Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy last day of winter!

And today we officially change over, and believe wholeheartedly in spring. Although the big snowstorm last Friday left us under a very solid 7 inches of snow (solid as in you can walk right across the top of it and not break through), you can absolutely see and feel the difference in the quality of light, and as I sit here typing at 6:48 a.m. I can hear the birds chirping outside.

I hope you'll take a look at Helen's project; she's turning the energy of swapping into an opportunity to help those truly in need. Her Swap-a-Goat is essentially an opportunity to make a charitable contribution in a swap partner's name; she's recommending the kind of organizations that will buy a goat for a family (or provide other essential items) but appears to be open to any kind of legitimate charity. I love her idea and I signed right up. I have experience donating through Heifer International, which is exactly the kind of place that will use your money to buy a goat, or a flock of chickens, or other life-sustaining thing, for a family whose lives can and will be transformed by the resource. Beatrice's Goat is a beautiful children's book about a girl and her family who receive a goat like this -- it's a wonderful way to introduce children to the concept of this kind of giving. Helen has inspired me to add another item to my year's list of incremental change. I'm on this mission (described a little in my previous post) to continually add small but positive change to my life and to my family's lives/routines. It can be difficult and discouraging to attempt large-scale change overnight -- doesn't matter if that change is about a diet or breaking a poor habit or whatever -- feeling that whatever "it" is can't be tackled gives us license not to make the change. But I'm trying to add small changes to our lives that reduce our footprint, that help turn the tide on global warming, that make the world a better place and that make our own lives more meaningful. So this one's about looking at my list of December gift buying and picking at least one gift that I will change from buying "something" to instead making a donation in that person's name -- I can think of several people on our list who would be delighted to see that we've donated a goat in their honor.

I've also started working to reduce the amount of disposable plastic we use in our kitchen. Plastic wrap, plastic bags, that sort of thing. I make pizza every single Friday (with few exceptions) and started this week covering the bowl of dough that sits in the fridge rising all day with a damp towel rather than a sheet of plastic wrap. A simple thing, it takes only a few more moments to do, and nothing is wasted. What are your great ideas?

1 comment:

KBG said...

After living in Germany for 4 years (where recycling is mandatory) my husband and I became big advocates of recycling. In Ukraine it's not nearly as easy, but we try. His grandparents donated to Heifer this past Christmas for everyone in the family. Two goats were bought for us and we plan on doing the same this year for many of the people on our list.
Since the Army pays all of our utilities for us, it's easy to fall into a wasteful lifestyle. I am pretty strict with the kids about turning off the water and turning off the lights. Every little bit helps!