As most “crunchy” moms know, cloth diapers tend to be the gateway drug to green living. We cloth diaper our babies, happy to be saving the earth, and then BAM. We’re sucked in. And it all boils down to these questions:
How can I save more money?
For stay at home moms (like me), saving money is often pivotal to allowing us to continue to stay at home with our kid(s). Being on one income doesn’t leave much wiggle room, so we learn to trim the fat where we can, as best we can. Because I’d rather #putacupinit than cancel Netflix, know what I’m sayin’?
How can I be more “green”?
For earth nuts (like me), decreasing our trash volume and increasing our recycling and reusing opportunities makes us feel better about the ecological footprint we are leaving on Earth. It also allows me to feel less guilty for continuing to buy tiny pints of ice cream in non-recyclable containers every week because White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream is a necessity for mommy’s sanity…
How can I improve my/my family’s health?
Honestly, I didn’t give much thought to the effects that my everyday products were contributing to my overall health…until I got pregnant and suddenly everything was “NO! DON’T TOUCH THAT! DON’T EAT THAT! THINK OF YOUR BABBBYYYYYY!!!!” Suddenly, lunch meat was the devil incarnate, and God forbid I wash my face with the same product I’ve been using since I was 12. My morning routine contained deadly chemicals and carcinogens, and I couldn’t even use mouthwash without checking the label first. Not to mention, I’d been inhaling toxins every time I cleaned my house and probably gave myself migraines from doing so without realizing it.
And I used to think those people were crazy, those health nuts, those people who believed that you couldn’t do anything “normal” people did without increasing your risk of cancer. I used to poo poo their beliefs as being over-reactive and overly-sensitive…until I had a baby.
Because then it was my responsibility to make sure this tiny little thing grew up to be healthy and happy and not “that kid” who never napped or was a picky eater or was constantly emitting a river of snot from his face. So, I exclusively breastfed, fed him organic fruit and vegetable purees, did baby led weaning with anything that would fit in that mesh-teether-thing that was SO IMPOSSIBLE to clean. I did what I could to make sure he was as healthy as possible. And it worked out. He’s not a picky eater. He loves green beans. He even eats salad. He could eat fruit for the rest of his life and be a happy boy…
…but the older he’s gotten the less organic we’ve been because…toddlers. They’re an expensive time suck that leave little time for detailed cooking and overpriced apples.
However, I knew I could still impact him greatly by cleaning out what really affects him most: his environment. I cleaned house of the chemicals I didn’t want around my kid.
I’m telling you, before I got pregnant and decided to cloth diaper, we were a Scrubbin Bubbles, Tampax, Velveeta, Tide, Downey, Cover Girl, Ice Mountain kind of family. We went through reams of paper towel and toilet paper every month, spent half our budget eating out at fast food and restaurants, and gave no cares about what we put in, on, or around our bodies. Having a baby changed that.
What Green Living Looks Like In My House:
-no bottled water
-organic milk and yogurt
-grocery shopping the perimeter of the store
-grow a lot of our own vegetables
-buying produce in bulk and canning/freezing
-buying local produce
– white vinegar to clean everything
– Method brand cleaners for more heavy duty cleaning
– cleaning cloths instead of paper towel
– reuse bath towels for a week+-
– cloth wipes for messy faces and hands
– cloth wipes for diaper changes 80% of the time (I only wet them with water)
– cloth wipes for myself (for #1 only because frankly I don’t want to spray off wipes)
– minky cloth nose wipes for my baby (I love the Booger Bashers by Rockerbye Baby)
– super soft hankies to replace tissues for myself
– cloth menstrual pads and a reusable menstrual cup (best decision ever)
– collect and send in squeezable snack pouches (applesauce, fruit smoothies, etc) using TerraCycle program
-requested a second recycling can (turns out, it was free!)
-fill both cans with accepted paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, glass, Styrofoam, and foil
-buying in bulk
-packing foods in reusable containers for lunches (like reusable snack bags or glass containers- my fave are Wean Green)
-keeping bath water levels low and showers short
-not wearing make up every day
-switching to CFL lightbulbs
-keeping things unplugged or turned off when not in use
-keeping the fridge and freezer well organized so as not to overload it
-only running full dishwasher loads
Now, I’m not saying we don’t have bad habits or fall short sometimes. We do. We aren’t vegan or vegetarian or paleo. I love Arby’s and McDonald’s Sweet Tea. My son could eat his weight in fruit snacks. Pretty sure my husband would leave me if I took away steak in this house. I buy a few individually packaged things like BabyBell cheese and granola bars to throw in lunches. I love the smell of Dove soap. But we try our best and do what we can, and I think that counts for something.
How do you try to live “green”?
What’s your best kept secret for green living?
What things might you change in your life to be more “green”?
Share your answers in the comments below and enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win some great green living products from Marley’s Monsters!