"Greet you neighbor by name" stuck out to me as I only know the names of one family. My 4 yr old daughter woke up one day and wanted to make cards for the neighbors. Even though I had plenty of other things to do, I wanted to value her wanting to connect. She drew pictures and I wrote a nice message thanking them for being our neighbor and all the wonderful things they do in life. My daughter insisted I drew a heart on each and address each envelop with "Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood." She then wanted to hand deliver notes. It was the middle of winter and very cold yet I really wanted to honor her motivation. We both felt really good when we finished.
I also always carry empty old plastic bags because my kids pick up liter where ever we go.
I love all the tips every one has shared!
As a family we practice sustainable living in all areas of our lives. I would like to share some simple tips for self sufficiency and sustainable living!
We joined with a family for farming. If we were not together, we could not accomplish as much. Together with funds and time we have 4 goats, 36 chickens, and 2 honey bee hives, and a new hoop green house for this year.
We dehydrate food using solar methods if possible.
We eat a mostly vegetarian diet, consisting of legumes/beans/oats/wheat bought in bulk and produce grown or purchased from local farms weather dependent. (Mostly during the summer months).
We utilize web sites like youtube for videos on wild crafting herbs and edibles in our area, and the library for books on similar subjects.
We use cleaners like Castile soap, Simple Green, vinegar, fresh lemon juice and baking soda for home cleanliness.
We use castile soap, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and assorted teas for body and hair care.
We use natural fibers for clothing. Cotton year round, linen during the warmer months, and wool for the cooler months.
We shop second hand for 90% of our clothing, or use old clothing/sheets for making new clothing. We love to re-purpose.
We use cloth diapers, menstrual pads, and cloth wipes.
I use a mixture of essential oils drops, (Rosemary, Lemon, Orange, Cinnamon, and Clove oil) in a mixture of half water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle as a room freshener, hand sanitizer, and (most) surface cleaner.
We visit the library once a week to check out videos, books and to visit with the community.
We have family art & craft time. Sometimes we do fun experiments like baking soda and vinegar colored with fluorescent paint under black lighting, or colored rice sensory boxes.
We home school based on individual needs.
We take trips to the beach or get out in nature as often as possible.
We live mostly tv-free (2 hours a week or so)
We do much of the things on the web list. Including greeting our neighbors & helping when needed.
We slow down and just enjoy life.
***I just want to add that we can't do ALL these things, ALL the time. Some times a trip through the McDonald's drive thru is where we wind up with a mad craving for french fries, (or to quiet a manic, wailing, toddler). Sometimes we wind up gifted with a polyester pajama set, and it would be rude and hurtful to not wear it, or a PUL diaper cover is all we can afford for the moment. None of us are perfect, and ideals are just that- ideals. I just wanted to add this in case there is a mama reading this who feels down thinking she may be failing her kids or life because her list looks different than many lists here. It took us many years to get here! We can all make sustainable choices where we are at. We can't do everything, but we can do enough. I hope to inspire someone!***
Daughter of Him, Wife and Mother to them ,
One more on the way Fall 2013
I do almost all of the things on that list! But my favorites are growing a garden. We raise chickens for their eggs and for fertilizer to add to our compost. We can lots of our harvest too. We re-use and recycle as much as we can. I sew clothes for the kids and myself, or buy second hand. I like to do a lot of second hand shopping, not just clothes. We are so into being self sufficient and sustainable that we bought some land to build a home off grid where we will collect rainwater, and utilize solar and wind power, and farm our land as well. The one thing on that list that I really need to implement is creating a sanctuary spot. That is badly needed! :-)
I love all these tips! What really inspired me was the Sustainable Relationship section...all the tips were great and so essential to help kids and people in general learn how to communicate and get along well. It is so much better when things are made personable...like calling on the phone or writing a letter instead of emailing and such.
We do a lot of these, but I think we have the most room to improve relationships. Especially asking for and graciously accepting help.
stay at home, unschooling mommy to D (Jan., '07), G (May '09), T (Nov '10), and M (Jan '13)
Hi! Thanks for sharing all these tips :) We do most of them and this year the big lesson learned: Drop time limits and let learning happen at its own pace.
We have been homeschooling since the beginning and I never felt the pressure I had this year to make sure we were all 'caught up'. We live in a state that we have to report via doing a Portfolio and I guess that was part of the reason. My goal for next year is to be a master planner and allow for learning to happen on its own within the boundaries of the yearly themes. A lesson by lesson curriculum would really help me with this :)
Blessed Mama of 4 dd:
I am dissapointed that we do not do as many things as I would like on this list and some would be difficult for us to implement as a family. On the other hand, I am happy to see just how many things we already do or are things I have been planning to start.
At this reading, the two which I find most inspiring are:
"Share news good and bad."
and the idea of posting a wonder board. (Really, I suppose, I already have a little something like this; I have notepad files on the desktop of my computer and there I jot down such questions that the children ask and which require some research.)
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