Summer plans for a greener house!

I am very eagerly and not at all patiently awaiting our upcoming move from bar scene neighborhood and former party house, into a nice little house with neighbors that don't keep me up at night with tortured renditions of every popular red dirt song ever or the "wagon wheel" song. (I have grown to dislike that song intensely!) Along with a more sedate neighborhood vibe, I am really looking forward to again having a yard, both front and back! I am stoked about the back yard because we will again have a place for the dogs to run off some energy without having to load everyone up in the truck and drive to the park. I also want to have a garden again. That's where my excitement about the front yard comes in. I can't really have any plants in the back yard because my sweet little destructo-monkey dog Jack will eat them. So I am planning my front yard garden to be a mix of in-ground plants and container plants.

I recently got a book that helps to plan out and gives great advice and ideas on how to grow (almost) all of your food in very small spaces. From small studio apartments, to roof tops to smallish suburban lots, there is a way to grow your food. It greatly depends on how much time you are willing and able to devote to your garden as to how much you can really grow. But the southern belle in me of course needs and wants to grow tomatoes. Of course, you can't grow tomatoes without a little basil or cilantro, so those will be there as well. I want to grow my own fruits and veggies not out of any real ideological leanings. I'm not terribly concerned about whether or not everything that touches my lips is organic. I'm not a hard core locavore. I like to support farmers in my area by hitting up the farmers market, or looking for local produce at the store, but that's not what's driving this. I want to grow my own food, because I want to be able to grow my own food. I get so much pleasure out of making a salad with things that I planted and tended and harvested. I also want to set the example for Emma that food doesn't come from the grocery store. I want her to be able to be self sufficient if she has to be. I just like the sense of pride I get when I can share the extras from my garden with others. I want Emma to know that feeling too.

In addition to the garden, I am really excited to be able to line dry our clothes and especially the diapers!
I have been toying with the idea of replacing paper towels and napkins with cloth, partially to reduce some expenses where I can but at this point mostly because they are pretty! A friend recently posted a picture of a set on Pinterest that she found on Etsy. I love them. They are everything that I want in my kitchen. They are most importantly functional, they are reusable and they are really fun colors and pretty. I am aiming to reduce the amount of trash that comes out of our household. So far we are doing really great in my opinion just by using cloth diapers. At our last house we were able to use the compost barrel for our food waste but that hasn't worked out for the current house. I am determined to get it going again after the move though.

All of this plays into our philosophy of "baby steps."

I am open to more changes in our household that will lead to less waste if you guys out there have any suggestions for us! (Actually let me just say I am open to almost any idea with the exception of "family cloth." That is one area that I am perfectly ok with being a horrible, wasteful, non-crunchy person- thank you very much!)


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