Saving Family Green: 2012 Goals for the Year

As we enter into 2012, I have been thinking a lot about what can we as individuals do better in the year that lies ahead.  Some of this has been prompted by my recent reading of No Impact Man, however some of these ideas are just reemerging for me as I think about the new year and what I would like for my family to challenge ourselves with.

For 2012, I really want to share more about where we are in terms of Sustainability.  As I've mentioned before this blog is not really intended for deals related to Organic or Natural foods.  There are many great bloggers out there who detail how to purchase more healthy options while maintaining a budget.  The intent of this blog is really to chronicle where we are as a family, how we got here, how it has been done on an average family's budget and really share ways in which anyone can really change the way in which we do things.

A lot of these ideas are counter cultural.  We live in a disposable society of convenience everything.  The big question for myself is, how can I change that perspective for my little family in Suburban Ohio?

So, here is what I've come up with.  Ways in which we can lessen our impact on the environment, but still keep some modern conveniences.  Ultimately my goal is to keep my children healthy in terms of the food I give them and the air they breath (indoor air quality).

In the book, No Impact Man, Colin Beavan speaks towards the next great person who will make a difference in terms of idea of Sustainability.  The more I think about it, why can't my family be an advocate for living a different way.  We are truly embedded in it.  I have shared here before that I work in Construction, building "Green" Schools (United States Green Building Council - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certified) in the State of Ohio.  I am an advocate for better learning environments, good indoor air quality, day-lighting and overall building efficient school buildings for future generations.  My husband, while an Architect by trade, has become an Energy Auditor spending his days analyzing homes to determine how they might make a home more energy efficient by additional insulation for example.  Prior to becoming an Energy Auditor, he was on the forefront of Sustainable Architecture specializing in residential design.  He continues to provide these services through his company, Symhome

I jokingly say that we are raising little "Teenie Weenie Greenies", but I think we have impacted them already at 6 and 3.  My son, the 3-year-old, informs me constantly about things wasting energy.  The kids know that when they are finished with their fruit, the remnants go in the compost bin.

Saving Family Green - Goals for 2012

For 2012, I have broken down the goals we would like to accomplish as a family into 3 areas of concentration.  They are as follows:

1.  Rethink Food Choices.  This will include where food comes from.  We will strive to eat foods that are grown and/ or processed within 500 miles of our home.

2.  Reduce Waste.  How can we better reduce the abundance of waste that is such a huge part of our culture?

3.  Cook and Bake from Scratch.  This also ties into reducing waste.  We will be figuring out ways to cook and bake from scratch with local ingredients (again, 500 mile radius) and to reduce waste by reducing packaging from items that we would typically purchase (i.e. bread).

Next week I will share the Goal for each month for each of these categories.  To give you an idea, the following is what we have already been up to this month (January).

January Goals

Rethink Food Choices:  Eat only Ohio grown produce.  With the exception of bananas, mandarin oranges and some grapes, we have maintained this goal since January 1.

Reduce Waste:  No Fast Food.  For the entire year.  If it has a drive-thru, it is not an option.

Cook and Bake from Scratch:  Bake bread. 

Note:  Some of the links referenced in this post are my referral links.  You can read Saving Family Green's Material Connection Disclosure Policy here.

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