20 years ago, though it feels like yesterday, we bought a home and soon had two children. In raising our family, a common, overarching theme emerged (amongst the chaos): to keep and run our home so that we create the best environment for our family’s health and well-being. It all seemed a whole lot simpler then.
Lots has changed in the intervening years – the internet(!), smart phones, technical advancements in all areas of our lives, the global economy. Keeping up the bombardment of information on things that directly affect our family’s well-being requires what seems constant adjustment and changes.
This certainly is true – and even more so – for raising families in today’s times. Looking out for our family’s well-being, our wallet, and our local and far-reaching world environment can be overwhelming, or impossible, to say the least. Just glance at your phone or turn on the TV to hear news about the latest burgeoning disease, pollution controversy, natural disaster, species extinction and environmental damage – oh, and it’s all happening right in our back yards!
How many times have I just tuned out the information overload? Lots. Especially when important things like remembering to send in the school picture form, making a work meeting on time, and paying the taxes by April 15th keep cropping up.
At the same time, as a natural problem solver, my instinct is to ”just do something”, to find and implement solutions to problems I see. So when it comes to family and home, we have begun to make focused changes – mostly small, and some, significant – to our house and lifestyle.
I found myself constantly asking:
- Are we running our home’s heating and air conditioning the best way we can to avoid wasting money and energy?
- Are there easy, affordable ways to keep harmful toxins out of our house, food, cleaning and beauty products?
- Are we recycling everything we can and limiting what we waste?
- Are there things we can do in the yard to save water, use less chemicals, and help local species of plants, birds, insects and our rivers?
The good news is there are plenty of simple things we can do to answer these questions with an enthusiastic “yes!”. Finding and creating straightforward ways to pivot and change how our family lives has been hugely rewarding, and gives me a renewed peace of mind and sense of personal responsibility. Our teenagers are receptive (generally) – they get it – these little changes are because we care about them and the world they live in. We are still making positive changes and probably won’t stop – that is OK by me – any progress means forward progress.
I want to share what I have learned to give others this same sense of self-determination, stewardship and forward progress – without any dread or upheaval. Making our homes and lifestyles greener and cleaner is readily achievable by any and all families.
We all just need a launch pad and a community.
That is my intention for Greener Cleaner Living – to help homeowners adopt simple, personalized, money-saving action plans to make their homes measurably healthier, greener and cleaner and their neighborhoods more livable and sustainable. Why not do this together?