I have this idea that green living and Catholic living are interconnected things. If we're serious about stewardship of our families, community, and world it makes a lot of sense to embrace this little way of stewardship. Laudato Si gave me the papal push to see my little in-the-pews hunch might be a real thing.
But I don't think we are called to do ALL THE THINGS at once. I'm pretty sure burn out is not a virtue.
We do a lot of green living stuff now, but it's been a long time in the making. We took the time to make sure it made sense financially and for our season of life.
Thankfully, the green thing is often the cheaper (at least long term) option.
Here are some quick tips for bring a little Laudato Si into your busy life!
Have Bins for EverythingHaving somewhere to put something until I can deal with it is how I avoid putting it in the trash.
I've got a bin for old clothes that can get re-purposed later. A bin for sad, limp veggies and bones that I'll make into stock. A bin for giveaway clothes and another for giveaway books.
That being said....
Don't Hold onto True Trash
I was amazed to discover how much of my closet space was being taken up by true trash. Not sentimental things or things to reuse - true trash. Why I held onto Valentine's candy hearts for five years I will never know.
Cleaning out a closet, or shelf, once a month was a good goal for me. Once the true trash was out of there, I suddenly could see a good way to organize that space. With the exception of two pesky hall closets, they have tended to stay organized. (Shout out to my awesome husband who cleaned those out for me last week!)
Replace Something Disposable with a Reusable
Probably the most long term effective, but short term expensive, thing we've done to becoming greener is replacing our disposable items with reusable ones.
I'm a big proponent of doing this slowly. Partly to spread out the cost, and partly so the whole family can adjust to the new habit of doing the reusable (and the subsequent needed washing).
|It can be like this if you're not careful. Etsy/Pinterest can be a little too inspiring...|
Leftover Meals Rock
Part of what keeps our food budget down is being really devoted to using up leftovers. I've become a master of made up pot pies, soups, casseroles, and risottos. They are concocted on the spot and for the pure reason to use up leftovers ASAP. And to have dinner. That's good too.
You could be better then me at this by actually writing down what you do. On the off chance something turned out ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE vs the, more common, pretty good - having it written down would be nice. Made this awesome Chicken Asparagus Risotto the other week and no idea what I did....
Find the Option that works for you - Not the greenest option possible
I fell into this camp with cloth diapering. Yes, it would potentially be greener to wash our diapers ourselves. It would save gas from the diaper service coming to pick up the diapers and drop off new ones, and allow us to use cloth wipes instead of disposable ones.
But we have communal laundry facilities, no way to hang diapers in the sun when needed, and the diaper services near us are surprisingly affordable. It was the best option for our family, even if it wasn't the most perfectly crunchy option known to man.
New Ways for Old Clothes
I get away with not buying clothes very often by being creative with how I wear my old clothes.
I mostly wear dresses and skirts. I've found them to have the largest range of use as I change shape due to pregnancy, postpartum, and dancing like mad. Elastic waists + belts for the win!
Wanna test out wearing dresses or skirts all the time? Rosie at A Blog for My Mom is doing a Pants-Free July! I'm planning on doing it, posting the outfits here with my creative rewearing tips.
Note this will fall during our Ireland trip so I will be your test bunny for hiking/riding in boats/touring/and surviving sudden downpours in a dress or skirt.
Are you in for Pants-Free July? Got other tips for easing your way into green living? How do you avoid waste in your home or workplace?