Sunday, October 19, 2008

IP7's green birthday!!

To begin with, I am so proud of my soon to be seven year old!! He has decided to have a green birthday and not only that, he has also announced that he will pass on the gifts from his friends this year. Instead, he will tell them to bring in a donation for local charities.(aaawwww :))) He does not want decorations either because according to him, after the party it will be thrown away and this will just create unneccessary garbage!

We have contacted Little Friends- an organization that runs 14 different programs including a preschool for kids with special needs. We have gotten their wishlist which we are going to attach to the invitations. We have also contacted a national charity called Loaves and Fishes and gotten their wish list also. We are doing this just so that his friends and their parents have a choice!

My friend, NG33, from Troy, Michigan was the first to know about IP7's plan. She gave a very positive response and told him, "I am so proud of you!" This really gave him a lot of encouragement. However, not everyone has been so supportive:((((
IP7 was at the dentist's and the dental hygienist was the first person to bring his spirits down. When she came to know about my son's plan for his birthday, she said, "Oh! I am so sorry... you will not have toys to play now. You will have to give it away to charity." I don't know if she even understood what my son's plans were! I managed to keep a smile on my face without letting my anger show up, but if I had it my way, I would have slapped straight in the face followed by a tight blow in the gut. That's how furious I was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I tried to calm myself down thinking that the dentist will have more brains than her and will know what to say to a 7 year old kid for such good thoughts. But I was wrong again! The dentist said, "Well, what can I say... it's your decision." Now, I was ready to blow up. I thought the whole place was crazy... money minded and insensitive. I pitied them for pitying my son's noble cause. I hope they learn a good lesson from a 7 year old kid who has a bigger heart and giving spirit than them!

My son's mind was slightly shaken up. I tried my best to make him see the brighter side, but he was not able to. I think he thought it's going to be a lose lose situation for him. Frustrated, confused and sad, we come home to a good dinner of homemade tacos and burritobowl. Our spirits were still low when my all time saviour PM30 came to the rescue!!! I told her about what had happened at the dentist's. So, she talked with my son and gave him and me a super boost! Now we are back on track. Phew!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reduce, Reduce, Reduce!

It is very well said by Gandhiji that "You must be the change that you wish to see in the world."

I think I have become more serious about going green after reading this. I just can't sit on my sofa cribbing about global warming and do nothing! I have to get up and take the necessary steps. So what if I take baby steps. At least I am starting somewhere!!!

Have you ever looked at the packaging materials in a toy? It took us good 25 minutes and 3 tools- a pair of scissors, pliers and a screw driver- to open a toy that I bought for my kids. Is all this packaging material really needed? I have started looking at the packaging material in any item that I purchase. I go for the one with the least amount of it.

This takes me back to buying in bulk! Can't we just buy snacks in bulk and then come home and create individual servings? Do we really need 100 calorie snack packs? Why create extra litter when we can do it on our own in yes, you guessed in right.... reusable containers!! This even makes it easier to just grab a container and walk out of the door in the morning. Not only snacks, we can do so for vegetables and fruits also.

My efforts towards the 3 Rs:
1. Bought pretzels in bulk and made individual servings in reusable containers for my kids to snack on later on.

2. Bought strawberries in bulk. Washed and stored some in the fridge and froze the rest. Now I won't have to buy frozen strawberries when they are not in season.

3. For at least 5 minutes in a day I talk to my kids about the 3 Rs. I guess my younger one went overboard with it. I offer jaggery to Lord Ganesha everyday and my son loves it. He saw it lying on the counter and ate it. According to him, it was his contribution towards going green- he ate it (reused according to him) otherwise it would be wasted!

4. On an unplanned trip to the grocery store, I was caught without my reusable bags. I had no option, but to use a plastic bag because I had to buy mint leaves and cilantro. So, I put both in one bag and told the cashier. Then, I did not get it rebagged. This way I used just one bag and saved one bag from coming in my home.

5. I bought a used office desk from someone who did not need it any more. It is a very sturdy desk and I just paid $50.00 for it.