Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snow Day Enviornment/Nutrition Ramble

So it's snowing.  A lot!  And I'm stuck inside with restless children and nothing to do.  Except laundry, and dishes, and picking up... but who wants to do that right?  So I think I'll blog a little.  I could post some cute pictures of the boys but I think I'll write about something I'm become really interested in lately.  Not that the boys aren't interesting of course!

I have never been extremely interested in "Environmental" issues before.  I sometimes felt like I should be interested but in the end I just never really cared about it.  I think honestly I was in denial and didn't want to feel held responsible for my own actions and my so called carbon footprint.  My footprint was less like a footprint and more like a snow angel.  Two years ago I blogged a post called "Trash Day" on March 20th, 2011.  That marked the first time we started making a conscious effort to recycle.  Since then recycling has become a part of life for us.  Our kids ask where the recycle bins are when they are places without us.  A lady at the YMCA commented one time how impressed she was that Aaron was so concerned about recycling his snack waste.  I am pretty proud of this but I have been feeling recently like this is simply not enough.

I can't pin point the exact moment that I really started paying attention but for the last two years that our family has been recycling, I have become increasingly aware and concerned with taking care of the Earth that God created.  Certainly there some things that have contributed to my views on things recently.

First, we moved to beautiful Colorado.  There are a lot of people here that are very health conscious and in love with nature.  It kind of rubs off on you once you start making friends.  Things like having chickens in your back yard and growing your own food or shopping at natural grocers are not just a fad but a way of life.  Being outdoors in the fresh mountain air is sought after even on the coldest, snowiest day of the winter.  Just this morning, while we are under blizzard warnings, the news caster told the weekend skiers to be careful but enjoy the fresh snow.  Yes.  There are people that brave the worst of weather to enjoy the fresh powder.  Just living here makes me want to live healthier and take care of our planet.

Second, this little movie the kids are in love with called The Lorax has really made us want to grow things.  I love this movie.  It has so many wonderful messages but the key line is "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, its not."  Its about a fictional world where trees and plant life no longer exist.  The air and water are so polluted that they have to BUY clean air.  The people are so oblivious to the way things actually work and are happy in their ignorance.  Now it is an extreme example but I feel like one of the people of Thneedville.  I was happy not knowing where my food came from or how it was processed or what the things I bought did to the environment.  But just because you can deny it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist and the people of Thneedville ultimately decided to change their ways and "Let it Grow."

Haven't seen it?  Check out our 3 favorite songs.  Thneedville, Bad, and Let it Grow.

Lastly, documentaries have taken a hold on me.  I've watched some great ones and some pretty dry ones over the last few weeks.  Watching too many can leave me feeling guilty and helpless.  Other times I feel ANGRY.  I seem to be camping out on food documentaries.  My favorite quotes are

"America is over fed and under nourished " from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

"Part of our responsibly as stewards of the Earth is to respect the design of nature." ~ From the documentary, Fresh

"Cheap food is an illusion. There is no such thing as cheap food.  The real cost of the food is paid somewhere." ~ Fresh

The more I read articles and watch these documentaries the more I realize that the food industry is not only damaging our health as a nation but it's also responsible for horrible pollution with all of the insecticides and other chemicals they have to put into their crops, the fuel it takes to power the equipment, the shear waste produced by herding thousands of animals in confined places and so on and so on.  I'm not saying I'm ready to become a vegetarian but it sure makes me think twice about the food I'm buying.  It makes me mad because I feel helpless that I am only one person.  It would/will take YEARS to make positive changes in the way things are done in this country.

All this combined has sparked John and I to become healthier.  For us and for our kids.  We want to be good stewards of our bodies and of our world.

I know I'm rambling and I haven't even scratched the surface of what I am feeling right now so I will save the changes our family is making for another post.  It's one thing to watch a few documentaries about making changes.  It's another to actually MAKE changes.

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