When I started this blog at the beginning of the year my goal was to share our experiences with others and to encourage more people in our circle and out in the world to start on their own greener path. It's been a busy year full of great experiences and many changes, here's a recap of our year:
1. We have completely switched to washing our clothes in cold water.
2. We are all using reusable bags including my husband at the grocery store. With my purchase of the Green3 bag for my purse - I always have a bag available for my other shopping.
3. We have switched all our light bulbs to CFLs.
4. We recycle everything possible! This has reduced our waste to one small bag a week.
5. We adopted our road and have cleaned it several times.
6. We have all switched to reusable water bottles.
7. We participated in 4 beach clean-ups this year.
8. We now receive all our bills online are doing our banking online - eliminating tons of wasted paper.
9. We have fostered 9 kittens for our local animal shelter. We also adopted a shelter cat who has turned out to be a loving addition to our family.
10. We have all eliminated a bad habit of brushing our teeth with the water running.
11. I have switched to all organic makeup.
12. I have participated in the local Freecycle network as both a giver and a taker.
13. We have done both a Live With Less and a Financially Free week - basically a week of buying nothing. I learned a lot from these weeks about why we buy, what we buy, how to save money, and what we really need.
14. We did a Reverse Trick-or-Treating where we passed out fair trade chocolates along with information on what fair trade is and why it is important to the houses we visited on Halloween.
15. We have adopted a new habit of unplugging items when they are not in use - eliminating phantom loads.
16. I participated in Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday, where instead of heading out with the hoards of Christmas shoppers I enjoyed the day at the beach gathering items for our Christmas decorating.
17. As a family we volunteered in many ways - we raised a guide dog puppy for Southeastern Guide Dogs who graduated and is currently working, we are currently raising another guide dog puppy, I donated 12" of my hair to Locks of Love, we donated food to the local food pantry, we headed up a food drive for the animal shelter, I've handed out reusable bags to shoppers at the grocery store, as well as many random acts of kindness.
18. Instead of sending out paper Christmas cards we sent a Smilebox greeting which everyone loved and several people were inspired to send Smilebox cards themselves.
19. We wrapped all our birthday and Christmas presents in reusable fabric gift bags we made ourselves.
20. Hopefully through our actions, gifts, store, and blog we have educated and inspired others to make some green changes in their own lives.
I think we have accomplished our goal of living our life according to Gandhi's saying - "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Thank you for joining us on our journey this year and I hope you will continue to join us in the new year.