Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to Basics

I had an interesting conversation with my mom the other day about how so many things are coming full circle. She made a comment about how much things have changed. How when she was a kid they had to wear cloth rags, "and they had to be washed out, and it was gross!" I just laughed. I talked about how now we're finding out that the chemicals in disposable menstrual pads are causing all sorts of problems including but not limited to making cramps way more painful. Now, there is a growing market for "mama cloth" pads. So many of the "conveniences" that have come out since the 50's haven't been all that "convenient" after all. The increases in beef production have just caused an increase in heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. along with the outrageous, detrimental environmental impact. The loss of handmade crafting has gone hand in hand with the increase in sweatshop garments. The technological advances have increased toxic waste creating environmental damage and health problems.

Now, before I start to sound like someone who should forsake the world and become Amish - don't get me wrong. Do I want to live without my modern refrigerator or other conveniences like laptops, air conditioning, and cell phones? No. I do think that we as a group of people need to start taking more responsibility for the waste we are creating. Getting back to basics does not mean we have to give up electricity and start washing our clothes outside with a washboard. I don't everyone needs to take up sewing or live a life that they are not interested in. I do think we all have to take a hard look at the way we live and make the changes we can to reduce our impact on the world. If we gripe about global warming, and then eat beef five times a week - hypocritical much? What can I do to change the world I live in? What can I do to teach my kids social and environmental responsibility? It's been weighing on my mind very heavily as of late. We cleared our garage last weekend, so that we could make our compost bin out there this weekend. It's important to me to teach my children composting. It's important to me to teach them about ecological responsibility. It's really important to me to get them out of this polluted city - come on economy - time for a rebound!!! Nothing I can do about that right now though, so I just have to keep trying to improve my little corner of the world - even if it is in an ugly, brown, dry, crowded, polluted city.

A small change that I have been thinking a lot about lately, is getting some houseplants. My problem is that in the past I have never been able to keep houseplants alive. I forget them! I had gorgeous, lush plants in my office when I had a paying job, but they were always in my face. I'm trying to figure out how I can remember to water them and keep them alive. Indoor air quality is a big deal. Research has shown that most indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air quality even in such a smoggy place like Denver. We've been cutting out the harsh chemical cleaners - which should help - we have an air purifier, but a few plants would be awesome. I also need to figure out what kind of plant that won't be poisonous to the children or the cats - BOTH would eat the plant if given the chance. Loelle - if you read this and have a suggestion - please tell me! So, after the compost bin - I am going to attempt to have houseplants again. It's just another thing to try and "green" up our lives!


Loelle said...

Of course I'm reading! I'll have to get back to you on more, but I have had the same plants for these past 18 years *and* Oliver, and he is still going strong! Oh, and he regularly chews on many of my plants. I am more than willing to share cuttings etc to get you started. Some of my favorite easy plants (and I don't water but every few weeks, so these really ARE easy!) are pothos/philodenron, jade, and grape ivy. THey grow fast, can be rooted easily, and the cat doesn't eat them too much. I wonder if have a container of grass nearby would dtere the cat from eating the houseplants? Ollie always goes for the "grasslike" plants first, the rest are second choice. Hanging the plants is a good way to keep them from both kids and cats.
Luckliy, my kids have not been houseplant eaters at all, so I don't know the toxicity of my houseplants. Oh, I looked once, but I forgot.
We'll tawlk.

Misty said...

Thanks dear! I knew you would be the one to ask. I would love, love, love to get some cuttings from you. I do plan on hanging them - otherwise I am quite sure that Louis would knock them over which would be counter productive! LOL. From what I remember, as a general rule, if the cat can eat the houseplant and survive, so can the kid!