This post is my contribution to the Green Moms Carnival which will be hosted by Micaela on her blog, Mindful Momma.
You hear all sorts of admonishments for helping "save" the environment. Replace this lightbulb with that one, recycle what you can, compost your food waste, switch out one product for the "eco" version. The list goes on and on. But you generally don't see too much about the missing link.
So, what's the best way to conserve resources? Stop buying and stop using stuff. I'm happy that you are recycling 80 cardboard boxes every week, but the consumption involved in the packaging of whatever it is you are buying is far more detrimental than the offset of recycling. I'm glad that you are composting your food waste. But, it would be a hell of a lot more effective if you didn't generate any food waste by mindful shopping and meal planning.
Yes, that whole reduce thing is not very sexy. What did you do this weekend? "I went to the farmers market and bought some locally raised fruits and vegetables" is a whole lot sexier than, "I rummaged through my fridge, freezer and pantry to do my meal planning for the week." And "we spent the holidays canning pumpkin and making turkey stock for the winter" doesn't sound nearly as exciting as "I spent Thanksgiving vacation at an eco-resort in the Bahamas."
Now, I'm not in any way suggesting that you shouldn't recycle, buy local and make more eco-friendly choices. But using less of everything: water, energy, food and consumer goods will go a whole lot farther than replacing one thing for another.
What do you think is the most effective way to conserve resources?