Monday, August 21, 2006

Life changes

We have spoken a lot about peak oil lately. I guess I never really realized how much is dependent on oil. All that most of us think about it our cars. What about everything else that is transported with oil - food, medical supplies, building supplies....

What else is derived from oil? Most of our energy comes from oil. Our waste is removed via oil (garbage pick-up), water is cleaned with oil (energy to clean it), our plastic products are made from oil. Our I.V. bags and medical supplies are created with oil. Our dishwashing detergents are often petroleum based. Almost everything in our lives is oil based!

So, we have made many changes in our lives in attempt to reduce our ecological footprint and as an attempt to simplify our lives. We are also trying to use little oil. It is not possible to do without, but we try to minimize....

  1. Heat with wood
  2. Garden
  3. Can/preserve foods
  4. buy foods in bulk (and adequate food storage)
  5. eat locally and/or organic
  6. dry clothes on a line
  7. reuse water (captured through dehumidifier and reused to water plants or wash floors)
  8. natural cleaning products
  9. no new purchases
  10. making environmentally friendly choices
  11. no new purchases (used/borrowed/go without)
  12. veggie oil car
  13. walk or bike most places
  14. non gas based lawn mower (push mower)
  15. compost
Yes, we started small, but we built from that to include these other changes.

Recently, I stopped using paper towel! I still think it is a good choice to choose one item and then add to it. When I look at everything that we have incorporated into our lives, it can be overwhelming. However, I realize that these changes were added to within a time epriod. For instance, we have been heating/supplementing with wood for about 4 years. I am not the best gardener, however, I am learning.

This is not perfect, it is a journey of learning. I am truly enjoying this journey and learning a lot along the way. I also find that I spend more time playing with the kids - as they are enjoying the preocess as well. For instance, the other day Elyse and I canned pickles! Madison made eggplant parmesean from homemade (canned) spaghetti sauce, Zach uses the push mower, and we all help each other. We all help put up the wash to dry. We aren't sitting in front of the television or computer and wasting time. There is much more family interaction now than ever before.

1 comment:

Sally Parrot Ashbrook said...

Those skills your kids are learning will be great for their whole lives, too.

I also was thinking about the pervasiveness of petroleum; everything from lip gloss to mattresses tends to contain some petroleum-related product. Astounding, really, how much we've come to rely on it.