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Well, hi! I finally started our blog! I have been meaning to get this up and running for some time, but you know how it goes… Anyway, for those of you who used to follow me at my old blog: http://www.sharonzadventures.blogspot.tw/ , where the last time I posted was almost a year ago (oops.. and yikes!), although in my defense, I have been pretty busy getting married and stuff, you can now follow me here instead. 🙂

My husband Aaron and I have been married almost seven months, and we live and work in Taichung, Taiwan. I moved here in 2009 and Aaron moved here in 2011. We both work at a small Christian cram school called JacksonFive English School. I wrote all about my adventures with Small Taiwanese Children who Don’t Speak Very Good English over the last four years on my other blog, so I’ll leave it to you to go read that if you’re so interested. Whew, that is an adventure unto itself! But adventures are everywhere to be found here. I see them in my mind as a series of cartoons. Adventures in Communicating When You Don’t Speak Very Good Chinese; Adventures in Driving a Scooter in Scary Asian Traffic; Adventures in Marriage and Living in a Tiny, Tiny Place with Another Person; and most recently and also the main reason for this blog: Adventures in Trying to Be Crunchy in Taiwan.

Crunchy, you say? Like peanut butter or a tortilla chip? Mmm.. tortilla chips… uh, back on track here, no not that kind of crunchy. Crunchy, so I’ve heard, is a trendy sort of term for “green”, “environmentally-friendly” “people who alter their lifestyle for environmental reasons”, etc. There is a wide range of crunchiness, I believe, from people who recycle their bottles and call that good, to people who don’t drive cars or take showers. We are currently somewhere in between. Let me explain!

At our school, we teach themes each month. In August, I taught my grade 2 ESL students about the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I’ve taught it before, a few years ago. But for some reason, this time, it HIT ME. Like it whopped me right in the face. To put it shortly, I was super duper convicted. How can I learn facts and statistics about the amount of damage our garbage is doing to the earth God made for us, as well as the people living on it, and continue to produce said garbage without giving it a second thought? How could I teach my students ways to reduce their waste without doing any of those things myself?

Long after I finished teaching that theme, I continued to do my research. The more I learned, the less I felt I could continue to knowingly contribute to the problem. Particularly, the plastic problem. Plastic doesn’t go away. It doesn’t biodegrade. It pollutes the oceans, landfills, animals eat it and die, and who knows what it leaches into our food. Recycling isn’t quite the solution I used to think it is.

I can’t stop the problem. But I can stop contributing to it as much as I possibly can. We can’t live completely with producing some garbage. But we’ve found soooo many ways we can reduce our waste, especially plastic waste, by just doing a little bit of thinking before we buy, by being creative, and by doing our research. For us, it’s a challenge! It’s fun! It’s frustrating. It’s what we feel is the right thing for us to do. It means making a lot of basic changes to our lifestyle and the way we think about things we do every day. It’s one way we show our respect to God, who made this beautiful planet for us to live in and care for.

So, please follow us in our adventures! Our goal for this blog is to share not only our everyday adventures, but also the ways we are learning to reduce our waste, to live more responsibly, to find alternatives to the things we are used to using, and to learn to have a good attitude while doing it! This change in lifestyle and thinking is a fairly recent thing for me, so although we have made soooo many changes in our home already, we are still learning a great deal.

I feel like I have so much to say, to share, to talk about on this topic, but I will have to organize them into future blog posts. Thanks for reading, and check back often! AND, Happy Chinese New Year, everybody! 😀