My friend Sierra has a great post up about talking to your spouse about greener living. It got me thinking about one of the goals I have in this staying home experiment: to live greener.
On the surface, choosing to stay home appears to be a naturally greener choice. I’m no longer driving 60 miles a day, for starters. And being home allows me the time and energy to make better choices. I can cook healthier, better produced food and skip on the fast food and restaurant meals. I can cut down all the waste produced by buying “convenience” packaging.
One thing I’m trying to work on now is stopping my use of paper towels. I discussed the idea of getting rid of paper towels all together with my husband. He vetoed that one, but we compromised and discussed ways to significantly reduce the amount we use, such as moving the paper towels to a less convenient place and making reusable towels more accessible.
I have other long-term goals as well. I would like to try gardening again, although perhaps on a smaller scale than we did when we first moved to the country. (We produced three green beans…) And the other thing is that just by cutting our income in half, it limits our ability to make poor environmental choices. I can’t afford to order whatever I want off Amazon and have them ship me something new. Instead, I’m forced to swap books or buy used. The necessity of being more frugal inevitably leads to a greener lifestyle.
But then there are aspects of my new life that make me wonder. Since I’m cooking every day, that uses more energy both to cook the food and more energy and water to do a load of dishes every day, when we used to get by with running the dishwasher twice a week. Using all those hand towels is going to make me do more loads of laundry, again, driving up our energy usage. Not to mention just being home, having lights, computer, TV or climate control on during the day. Now, I do try to make wise choices about things like when to turn on the heat, and we do everything we can to limit our appliances’ energy use (washing on cold, not using heated dry on dishes, etc). But I wonder how far ahead I really end up at the end of the day.
Well, it’s food for thought, and a continuing goal.