Now that the holiday season is underway and every blip of news I manage to catch on the radio is talking about consumer spending, it’s time to think about where my greenbacks are going in the next month, and how Green those choices will look.
No one can do it all, but we are wise to take stock of improvements we’ve made and also set some goals for this last spending-frenzy month and the year to follow.
As for me, many of my chunks of energy and change go to food. I started the year getting veggie deliveries from South Mountain Veggies but then began making a more concerted effort to get to farmers markets, which are open in Arlington County every day but Monday and Friday. I wanted to be sure to eat all I bought (which seems more likely when you actually pick it up and hand over the cash for it), to have more variety, and to get my children out seeing the farmers rather than just waking up to a bag on our porch. I expect I’ll take advantage of delivery again this winter, but I also hope we can keep making it at least to the weekend markets a few times a month. I will continue to get most of my eggs, milk and meat directly from a sustainable farmer but also accept that, when necessary, my purchasing organic chicken occasionally from my neighborhood Harris Teetersends the store the message that this is a valued product to stock.
On broader consumer spending, I’m happy that most of the decorations and party favors for my son’s fifth birthday were either reusable or recycled or both. I’ve rejoined Green America (formerly Co-op America) and vow this time to at least open up the big Green Pages directory that arrived in the mail yesterday and start to patronize some of the folks I find there. Ideally this will happen in the next two and a half days or at least in time to inform my holiday gift purchases.
Speaking of mail, I have got to finally sign up with 41 Pounds to get myself off of mailing lists, especially for way-too-cute clothing my mullet-haired baby daughter and her short and belly-flabby mommy could never pull off. And are you listening, Restoration Hardware? We like the knobs on our kitchen cabinets, but there is really only one of me living at this address. Maybe someone on Freecycle will want my extra catalog. What, hardware for baby and child? Make that catalogs.
Maybe somehow RH got word that I am moving… to the house next door. Yes, we are getting a good enough deal on an as-is version of our same house (on a bigger lot) that we think we can just maybe afford to do the renovation of our dreams (if we can figure out what that actually means). We hope to go through our county’s Green Home Choice Program, which has certified 26 homes this year. We intend to spend the time and whatever money we can afford to make wise decisions in construction and finishes.
Speaking of, research into solar panels and types of insulation await! I fear that time spent on the house may thwart my efforts to be timely and thoughtful (read: smart and sustainable) about holiday spending. But the fact that I’m thinking about this before December even starts is something I’m going to choose to read as a good sign.
What green habits have you taken on this year or are looking forward to for the holidays and beyond?
Jessica Claire Haney blogs about living naturally — most of the time — at Crunchy-Chewy Mama. She also writes for All Things Mothering and The Washington Times Communities Family Today in her column, “Reading Ingredients: A Health-Conscious Mom.”