One small step for me, One giant leap for Mother Earth

One of the hardest things for me when I decided to make a concerted effort to go green was to decide where to start. I'm really more of an "all or nothing" type of person, but with my budget, my schedule and my husband, I knew that this really wasn't an option. I knew that by starting small, I could slowly infiltrate green into my daily habits with little or no interruption to my usual routine. A few months in, and my plan is working beautifully! For my contribution today, let me share my strategy.

The Distractivist's
Greening Up Strategy

Phase 1

Recycle everything which is able to be recycled.
If it cannot be recycled, re-purpose it or find some use for it.

check out these sites:

Phase 2

Start replacing things with greener versions.
So far, I've replaced dishwasher and laundry detergents, kitty litter, pet shampoo, toothpaste, moisturizer/base makeup, face powder, deodorant, toothbrushes, razors and grocery totes. I also tend to buy greener groceries whenever I can.

Look around at your local grocery - you might be surprised what sorts of green products you can find when you look for them. In my area, Hen House and Hy-Vee both have fab green mini-markets located in one section of their stores. Price Chopper tends to mix their green products in with the regular merch - but it doesn't seem to have as good of a selection.

Other great places, of course, are natural foods markets, co-ops and the like. Whole Foods/Wild Oats, GreenAcres Market, and Nature's Pantry are just a few in my area, but you can find ones in yours by looking in the phone book, asking around, googling for them or checking out GreenPeople.org.

Phase 3

Buy things which were locally produced whenever possible.

I started doing this with milk; I exclusively buy Shatto milk for 3 reasons:

1) Shatto cows live only about 50 miles from me
2) It comes in eco-friendly glass bottles ($1.50 refundable deposit)
3) It is really really good - and I don't even like milk!

There are loads of other things one can buy locally - produce, meats, furniture, etc. Where can you buy local goods? Check the Farmer's Markets, ask at the Natural Foods Market, look at the labels of the things you already buy, think about joining a Co-Op or even growing your own vegetables. Here, in KC, we have First Fridays in the Crossroads - a perfect place to meet local artists and artisans. We also have the Bad Seed, the City Market and a host of other like-venues for local goods. In the writing of this post, I chanced upon two great websites which I intend to use: KCFoodCircle.org and VegKansasCity.com. Stores, restaurants etc. which are labeled for vegans and vegetarians, I often find, are GREAT places to find eco-friendly things.

Supporting local business makes sense - local businesses, more often than not, are small businesses fighting against the giant mass-retailers for their rights to sell their wares or services. Also, buying locally means less shipping (if any at all), which creates less pollution and damage to the environment. Though, sensibly, I knew this was true, I never thought about the impact that buying local had until I read about the 100-mile diet. I honestly haven't tried it yet, but it's on the list of things to do.

I'm going to leave you with just these 3 phases for now - this is a lot of information to digest and I neither want to scare you off nor overwhelm you with too much info right from the start! :-)

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