Blessed is This Life

Between celebrating Earth Day and Easter, I didn’t have/give any time to our finances this weekend. Instead of worrying about goals, I savored the blessed abundance of our family. It was truly a marvelous weekend. 

My favorite quote from our Big Guy was right after we had said grace, “I love this world we live in!” I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s a video of one of my very favorite songs, which feels like my personal theme song lately – Blessed by Brett Dennen:

How do you feel blessed?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Earth Day Every Day

I love Earth Day. 

Earth Day reminds me of the history of social change, and how mainstream society is finally starting to take social responsibility for environmental issues. Read more in  my post about the history of Earth Day .

I’m writing all the time about our efforts to reduce our environmental impact, while saving our money and creating family values. But sustainable living” is always a work in progress , and I don’t every want to come across like our efforts complete.

Here are my favorite family actions:

How does your family celebrate Earth Day?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Clean Energy Works Oregon – Poster Family

Last spring I shared about our participation in a pilot program called Clean Energy Works, to provide low-interest loans for home energy upgrades. Check out all the details in posts 1, 2 & 3, and my initial energy evaluation.

With the success of the pilot program, a statewide non-profit has been created to provide the services to all Oregonians (and, yes, we do hope to export this model nationally). When we first learned the program was expanding, we were eager to help out by sharing how comfortable and cozy our home as a testimonial. We were also asked if we would be willing to photographed for the promotional materials they would need to market the program, and we happily obliged. 

So, if you check out the Clean Energy Works Oregon program webpage, you’ll find our smiley family. P rofessional photographer, Sally Painter, took the photos. Here are a few of us (I have a feeling these goofy ones won’t be marketed, but they are still fun to share!) :

Our staircase is now cozy…it used to feel like a wind tunnel!

Family poses don’t often work out…

Checking out our online utility bills…really they were!

Our old fashioned radiators work like a charm (with an efficient boiler), but now that the bump outs are insulated from below, the heat doesn’t escape!

We got the new efficient range hood as part of the loan, which means LED kitchen lighting too!

On a side note, here’s a good article about the trend of new green upgrade home loan programs.

Would you participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon if you had the opportunity?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Eco Shower Curtain

I try not to buy into our consumer culture by putting off purchases as long as possible. But after hearing Hubby bug me for months about buying a new shower curtain, I was finally ready to shop. 

After watching Blue Vinyl, a documentary about the environmental and health hazards of the vinyl industry, I knew that I wanted a PVC free shower curtain. This Green Planet also explains how vinyl curtains are bad for your family.

Instead of trying my luck at the most convenient big box store (Target last time), I decided that I could likely find a more   eco-friendly option shopping online .

I quickly found a lot of great options, here are my favorites:

Our family bathroom is a bright orange sherbet hue, and our last shower curtain was a bright world map. So, I really like the colorful/playful/teachable style. We also agreed that we’ll need a new world map for somewhere else in the house.

I want to reiterate that I did my best to keep our previous curtain clean and presentable for as long as possible. I diligently washed it, but once it started to tear, Hubby insisted on replacing it. I found some great tips on cleaning shower curtains from Create Plenty, a new group in Portland that is teaching these type of eco-life skills.  Apparently most households replace their shower curtains every 1-2 year,  I feel pretty good that I managed to use our for 3 1/2 years. 

So, if you’re still mulling over a new Earth Day commitment, how about washing your old curtain or buying a new “eco” curtain?!

Does your family you have an eco shower curtain?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.