Friday, February 13, 2009

Living Green

One of my "invisible friends" on a homeschool message board that I frequent has purposed, along with her family, to attempt to halve their belongings and outgo (which includes money, trash, and mileage) this year. While researching and pondering green and sustainable living, she asked herself if large, Christian, homeschooling families might actually be living more sustainable lifestyles with smaller carbon footprints than smaller, liberal, consciously "green" families.

I've never heard anyone else talk about this phenomenon and it may be that I'm perfectly placed to see something that other journalists/newswriters/bloggers aren't: but if you want to learn about living sustainably in terms of larger families consuming fewer resources you should look no further than the Christian homeschooling movement.

That's right - the Christian homeschooling movement.

Liberal "greenies" like to pretend that they have it dialed out when it comes to living lightly on the earth, but often that's a sham. Sure they shell out big bucks for products that are organic or herbal or not tested on animals, but the truth is that they still consume way more than their fair share of the world's resources. The environment will not be saved by a Silicon Valley suburbanite living in a 5,000 sf house who chooses Aubrey organics shampoo over Pert.
Continue reading here. And while you are at her site, check out Jennifer's other writings (she has a wonderfully engaging and informative writing style) and sustainable living links.

What do you think? Do Jennifer's observations have some merit? What about population boom? Are you doing anything to conserve resources? What? If not, why not?

Some ways our family is living "greener":

- buy very little by way of packaged foods

- buy locally (food, books, clothes, etc)

- buy organic (truly organic, not mass-market organic which, as you know if you've read The Omnivore's Dilemma, is really not much different, if at all, from "non-organic" options)

- grow as much of our own food as possible (since we rent, we can't put in the fruit trees and very large garden that we'd like, but we can provide quite a bit ourselves)

- buy second-hand whenever possible; including clothing, furniture, gardening supplies, homeschool books, etc (we generally don't buy second-hand appliances and technologies since they usually use more power to run but we often wait and buy the not-quite-the-newest models)

- recycle & reuse

- use energy efficient bulbs and turn lights off when not in use (we try not to turn lights on during the day, and if we do, we stick to task lighting if available)

- add layers and turn down the heat or remove layers, open windows, and turn up the temp on the a/c

- own two cars so the commuter (i.e. more frequent driver) can use the more efficient vehicle and we use the bigger, less-efficient vehicle for large group trips

- make it a game to fit all of our trash into one can or less per week

- save-up junk mail to use as fire-starters

- cook at home (healthier and saves on eating out and medical bills)

- compost

- and coming soon: a new clothesline - I miss our old one

Monday, February 09, 2009

Fly on the Wall

Terzo came into the kitchen after coming home from his first swimming lesson to give me a report.

Terzo: There are three boys in my class, but I'm the only one who spokens English.

(I was very proud that I held in my guffaw while correcting him.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Perfection In Half An Inch

I was taking my PhD practical examination. We lived in a little apartment with all of them on top of each other, and I had a long exam to take and could not ask for help. I open the exam, and the first question is, “God is perfect. Explain.” There is a space of about half an inch in which to answer. I turn to my wife and say, “The only question I can think of that would be harder than this is ‘Prove that God’s exists. Give two examples.”

- Ravi Zacharias, 2007 Ligonier Ministries Conference

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Um, Oops.

I transferred a bunch of posts during the last 24 hours from my old blog to this one, and apparently those getting email updates were bombarded with blog update notifications. Sorry about that. (Maybe it's some sort of suppressed need for attention from my blog given that I have been neglecting it recently.) I think I have finished transferring everything I wanted to, but if I decide to transfer any more, I'll either shut off the alert function (if I can even do that) or give you a heads up.

Again, I'm sorry for stuffing your inboxes this morning. *blush* Oops.