Two Sites Keeping Us Green
Freecycle.org and Meetup.com help keep our environment family-friendly!
In the last year I have read enough reports on environmental toxins to make me decide it was time to get serious about “going green.” My children and I started become more diligent about recycling and reusing items, and I even switched out poisonous household cleaners for more earth-friendly alternatives. In my pursuit of a more eco-friendly lifestyle, I discovered two online programs that helped me go green while opening doors for me to teach my children about the importance of caring for the earth.
Freecycle.org is a global nonprofit grassroots organization whose goal is to keep reusable items out of landfills. The term freecycle means to offer your used goods (baby items, furniture, magazines) for free to other members while at the same time having the opportunity to pick up other gently used goods from other members. The Web site emphasizes that it isn’t a “place to go to get free stuff for nothing” but a movement to promote the idea of gifting and getting what you need. In today’s society, children are bombarded with marketing ploys that teach them to want but not to give. I found that using Freecycle.org opened up the doors to teach my children about giving our gently loved items to others and not expecting anything in return.
With the rising costs of produce, it is always wiser to buy locally and in bulk. The problem is that having 30 pounds of tomatoes for one family isn’t practical. This is where co-ops come into play. A co-op is a group that buys goods in bulk and divides the cost among its members to get low prices. Co-ops for organic produce are becoming increasingly popular. While standing in line waiting to pick up our share, I was able to teach my children why it is important to buy locally grown and organic food from local farmers. What a great lesson in economics and environmental awareness! Meetup.com and Yahoo! groups are two great places to find or create co-ops in your area.
I have found that teaching my children about environmental awareness has not only increased their awareness about the world around them, but it has also given them a chance to brainstorm their own solutions to help the earth. Their ideas have given me hope that their generation will find a better, cleaner way to live.
Wendy Drewelow is a self-proclaimed “crunchy” mom of three and a professional doula. When she is not serving a healthful organic meal or cleaning her house with eco-friendly products, she is usually attending a birth or writing. Wendy’s blog, Crunchy in Soy Milk, has attracted readers from around the world.