Monday, May 21, 2012

Green Living--My Best Advice

First I have to say that the overuse of the adjective green is is starting to get on my nerves. The problem is, most people know what you mean when you use it...and environmental stewardship has too many syllables. But I digress...

I entered a giveaway where the blogger asked for comments answering the question: What is your advice to someone who is just starting out trying to live green. I don't remember what I answered--something simple and practical I hope, but the question rumbled around in my brain until I realized what my best advice would be.
My compost pile

Know the Why.
Ouch, that hurts my grammar nerve. What I mean is, know the why behind aspects of the green lifestyle. For example, I was struggling with the question of why to compost. Clearly vegetable matter is biodegradable, how could there be any harm in throwing it in the garbage? The fact is, putting compostable materials in the garbage is a total waste of their potential. Instead of adding nutrients to my garden, I am sending it off to a landfill where it will join the milieu of dirty diapers, dog poop, and disposable razors, etc that will be good for nothing for untold centuries. Thinking about it that way makes the work of composting worth it to me. The same logic works for recycling too.

After turning every week for a few months: A wheelbarrow full of sifted homemade compost ready to nourish the garden!

Its always good to research the claims you hear about online. For both negative and positive claims, look for sources listed. Do you trust them? If all the author gives is their opinion, I usually keep looking until I find some original sources. Well, I'm geeky enough to search Pubmed for actual research articles, but that's not for everyone. Just be skeptical and research until you are satisfied.

Own Your Why.
Take steps that you are passionate about and it will be easier to stay faithful to your commitment. I don't know about you, but I am the conservation cheerleader, recycling coordinator, chief diaper washer, compost dumper/turner/sifter etc for my household. Sometimes that can wear me down, but these things are part of me and my deep desire to reject the throw-it-away mindset. What's your green living passion?


  1. I LOVED your post! I think it is very important to understand your why. It is a great reminder to persevere even when things get difficult. I want to start a compost bin. I have tried and it failed horribly. I want to start a new one soon. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks Kelley! My compost pile is not very efficient, but once or twice a year I collect finished compost from the bottom. Sieving works well because you can throw the not-quite-ready stuff back in.

  2. Ahh, good for you! You are so right, we desire to do so much more but often time being the chief bottle washer takes precedence. I know there are always little things we can do to be more environentally conscious!

  3. I like that you want people to stop and think. That is a characteristic too often lost in today's world!

    I was recently nominated by Kristy over at for Kreativ Blogger and the Sunshine Blogger Awards. I wanted to pass it on to you. You can check it out at