Monday, May 6, 2013

Green Your Life | Easy Ways to Do It!

Did you have a great weekend? We sure did!

Earth Day was in April, but I figure, why not try to be Earth conscious all year long? It's our only home and it's important to take care of it!

When I talk about going green, some people have responded to me with anxiety. I know where they're coming from! When you see a list of all the things you could/should/would do, it can be totally overwhelming! We are not a perfectly green family...far from it. But, we've taken a lot of steps to try to be greener and help keep our planet healthy. We have oodles of room to improve, but small steps are better than no steps!

Today, I wanted to share with you our list of things we do as a family to be green!

Replace toxic cleaners. When we got serious about this, we started by replacing all of our home cleaners (all purpose, toilet bowl cleaners, glass cleaners, etc) with natural, non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner. As you know, we use Shaklee's Basic H as our go to for cleaning just about everything in our home! Really!

This one product can:
  • Be the replacement for ALL of your toxic household cleaners
  • Can clean everything and the kitchen sink
  • Eliminate amonnia-based window cleaners
  • Remove the impossible...think crayons, gum, markers
  • Cuts grease with ease
  • Does odd jobs
  • Is a perfect camping companion
  • Saves money
  • Is easy on the planet
  • And puts less in landfills!

Clean up your laundry with a natural non-toxic detergent. By using a non-toxic detergent and fabric softener, I don't have to worry about my family going to sleep on sheets that have leftover perfumes and who-knows-what in them from being 'cleaned!' I've never been much of a perfume fan anyway, so this detergent is perfect for us!

Read your beauty product labels. After we got the cleaning and laundry products squared away, I moved on to our bathroom and started reading the labels on the kids soaps and shampoos. Once again, I was sold by the labels saying 'natural' on them. Upon closer look, I found out that Johnson & Johnson owns Aveeno. No bueno for this momma. So I got their soaps and shampoos replaced and started on ours.

We've been pleased with Burt's Bees products and the Shaklee Enfuselle Line! I use Burt's Bees Radiance for my facial cleanser and daily moisturizer and Shaklee Enfuselle for my night cream. We both use Tom's deodorants.

Use cloth dish rags and cloth napkins.  We started using cloth dish rags and cloth napkins about five years ago and haven't looked back. Honestly, I started using them because I was sick of spending so much money on paper towels...I wasn't even concerned about the environment. I have a basket under the kitchen sink with a giant stack of dish rags. Luckily, our laundry room is just off the kitchen so it's super easy for me to toss the dirty towels right into the laundry basket! We still use paper towels but not near as much as we could.

Eliminate plastic containers and use glass. We're working on this. We have two young boys and concrete and tile floors through out the house. We're still a mostly plastic storage family, so it's a work in progress.

Less bottled water. We don't buy bottled water. We have filtered water and tons of reusable water bottles that we use every single day. Just as with the paper towel thing, I was too cheap to keep buying bottled water and wanted to save money. So I'm doing that, plus helping to keep waste down. There are a ton of great water bottle options out there! We have bunch of these Contigo bottles. I know they're plastic, but I don't like to drink water out of stainless steel.

Reusable grocery bags. I use these about 90% of the time when shopping. I've noticed the grocery clerks are able to pack a lot more in them than the plastic bags, and they're so much easier to carry, especially when you've got a toddler in your arms! Just be sure to wash your bags regularly because they can get some funky germs in them! See how I do it here.

Recycle! This probably goes without saying. If you live in an area that has a recycling program, it's really very easy to do it and get in the recycle habit! Pretty much anything you use can be recycled. Just take a look at your areas requirements! We have a special recycle bucket in our laundry room where all our paper, junk mail, boxes, glass bottles, and any other recyclable go. About 2-3 times per week, I dump it in our outside bin.

And that, my friends, is how we're working towards being a greener family! I know we can do better, but we're taking small steps all the time to lead a greener, cleaner life!

What things does your family do to be green?

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