Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

It's a Wrap!

As 2005 comes to a close tonight, I'll be ringing in the New Year on my living room couch with a glass of organic wine to toast the year's accomplishments. Uh...that is, if I can stay awake until midnight. Not sure if I've done that since the Bean was born a few months ago. In the event that I doze off before the ball drops, I thought I'd start the day with a recap of some of the steps -- big and small -- that I've taken on the path of sustainability and greener living during the past year.
  • Survived natural childbirth....and would do it again. Okay, so I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to do it again right away, but my biggest accomplishment of the year was obviously the birth of my baby. I'm especially proud that I was able to resist the urgings of the anesthesiologist who, in the middle of hard labor, gives one of the best damn sales pitches I've ever heard. (This should go without saying, but I'll do it anyway: the birth of any baby is a beautiful process that every woman experiences differently. Getting an epidural or other medical pain relief is a personal decision that I wouldn't dare judge for a second.)
  • Breastfeeding my baby. I know that I'm giving my baby a healthy start despite my horror at the toxins that accumulate in breastmilk. Seriously, we parents need to start getting really pissed off about this! Actually, why limit the ire to parents? This is one of those flashing neon signs about the state of our environment that is telling ALL of us to wake up. Rant aside, breastfeeding also has green benefits. (I'll pause for the same caveat as the one above here.)
  • Ate more organic foods. I've been buying organic for a few years. Perhaps it was my pregnancy that made me up step it up another notch. Now, it's very difficult for me to purchase a piece of produce that is not organic. I feel blessed to have the means to choose to buy organic most of the time, and I feel strongly about allocating funds to food choices that are better for my health and the health of farmers, song birds, streams, rivers, and the soil. We're a pretty frugal family, but I don't mind giving a bigger piece of the budget pie to sustainable foods. We just cut back in other places.
  • Made Fair Trade a Priority. It was the same thought process as the one about organics. I have been buying Fair Trade coffee for awhile now. In the past year, I've become much more passionate about refusing to buy coffee that is not Fair Trade and I've added bananas and chocolate to the list.
  • Grew more food. I wrote about our plot in a community garden here. I won't repeat myself except to say that food doesn't get more local than coming from your own garden. Growing food is one of those green actions that has a positive impact on so many levels: fresher food, reduced transportation and fossil fuel usage, stronger communities, and increased biodiversity for starters. For me, it has also added a little more beauty to my world.
  • Started this blog. Having an outlet for exploring my ideas more fully and "meeting" others who are doing amazing things in the little moments of their day has been so fulfilling.
  • Reduced waste. I've made some more small steps to decreasing the amount of waste that our household contributes to landfills each year: we use reusable bags (almost) all of the time, we've switched over to cloth napkins and dishrags, the amount of packaging an item has become a key factor in my decision whether to purchase it, we've replaced our coffee filters with a reusable hemp one, we're starting to use the teapot and filter some of the time rather than highly packaged tea bags, etc. (Anyone know of a source for Fair Trade loose tea leaves?)
  • Shopped local. We've become much more serious about buying items - from a humidifer for the nursery to holiday gifts - from local businesses rather than chain stores. We need to keep working on this, especially for clothes and baby items. It seems really hard to get get those things affordably at independent shops.
  • Learned more about nature and spent time enjoying it. This usually leads to action!
  • Got inspired to make some ambitious green plans for 2006. I've been inspired to go a bit further next year. Tomorrow I'll let you know what I'm planning.



  • At 12:51 PM, Blogger Siel said…

    Happy wining! :) Looking forward to what you have planned for next year -- It'll be tough to beat out this year's list!

  • At 5:01 PM, Blogger Mr. Luna said…

    Maybe you'd like to help with this project to aid in a more sustainable future by cutting carbon emissions. Check out my blog at

    Thanks so much, -kenny

  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger spiral said…

    Looking at last year and this new year, I'd say you are an ambitious woman--wow! I've enjoyed your blog, and I can't wait to read more! (No pressure.)

  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Katie said…

    Congrats on your '05 accomplishments. Happy New Year.

  • At 7:58 AM, Blogger lauren said…

    Thanks guys. By the way, I checked out Kenny's site. It's a pretty neat idea to write to Oprah and encourage her to work with sponsors to give every child in the US a CFL bulb. greenLAgirl and The Blue Voice have done posts about it. To help Mr. Luna (a science teacher) with his goal, you just send Oprah an email. His site gives you sample text and a link to the email. Seems worth a try! I sent mine.


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