I have resolutions and goals and intentions for 2012 and they make me happy and hopeful. Yet none deal specifically with living a greener life. When I read Becoming Crunchy’s “My Crunchy Wishes for 2012” I was inspired to write my own Crunchy Goals for 2012.
We actually do pretty good with a semi-crunchy life already. Our family made quite a few significant changes towards Crunchydom last year alone. I was pretty impressed after I listed them all out in my 2011 year end review. :) (Another reason that was a nice exercise. We had more changes than I would have thought!)
So here’s what we did last year:
- Gardening. We had a very successful garden last year!
- Compost. We installed our very own compost bin and actually used it! Then for Christmas this year my dad gave me an indoor compost bin which has already helped for those cold days or late nights I can’t run outside to compost. I can’t wait to see / use the new beautiful soil in the spring.
Vinegar. We replaced the cleaners in our house with a home made vinegar solution. We clean the kitchen counters, the bathroom counters and tub with it. I even love the smell now, because it harks a clean room!
- Soaps and toothpaste. We replaced all hand soaps, bath soaps, hand sanitizers and toothpaste in our house with all natural ones. Bye bye pretty smelling toxic Bath & Body Works soaps. Hello beautiful Nature’s Garden and Babyganics. (We’ve been doing this with baby’s soap and shampoo (pdf) since the beginning, since we thankfully were hip to the toxins in regular – and so-called “baby” products – early on.)
- Glass tupperware. No more heating up and less storing in plastics for us. Not only are they a PITA to store and find the matching lid for, the chemicals in them leach into the food they hold. Now we use glass containers to store leftovers and to heat lunches up in.
- Oil face wash. I’m still experimenting with this, but so far am loving the results. It takes more time, but it’s worth it if you add up the time spent with a soft clean face. Bonus: no more sulfates or expensive face washes!
- Homemade mosquito repellent. I hate the smelly store-bought toxic junk, and was NOT about to spray that on my baby. Our formula was a lot nicer and safer. We didn’t have to test it too often but my husband used it some nights on the soccer field and it worked about the same as Deet. I read recently that rubbing fresh lavender on your wrists/etc works well too. Since we just so happened to plant lavender in the garden last year, we can try this this summer.
- Green Sunscreen. Get rid of those chemicals. It cost a little more, but a pound of prevention is definitely worth an ounce of cure.
2012 Crunchy Goals
- Make our own hummus and stock. I have to admit this past weekend we did try making our own hummus, and it came out great! There’s so many variations to try and I can’t wait to experiment. We make soup at least once a week, so making our own stock has always been high on our list. Now that I know we can simply store the veggie peels in the freezer until we’re ready to use them, I think we’ll give it a go.
- Shampoo. I’m determined to find the right natural shampoo for my hair. I’ve tried many, many natural brands (spending way more than I even want to contemplate) and even after long trial periods (two months+) my hair was gross. Just, gross. Heavy, oil, ick. Now I’m back to Herbal Essence for shampoo, although I can use the Whole Foods conditioner and that works great. I need to find that right shampoo- suggestions welcome in the comments!
- Homemade laundry soap. OK so it seems a bit out there, or at least a lot of one-time work, but if I’m inspired and half a block of time one day, I’m going for it. I’d love to save the $$$$$.
- Homemade window cleaner. Never got around to this last year. Definitely on my to-do this year.
- Homemade hand soap. This would certainly save us some $$.
- Reduce use of paper towels. We definitely go through too many paper towels. I haven’t mastered the exclusive use of cloth towels, or the subsequent laundry that follows. I want to explore this further. Save cost and reduce waste.
- Recycling plastic bags. We use reusable bags when we grocery shop, but it’s amazing how many plastic bags can still make their way into our home. I used to recycle them back at the grocery store, but stopped once Pip came along. It’s time to get back into that habit.
- Bird Feeders. This year I finally plunged in and bought the bird feeder setup I’ve been eying for a couple years! I am LOVING watching the birdsthat visit our house now! Welcoming wildlife into our yard (of the feathered variety LOL) is so fun and a great way to be mindful and enjoy nature.
- Move the Garden. As successful as the garden was last year, I know it needed more sunshine. The only place to get the necessary sunshine is the exact middle of our smallish backyard, or in the corner of the front flower beds. Hmm….we’ll see. It’ll ruin the grass in the back, but that’s fixable if necessary. And it might look funny in the front. Neither one bothers me enough to not try to move it. I love my raised beds and want to grow more veggies next summer so they’re gonna have to be moved.
- Plant more cutting flowers. And bring said flowers inside. :)
- Continue to Purge. Less stuff. More space. ‘Nuf said.
I’ll be sure to post updates as we experiment and try new things. Even as I publish this I know there’s more we want to do (like try making our own peanut butter like my sister did last night!). The possibilities are endless… stay tuned!
Do you have any Crunchy Goals for this year? Any suggestions or tips? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!