Where do you prioritize in the world of green options?

Corey - posted on 11/10/2008 ( 53 moms have responded )

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Let's kick off this group with a conversation about the things we've tried to be more eco-conscious. I know a few of you - Elise is a supermom with her flushable G-diapers. I focus more on green cleaning and/or home improvement products (like paint and varnish).



It's practically impossible to manage all facets of green parenting - to tackle all of the issues from plastic everything (bottles, toys, food containers, etc.) to food consumption (making your own baby food, buying local produce, etc.). So, what's your priority? Where do you start?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Stephanie - posted on 02/04/2009

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I just started worm composting!  I found a few ready made worm composters for like $80 but was not willing to spend that kind of money.  Then through a couple of www searches I found plans to make my own out of plastic storage containers.  Yay!  So, you give them a bed of shredded newspaper, a handful of dirt, and your veg/fruit scraps!  2,000 worms (1 pound for $35) will eat up to .5 pound /week.  In three months they will multiply and go through more scraps weekly and so on.  When you have too many in your composter just put some in your garden to improve you soil that way too! 



 



Hope this helps!

Julia - posted on 08/18/2010

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Hi All, I try to find alternatives to everything. My focus is not just "green" but also items not tested on animals and "fair trade" when possible. Before I buy a new item I search for alternatives. it did take me a few years to get to where I am, but well worth it! Mostly because products weren't always easy to find. We used cloth diapers or unbleached/non toxic diapers, made all Annabels baby food, read ingrediants before I buy anything new, Curtains with a fair price has been a tough one. Organic vegetables almost exclusivly, try to grow as much as I can (compost our leftovers), cleaning supplies, plastics, lotions/beauty supplies and most anything for baby must be green if its out there. If its not, I might just skip it. For our home, green furniture when possible, and basically anything new we need to buy I always research what can be more "green"; we even found eco- friendly insulation and our fence is recycled cardboard. We only have one car, a hybrid and we do a lot of walking and biking. My husband stays home with our little one and they take the bicycle everywhere! Trying our best to reduce our carbon foot print.

Lindsay - posted on 01/28/2009

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Let's see, where to start...



We got rid of our car and started using public transit. 



We are vegetarian and eat local and organic food from a family-run delivery service, when we can, and store-bought organic when we can't use the delivery. 



We use natural cleaners, such as vinegar and water.  We haven't had chemical cleaners in this house since we've lived here.



We got rid of our shampoos, lotions, cosmetics, etc. and have opted for biodegradable, sls-free, natural body products.  There are a few local people who make products like these, so we get what we can locally and anything else comes from the store.



We eliminated plastic toys and food containers from our house.  Our children's toys are all wood or cotton or wool.  Our food containers are glass and stainless steel (including sippy cups) and all of our cooking is done in stainless steel or glass as well. 



We get together with other families for clothing swaps, to cut down on the number of new clothing items we buy and give a second life to the clothes we no longer need.



Our furniture is mostly solid untreated pine (bookshelf, dressers, dining table, hallway bench, coat rack, end tables, coffee table, entertainment unit, etc)



We have used cloth diapers since day one for each of our children.  We make a lot of their toys ourselves.



We compost and recycle, and make our food from scratch to avoid packaging.



I'm sure there is a lot I'm forgetting, but that's the jist of it. :)

Valerie - posted on 01/20/2009

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Step one for me was getting rid of all the chemicals in our home.  We buy from a company (Melaleuca) who makes all non-toxic, safe products.  Now I can scrub the floor with my daughter and not freak out that she stuck her hand full of suds in her mouth! 



 



Step two-  We try to buy most of our produce at farm markets.  It helps that my parents own a farm so we get most of our meat products from them.  Plus, I think that all food locally grown tastes better!



 



Step three- My husband is going into sustainable construction management so he comes home with lots of ideas to make our home more energy efficient.  Changing lightbulbs to CFLs, insulating our windows during the winter, keeping an eye on our thermostat, etc.  We want one day to remodel an older home to be more sustainable!

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Lisa - posted on 09/12/2012

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Hello,

Not sure if you put solar panels up or not but this is a great way to have a significant impact on our environment. www.igniteteam212.com/clean-nation/ This is how my family is making an impact as are unable to purchase costly solar panels right now.



