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Going Green! (It ain't gonna be easy....)

I’m going green. Not with envy. Trust me, I do not envy people who use powder toothpaste. Nor do I enjoy the thought of drinking anything without caffeine. I look forward to soap that doesn’t have actual flower petals in the bar. However, I read a vegan blog and got curious. What was I willing to do - if anything - to bring down my carbon footprint?

There has always been a joke with my friends when the subject of green living would come up: Me? No way! I’m Republican! We do lump people into groups if they vote with a certain letter behind their name (e.g., R, D, I). An existential question popped up: Can anyone care about the world’s resources? (add a giant dose of: It’s MaDE OF PeOpLe!)

As a Christian, it has always been our responsibility to be stewards of what God has made and provided for us. From the beginning (pardon the excellent pun), but Genesis 2 explains how God placed mankind (and woman-kind) in the Garden to tend, work, and care for the plants and animals. God created everything and being obedient to Him, we are caretakers of His Creation.

Deuteronomy 8 (NIV)

8 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.

Colossians 3:23 - 24 (NIV)

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Back to the original question: What was I willing to do to help care for my little corner of the world?

From the blog I read: here are the things I’m going to try and then report back to the four people who visit my website/blog.

Things to try:

  • Bamboo toothbrush

  • Plastic free cosmetics

    • Firstly: glass takes ONE MILLION YEARS (so basically eternity) to decompose…..keep using that plastic tube of cosmetics, folks…..

    • One of the biggest pushes for this is that you can use ‘every bit of product’ and not be entangled with evil plastics (insert dreadful music here)

    • TIP: snip off the tip of the tube and store in a ziplock bag (gasp plastic);you can extract every glob of cosmetic from the container

    • Same for toothpaste

  • Biodegradable deo - going to give it a try

Bamboo TP/plastic free (Who Gives a Crap? That’s the company…..I’m going to try the bamboo tp…..sustainable resource and all that….)

  • Shampoo gems

  • Bar soap (The claim is any bar soap is better than the soap and plastic bottle - so I’m sticking with Dove….)

  • Plastic free laundry soap (drops)

  • Wooden highlighters

Issues to consider as I test these products:

  • Cost versus quality

  • Can my budget really afford these products long-term?

Other things I do that aren’t on this list:

  • Reuse plastic bags from the stare (e.g., Walmart, grocery (paper & plastic), etc.) as many times as possible before the bags enter ‘landfill status’. NOTE: Dollar Store has new plastic bags specifically for bringing back once you have used them to get your goods home. It’s a great start.

    • Doggie poop bags

    • Socks & toiletries bags for homeless

    • Trash bags for the small trash cans under the bathroom sinks instead of buying from the store

  • Shop resale/consignment stores and estate sales

    • Clothes

    • Kitchen

    • Furniture

    • Gadgets

    • Dishes (fancy ones, too)

    • Everything you need

My plan is to report back in about a month……wish me luck….Of course, you may not be able to find me because my carbon footprint will be almost invisible…..

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