How We Are Loving Our Environment…On Purpose.

I could start this post with some extreme, hippie, Earth-worshipping comment about reducing your carbon footprint and never touching a chemical cleaning product again… but I won’t, because frankly, that’s just not me.  Yes, our ftaralove3amily makes an attempt at being green(er), but we do it in a way that works for us. We try to incorporate environmental love into our everyday lives and purposely teach our kiddos how our actions affect the planet we live on, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Here’s how we do it:

1).  We recycle. Our local trash pick-up also provides bins for paper, plastic, metal, cardboard, and glass.  To be honest, sometimes I have a lazy moment and throw a mac-n-cheese box in the trash — I am scorned on the spot by three mini-activists reminding me that cardboard is recyclable. And then they run it down to the bin. And we all feel better about it.


2). We unplug. Most of our electronics get unplugged when not in use: chargers, fans, lamps, small appliances, etc. Realistically, this one probably stemmed from trying to save money, but hey, win-win, am I right?!


taralove43). We re-use/re-purpose. I admit, I may have a hoarding problem when it comes to glass bottles or jars of any sort. We use them as vases, candle-holders, drinking glasses, décor displays, piggy-banks, you name it! We also save those plastic tubs from yogurt/cottage-cheese/salsa/deli-meats. They are perfect for leftovers and make great snack cups for little hands. Wipes cases can be used to store many things: crayons, toothbrushes, tiny-toys, fingernail polish, hair accessories, or flashcards.


4). We conserve. We try to teach our children that using too much of one thing can be bad. So, they’ve learned to not leave the water running, they turn lights off when they walk out of a room, they only put clothes in the laundry chute if they are actually soiled and dirty, and they get one drink-cup for the day.


taralove5). We pick-up. One of the biggest impacts on our kids was adopting-a-highway for litter removal. Getting their little hands dirty {pun intended} while wearing their over-size reflective vests and filling up those giant orange bags sparks many questions: Why would someone throw this out their window?  Hey, don’t they know this can be recycled? Mommy, can’t these hurt the animals and birds that live out here? They are quickly becoming very passionate about it.

6). We redeem. One of the best ways for us to a make a little extra cash (while reducing aluminum and plastic in the landfills) — we simply return the cans and bottles we’ve collected. Seriously folks, 5 cents doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up so quickly! We pay the deposit when we purchase them, so why are more people not returning them? Truth be told, I am totally that friend who grabs a pop can out of your trashcan if I see someone toss it.  You’ve been warned.

Are our family’s small green acts going to make a huge impact on our Earth? Most likely not. But, it’s a start. Our kids are learning. A spark is being ignited in them. Teaching them to love their environment now may have a global impact in the future.

Need help getting started? Put a box in the copy room at your work or school to collect unwanted paper or junk mail for recycling. Re-use gift boxes, plastic tubs, or plant pots instead of buying new. Purchase a few re-usable water bottles and fill up at home. Pick up a giant jug of vinegar to reduce cleaning product waste. (Have you seen all the uses for that miracle liquid?!) Do some research into cloth diapering. Any effort you make will help you become more aware and before you know it, you may have just morphed into an earth-loving environmentalist! 😉

What else do you do to “go green” in your life?

Stay-at-home-Momma to 3 rambunctious, but adorable kiddos, and wife to her talented husband, Gabriel, Tara spends most of her days in a hectically blessed world! Her two boys, Simeon (6) and Solomon (5), and sassy 3-year-old daughter, Surion, help keep her on her toes. She is proud to call Kalona her home and settled in quickly after moving from central Iowa a few years ago to launch a ministry in the IC area. Her family is an avid supporter of all the local “Hawks”… Go Black and Gold! She claims that exercise is not her strong suit, but continues to condition her body (mostly through running) in hopes that one day, it will come naturally to her. She enjoys being creative through crafting and DIY projects, and admits that her body is a canvas and artistic outlet with her many tattoos and piercings. Tara has a special place in her heart for “finding a good deal,” and can often be found scouring local thrift stores for all sorts of wonderful treasures! She is truly passionate about litter-removal and recycling and hopes her obsession will rub off on the munchkins so they can lead a “clean” life in their future. Lastly, and most importantly, Tara has a heart for the Lord and is thrilled to be involved with her community MOPs group. =)


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