Lisa Wilds

484-798-9867

Camille - posted on 03/14/2012

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I am just starting (could use ideas) but what i am doing first and formost is recycling. We go through a ton of trash and i just found out that a few blocks down they will pay ppl to recycle! we dont have road side pick up here, and we have "dumpsters" not individual cans like in the last state i lived in. Then we use half cloth diapers. and i am buying eco friendly cleaners, organic soaps and products one at a time to replace the ones that i have. and thats the beginning i am hoping to do more in the future but like i said i am just starting :)

Sarah - posted on 01/18/2012

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1. We use cloth diapers (both eco-friendly and economical)

2. We recycle (our city doesn't have roadside pick-up - we pay for it from a private company)

3. We use cloth grocery bags

4. Canning from my fruit trees, reducing my carbon footprint by not needing to purchase certain products over the year

5. Supporting our local farmer's market



I would like to get more eco-friendly (and plan to in the next 2 years by:

1. Getting a compost (I need to redo my backyard first though, I have nowhere to put one right now)

2. Having a vegetable garden (to reduce my carbon footprint and reduce my purchases for fruits/veggies as much as possible

3. Buying more organic meat from our local dealer

4. Buying organic eggs from a local farm

Ravit - posted on 01/13/2012

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well, i dont think it's sooo hard, but it does take some time since we dont realize how MANY toxic products we use at home until we dig deep. it's all about starting with one section of the house at a time. which section you start with depends on what is most important to you and your family. you can read some awesome articles on www.natureswizard.com to get some 'triggers'. since every family is different, its hard to pinpoint to someone exactly what they should start with. so, based on my experience of educating moms on the health dangers of toxic chemicals at home and after conducting hundreds of product reviews to find TRULY natural and oganic products, my answer is, figure out whats most important to you, then read other moms reviews to see what they say about each product, then test and try till you find what you like. then, you can move on to the next product. thats what i did and now i just rebuy the same products i like over and over again.

Jennifer - posted on 07/10/2011

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I just started using this website - www.doubleimpact.com with my kids. It let's us earn money for our favorite charity by doing sustainable, everday tasks. It's a great way to get the kids involved and teach them about charity. Brands like happy baby foods and earthbound farm are donating the money to charity. Definitely recommend it!

Katrina - posted on 06/29/2011

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my priority is green cleaning products & using personal care products that are green. My goal is to live totally off the grid, but that's a long way off.

Tammy - posted on 06/27/2011

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I recycle almost every piece of garbage our family makes, I filter my own drinking water instead of buying bottled, I use ceiling fans more than air conditioner, use flushable kitty litter and we plan on installing solar panels on the roof before the end of the year. I do draw the line with the diapers and I don't feel guilty because they are the ultimate convenience for me and one of the few I allow myself. :)

Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2011

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I've just converted all of the cleaning supplies in my home to more eco-friendly versions (melaleuca). I've always recycled, but I am trying to get everyone in my house to be into it as well. We've also just bought a house that has a space for me to have a garden, so I'm very excited to grow my own vegetables next year. I already have 4 fruits that come back every year. I try to buy organic fruits and vegetables when I can. I'm trying to always remember my non-plastic grocery bags when I go shopping. The hardest part is getting everyone in my house to be eco friendly as well.

Kunang - posted on 01/06/2011

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I prioritise anything that goes down a drain and into the sea, cleaning products mainly. I also try to buy household and beauty products that are organic, plant derived, biodegradable, recycled etc. I never buy canned, bottled or processed foods unless its pasta or bread but I haven't gotten around to an all organic diet, its just too expensive. BUT I have started a vegetable patch this summer, so I'm hoping to expand that throughout the years. I try to minimise electricity and will eventually convert to solar. I use cloth nappies and don't use plastic bags at the supermarket or for any shopping for that matter, I recycle. I shop locally or try to buy all ethical Australian products. I'm breastfeeding which is small but significant. All baby's toys are wooden and made from sustainable wood and non toxic paint. I will be making baby's food from scratch (I'm quite excited about it!) Oh and my favourite, I DON'T IRON!! :)

My ultimate dream is to own a self sustained house, from power to recycling water to growing our own food and yes, that includes the meat too.

