Thursday, April 18, 2013

8 Simple Ways To Go Green!

David and I have been on a journey to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle for the past several years. Ever since Ayden's arrival, we've been working even harder to provide him with the safest and healthiest environment possible. Raising our child in an environment covered in toxins and harsh chemicals? No thank you! We have made a lot of small changes along the way yet our journey has still just begun. There are so many hidden ingredients or not-so-green products we use out of habit. Who knows if our efforts are making a difference or not but it sure makes us feel good knowing we are at least making some attempt to help our planet thrive for this little man:

as well as his kids and his kid's kids, etc., etc.
(Enjoying story time today.)
Here are 8 simple changes we have made to live a greener lifestyle:

1) washcloths or rags instead of paper napkins/towels.

We just went to the dollar store and bought dish cloths which came in 2 packs for $1. They aren't very "cute" but they are perfect for wiping Ayden's hands and face after meals. The best part is, I can clean spaghetti sauce off of him without worrying about staining. 

I have seen tutorials for super cute "un-towel" tutorials floating around Pinterest and have pinned a tutorial or two onto my sewing projects board but for now, our cheapy cloths are working us!

2) Cloth Diapering

Less in the landfill is always better.

3) Turning things off when not in use.

Do unto others... haha.
We put forth effort to turn off lights, water, etc. when we are not using them.

4) Reusable shopping, produce bags, food containers and water bottles.

I used to have a HUGE plastic bag filled with... more plastic bags... that just sat in our garage.  I know I'm not alone here.
No more baggies for us!
We used to go through so many plastic baggies with us both taking lunch to work everyday, leftovers, etc. We also used to buy huge cases of bottled water.  Now we wash and reuse containers and water bottles time and time again. We are slowly transitioning to glass.

5) Recycling.

 Trash made into things for us to use again?  Awesome.

6) Low toxin household products.

And don't forget about the powers of vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and sunshine!!

No need for harsh chemicals when there are natural alternatives that will yield the same results.

7) Buy local

There are a lot of reasons to buy local when you can; but for environmental purposes, the less distance your food has to travel, the less resources are used.

8) Composting

Composting keeps food scraps out of the landfills where they aren't provided with the ideal environment for breaking down efficiently.  The scraps just take up space that actual trash could be using.  Compost also adds valuable nutrients to the Earth.  Even if you don't have a vegetable garden, you could use it in your flower beds.  You'll have the prettiest flowers on the block!

There you have it! 8 ways to green up your life. Next on my "going green" agenda is makeup and other personal care products. I have already started using salt deodorant and we buy chemical free sunscreen. However, my make up and nail polish are a different story. My plan is to gradually transition. When I use something up and it is time to repurchase I will use the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database to find low toxin replacements for all of my beloved beauty products.

We have a long way to go and are learning more and more all the time. Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd. What will you be doing to go greener this year? Please share your family's simple tips for greener living below!



  1. Great post!! I was going through so many baggies packing lunches too that when Kenzie started 1st grade last fall we opted to spend the money and get her a planetbox lunch system {we got it at Pottery Barn}!! It has been thee best investment by far...we do glass and stainless steel bottles for our drinking water, we used to use so many plastic. I thought of you the other day when I was at Target, they have mesh produce bags in the dollar spot, I picked up a few in an effort to stop waisting the plastic ones :)

  2. I am all for going green and making my own effort to recyle and try and use safer products! I do wonder though, if using baggies, may be a bit more cost effective, than having to us the water, soap and electric power (Hot Water and Dishwasher), to wash all the extra dishes? We even now often use Paper plates for a quick dinner, to save from washing all the extra dishes. We have high electric and water/sewer bills, so I have to try a variety of solutions!! Also, not sure I could ever give up paper towels? I have two dogs and am always cleaning up after them...using cloth might be better in some ways, to all that extra washing and laundry, would cost me more? I think? It's so hard to find the best solution to save energy too!!