Monday, March 26, 2012

Jolly Green Dad Blogger

Disclaimer: Not me and Lukas
 I can remember quite a while back that Dad Blogs, when it was still Dad Blogs and before it went away for quite a while and eventually became something else (I think), and which is apparently not the same Dad Blogs that I recently got an invitation to join a wile back but have been just too busy to actually sign up for, yes that Dad Blogs held a contest to determine who was the Greenest Dad Blogger on the internet.  No it wasn't me.

Sticking with the theme of my not knowing things, I also haven't a clue if that contest ever even ran, or if it did who has the honor of being named the Greenest Dad Blogger on the internet.  I suppose I should look that up, and I would if I wasn't saving energy by not wasting extra time on the internet looking up old contests that no one probably cares about.

But the reason I bring this up, and I know how intuitive you are, and that you could see this coming a mile off (probably before I even decided to pen this post), is that at the time I thought very hard about entering the contest.  Yeah, I actually thought I had a legitimate chance of making it to the Big Green Dad Blogger Dance, so to speak.

Of course this was probably a ridiculous notion, given that there is actually a Dad Blog called Green Dad.  I have never actually read a Green Dad post and had no idea that it existed back when the contest was ran, but anyone who actually calls himself Green Dad must, by default, be a greener dad blogger than I am.

But yeah, ever since that contest that I got too busy to enter came and went I have wanted to actually write a post about my greenness, and how it came about not necessarily by way of a plan, but more by location, necessity and, of course, marriage.

I am from Seattle.  I go by the online moniker SeattleDad.  Seattle is a greener city than yours. Sorry, no disrespect to your fine city, but this is true.  So yes I am on board party because they make it easy to be green here.  We have a great recycling and composting program here in the city.  It has made it fairly painless to reduce our trash output to a miniscule amount each and every week.  Growing up, I was never conscious of greenness or conservation of any kind.  But then, several years ago now I got married to a wonderful and also conservation friendly woman. She's not a fanatic by any stretch, but she is someone who would take the time to think about the choices she made and how they affected the environment. That was eye opening.

In no time I was also fully on board.  Now, along with the careful recycling and composting that we do, which has woven its way partially into my fabric (I actually walked quite a way today to find a recycling can to put some empty soda cans from a work party), we also use conservation friendly light bulbs and shower heads, turn off our lights and down our heat by habit when we are not using them, drive an alternative fuel car (not electric but perhaps some day), and buy most of our food organic and local whenever possible. We also used cloth diaper for Lukas when he was little, I recycle my tweets on occasion, and I even drank some organic craft beer the other day, because it was a good thing for the environment (wink wink).

Seriously though, another big contributor to my status as one of the greener dad bloggers is the fact that we rarely buy anything new in our household.  If we need new furniture, appliances, clothing, toys, books, etc... we are first looking to find a suitable used version.  Be it from Craigslist, consignment, or thrift we are pretty diligent about avoiding new purchases here.  Yes, this is partially mandated by the fact that it is expensive to live, own a home, and have a child in full time private care in Seattle but nonetheless it does contribute to lowering our carbon footprint.

There are other things too, little things.  But I'm sure I will remember what they are well after I hit publish.

As I mentioned, many of these decisions are based on economic factors.  But not all of them by any means.   Mrs. LIAYF and I take a certain amount pride in the fact that, albeit small in the overall scheme of things, we are trying to do our part to make the world a better place for Lukas and the generations that will follow him.

We also want him to grow up with conservation, and awareness of his impact on the world around him to be like second nature.  It will not change any of the predicted problems that countless years of widespread unawareness have put into place, but we are firm believers that change snowballs from individual efforts.

No, I am not the Greenest Dad on the Internet.  I may not even be greener than you are.  But, along with my beautiful wife, I am trying to do my small part.  And all the while teaching my son that throwing those cans into recycling rather than the trash is just something that you do without thinking much about it. It has become that way for me.

Except when I stop to think about that old contest.

Earth Day 2012 is April 22.  Tell me readers, are you becoming more green as time passes?


Juli said...

Well, we have several recycling things set up around the house to make it easier. Massachusetts by NO MEANS makes it easy to recycle. Clearly, we still love our dirty water (Boston, you're my home.... come on sing it with me...)

But I will say that when choosing the hardwood floor for the house we went with bamboo purely because it was ECO friendly. Youngest is a bit of an ECO nut and we are always looking for ways to reduce. Including contemplating getting solar panels for the house.

At the end of the day, it's not changing your entire lifestyle that will make this planet better, it's changing one small thing at a time.

danielpelfrey said...

I have issues with Seattle's recycling program. I wish it came by weekly instead of every other week.

Sometimes I feel myself getting less "green" and more "get stuff done" and that may have to do with the fact we have 4 small kids in the house and NO FREAKIN' TIME!! I shut off lights, buy used, etc. I'll admit to having driven 3 blocks because it was kinda cold and I was under a time crunch.

Kevin said...

We're pretty green around here. Lexington makes it fairly easy to recycle. Actually, Lexington was in the top 25 best cities for recycling, but we were also in the top 25 cities with the highest carbon footprint.

Public transportation is bad here. There is a city bus, but you make bets if it will show up on time or at all. My point is, if Lexington had better public transportation we could help lower the carbon footprint.

Anyway, cool post!

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Juli - Hey, good for you. We have softwood floors. Recycled fir actually. They are easily dented and scratched. We call it character. But when we did remodel our basement we used mainly eco friendly products such as marmolieum flooring and low toxin paints.

@Daniel - I can see that with more kiddos. We sometimes fill ours in less than two weeks with one. And, yes I have driven a block on many occasions to get something too. Often life dictates those decisions. But we keep doing better, and that's a good thing.

James @SaskaDad said...

I am becoming greener but I have a long way to go.

Diplo_Daddy said...

Out of all the countries we’ve called home over the past 15 years, Kuwait is the only local where we can’t recycle. It's all about O I L here.

As much as it pains me to say this, publicly, we discard everything we use, right down to aluminum cans which are easy to recycle. I cringe, literally, every time I throw something away.

Lady Mama said...

Wait - you mean Seattle is greener than Calgary? Okay maybe a little... We do our part to conserve, pretty much the same things as you mentioned. I also enjoy buying things second hand - I love the idea of recycling good quality items so that they'll last forever (or near). We have one car, we recycle everything we can, turn off lights, try to limit water usage, use energy saving light bulbs, buy locally-grown produce where possible. I think it's a great lesson to teach our kids.

Whit said...

I miss being able to put food waste in with the green waste. I never even thought about it until I left the area and now I get mad every time I throw away a greasy pizza box.

L.A. isn't as green as it could be.

Jack said...

Hey now Whit- LA is Hollywood green and that means that dollars, lots of dollars.

Of course I don't see any of those but we are not talking about that right now. Damn show biz people.

I am a green blogger- I recycle my posts.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@SaskaDad - At least you are moving in the right direction.

@Dipplo Daddy - That would be rough and feel so wrong. The sacrifices you make I guess.

@Lady Mama - Good for you guys. We sold our second car too. I forgot to mention that. Busing it to work a lot more lately.

@Whit - Yeah, that is a big advantage we have here. Is LA at least moving in the right direction?

@Jack - I need to recycle more posts. I do it with tweets, so I should do the posts too. I have never re-posted anything here.