Looking Back to Move Forward

I’ve been blogging here at Green 4 God for quite a while now.  My posts have veered away from “green” issues and onto other spiritual issues as well as more secular tips for conservation.  But, it’s always nice to refocus on your purpose by revisiting the past.  For instance-“Why did I start writing Green 4 God?” 

The short answer might be–Because I had to. After all, when you have ideas rolling around in your head, sometimes you have to share them or you’ll explode. 

The longer answer would be something along these lines-I began writing Green 4 God because I felt that there was very little conversation in spiritual circles that had to do with caring for the environment.  Even though the faithful have always been taught to care for Creation, at some point the environmental movement sped ahead and left the faithful behind. It was time to remind the faithful that caring for the environment isn’t something we do that’s separate from our faith but as an extension of it.

I still feel this way.  There are far too few spiritual conversations that include our responsibility to be stewards of Creation. Perhaps that word “responsibility” is the reason why. 

I don’t know about you but I have plenty of responsibilities.  The idea of taking on another is not terribly appealing; especially if it has anything to do with work or guilt.  If someone starts a statement with “We should…” or, worse still, “You should…” not only do I get defensive, I close myself off from what they have to say pretty quickly.

So what I propose is a change of attitude and better word choice.  Let’s think of caring for Creation not as something we have to do in addition to our other responsibilities but as something that we already do that we might be able to do a little better. 

After all, I know very few people that frivolously waste money, time, or energy without a second thought.  Most of the people I know have families and budgets and have to make the most of everything they’re given. The same idea goes for conservation-Make the most of what we’re given. 

Here in Texas, we’ve been in a drought for several years.  Water conservation is in most everyone’s minds. Very few people around here are planting flora that need a lot of water.  It just doesn’t make sense.

In the summer, it gets really hot here-we’re talking 100+ degrees in July and August.  This is not the time of year to bake bread and have the oven on all day.  We don’t leave lights on in the house in the heat of the day if we can do without them.  After all, we have a lot of daylight around here.  There’s no need to add to it on most summer afternoons.  Of course, we close the blinds during the hottest part of the day too.  It does a little to keep the heat at bay.

So, the point is-most of us are already doing things to be good stewards. So, let me be the first to say, “Good job!  Keep up the good work!” And let me also be the one to say, “Hey, have you tried the new LED lightbulbs?  They’re more expensive but they last a long time and give off almost no heat!”

Blessings,
Laura

Check out my new blog: www.suburbansainthood.com where I talk about all things spiritual including my own struggles.

Still Green After All These Years

This December I will celebrate my 4th anniversary here at Green for God. (Time

does

fly.  I’ve actually seen it flying by my window at times.  Really.)  And even though my topics have diverged from my original focus (stewardship of creation), I still like to find new ways to be a good steward and share those ways with you.

So here’s the latest green step we’ve taken as a family-We bought an electric lawn mower!!!!

My 11 year old mowing the lawn for the first time!

Note

In true form of being a good steward of creation and of our treasure, we’ve been waiting for our previous mower to die for several years now.  My husband has patched and repaired, bolted and oiled but finally, it was time to say goodbye to “Ole Gassy”.  (No.  I’m not referring to my husband.  We’re talking about the gas mower here.  Focus people!)

So, we have ventured into the world of electric mowers.  To make it easy on you, dear readers, I will present my review of our electric mower in Pro/Con format.  You’re welcome.

Pros

  • No stinky gas smell in the garage and yard.
  • No emissions to contaminate the air.
  • Quieter motor means less noise pollution and irritation.  PLUS, I can actually converse a bit with my husband/son while they mow.  (Wait.  That may a “Con” for them….)
  • My husband says he doesn’t feel as bad after mowing now.  He supposes that this is due to the fact that he not sucking mower fumes while he mows.
  • It’s MUCH easier to start than an old-style mower.  Literally just the press of a button.

Cons

  • The mower is much heavier than the gas version so it takes more muscle to mow the yard.  There is a self-propelled feature that helps a lot but it does drain the battery more quickly.  Of course, if you’re looking for some exercise, this might just do the trick!
  • The cutting path is narrower than our old mower which means it takes more passes to cover the whole yard.
  • The battery does lose it’s charge fairly quickly (see note above regarding the self-propelled feature) but our yard is fairly small so it works for us just fine.