Amber - posted on 10/23/2010

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i want a worm compost! jealous much! my hubby & i are lucky enough to have st. jacobs market close to us, so all of our meat is bought from there, corn-fed and humanely raised, no growth horomones or antibiotics that are unneccesary...we buy the "dirty dozen" organic when we can, i make all my own cleaning products, buy glycerin soap and Kiss My Face products [love them!!!] even my cats eat organic, chemical free, by-product free food. my son does not eat proccessed foods, nothing with SUGAR on the label, no glucose-fructose, no corn syrup, no preservatives in my cupboards!!! yay me! i am lucky enough to SAHM so i make all our food from scratch.
we eat very little meat & switched to organic soy & almond milk almost 6 months ago. my best friend is a vegan so she is my guru. i also CRAVE a juicer, but for now i only by 100% fruit & veggie juices. we are creepy when we go out in public. we are thrift store shopping, market obsessed, sugar nazis :D

Elena - posted on 10/03/2010

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I use cloth diapers, I can't stand the idea of the waste bulk they make, especially in Bali, Indonesia, where I live. I also make them myself sometimes. I have different types of cloth diapers and my new entry is multy-layered cotton jersey panties.
I also prepare food for my daughter, but I didn't consider it to be eco... It's kind of normal, if I make food for us grown ups, I make it for my baby too - well, especially for her since she's so precious to me. I believe mom-made food has special enegetic value, no matter what you prepare. I try to buy organic vegetables, as much as I can. But the best ingredient is love.

Heidi - posted on 06/29/2010

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I started with cleaning products, bath and body supplies, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and skin care and also my vitamins. I found an awesome company that sells them all. Yay round one for me. There's still a problem with paper goods and the food I get from the grocery store.

Michelle - posted on 06/24/2010

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I started with cloth diapers then the products I was exposing my kids to not realizing that I was actually harming them and the environment with household and personal products. I couldn't believe something as simple as baby wash and lotion I was buying from top brand companies were causing my babies to be on breathing treatments. New moms you are so lucky you have more awareness about this because I felt like the worst mom in the world the more I started researching.
I made my own baby food and we eat as much organic and raw as we can. I would like to say thanks for to all the other moms who wrote in I love learning new eco-friendly ways.

Jennifer - posted on 06/12/2010

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Hi, I'm new to Circle of Moms and I know late to this conversation but thought I'd chime in. I'm with Jenny - you have to balance between being green and what's possible with your lifestyle. My daughter is young, but we try to do little things that add up to big things. And then I came across this site that a friend of mine showed me that actually makes it fun and if my daughter were a few years older I'd get her involved. You adopt a virtual pet that is endangered and then can do little things to keep it happy. It's a fun way to get the kids involved. The site is called ecopetts and can be found here: http://ecopetts.formativelabs.com.

Jenny - posted on 05/19/2010

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if the kids haven't seen them first i donate the toys. that sounds horrible bc if it isn't good enough for my kid then it shouldnt be good enough for someone else's. i guess i rationalize it by saying that other people haven't made that choice or are happy to get any new toys at all and since the gift was already made and purchased i can't undo the footprint of it. i have two kids now and started an ecofriendly company for moms so most people know not to do that.....harder for me is when the kids want stuff that doesn't come eco friendly like Disney.....ugh

Jenny - posted on 05/19/2010

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i started with the basics, all things baby, then cleaning, then food, now entire household and way of life. it has taken about 6 years....since my first pregnancy. then i started a company to teach other moms how to do it...to be safe, smart and easy. because i am also working, i have two kids, my husband travels during the week and well if it is too difficult or too expensive it is not an effective change for me. i am trying to wrap my head around solar.....ugh...any tips?

Anne - posted on 05/11/2010

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Vegetarianism which is not just the biggest thing you can do for the environment but for me it is an ethical decision. After that recycling, eating organic, consuming less, only using natural products in the home. Most of these things are beneficial for our health too.

Tiffany - posted on 04/11/2010

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I have eliminated most of the cleaning chemicals out of my household and replaced them with ones that are safer for my health, my childrens health, and the environment. I am going step by step but ultimately want to start from scratch with the ways we eat, clean, bath, everything...it seems to be the way to go...it benefits everyone

Nora - posted on 02/11/2010

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We have been making our house as energy-efficient as possible. It's so tempting to start from scratch with a new eco-conscious house, but realistically not trashing an older house is more environmentally friendly, but just changing specific things to make it more energy-efficient, like new windows, insulation, solar hot water heater, lower temperature in the house, plug things into power strips, CFL lights, etc

Crystal - posted on 01/26/2010

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Going local has been a big time priority for our family, and I've found that by going local it makes a lot of the other stuff come easier. Through our local community we buy into an organic, local farmers coop and get a box of fruits and veggies each week. I also support local baby stores that sell locally made items and consignment clothing and toys, rather than buying new. If I have to buy something new I refuse all that is made in China, or really anything that isn't made as close to home as possible to help cut down on emissions that might otherwise be made when shipping items to me/local stores.
Cleaning products are a little harder, so I do buy non-locally made stuff there. What a blessing that we have so many green cleaning products available today!

