Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Can Large Families Be Green?

OK, I'll admit it...last night some musings started running through my head and it all started with this:

In reality, these thoughts started last week after I had finished a market research study on compostable sandwich and storage bags.

7 of us women sat in a room and gave our opinions about compostable bags that we had sampled over the previous few weeks.  What amazed me about these women, was how "religious" they were about their green-ness!  They were throwing out words like "carbon footprint" and "eco-friendly".  It seemed as though each one had to prove she was more crunchy than the next!  Seriously...we were reviewing bags for Heaven's sake!  If we were really being "eco-friendly" then we would never purchase bags, whether they were compostable or not, and would make our own out of cloth (preferably upcycling clothing we were ready to move out of our homes!)

One woman in particular seemed to have a couple of comments that were thrown my way about the size of our family...  Trust me, I let them slide right by...I got over the large family remarks around #5 or 6!

So, then reading Arthur at bedtime last night got me thinking again!  Considering we do most of the items on Arthur's Green Machine it possible that large families aren't leaving as big of a carbon footprint as our smaller familied neighbors?

Check out some large family blogs...out of necessity, most of us are:
  • Using Cloth Diapers/Napkins
  • Buying in bulk = less packaging
  • Bathing children together or taking shorter showers so everyone has a turn
  • Combining all of our errand running on one day = less gas (Let's face it, who really wants to drag 8 children into the store multiple times a week?)
  • Gardening
  • Making our own storage bags or using canning jars
  • Handing down clothes
  • Simplifying for the sake of sanity
  • Generally being pretty resourceful!!!

One of my all time favorite blog writters video taped herself talking about this very topic!  Her blog is a huge wealth of encouragement and her video will give you some food for thought!  You can find Kelly at Generation Cedar!!

What is your family doing to be green?  Or does it even matter to you?

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!


  1. we're being frugal! I'm finding that frugality generally means being greener as we reuse, reduce & recycle :)

  2. I find "being green" is a relative term. For example, when we lived in the Seattle area, I think EVERYONE recycled and you feel you need to do more to be considered "green". Here they don't pick up recycling and you need to haul it in yourself and honestly, I think we're the only ones on our block who bother to recycle. We have a family of 4 living up the road who put out 4-5 of the HUGE garbage cans each week. From what we can tell they are mostly full of cardboard boxes that haven't been broken down. Totally unheard of in other places leaving me to think that here if you just recycle you'd be "green"! That being said, we get most of our clothes second hand, have a large garden and can/freeze much of the produce, cook from scratch, plus more.

    I absolutely think large families can be green and Lora, I'm so thankful for the ideas that you've shared so that more of our families can be as "green" as yours!

    Kari Termont

  3. You are not the stereotypical model of a large family--eating out a lot, using paper plates to afford some convenience amid the chaos. Now just throw a compost bin in your backyard and you're greener than broccoli! Really I wouldn't worry about it, you have two recycle bins, you don't go to starbucks every morning like the average commuter, you don't buy bottled water, you use energy-efficient appliances or hang the clothes on the line to dry, you use tupperware over freezer bags, you buy a hurken box of chicken instead of the 5 breast packages, you walk to the park, your vehicle is more fuel efficient than my 5-seater and you use it less often...the list goes on!
    Some of those people are pretty high and mighty, and frankly ridiculous! I used to live where there was no recycle, and my friend suggested I drive to the recycling plant response, "I would, but it would put more pollutants in the air to drive there than what I would be recycling, pretty much defeating the purpose." The "green" group tends to be a little self-righteous, but we can say that about most religions, can't we?!