Now that Eric and I have applied numerous green principles to improving our health and creating a toxic free home environment, we are concentrating our efforts on building a sustainable future for our children and future generations. In large part, our farm and it's mission encompasses the idea of environmental stewardship that eventually leads and contributes toward future sustainability. Our original dream for starting our farm will add to the growing trend of sustainable farming practices in our local community. Moreover, the goals we will accomplish while farming include working our land in an ecologically sustainable manner and providing highly nutritious and pesticide free food. Thus, buying local, organic, and sustainably produced foods is a great way to build on future sustainability for our planet. Additionally, buying locally produced foods is healthier because nutrients haven't been lost in a lengthy shipping process and are picked when mature producing food with a higher nutritional value. Buying locally also saves energy by eliminating the need for costly food transportation. As an added bonus, it also keeps money in our local economies by supporting local farms.
We, as an average American family household are responsible for at least 10 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Eric and I have agreed to lower our 'carbon footprint' through changing various energy practices in our home and with our transportation. By applying green principles to energy use and conservation in our home, we've lowered our annual carbon emissions substantially. You can calculate your family's carbon footprint using various sources online. Last spring 2009, we decided to trade in our 8 year old Toyota Corolla for our very first hybrid vehicle. Since Eric commutes to work about 40 minutes each day we wanted the smallest hybrid vehicle available. We have been very pleased with our Toyota's performance over the last few years and therefore choose a Toyota Prius for our hybrid. At an average of 50 miles per gallon we are so elated with our Prius purchase, not to mention it contributes greatly toward our goal of a 'zero carbon footprint.'
Other steps you can take to reduce their carbon footprints include the following: buy natural electricity, live near work and/or carpool or use public transportation, unplug appliances not being used, change the temperature of your home down a few degrees in winter and up a few degrees in the summer, think globally and buy locally, use power alternatives (for example: install solar panels), bring your car for a tune up and check tire pressure and fluids for increasing it's efficiency (it saves you money too), and lastly go hybrid. Even if many of these choices are not immediately attainable, try to work toward them a little at a time. This will make the tasks seem less overwhelming. You'd be surprised how much change can occur in just a few years of upgrading for energy efficiency, and with the help of government rebates today, the incentives to make these changes happen have risen.