Leighanna - posted on 01/15/2010

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Can those of you that answered this post check out my post on how you keep all your kids' toys "green" when well-meaning people give you ordinary toys? Thanks!

Jenn - posted on 11/04/2009

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1) I am recycle crazy!!
2) I use all natural cleaners from Melaleuca like a few others on here. They are the best!!
3) We also buy all of our necessity items from Melaleuca such as shampoo, tooth paste, baby wash, ect. These products are much safer on my family and the environment!
4) Try to eat organically as much as possible :) This is one I struggle with a little. Honestly I am not the greatest cook and it's easy to buy organic produce but I am really bad at creating great meals... any suggestions would be appreciated :)
5) I do a lot of hand me down type items when I can and always donate things that we are no longer using.
6) We try to buy safer toys, Melissa and Doug are some of my favorites, they are more durable and best of all not plastic. Anyone who hasn't seen it should really look up disappearing male on google... great documentary on the effects of toxins.

I have to say I think having this group is a great idea! I hope we can all help eachother live greener lives :)

Kasey - posted on 07/28/2009

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We're working on doing without convenience disposable items like paper plates, plastic utensils and even paper towels (gasp!). I'm also only using non-toxic cleansers in the home. I talk about these things on my blog: http://www.greeneyedblogster.com.

Tessa - posted on 07/27/2009

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We use organic body and cleaning products made in our country if we cant make them at home ourselves. We eat food only grown in our state, mostly to ensure it's ge free, but also to minimise our 'food miles', we try to grow our own food and eat 'in season'. We're on 90 acres now and are starting for our self sufficiency which will include growing our own meat to supplement our fruit orchard and vege gardens. ATM we are starting our rabbit breeding program for food. We plan to get a goat soon, in case we have troubles again with breastfeeding the next baby, I just need to find an australian company that will supply glass baby bottles. Our newly built home includes solar hot water, a composting toilet and we have no choice about water tanks as there is no scheme water here, not that we would have chosen otherwise. When we finally can afford to decorate we have chosen voc free paints through planet ark and recycled floor boards for our flooring, which we will use shellac to varnish.
We avoid chemicals, preservatives and colours in our diet so we pretty much eat raw foods and shelf food include very little processed foods (wholemeal flour and pasta) and no tins except the occasional tuna for seafood in our diet. Our local shop only does taiwanese and african seafood. We are 300km from the ocean or decent rivers for fishing, but will soon start bi-yearly trips to visit family, fish and harvest seaweed washed ashore after storms for our gardens. Presents and clothes generally come from garage sales and markets, we try not to buy new plastic toys for the kids and choose wooden toys over plastic.

Any medicine needed is homeopathic or herbal. Of course if it came to life or death and we couldn't find anything else, we would settle on what the doctor would recommend.

Not too much else we can do atm due to our money situations.

Hilary - posted on 07/05/2009

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We've been recycling for sometime now, but our city just added compost pickup! It's been really great! The one big thing that keeps getting me were all the plastic baggies I was using to pack my kids' snacks in. I thought I had 'mastered' the snack time with organic crackers, veggies, fruit leather, etc... but all those baggies! Ughh! My friend and I decided to try to take the next step and eliminate those as well... We made some fabric, BPA free water-resistant lined, sandwich and snack bags. After loving them and sharing with our friends, we started Mama Luvs Reusable Snack bags. Check them out and let me know what you think... www.mamaluvs.com

As moms, we can't do it all, but we can do something... choose what it is that seems to be excessive in your life and take one step at a time! Your kids will see the difference you are making and hopefully choose to do the same!

