Today’s post is an excerpt from Eco Mothering Blog, where Donna DeForbes has been blogging about this month’s NWEI EcoChallenge and the implications of parenting ‘green.’ Here are some of the top things she and her family learned from participating in this year’s EcoChallenge (for their challenge they committed to doing one green thing every day):

  • Being outside makes us feel good. I’d forgotten how much since I don’t ride my bike to work anymore. (My husband continues to bike to work daily, even in downpours. He’s my alternative transportation hero!)…These past two weeks, I’ve felt more connected to nature whether it’s feeling the wind in my ears as I bike to zumba class or inhaling the damp earth and noticing leaves drift downward from their summer perches as I walk in the rain to a nearby meeting. It feels great.
  • Parts of items can be recycled. Like the cardboard pieces from new toy packaging… if I just take the time to separate them from the non-recyclable plastic bits. And aluminum yogurt lids that just need a quick rinse. And juice boxes minus the straw. I slowed down these past weeks to inspect items I usually toss quickly into the trash for any salvageable parts. Sofie rescued the plastic covers that came with our electric toothbrush heads – for what purpose, I don’t know, but I’m thrilled she got caught up in the reuse and re-purpose theme...
  • Turning computers off at night is pretty darn easy. My husband discovered this in his quest to be more energy efficient. (He remembered to turn lights off more frequently too!) When I asked if he’d continue this after the EcoChallenge, he said it seemed easy enough. And it’s saving us $100 per year!
  • I could be a vegetarian (almost). A lacto-ovo vegetarian, that is, because we still ate eggs and dairy. My body has felt really good, and I might attribute that to being on the fifth day of our vegetarian week… I had fun developing a veggie menu and really enjoyed eating the meals. I never left the table feeling hungry, which is something I envisioned, as if I needed meat to really fill me up. Admittedly, at this point, I am longing for a good burger or my bacon, beer and Brussels sprout soup. But I also feel like I can reintroduce meat slowly, and I aim to maintain a veggie menu several days per week. Doing this EcoChallenge as a family was a fun effort in working together to go green...

*For the full post, click here.