A few weeks ago I went to the Moms Meet Wow Summit and learned a lot of ways that any family can start their journey to going green. And it is a journey. It’s not something that you wake up one morning and think, “Today we go green!”. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Think about how much stuff you’d throw away: Cleaning supplies, food, household goods. That woud make a lot of trash all at once, and that’s definitely not the direction you’d want to go in.
Here are 5 steps to start your going green journey (all of these we’ve implemented at our house):
Reduce: In order to reduce our carbon footprint, we re-use as much as we can. For me the first step was to reduce the number of cleaners we had in the house, since a lot of them aren’t too environmentally friendly.
I made up some of the Dr. Bronner’s All Purpose cleaner (¼ c. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil if desired.) using a sample of the Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, and I put it into a bottle that used to hold another cleaner. I washed the bottle thoroughly before mixing up the new cleaner. It REALLY gets the kitchen clean and because it’s an all purpose cleaner, I use it in the bathroom too! I really like that Dr. Bronner’s products are biodegradable, organic and are safe enough that you can brush your teeth with (but, yes, it does taste like soap!!).
Re-Use: I re-use as much as I can around the house. We’ve got re-usable lunch bags for Little Man (and that classy banana box too- keeps the bananas from getting beat up in transit), and one for the car (it’s replaced our car snack box). I cut up old beat up bath towels and use them to clean up around the house. I re-use containers as well. I cleaned out an empty formula canister and put Nesquik powder in it instead. I even re-used the formula scoop (since it’s smaller than the usual portion size, we use less each time!).
Recycle: We have a recycling bin with a lid on the patio and we put our recycling in it. Once it’s full we take it to our local Re-Planet Recycling center. We earn a little money and help the planet- nothing better! It’s a great teaching tool for Lil’ Man!
Walk: We are fortunate to live within walking distance of a grocery store (which is closing soon, but will re-open as a Smart and Final soon), as well as a park, and a few other places that we like to go. When it’s possible (aka not 100 degrees), I put Birdy in the Stroller, and we walk as a family to pick up whatever we need or to go have an adventure. There is a second bonus: When we are shopping, I am limited to what we can carry in the undercarriage/storage area of the stroller. It really helps me stick to my shopping list! Not only are we getting exercise, but we’re leaving our car at home and that cuts down on the pollutants that are in car exhaust.
Replace non-green stuff with a green counterpart as we can: When we finish up with a non-green product, I replace it with a green version. Like the cleaner above, once I used up the last of the Windex, I replaced it with the Bronner’s recipe for cleaner. We ran out of paper towels a few weeks back, and in it’s place, I’ve been using lint free cloths instead. I just wash them with the other towels when I do the laundry each week. I picked up AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth – 24 Pack for only $14.99. A few towels added to a load of laundry doesn’t cost anything extra either.