How Green Is Your Valley?

A local friend posted about green. She asked how each of us interprets “going green.” I kind of wrote a novel…so I’m posting it here.


As far as green goes, we’re doing a little. We recycle, which is way at the bottom of most “going green” lists. But, I’m fanatical about recycling what I can. I have my youngest as the person in charge of recyclables. We put out a huge can each week, some weeks 2 or 3 cans of recycling.

Grean Cleaners

I have used green cleaners, but generally buy what’s at Costco. I don’t do a weekly or even every two-week grocery shop. I buy almost everything except fresh fruit and vegetables (due to the large amounts), and some dairy at Costco. It has been over 15 years since I bought detergent or paper goods at a grocery store.

Grocery Shopping, Recycled Shopping Bags

When I grocery shop, I try to use all the umpteen recycled shopping bags I have received at blogging events. The bags are perfect for wrapping shoes when I pack for a trip. I’ve used the bags for gifts, too.


I should look in to composting. We have a well and a septic system, which means no waste disposal. I could save the food that I throw in the trash, but don’t know how to start composting. We have a problem with deer…are compost bins animal-proof?


I’m a consignor. I see consigning as doing my bit to give our stuff a second chance in someone else’s home. I started consigning in 2003 when my son was an infant. I have consigned almost anything you can think of…baby stuff, toys, books, VHS/DVD/CDs, clothes, snow pants, and more. I earn about $2000/year from consigning. I look at money I earn from consigning as paying for all the many family incidentals, movies, school events, sports. At one point, I consigned at 3 stores, I’m down to only 1 store. As my children get older, I have less and less to consign…kids tend to hang on to stuff as they get older or clothes are too worn out.

Whatever I can’t recycle, I pass on to Goodwill, Purple Heart, or Amvets.

Cloth Diapering and Baby Stuff

Back in ’96, I had barely heard of cloth diapering. I knew no one who used them.

I had a funny to me now, but mildly upsetting back then experience when I popped in to Whole Foods in Gaithersburg. I asked if they had formula…I don’t think I “got” that the store was all natural. I thought I could grab a can of Similac and go. Anyway, the store worker looked at me with contempt as she spat out “we don’t sell that stuff!” Now, I can see the humor in the situation, but back then I was still upset over my failed attempt at breastfeeding that I took the comment personally. Live and learn!

What do you do to go green? What do you want to do, but haven’t done yet? What wouldn’t you do to go green?

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