Megan - posted on 06/14/2009

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we use organic personal products and we use cloth diapers and we use canvas grocery bags and no paper products except for toilet paper. we share one vehicle among us and we walk as much as possible. We eat game meat as much as possible and use organic cleaning methods. Someday i want to build a house filled with eco-conscious stuff. I try to make good decisions every time i buy something new and fol,low the green mantra "reduce reuse recycle!"

Michelle - posted on 04/21/2009

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Hi, I'm new to the group so I hope you don't mind me joining in with the conversation. I try to prioritise with our food consumption, I buy locally and organic where I can - we have a box of vegetables delivered each week which is great :) Despite living in a town we are also going to start keeping chickens organically in the near future so we can have our own eggs and also our own chicken-enriched compost ;). I also use environmentally-friendly nappies and we recycle all that we can. We have turned down our heating and try to consume less gas/electricity which is hard these days! I just try to do my bit whilst keeping focussed on the bigger picture and know that every little bit helps.

Kim - posted on 04/09/2009

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In the last 4 years, I have had 3 wonderful children.... who have helped me decide to start an online eco friendly boutique www.greenmooseboutique.com. I am not only trying step by step to be more eco conscious but I am trying to provide the products that I believe in and use to others. I use my universal stone cleaner throughout my house, stainless steel baby bottles to feed my youngest, use the World's only stainless steel waterbottle to filter tap water, lakes, rivers and streams, allowing me / us to have instantly filtered safe water to drink where ever we are. Please take a look at my site for ideas and products.

We have changed our cleaners, our plastic to stainless steel lunch containers made in India, use reusable BPA safe WaterWeek bottles, use Canadian made Personal Products from green beaver. I look forward to hearing more ideas and suggestions on good green products.

Stephanie - posted on 03/08/2009

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I loved Melaleuca as PC for over 2 yrs....but I just couldn't commit to the minimum order every month with our economic status lately.  I must say, I don't really miss any of the products (except the laundry detergent). 



We started making our own window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, and bath soaps.   I was also a bit concerned when I couldn't get an MSDS sheet for Meleuca's products (only 1 is available). 



I run a home child care and even Poison Control couldn't help me when my daughter got into the Tough & Tender.  (I gave her bread and water and she was fine....she had only sprayed a bit on her hand.  But I wasn't sure if she had put her fingers in her mouth or not.)

[deleted account]

I started by throwing out all of my household products bought from big box stores and started shopping online for toxin-free products with a company called Melaleuca. Ask me how you can do it too! dletourneau72@hotmail.com

Jen - posted on 02/07/2009

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ok for some reason the sit e i put in is not working but you can go to



to check out all the great products



 

Jen - posted on 02/07/2009

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There is a great company that I would love to chat with everyone in this group about.  I am a consultant for Chartreuse check it ou by going to jenkrum@gmail.com  

Stephanie - posted on 02/04/2009

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I also forgot to mention that this method is great because if you do it right, you'll have no smell and no flies.  Make sure you do all your research.  Unlike regular composting you don't have to keep turning the stinky dirt because the worms are always moving through it.



Good luck!!

Rebecca - posted on 02/04/2009

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Thanks heaps Stephanie, that sounds like a great idea. Can't wait to get worm composting :)

Rebecca - posted on 02/04/2009

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I make most of the cleaning products we use. I make my own laundry powder which lasts for months and only costs around $7. I use bicarb and regular vinegar to clean the bathroom, I was amazed at how good bicarb really is for getting out stains in the bath. I make up a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water with a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil or lavender oil thrown in and put it in a spray bottle to clean kitchen benchtops (the oil helps to neutralise the vinegar smell).
As for recycling, we have much more recycling that goes out than regular waste. I feel really good about doing it because I don't like the thought of our waste going into landfill. I'd like to get a compost pile set up soon for kitchen scraps. I do alot of home cooking and have a juicer, I feel bad about throwing the food scraps out. Anyone have any hints on how to get started composting??
When my daughter was born, I was adament that she eat home cooked meals rather than pre packaged. Mainly for the fact that pre packaged doesn't taste like real food, but for environmental factors as well. I used to make a big batch of something then freeze it in smaller portions. I used to work 5 nights a week, so I wanted to make sure she always had something wholesome to eat. Nowadays she eats what hubby and I eat, but I do occasionally freeze stuff for her lunches.

Stephanie - posted on 02/03/2009

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1.  Recycling



2.  "Wellness Company" cleaners



3.  Organic foods



4.  Composting



5.  Eco-Toys



6.  Landscaping/Gardening



 



That's where I am right now, I am just so excited everytime I start something new in this process. 



