Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day Manifesto

My family has created an Earth Day Manifesto. It is not so much in celebration of Earth day itself , it just happens that we are taking these steps towards ecological responsibility and stewardship at the same time that Earth day is rolling around. And, I figure that the timing is perfect! I am going to share our Manifesto with you so that perhaps it will encourage you to consider some baby steps of your own and because several of them are food related~ and afterall Meal Planning Mommies is about food.

The Brabson Family Earth Day Manifesto

~ Our recycle bins will be larger than our trash can.
~With the exception of toilet paper we will no longer be using paper products. This includes paper towels, paper plates (including birthday parties!), wrapping paper, and napkins.
~At home I will use cloth diapers. (Note: My first darling was a 100% cloth bottomed baby even when we traveled. I am giving myself a break and using disposable when we travel.)
~We will only purchase coffee and chocolate that is ethically grown and fairly traded.
~When we fly we will purchase carbon credits or find other creative ways of off setting the environmental impact of our flight. (For our Texas trip we made four flights, to off set this we donated to have four trees planted).
~We will intentionally make purchases that have minimal packaging and when at all possible are used goods.
~All of our home cleaning products will be biodegradable and toxin free.
~We will support local organic farmers through purchasing their produce and meat.
(We joined a Community Supported Agriculture program in order to make this commitment happen. More on this later as it will really change the manner in which I meal plan!)
~ We will eat vegetarian meals three nights a week and significantly decrease the amount of processed food we eat.
~We will shop second hand for clothing and when we can not do this we will purchase fair trade items.
~ We will ask specifically for restaurants to NOT give us those plastic kids cups. Instead our kids can use a regular glass with assistance if needed.
~ We will not use the air conditioning until July. (We did it last year, we can do it again! I say this to encourage myself!!)
~ We will plant only native plants that need less water to survive in our landscaping.
~ Our home garden will be organic.
~We will treat the mosquito's in our back yard (grrrrr...) without the use of chemicals.
~We will compost our food waste and use the compost to help our garden grow.
~We will use our laundry line during the summertime and pretend we do not have a dryer, unless we absolutely must.
~ We no longer pre-heat our oven and we turn it off before our food is finished baking to take advantage of the already hot oven and save energy.
~We will buy skin and hair care products that are safe for our skin and the environment.
~We will remember to pack the reusable grocery bags.
~We will strive to teach our children a love for nature so that they will desire to protect it. We will strive to teach our children a respect for mankind so that they will desire to care for others. We will be good role models for our children so that stewardship becomes second nature for them as they grow.

There will be more here and there. These are our baby steps. This is what we can do now, this moment, even from our little plot of land in the suburbs. (Some day I will say, "even from our little farm with the chickens, goat and cows...")

But, until that day from the suburbs I shall do everything in my power to be a responsible consumer and a good steward. Now~ for some motivation.....

I am doing a surprise give-away for you!!! Leave me a comment letting me know your families Earth Day Manifesto. It can be one simple commitment, something new or something renewed. Let us know what you are doing so that we may be encouraged and we can learn from one another!

The give-away will be great, I promise!

Especially for you Mama's who are interested in this check out Tracy Bianchi's website. I met her at a conference a few weeks ago and she was selling copies of her new book, Green Mama for $10. I did not have the cash on me and she went ahead and handed me a copy of the book anyway. Her book is excellent. You will read it and think that you are just sitting down with a good pal over a cup of Java. Then, you will feel foolish for thinking of her as a dear friend when you finish the book and remember that she does not know who you are! Still~ the read is excellent and the message a must. (This is a big hint by the way....)


Meghan said...

I love the idea of the earth day manifesto! Our family composts like crazy for our tiny garden in the middle of a big city.

Suzie said...

Our Earth Day Manifesto:
We use reusable bags when we shop.
If we forget our bags, we use as few plastic bags as possible and reuse them for trash liners.
We recycle plastic, cans, and paper.
We have been working on eating foods that are not processed, as well as using natural sugar and whole wheat flour.
We are switching all our cleaning products to natural cleaners.

Mary-Margaret said...

I am planting a garden with lots of vegetables and fresh herbs. A very small start but it's something. :)

Stephanie said...

With our first baby due in September, we've decided to go the cloth diaper route instead of the disposable route.

Jenny O. said...

Our commitment is to buy local produce. We've already gone organic, but it's not always local, so that's our Earth Day goal!

Jennifer said...

We will be doing a CSA for the first time too (in addition to our garden - we will can and freeze the overage, as well as donate). I look forward to seeing what you do with the many oddball vegetables!

Mallory's Mommy said...

i dont know anything about this coffee and chocolate deal, what is this about?

Ethiopianmomma said...

Mallory's Mommy~ good question! I will do a post specifically on fair trade coffee and chocolate for you and anyone else who may need to learn about it! Happy to share this information, check back soon!