Friday, May 30, 2008

Chartreuse is the New Black

Yes. I’m going chartreuse. To say I’m going green is probably pushing it a bit much. But part of God opening my eyes to what’s going on in the world around me (see previous post) has been Him opening my eyes to the way I treat the world He created. And if I’m going to really live what I believe, I’ve decided I need to start taking care of the world and living more consciously. (And by the way, taking care of the world doesn’t just mean the physical planet; it also means human beings!) I was definitely one of those people who thought that the green way of life would be tedious, time consuming, and boring. I thought environmentalists = eco-nerds. But I’m learning that taking care of the planet doesn’t have to be weird granola/hippie stuff. I’m taking baby steps. Just one little change makes a difference! 

So today, I made my second trip ever to Wild Oats. (The first time I went to try out an organic salad…I felt like I was eating dirt). Anyway, I went today to see what alternatives were out there for some of the products that I buy without ever thinking about them. And I experienced two little surprises while I was there – one good, one bad. The good surprise was that there were actually normal people shopping there (which confirmed my belief that I don’t have to be an eco-nerd to care about the environment). The bad surprise was that going chartreuse is stinkin’ expensive! I was only able to make a few purchases…we’ll have to take it a little bit at a time.

I do have only one plea for all who read this: buy a FEED bag! If you have a Whole Foods near you, they sell them there. Or you can buy one online ( Each FEED bag provides 100 school meals to hungry children in Rwanda through the UN World Food Program…and the bonus is that it’s a great bag to have as an alternative to paper/plastic when you go shopping!

So the things you can do to start taking better care of the world are endless. But like I said, I’m taking baby steps. Here’s my current list of things to do/not to do (I'm probably gonna need some accountability around some of these things, too...).

Things done:

  •        Bought a reusable water bottle and coffee mug (no more paper cups or plastic bottles)
  •        Bought canvas shopping bags for groceries (again…no more paper/plastic) and a FEED bag
  •        Started recycling cans and bottles
  •        Bought CFL light bulbs
  •        Bought a few natural/organic products at Wild Oats 

Things I still want to do:

  •        Avoid supporting companies that use sweatshops (which is definitely going to require some research…)
  •        Buy more secondhand items (thrift store shopping is so fun anyway!)
  •        Buy a recycling bin and start recycling paper (along with the cans and bottles)
  •        Buy a couple of houseplants
  •        Start buying from free-trade coffee shops (this one’s painful…WHY, Starbucks, WHY?!?!)
  •        Stop buying air fresheners (apparently they are the greatest evil)

Things I refuse to do:

  •        Compost
  •        Grow my own vegetables and herbs (I would kill them all…)
  •        Stop burning candles
  •        Stop using deodorant
  •        Stop eating meat (I love burgers and steaks too much)
  •        Selective flushing 


Jill Robinson said...

Love it! I agree about the expense. Somehow youth ministers are being prevented from going totally green due to the expense. And I am wholeheartedly in agreement about the won't do list. Who would stop burning candles? And the selective flusing...gross!

Rick & Shara said...

Mel, so excited you have entered the blog world. I have really enjoyed reading your posts. Your words are always so encouraging to me...and what a wake up call! Thank you for allowing God to speak through you and encourage others to live a life that is full! I love you Mel!