Green, thrifty, and ethical

I have been sick for a while now. I had the flu at the beginning of the holidays and am just now emerging from sinus hell. I did manage to make up the Christmas baskets for the in-laws and send off presents to my family before the sickness hit though. It wasn’t until we were down to the last sliver of soap that i made some new though. I had meant to include it in the gifts for everyone, but it just didn’t happen. I still have all the stuff for it, maybe I’ll send it along anyway.

My veganism went out the window for now. I am a lacto-vegetarian. There are no vegan choices at school – even the vegetable soup was made with chicken broth – and I’m having trouble with eating healthy right now. So, lacto it is, but I’m trying to keep the dairy to a minimum.  Mostly it’s cheese that I eat when I do eat dairy. I am going to try to do better about bringing my lunch with me, but I’m still in the salad stage of vegetarianism and there are only so many days in a row you can eat salads before you get sick of them. It would help if I’d cook, but I’ve been sick so the cooking urge has not been active lately. I will get there though. I feel guilty every time I eat anything dairy, so I know I’ll get there.

Green, thrifty, and ethical. That’s where I want to be. I find myself debating the greenness of real trees for Christmas versus the fake tree that I bought a few years ago. Real trees with roots would be best, but I already have the fake tree, so I had better use it rather than dump it in the landfill. I find myself with the strangest contradictions, too. I Christmas shopped without regard for plastic content or packaging, but I debate the idea of washing our dishes with store bought “green” dishwasher detergent versus homemade. It’s obvious that there is a long way to go yet. I want to be green, thrifty, and ethical, but I don’t want it to take over my life. There needs to be room for fun with the kids, and work, and time with my husband without debating every decision I make. To get it to become second nature, I need to put in the work now though I guess. And now is a good time. If I can do it and keep up with the crazy pace of school and homework, I’ll be able to do it later when things get a little more routine. Assuming they ever do.

I’ve been working mostly on the thrifty lately. Money has loomed large these last several weeks. We came into some and I have been figuring out how best to use it wisely. First thing I did though was pay off our debts. Now I’m working on our emergency fund. I keep reminding myself that, just because we’re out of debt, doesn’t mean we no longer need to be thrifty. We have an emergency fund to build and, once that’s done, I want to start paying off the house. By that time we will have moved and bought a new house, but we should be able to pay it off within 10 years. We aren’t planning on getting anything extravagant. Once that’s done we can start really playing. And, by that time, thrift really will be a way of life, so playing will include figuring out ways to conserve wealth. I’m deeply excited about this plan and am looking forward to being truly debt free. 

Green, thrifty, and ethical, without turning into a stick in the mud, while still having a life, and while protecting my family’s future and hopefully setting an example for them. It seems a reasonable goal.

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