Eco-Friendly Family {The Heides}

Our family (Tiffany, Dave, Liliana age 4.5 and Charlie age 18 months) have become more and more eco-friendly with seemingly every decision we’ve made as parents. Cloth diapers or disposables (and then to line dry or use a dryer!) Making our own baby food vs buying premade? Natural laundry soap?  Growing our own food or buying organic? Buying organic cotton, choice of sunscreen lotions and diaper creams … the list goes on, and the older the kids get, the more complicated it seems to be. Whatever we do we seem to be making huge negative impacts on the planet our kids are living on!

Dave loves the native american proverb “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”  and I think its a nice way to prioritize while we do our best as parents to get through the hustle and bustle of everyday intact.

So we cloth diaper our kids and use natural soaps. We shop at the farmer’s market, and we turn off lights and electronics when we aren’t using them. We bought a new home to be closer to our business and found Lily a preschool a block from home, we try to walk/bike rather than drive when we can. We have a few new exciting eco-friendly projects going on that we’re having fun with:

Seedlings:

We love fresh vegetables! Our kids are great at trying new things and we love teaching through doing, so last spring while there was still snow on the ground we planted seeds in our living room and waited for little green specks in our little pots of dirt. We had our successes (tomatoes!) and failures (squash and eggplants, boo),  and we are excited about our new little sprouts this year. We planted beans, sugar snap peas, hot peppers, belle peppers, several kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, chives, dill, basil and brussels sprouts.

Chickens:

So I’m assuming we’re all parents here, so you can truly understand the level of sheer joy when we woke our 4 year old with a tiny box full of 16 one-day-old chirping baby chickens, fresh from the post office. It was the cutest thing ever.

We decided to keep chickens at our home to provide eggs for our family as well as supplementing the eggs we buy in for our restaurant. I kept a chicken when I lived in California and loved my sweet little chicken, who gave me a blue egg every day.

We are lucky that a group of dedicated people have already done lots of work to make Madison and surrounding areas chicken-friendly and they continue to provide lots of information and help at madcitychickens.com.

We find new ways every day to waste less, to impact less. We look at ways to consume less, but the best way we’ve found to start is looking at what we can stop putting in the garbage. For example, using cloth diapers saves tons of diapers from the trash. Bringing reusable bags to store saves us throwing out lots of plastic bags. Buying whole foods is saving us from throwing away lots of excess packaging on processed foods. Which brings us to our next big adventure: composting! We’ll let you know how that goes!

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