Welcome to the story of our family’s transition to green living. Our eco family consists of me, Nate, my wife, Steph, and our daughter, Caryanne, as well as, our two cats, Nari and Tora.
Like many people and families, we have been going green incrementally since 2001. Back then, we were living in a townhouse in Alexandria, VA. We bought the townhome because it was close to a blue line metro stop and we could both take the metro to work instead of driving. It was also close to shopping, so that we could walk to the grocery store and some restaurants instead of driving.
We made incremental steps in reducing our carbon emissions, but our lives continued pretty much as usual until the summer of 2004. I specifically remember that summer because temperatures soared to scorching levels and stayed at those levels for most of the summer months. Because of those exceedingly hot temperatures, I began to realize that something was really wrong with the earth’s climate.
I spent the next several months researching what was happening to the climate and how Steph and I could help stop it. The results were astonishing and we began to make some life changes to try to drastically reduce our impact on the climate. In October of 2004, I purchased a hybrid vehicle. I started telecommuting even more to cut down on my driving. Steph earned a degree in Massage Therapy and began to treat clients out of our home so that she did not have to drive as much.
We spent the next year continuing to try to cut down our impact on the earth. Then, in early in 2005, we received big news that we were pregnant. We realized that our current townhome would not be large enough to accommodate our new arrival and moved to a single family home in Haymarket, VA. As part of the move, I negotiated another telecommute day so that I was able to work at home four days a week. In December 2005, we were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Caryanne.
In early 2006, like many other people, we saw An Inconvenient Truth and it made us even more motivated to reduce our carbon emissions and green our lives even further. We started to:
- Offset our driving emissions with Terrapass
- Replace our most frequently used light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs
- Recycle everything possible
- Re-use everything whenever possible (joined Freecycle)
- Use recycled or natural paper
- Use digital technology whenever possible to avoid using paper
- Purchase only Energy-star rated, efficient electronics and appliances
- Buy local and/or organic food whenever possible
- Use natural cleaning products whenever possible
- Join local and national groups focused on improving the environment
- Spread our knowledge of, and passion for, going green to friends and family
- And much more…
In late 2010, we saw Food, Inc. and were absolutely amazed by what we learned about the modern food industry. The day after we watched the movie, we began to buy mainly organic foods, from producers that are local to our area. We joined a local Community Supported Agriculture group to get our milk, eggs and vegetables from local area farmers. We cut our meat consumption considerably and only sparingly eat local, free-range or organic meats. We are also now composting and will be planting our first vegetable and herb gardens in the spring.