Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It Ain't Easy Being Green

In this month's edition of Mothering Magazine, editor and publisher, Peggy O'Mara says this in regards to sustainable living and our environment, "The carbon footprint of US families in particular is irresponsibly heavy. This is why it is imperative that we, as parents, become conscious of the impact of our behavior on the environment and become its allies..."

This week, NBC is going green. A few months ago, Hollywood got together and broadcast Live Earth.

It seems everywhere we turn, we're being encouraged to start living a "Green" lifestyle. It is easier said than done. It's time consuming and in some ways, means changing the way we live our life.

Matt and I, recently, started to attempt to live a more green lifestyle. We use reusable grocery bags, recycle paper, plastic and glass. We use a water filter instead of bottled water, use cloth diapers (Lila only wears disposables when a sitter protests),use eco-friendly laundry and house cleaners (meaning no chlorine bleach products aside from a Bleach Pen), line dry (here in Portugal line drying is a way of life) our clothes much of the time, use a energy efficient washer and as our light-bulbs burn out, we replace them with energy efficient ones and so on and so forth.

However, we haven't been able to get rid of our SUV. You see, in America, we think we can't live without one. We need one to tow a camper, we need one that has a 4-wheel drive, etc. We make excuse after excuse in justifying why we need one. While Matt and I have had serious talks about replacing the 4-Runner with the Toyota Hylander Hybrid (it tows!), we haven't done it.

So sound off on what being green and living a sustainable life means to you and your family. What does your family do? If you don't do much, why? Do you think the current push is a fad? Is it over-rated? Too much effort and time? Something you just don't think about? You can't give up things like bottled water or your SUV (remember we drive an SUV - so I'm not attacking anyone)? Cloth diapering is gross, time consuming and only for the crunchy parents (if you're going to quote studies that say cloth is just as bad as disposables, make sure the studies weren't published by disposable diaper companies - as most are)? I want to know what everyone else has been thinking. Feel free to leave anonymous comments and, while I would love comments, if you're too busy, take the poll to the left.


House Dad said...

I was thrilled when I found out that our town recycles. We have twice weekly curbside pickup for aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cardboard/paperboard. We stick a trash container filled to the brim out there every other week.

I'm also slowly replacing our light bulbs with compact flourescent ones.

Anonymous said...

The Highlander is kind of a feel-good hybrid, if you ask me. Look at the mileage figures for the hybrid and non-hybrid models... there's barely a difference. Around here hybrid SUVs are all the rage but it's just for looks. If you want real fuel efficiency, sooner or later you have to get a smaller vehicle. Check out the VW diesels, they do pretty well. I'd recommend my 70 mpg motorcycle but they don't sell a tandem carseat for it ;-)