 



Deborah - posted on 02/02/2009

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I really struggle with this stuff. I cloth diaper, we recycle, by used and give away/trade as much as possible, re-use, use natural cleaning products, reusable bags, wash on cold water (excpet diapers of course), buy humanely raised/organic meats, and veggies/fruits as much as possible, when I buy something I try to find the most eco friendly/energy friendly choice if possible. my biggest struggle is that where we live, the products can be almost twice as expensive, you have to go to a separate store that is really difficult to go into with 2 babies, and the products aren't always there when I go over to buy them. i get really frustrated and don't know how to do better with this...also, my husband doesn't really seem to be into this at all!

Shannon - posted on 01/29/2009

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We started going full force and had to back off only because it was so overwhelming that we found ourselves cutting corners. I don't know if that makes sense?

We bought about 30 washcloths that we use instead of paper towels. A roll of paper towels lasts us about 2 months around here. We use cloth diapers & wipes. We recycle. We use CFLs. We use natural cleaning products.

We eat organic 'junk' food. What I mean by this is all frozen or processed foods are organic. If we have mac & cheese it is organic, if we have chicken nuggets & fries it is organic, chips & cookies are organic. If we have apples it is not always organic. Mostly because I don't have a great organic supermarket - I have a good section in my supermarket but I have a limited selection. Also I have limited funds and in my mind an apple is good, chips are bad but I can make them better by buying organic.

Hey it's not perfect logic but I'm doing my best. I haven't given up my pepsi yet but I'm trying!!

Andrea - posted on 01/29/2009

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We have just recently started going green, but have tackled it full force!  We try to buy organic and local when possible.  We will be joining a CSA this spring and plan to buy 1/2 a cow from a local ranch.  We switched all our light bulbs to CFL's. We recycle of course!  We compost and have our own garden in our back yard.  We make our own hand/body soap, our own laundry soap and household cleaners and we only use natural soaps and lotions for our baby.  We use gdiapers during the day and chlorine free diapers at night.  We try to buy paper products that come from recycled materials. We make most of our own baby food.  We buy all our baby clothes from a consignment store.  We are trying to cut down on our car usage and carpool as much as possible.  Some books I recommend where I learned a lot about living green: "Harvest for Hope" by Jane Goodall, "Healthy Child, Healthy World" by Christopher Gavigan and "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron.  Having a new baby has really inspired us to do more for helping her world be clean and safe!

Maggie - posted on 01/24/2009

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We are really just getting into being eco-conscious and our focus is mostly on what is healthy and safe for our baby (Will), ourselves, and our cats first and foremost and then also what is best for the environment. We are trying to only buy products for our home that are non-toxic which is getting a lot easier than it used to be. One of the hardest things was to find a crib not made in China so that it wouldn't end up on one of the recall lists for lead paint. The lists go on and on from there about researching safe products from clothes, other furniture that is solid wood, not MDF, toys that don't contain phthalates or other toxins (Healthy Toys.org really helps there), cosmetics and body care products without parabens or phthalates ( we love Burt's Bees, California Baby and Whole Foods), organic foods (thank you Safeway organics), alternative water bottles (Kleen Kanteen is good), natural biodegradable non-chlorine diapers (Nature baby care is what we use for diapers and wipes), and organic or healthier type food for the cats (Pet Promise is pretty good) and more eco friendly litter. We recycle and try to conserve and reuse as much as possible also. I am always telling my husband not recycling must be a sin ;) Looking forward to getting ideas from everyone on this group.

[deleted account]

It definitely is hard to decide where to start! Let's see...we recycle (I'm a recycling nut!), are vegetarians, are minimalists, give things we are done with away for future use, buy organic and local food as often as possible, use biodegradable and organic cleaning and personal products, use TP & paper towels of recycled paper, watch how much water we use, and unplug everything when not in use. Once we have more of our own space, we will be composting, have chickens (for eggs), plant a veggie garden, and plant fruit trees. If it's not too expensive, we want to do a solar lease program.

