up a parenting magazine and read an article found in the April 2008 "Parents" magazine on the pros and cons of using disposable versus cloth diapers. Interestingly enough, I had considered using cloth diapers when Caiden was born, and again with Kiya. However, this article stated that the results of four years of research done by a British Environmental Agency concluded that cloth diapers for all of their trouble are no more damaging to the environment than disposables simply because of the cost to launder (water and electricity and such) them. Of course that doesn't give everyone a free pass to continue to avoid the impending depletion of many resources and extinction of many animals and plants that we have come to know, love and/or appreciate the beauty of.

I mean, we always hear these types of stories, but does anyone really DO anything about it? Have we heard it so much that it is falling on deaf ears, or do we think that someone else is going to take care of the earth for us so we don't have to?

It really got me to thinking...which if you know me can be both a dangerous and sometimes funny thing. (anyone ever hear my Target story?)

When I lived in Oregon I LOVED walking through the rain forest areas. I love all of the greenery, and I enjoy wildlife and animals. When I was younger, my parents would take me places like Yellowstone and Yosemite, and I was amazed at the beauty and marvel of both the location and the animal inhabitants that live there. I would hate to think that my children or even Kiya and Caiden's children would miss out on opportunities to enjoy and appreciate the beauty that this planet has to offer.

I may not start making my clothes out of hemp or other natural products, but I am going to be more conscious of what I use, and products that I choose. For example, I found at Target a whole line of baby products that are environmentally friendly (see picture above). Also I started buying laundry detergent that is "free and clear"...using less to conserve. Clorox has come out with some "green" products that I am going to start trying, and see how they add up. I have started taking the grocery bags back to the store to reuse, or if I forget I put them in my recycling container to be recycled.

I don't know how much of a difference I am making or how it will impact the earth as a whole, but I do know one thing. I am DOING something about it, and I am teaching my children to respect the Earth and its inhabitants too. After all, we all rely on each other. :)


Marie said...
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HeatherW said...

Make sure you do your research on the “green” products. Sometimes they are no different (other than price) from the regular product.

I use my grocery sacks to pick up dog poop!! HEHEHEHE!!

Thank you for putting in an effort to help our little old planet. GO MELISSA!!!!

Pam said...

Good to hear that you're thinking about the environment. I read the same article about diapers and was kind of disappointed since I had considered trying out cloth, but it doesn't seem like it's proven to be any better for the environment.

Mel said...

Pam: Not only was it not proven, but it is a lot of work. When I was a nanny we used cloth diapers for 1 year and it was hard...of course that was 17 years ago before they had these new cloth diapers...I had to use the ones with the safety pins. Very scary when the baby is moving all around.

The article I read said one of the new cloth diapers had some kind of insert that you could take out and swish in the toilet, but he said it broke up into little particles that he ingested. YUCK!

Wendy said...

The diapers you are talking about with the insert I looked into. it sounds like they would be a little better but I talked to Jake and he seemed to think that the cost of cleaning the toilet water and hauling the stuff to the dump didn't make it all that much more worth it.

as for the diapers you bought... how are they green? where did you buy them?

Mel said...

Wendy: The diapers packaging is eco friendly in that it is compostable. IT is also says that is is made of breathable, and natural materials that are chlorine free and natural against your baby's skin. The difference is that traditional diapers are made mainly of plastic made from oil.

Nature Babycare diapers are made based on new green technology. It is "100% biodegradable, breathable and extremely kind for the baby".

I bought them at target for a little less than $10. There are 40 diapers in this package. I also got biodegradable diaper bags (to put stinky diapers when you are on the road) as well as diaper creme.

I have not used them yet, but I am going to give them a try. If you want to learn more there is a website listed on the diapers.