Brand New Column: Imperfect Green Living for Busy Families

When Lisa asked if I wanted to contribute a monthly `Green Living for Busy Families` article, my first reaction was oh no, no, not me. I’m a fraud. An imperfect greeny, only slightly green, and I quote:

I am sure there are many more parents out there who ride their bikes to work every day (even to Whistler, not that I’ve seen anyone pedaling bikes with a double-chariot attached down Suicide as I would have to do, but I am sure they’re out there), make their own clothes, and jam, and kombucha, and baby wipes, while I barely manage to make my bed each morning.

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Not to be dissuaded, she encouraged me to write as not everyone is perfect and that’s fine too. Good thing she’s so accepting.

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So here I am, trying to raise an eco-responsible family that tries their best to do our part, and offering my take on the things we do to minimize our footprints. What immediately came to mind to write was something that I’ve been actively working on recently: my water usage. This scorching summer has taken me aback. Growing up in West Van, I used to think of water as an endless resource, a commodity about which we never have to worry. We live in the We(s)t Coast, don’t you know? But times are a changin’, and our temperate stretch of Beautiful British Columbia is starting to look a lot like the Golden State of California (click here to read about one controversial Californian drought-fighting farm).

Did you know that Village of Pemberton water users are currently using 1 million gallons of water per day, 2.3 times more than the average daily provincial consumption? Level 2 water restrictions are in place, and I’m finding myself in the dark, literally, hand-watering my flower gardens twice a week until after the sun has set, spraying every drop I can during my house number`s allotted time schedule.

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Keen to make more of a reduction of my household`s water use, I googled for tips and found a great water usage calculator, which woke me up to better uses of this precious resource. I was surprised to see that although I do good things like making sure the dishwasher and washing machine are filled to capacity before running, have low-flow showerheads, EnergyStar appliances, never brush our teeth with the water running, let it `mellow` and have bricks in our toilet tanks, I use a huge amount of water due to my family’s diet; because we eat meat 3 to 4 times a week, our diet uses a whopping 5,600+ litres of water a day!

Being part of a family of determined meat-eaters, we won’t be cutting meat completely out of our diet anytime soon. But being imperfect and trying is better than not trying at all.

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