Avery - posted on 01/24/2009

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I love being eco friendly!We use natural cleansers,I have an all purpose spray I make myself.We use California Baby shampoo & veg oil soap w\honey & oatmeal.We use natural detergent w\no fabric softener or dryer sheets.We eat organic foods.We reuse as much as we can & unplug everything except major appl's & use CFL bulbs.Old shirts & wash cloths make great cleaning rags.We use glass instead of plastic, surprisingly my husband & I break more bowls\cups than the kids do!And of course recycling is a must.The only thing I dont do yet is compost,I hope to do so this summer.Instead of wasting paper by using tissues we use hankies instead.I know it sounds gross but its no different than cloth diapers.In the summer I save the water in the kitchen (the water left from rinsing out the coffee pot or your fruits\vegs,etc.)and water by flowers with it.Ill even use the kids bath water since the soap is organic,its also a good workout lugging the water out to the yard.We take our own to-go containers to restaurants,or we just wrap the food in a napkin.When the kids & I go on walks Ill pick up plastic/glass bottles to take home & recycle,this shows them the importance of being eco-conscience.I could go on all day...I like to think of all this as environmental charity :)

Heather - posted on 01/23/2009

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Recycling is second nature to me, I've been doing it since I was 10! I also have been using home made cleaning solutions and cloth towels for cleaning. I'm due with baby #3 in May and we're going cloth with him.
We use power strips which we turn off when not in use to conserve electricity as well as unplugging most small appliances when not in use. About 95% of our lights are CFL (except for the few on dimmers).
I have a compost pile and I've been experimenting with small gardens for the past few years. It started with herbs, last year I had tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and watermelon. I tried corn but I did it too late. I have a pretty big yard, but there are ways to do mini-container gardens with fruits and veggies, too. I also collect rainwater in containers for watering the garden because of Georgia's drought.
Food-wise I slip a lot, but I focus on organic dairy and shop at our Farmer's Market often. I also focus on the produce that has the most pesticide (apples, strawberries, etc.).
It sounds like a lot, but I feel like I could do so much more! Incorporating these things one-by-one until they become second nature is the key. Don't try to do it all at once!

Stasia - posted on 01/22/2009

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we eat organically and try for local as often as possible,have built two big veggie gardens we cloth diaper and use vinegar and "method" biodegradable cleaning products when possible.
Recycling is also a big one, i dont understand why some people dont bother recycling, especially when it only involves tossing it in another bin.

I am so happy to see so many people doing all of these great things, Sharon, wow, family cloth, thats amazing dedication!

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I use green cleaning products, organic food as much as possible, and I cloth diaper my little one. One of the best decisions I've made, it's so easy, and they're soooo cute! Who'd have thought cloth diapers could be so addictive?

Sharon - posted on 01/20/2009

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We started going green a few years ago- first with organic foods, then with our personal care products.  We're constantly making improvements in the way we live.  We do make our own baby food, which really isn't a hassle at all since we cook nearly all of our meals at home.  We started using natural substances for cleaning this past year.  We stopped buying all disposable products except for toilet paper (although I will confess that we tried using the family cloth for a few weeks- it was just way too much work for me.)  Our next venture is going to be a backyard vegetable garden and a compost heap.  I'm really excited to start it.  My big green dream, though, is to build our next house with sustainable and non-toxic materials.  



I agree that it's impossible to tackle all of the issues at once.  For us, it's been a step by step experience; once one change has happily found its way into our lives, we've proceeded onto the next. 

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We're focusing on what we're eating. First of all-nixing the whole fast food thing-even in "emergencies". Plus, we're trying to be more aware of where the food we eat comes from-somewhat locally produced if possible. We also recycle of course.

Andrea - posted on 01/18/2009

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I started with joining a wellness company and switched all our household cleaners out, they are green products so completely safe for our little ones. Plus they are economically sensitive so everything is super concentrated, ie...only one bottle will equal 6 you have to buy in the store. A more concentrated formula means less plastic for packaging. Importantly as well, they work great too!

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We're working on consuming less. We buy a lot of stuff-stuff that we don't usually need I might add. I'm getting tougher and saying "no" more often. Stuff doesn't make us happy, and buying stuff just encourages production of more stuff, and then it all ends up in landfills, etc.



We're also focusing on trying to eat healthier and greener-more locally produced foods, grass fed meat (including stuff my husband gets when he hunts), less meat overall. The last one isn't too hard for me, but most of the guys in my house think some part of the meal had to have breathed in order to be an actual meal. Otherwise, it's just a snack.



We work on a lot of other things, but those are some of my top priorities.

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