It came as a shock to me to find out that I am now a trendy person. It has been a long time since I’ve felt like I’m going along with a fad, but here I am, part of the “in” crowd. I’m cool without even trying.
The homeschool thing may be part of it, but homeschooling is not what places me squarely in the center of hip. I have these quirks, these oddities, you see, that come in and out of fashion. Turns out I am green. That is to say, I do things that conserve environmental resources. I even teach my kids how to conserve. When I want to sound like conservation is a part of our curriculum, I dress it up and call it life skills or environmental science.
See, I like to reuse things. On purpose. For example, I put leftovers into old cottage cheese containers. My husband, Brian, goes along with a lot of my crazy schemes, but this one really pushes his buttons. He says that if we hide our food in old containers, we’ll leave our leftovers languishing on the shelf in the back of the fridge. Plus, we won’t be able to tell if we have cottage cheese or leftovers in the container.
I try to explain that we can tell that by opening the lid of the container, but he gives me that blank look the kids get when I ask whose turn it is to feed the cat.
The kids get it, though. We’ve made a quilt from old dresses, a chicken coop from old fence boards and crafts from whatever we find lying around. The other day, my daughter brought me an old pair of jeans the rag bag would have rejected and said, “Hey, Mom, can you make anything out of this?”
I prefer to say that I like to recycle, but the real truth is, I’m cheap. And there’s another problem. Frugality is in style now, too. My cool factor is multiplying by the minute. I can’t stop it. Officially, we are studying economics. Sounds important, and it is. It just isn’t fancy.
Thrift is in, and there are many tips on saving greenbacks. Most of them, I’ve already tried. Several blogs are buzzing lately about making laundry soap. We perfected the technique a long time ago. We hang our clothes on the clothesline, too. My kids don’t get too excited about that task, but I like being out in the sun this time of year. We remind ourselves that our small efforts save money for other things. I try to make going out for ice cream or taking a trip to the beach one of the fun things we get to do with our savings.
Lately, we’re focused on using less water. It might sound more noble to say that we’re trying to save the planet for future generations. Truth is, the septic system works better that way. And keeping poop out of the yard is a big motivator for all of us.
Our environmental science studies don’t always work out as planned. I couldn’t think of anything creative to do with a ripped trampoline, so it took a trip to the landfill. I often forget to take the cloth bags with me when I go to the store. And sometimes, the leftovers in old cottage cheese containers really do languish in the back of the fridge. At least then we can check them for mold and count it as a science project.