Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saving the Planet - Put your money where your mouth is

I have been called many things - a tree hugger,
an eco-hippie, a recycle-psycho, and (the most
shocking of all) a vegetarian. Over the years
my family and I have tried to live a (somewhat)
eco-friendly existence. As environmental issues
and causes become more mainstream I am
indeed happy to see many people trying to reduce
their carbon footprint.

Reducing my and my family's carbon foot print?
I can get totally into that. (I would like to think my family is
"enlightened".) Unfortunately upon further inspection - our enlightenment
is perhaps a fantasy. As I review my children's habits I find myself repeating the following...
  • "Turn off the lights when you leave a room"
  • "Why is the heater on and all the windows open?"
  • "Why are you playing computer games and with the TV on?"
What a bunch of energy hogs! (Is there an award for such electrical disregard?)
The realization that perhaps we are not so enlightened was quite a
shock. This shock sent my tree-hugging husband on a quest to indeed
offset such activity, try to create some balance, and save the planet.
The solution was to go solar.

Going solar was a great idea, but did we want to commit to the cost?
It meant putting money where our mouth was. (What a quandary.)
Our wallet or making the world a better place?
(DId anyone in the history of the world ever have to make such a choice?)

Well... what we found out was that our anxiety was not warranted. That
going solar is quite affordable these days. There are a number of solar
companies on-line that you can lease or buy from. Of course this is great,
and with utility and government tax incentives it is something every
"earth loving" person should think about. Needless to say we took the plunge.
(I'll keep you posted on if we made a good choice. The company we chose
is Sungevity. The service has been great, and so are our expectations

Our solar system arrives next week just in time for Earth Day - April 22, 2010.

And one more thing while I'm on this whole solar, eco-friendly, earth day trip.
Check out the Goldman Environmental Awards. (
Held in San Francisco yearly this organization has the worlds largest
prize program for grassroots environmental activists from around the world.
The winners are amazing people who have done some amazing things.
They definitely put their money (passion & time) where their mouth is.

I wish I could be like them; however, at this point in time I'll settle for installing
solar, creating balance between my husband and myself against my energy
hogging kids.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Perfect Family Vacation

In search of the perfect family vacation?
Now is the time to start making those arrangements. But...don't look here. If your family is like our family then you have members each with individualized needs, likes/dislikes, and vastly different ideas on what makes great vacation fun. Why is it then that we give so much thought, time and effort into what would make the perfect vacation for our family, when in actuality it is a myth?
Think about it. Perhaps the goal should be to make yourself happy, because
when you are happy everyone is happy. Or perhaps it is make your kids happy,
because when they are happy then you do not have to hear any complaining
(or at least less complaining). Ultimately taking a vacation is about spending
time and making memories together. I can get into that (but if I have to go
camping one more time I'll scream!) Perhaps it will be then another cruise.
Mom by the pool reading... sunshine... a cool exotic drink... kids off doing
"kid things"... Oh Yes! A cruise it is. A cruise is a perfect family vacation.