I went to high school in the early 90’s when bell bottom jeans were fashionable again and Earth Day had a renaissance.
I joined the Earth Club simply because my friends were in it. In those days my concerns were more about a social calendar than a social cause. Was I interested in recycling? Oh, not so much. I stopped going later when we had to, you know, work on stuff outside.
Yes, I’m a high school Earth Club dropout.
When I was in high school it was hard to know what my adult self would be like. Maybe I pictured myself wearing a blue blazer. I thought I would become an economist.
It wasn’t until I became a stay at home mom with my firstborn that I had time to read. That’s when the small changes started.
Do you remember a few years ago when reusable bags became more mainstream and we all had to figure out how to remember to take them with us to the store? (I know readers in other parts of the world are shaking their heads at Americans right now, but that’s just how things were.) Reusable bags was one of my first baby steps to a more simple, natural lifestyle. I just kept adding new changes a little at a time.
When I was in high school, I never thought…
I would love plants, especially small-space gardens.
I’d prefer cooking on the stove over using the microwave. (Stovetop popcorn!)
I would spend a week’s worth of free time learning about how to raise backyard chickens.
It was even possible to make homemade yogurt (not hard, and better than store-bought).
I’d stop buying harsh cleaning products and switch to natural cleaners.
I could give up soda and be okay with that.
The food we cooked at home would taste better than eating out.
There would be a worm compost bin under my kitchen sink for food scraps.
I would stop buying paper towels and just wipe things up with a rag the way people used to do it.
Disposable plates and silverware would bother me.
I might sew a quilt. (I never understood cutting up fabric to sew it back together again, but I totally love it now.)
I would cloth diaper my baby.
And since we were cloth diapering, that we would mostly switch to using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper. (Do I really want to share about this? No, I’m too shy. But my friend Megan’s not, and she wrote all about family wipes at SortaCrunchy.)
I would use a clothesline.
I could make my own soap from olive and coconut oil.
I would experiment with natural hair (not using commercial shampoo) and moisturizers.
I would enjoy being at home so much that I could spend less than $40 a month on gas for the car.
One month every year my family would stop buying stuff.
I’d prefer iced coffee made at home.
It wouldn’t sound crazy to me when someone said they milled their own flour.
There is always more to learn about, more interesting things to read, and more experiments to try.
Today I’m trying soaked nuts.