It’s a phrase that’s getting lots of attention these days. I’m surrounded by it everywhere – television ads and documentaries on the Discovery channel, magazine ads, articles, blog posts, and clothing. I’ve even seen several baby products that are made from “organic” cotton and there are organic brands of baby food. I’ll admit, I used to look at this stuff and snicker a bit. I classified those things in the “hippie” or “tree hugger” category. I really never gave things like that a second thought.
But now, it’s sinking in. I’ve watched enough shows on the Discovery channel and read enough studies to see that there is definitely some benefit to these “green” ideas, both for myself and for the world around me. I actually get kind of disgusted when I actually stop and think about where our trash goes. Landfills? Yikes! And it really is scary to see the studies about our carbon emissions and global warming. I used to think it was probably bogus, but when they study those ice core samples that show history of air quality, it’s difficult to argue. Of course, I’m no scientist, so maybe I’m terribly naive. But I’ve started taking note of the options out there, and thinking of ways, even small ways, that we can make changes in our every day life to be greener. Even if it turns out the whole environmental scare is bogus, there’s nothing harmful in making these changes. So, here are some of the things we are doing to “greenify” our lives a bit more and reducing our “carbon imprint” as they call it.
1) As we run out of cleaning products and cosmetic/hygienic products, I’m trying to choose gentler, more natural replacements. Like Clorox’s new “Green Works” all-purpose cleaner in place of 409. I know there is a brand called “Method” that also has tons of cleaning products that are non-toxic, and biodegradable. I’ve actually really enjoyed the scent of these products, they are typically fruity and don’t have nasal-burning chemical smells. I’ve also seen a study that harsh chemical fumes in home cleaning products can contribute to the development of asthma in children, so hey, if Sky gets a benefit out of, even better! Not to mention if she happened to ingest these safer cleaning supplies, it would be much less poisonous for her.
I also replaced our standard Dove body wash with Pure & Natural brand bodywash. It’s yummy, and you can check out my full review on my Beauty Blog. And my favorite Neutrogena facial toner ran out, so I made a change and bought a toner from Avalon Organics. It smells like pure orange juice. We’ll see how I end up liking that one!
2) This is a really easy, simple one – replacing light bulbs with the new energy-efficient kind. We’ve been doing that slowly as they run out. on the Energy Star website, it says that “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.” Wow. So we’ll do our part and hope it helps!
3) Green grocery bags – they are $.99 each, and they are big, sturdy, reusable canvas bags that you bring to the store with you instead of getting paper or plastic bags that go to waste every time. Ronnie does most of our shopping, but I’ve got a couple bags I need to put in my car for when make little trips to the store.
4) I’ve been making as much as Skyler’s baby food as possible. I puree any veggies and fruit that she eats, and then freeze it in ice cube trays. I figure it’s much more fresh for her, and we aren’t filling the trash with empty baby food jars/containers. I need to learn how to prepare and store meats for her, since she’s been trying those out of the jar. I’ve been using this website as a reference so I’ll check it out for meat preparation ideas.
One thing we are not doing that we should, is using cloth diapers for Skyler. Her diapers have certainly increased our waste volume, but her laundry has increased my laundry duties as well. I can barely keep up with that as it is, so adding high-priority laundry (as diapers would certainly be) to the list would be enough to drive me insane. Especially if it involves high priority poopy things! I have a friend who does it and I think that is amazing, but I am a weeny! To hopefully counterbalance our increased waste in diapers, we’ve been thinking about starting to recycle more things. Ronnie and Clint go through lots of plastic soda bottles, so that would be one great place to start.
These are just a few things we’ve changed recently, and I continue to look for more ways we can change our lifestyle. Hopefully, by making these little changes here and there, we can start having less negative impact on the world around us, and make it a better place for Skyler to grow up!