1. Do you recycle? Yes! Anything & everything I can!
2. Do you do anything to reduce the amount of waste you and your family produces? How about reducing the amount of resources you use? I hardly run the lights during the day, and try to keep things turned off as much as possible.... Have changed most of our light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent... Hang some stuff on the clothesline as an alternative to running the dryer.... Use reusable grocery bags... Clean using natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, etc... EC & cloth diaper (also make/use reusable wipes)... Donate/FreeCycle to pass on items we no longer use or need... Have/use an water ionizer instead of buying bottled water... Reuse glass jars & bottles for drinking & storing water... Buy my clothing second hand... instead of getting my license, I either walk, carpool or just don't go... (I also just got a bike & trailer, so now I can get around that way, too!).... and we hardly use paper towels any more (only for dog/poop messes!)... next to never use paper plates. (we still do use some napkins - but I want to buy some cloth & make some reusable ones - paper is just so convenient!!)....
3. Do you reuse anything to save money or waste? We have reusable grocery bags... we have a reusable coffee filter, instead of using the paper ones... we reuse glass jars & bottles for drinking & storing water.... and I try to use tupperware-type of storage, instead of plastic bags/foil/etc., as much as possible!
4. What is your ecological footprint? Do you think it has changed for the better in the last year? Don't know what it is, but I know it's changed for the better!
5. What kind of impact do you feel the "reduce, reuse, recycle" philosophy has on our lives, if any? On my life, personally, or society in general?? Society in general has become disturbingly blasé about it... but is starting to become a little more aware, as this whole "going green" movement has come about. - Personally, I feel it encourages us to be more prudent & economical with the resources of which we are blessed to have!
...and while reading other peoples responses, and I couldn't believe how many people were so blasé about the subject! Not that I believe in global warming and some of that such nonsense... but because I feel we ought to be more prudent & economical with the resources of which we are blessed to have! God has given us this beautiful earth to live on... and I feel we ought to be better stewards of and take more responsibility for it's care!
The more I thought about it, the more the others' answers really started to bother me - until I stopped & began to think it through...... If you would have asked me a few years ago what my lifestyle would be like now, I would have never categorized myself as being green or crunchy.... A domestic goddess, yes (lol)... an attachment parent, most likely... but crunchy? uh, yeah, what's that?.. a hippie? heh, right.... However, that attitude is really actually quite funny, considering that (without the label)... I was pretty much raised by a AP & crunchy mom. From early on, we were taught the importance of recycling, not littering, good stewardship, frugality, living debt free, living simply & having a strong family unit. We were homeschooled, and taught to cook and sew simple items from a young age. Much of my wardrobe consisted of handmade or hand-me-downs, as Marmee always stressed the importance of $$ and how to stretch a dollar. She wore & breastfed every one of us, and made sure we all knew the benefits of eating a well-balanced meal. We even had times (depending on finances & stages of life) where we did all, most of, or (at least) some of the following: ate completely healthful & organic.... shopped exclusively at health food stores rather than the reg. grocery stores... juiced... made our own bread.... used herbal/natural remedies (pretty much always did that, regardless of our financial state)... used only reusable item (like grocery bags)... and even managed an organic produce coop (and did so for a long time)!
But even though I was naturally implementing many of the things I was raised with (cooking vs eating out, recycling, shopping second-hand, cutting coupons, not spending a lot of money on extravagances, etc.)... I never saw myself as anything more than the average young adult... who was newly married, trying to get on our feet. Then (almost two years later) I got pregnant, and began going the birthing center, to see a midwife for my care. It all went uphill from there. I guess the saying "When you have a baby is changes the way you see the world" is more true than I realized. Throughout my pregnancy, I was reminded of all the wonderful benefits of cloth diapering babywearing, & cosleeping... given some awesome tips... and even learned about some cool new things, like Elimination Communication & some not-so-known methods of wearing your baby - like a wrap or a Mai Tei! Then, after the beautiful homebirth of our daughter, I started attending play groups, LaLeche League Meetings, babywearing groups, & EC meetings... where I found myself being enlightened on issues much deeper than milestones, breastfeeding, ring-slings & having a diaper-free babe. I was being encouraged to research what's in things, and the impact they have on our daily lives. From shoes to plastics - cleaning to health... I have had an increasing conviction & interest in living more eco-friendly, and am finding (even a year later), the education is endless if you're willing to listen & learn!
And now, as I proceed down the road of this incredible journey... I am on a quest to discover even more practical changes (read: not extravagant - though I hope to be able to make the switch someday.... right now [unfortunately] we can't afford all new Energy Star appliances or a new, hybrid vehicle) we can make, to adapt our lifestyle to not only being economical, but also more healthful. - Some of the things I would love to begin using/implementing are: Cloth napkins, Frequenting more of the local fruit stands, starting our own vegetable/herb garden & compost pile, Get a machine & start sewing a little (things like cloth napkins!), begin regularly making our bread (& maybe even pastas - that would be cool!), and using even more alternative & healthful ingredients when cooking & baking.