I have been pondering what is green living since a lovely mama posted this on a forum I visit.
I have no doubt that living green or sustainably means different things to different people as the thread I have linked to demonstrates. After giving this much thought I feel that it is about being conscious though our decision making process. If we consider the impact of the resources that we are about to consume or use, but do so within our own economic means. In an ideal world we would all know the actual cost of buying one product vs another, but this is not usually available it is often commercially sensitive information or immensely difficult to collate.
There are resources that we are told are finite, such as oil. We are heavily dependent on this in most societies in the world. Could we live with out it? If we had to we would, but at the moment I suspect it would be impossible. Whilst we may not be able to live without it we can think about ways of reducing our use of it, through using our vehicles less, to buying products with less packaging or that are producing as locally as possible. We can also look at our usage of resources generally and consider using less of them.
Sometimes this can be a very difficult judgement to make though, particularly if we do not have all the information we need to make a decision. How can we know if it is better using a bought laundry powder which allows us to wash at lower temperatures versus using a product such as soap nuts or eco balls which can be used over and over again but usually at higher temperatures. The impact of each on the resources needed is extremely difficult to measure. For some the decision will be made by other factors such as finances or the need for consistently clean laundry.
Even when you do have more information, deciding what is greenest can still be hard. If you eat organic food especially fruit and vegetables is it better to buy any organic you can find even if this means that it has come from overseas or should you eat conventionally farmed local produce?
As a mother my decision making is constantly challenged as I have two other little people to consider and the needs of my husband too. Thinking about the environment and green issues is for me just part of the whole decision making process in our family. But I do so as consciously as possible.