Thursday, July 30, 2009
Let's face it, with regards to protecting our environment I've spent the last 30 years being ignorant, selfish, greedy and impressively lazy. I can't quite say if it's because I'm now a mother or if it's because socially it's the right thing to do---but whatever the reason I'm now much more conscious about preserving our earth and making smarter decisions about the world around me. Now don't get me wrong, I'm no Prius driver, but I am making baby steps daily.
There is a song that Bella, Mia and I love jamming to--it's called 3 R's by Jack Johnson. It's great for the kids....and it's got a funk beat yo! The 3 R's. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It's become one of our family mantras these past couple years. I think about the 3R's everywhere I go. It's like that stereotypical angel/devil on the shoulder trick. Except instead of an angel it's a little green Leo DiCaprio whispering do you REALLY need these woven placemats Gina? Or do you REALLY need another lipstick that you won't use and will sit for months because fire engine red was never really your color to begin with? REDUCE GINA!!!!
Traveling in Europe woke me up. The only toys that we packed for the girls were crayons, their travel journals and Bella's Teddy. That's it. For 3 weeks they had no access to toys. And you know what? We talked more than ever. Mia's motor skills grew by leaps and bounds. Honestly, we don't need nearly as much as we think we do.
Last week I was on an organization mission in my kitchen to reduce everything down to the basics. The 24 inch wide George Foreman grill that maybe in it's time saw the skin of one chicken? Gone. RECYCLE. The crock pot that was small enough for a freshman dorm? Gone. RECYCLE. The 14 drinking cups and 7 coffee mugs in the cabinet? Gone. RECYCLE. It felt so good. So satisfying. However, my satisfaction quickly turned to nausea as I read some of the expiration dates on my canned goods. WHAT? You gotta be kiddin' me, I thought they could last forever?! Woops. Then I went through my spice packets and was MORTIFIED with what I saw. MORTIFIED I SAY. You see, I found a stroganoff packet. No biggie other than the fact that it's from Kroger. KROGER!! As in the Kroger grocery store in Bloomington Normal!! GASP. I quickly did the math. Eugene was in grad school--oh--I dunno--one, two, TEN YEARS AGO!
Did you just dry heave? I understand if you want to click away right now, I don't blame you, just please don't hate me. Ten years we have been saving this stroganoff, for apparently, a special occasion. But that's just it--we keep adding to our life without taking the time to reduce. It's gone on for too long.
As you can imagine, I emptied a lot of cans and boxes of food that day. But before I put them in my recyclable bin, that little green Leo whispered an idea to me about the final R. REUSE. Instead of recycling my items I set them up in the living room so that when Bella and Mia woke up I could surprise them with "grocery store" time.
No one should be this excited--this early.
Mia was thankful she clipped her Jif coupon.
They debated who gets to push the cart.
Not surprising, Mia lost the cart debate.
"The chocolate ones are my favooooooorite!"
I scanned the eggs and Mia worked the calculator. Err, I mean cash register.
Bella actually disputed the cost of milk and we had to get a price check from store manager Eugene.
Mia, showing early addiction signs, couldn't get enough hot chocolate sniffs.
Let us all continue to do our part.
"Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children"
~ Kenyan Proverb