My Green City Life


More people, more impact
August 15, 2007, 11:50 am
Filed under: your green lifestyle

My family flew in from the midwest to visit this past week. The quick change from two of us (me + Matt) to six of us (me + Matt + fam) made me realize how many more resources are used when you have a big — or even medium-sized — family. More people means more toilet flushes, which means more water and toilet paper used. It means more food consumed, which means more packaging to throw away/recycle/reuse and more dishes to wash. It means more minds to entertain, which means more money spent on diversions. (In our case, it was mostly low-impact diversions, such as entrance fees to museums and bike rentals.)

Striving to live green in the city (or otherwise) with a family in tow is a big challenge, but it is not impossible. I am happy to report that both of my sisters bragged that they ususally let their yellow mellow, if you know what I mean. My mom brought her own shopping bag, a big one that folds up very small for keeping in one’s purse, which meant that improptu visits to the grocery store didn’t result in using plastic bags. (Yay mom!) My dad campaigned for more meals at home instead of at restaurants on the town. I’m pretty sure this was for money saving reasons, but it has a green effect nonetheless. And I hope that when we spent a morning at the farmers market I impressed upon them the importance of buying local, seasonal food.

Living a green life with more people doesn’t have to mean a bigger negative impact. Enlisting a whole family to make one green change makes a bigger positive impact than if one person alone made the change. More people also means more minds with more ideas. Start talking green with your family (you may interpret that word as you see fit) and see how big a positive impact you can make. You might be surprised!

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