Overall, we’re very happy with the new mower and would buy it again if we needed to.  Only time will tell about the durability.  I’m sure I’ll give you updates as time passes since that’s kind of what I do…

Many (Green) Blessings,

Laura

Cheap, Healthy & Green Beauty

In my ongoing efforts to be a good steward of Creation, I’m always on the lookout for ways to streamline my beauty routine. 

  • I’ve completely converted to the Oil Cleansing Method (LOVE IT!). 
  • I tried out the No-Poo shampoo for a while (liked it) but decided that it was a bit too drying for my aging hair.  (I may revisit that experiment again when I feel like I have some time to play with proportions.) 
  • I’ve also experimented with mineral makeup but decided I needed something with more moisture (aging again…)

Most recently I’ve experimented with natural deodorant brands such as Tom’s and Alba but have come away dissatisfied.  Some people love them but my take is that they’re fairly pricey and only mask odor.  I could accomplish the same thing with some well-placed perfume. 

Until now…I have finally found a deodorant that fits my criteria of cheap & healthy and I think it’s even green.  (Need to look into that a bit more.)  My new deodorant is….rubbing alcohol!  Yes, rubbing alcohol.  All I do is use a cotton ball to cleanse my armpits with rubbing alcohol after I bathe and let it dry.  When I want a little something special, I add some perfume to my underarms and I’m good to go!

Note:  This method doesn’t control perspiration.  When it’s important for me to stay dry, I will occasionally use a regular antiperspirant.  BUT, on the whole, I use the alcohol method and have been very happy with it.

So why do I take the trouble to look for an alternate method for stink control?  A couple of reasons:

  • My mother has Alzheimer’s Disease and aluminum has been linked to AD.  Almost all antiperspirants contain aluminum oxide to stop the wetness.  So, avoiding aluminum may reduce my risk of AD.  It may not.  But, it may.
  • Our bodies are made to sweat to rid our bodies of toxins.  Stopping underarm sweat “plugs up” that system.  It makes one wonder what happens to those toxins, doesn’t it?

And it’s inexpensive!  I love it when I can find something that’s healthy and cheap.  Those two qualities aren’t often present in one item.

I’ve only been using this method for a few months so I may change my mind entirely when the temperatures are over 100 for a few weeks.  But, for now, I’m good to go!

What methods or products have you tried to go green, healthy, or cheap?

Can’t wait to hear!
Blessings,
Laura

Perfectly Green

Tell the truth.  Are you one of those people who approaches change headfirst and dives right in?  You know, a real “all or nothing” approach.  OR, are you more likely to ease into change a little at a time with some trepidation?

If you’re not sure which you are, I can help you by asking you only one question: 

How do you enter a swimming pool? 

That’s right, a swimming pool.  Do you dive in headfirst? Or, do you dip in one toe at a time slowly easing yourself under the water until you get used to the temperature?  If you’re still not sure, you probably haven’t gone swimming in a while. 

I used to be a “dive in” kinda girl but I figured out that my “all or nothing”  approach usually ended up with “nothing” or at least “very little.”  I’m an enthusiastic person and when I get excited about an idea or a project, I get ambitious and tend to overload myself.  But, over time I’ve realized that if I channel my enthusiasm into more moderate goals I’m much more successful and productive.  If I make small changes I can stick with, those changes can become lifelong habits instead of impulsive whims.

A lot of people approach their attempts to “go green” the same way I used to.  If they can’t have a perfect compost pile, then they don’t even try.  They get caught up in the pressure to be “greener” (or to at least be “greener” than their neighbors) and they freeze up.

I’m here to tell you that no one is “perfectly green”.  Let go of that idea right now. Instead, strive to be “imperfectly green.”  Suddenly, the pressure is off and you have complete freedom to mess up!   My first attempt at composting produced a corn stalk growing out of it!  I learned a lot from that attempt that I can integrate into a second attempt when I’m ready.  I’ve learned that finding one or two small things that I can change (maybe lunch containers or the location or quantity of my recycling bins) is a much more manageable way for me to change my lifestyle. 

So, I encourage you to make the resolution to be “Imperfectly Green” by taking this pledge:

“I, (name), promise to try new ways to care for creation.  I promise to take on small changes and to mess them up from time to time.  I promise to eliminate “perfect” from my vocabulary and to strive instead for progress.  I promise to laugh at myself and not get stressed out when bugs invade my organic garden.  But most of all, I promise to keep trying because I know that even my imperfection pleases God when I use it to try and please Him.” 

Imperfectly Yours,
Laura