Monday, April 1, 2013
It all started with a reusable grocery bag. Just one. My local Brookshire's Grocery had them for sale, and I only had a few items. I thought, "Ahh, what the heck...I should get one." The next time I went to the store, I left it in the car, of course. So, I bought another one. After I finally remembered to take them inside with me, I bought a few more. When it became a habit, I started really getting into it. They are a lot easier to carry than those plastic bags, and they're good for the environment. So, I made it my mission to save the world, one plastic bag at a time.
You have no idea how hard this can be! There have been so many times when the checkout clerk insists that I take plastic so that my greeting cards won't get squished (really?), so that my cleaning supplies don't attack the bag (come on) and so that my chicken doesn't get salmonella all over everything (ok, maybe they've got me on that one). Oh, and there are still those times when I leave my reusable bags in the other car and those times when I just forget, but I'm getting better at it. If I do get home with plastic bags, I try to repurpose them. Because of that, we have fewer plastic grocery bags in our house and in our landfills. ...You're welcome.
You would think the plastic bag attack would move directly to recycling. Well, I would have thought so, too. Except, we don't really have a place to recycle. We live out in the country, and, as far as I know, there is no recycling facility (that has hours that are available to me) within a 50 mile radius. So, all the cans and bottles and papers I was trying to save had nowhere to go. I remember saving aluminum cans as a kid, and getting tons of quarters, nickels and dimes from the recycling center. We were rolling in the cash! I want to recycle AND make some extra cash. I'm still working on that one. I'll get back to you.
From reusable grocery bags and almost recycling, I went to cleaning. A clean house needs to smell like Windex, Pledge and Pine-Sol, right? Nope! A clean house can just smell clean, without any fragranced chemicals. Water, white vinegar, dish soap and baking soda combine forces to make an excellent all-purpose cleaner. It kills germs, cuts through grease and grime and makes everything sparkly. I'm not kidding. I cleaned our ventahood with this combo, and ohmygoodness, all that kitchen funk just wiped right off. Ok, I added some extra 'elbow grease' to it, but with the store-bought stuff, the greasy mess didn't budge. The bonus - these cleaning products are all natural! If your three-year-old wants to help you clean house, it's ok. He can spray as much as he wants and you don't have to worry about him breathing harsh chemicals. All-natural products, AND help from the grandbaby...that should sell you right there.
But wait! There's more! I didn't mention the cost! Proctor & Gamble, Dow & Lever are making a killing off unsuspecting housekeepers everywhere. A spray bottle of Fantastik, on sale around here, is about $2.50. Even though, when I bought it, I'd always say, "Faaaaannnn-tastic," as I was reminded of one of my favorite jokes, I realized I could make the same amount of all-natural, all-purpose cleaner for less that 50 cents. Wow. Going back to Grandma's way of cleaning just makes sense. Or cents. It all depends on your perspective, I suppose.
I got on board with this reusing, reducing, recycling plan and I was pretty much digging it. Just rocking along with my plastic bag attack and homemade cleaners. Then, one day, I got a message from God. No, seriously, I did. God doesn't always communicate directly to me (probably because most of the time I'm not paying any attention), but sometimes, every once in a while, I can read the writing on the wall (or in the Sunday School book, in this case). In our lesson just a few weeks ago, was a study on the creation of man. In reading Genesis 1:28 (NKJV), regarding Adam & Eve, these words just jumped right out at me...~~Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."~~ To 'subdue it' is to 'be its master.' To have 'dominion over' is to have 'responsibility for.' We, God's creations, are to be the masters of and to be responsible for the fish, for the birds, for the animals and for the earth. We are instructed to take care of the earth. That means, to me anyway, use less plastic, use fewer chemicals, be more organic. And...love one another.
So, yes, I'm looking more and more like a hippie. Slowly, but surely. It's okay, though. I think Jesus was a hippie, too.
Much peace and love to you!
What makes you look like a hippie?