Friday, April 11, 2008

Green

I have talked about what changes I have made since I have become more aware of what we are doing to the earth. Well, here are some of my recent ones:

I finally have enough reusable grocery bags and the last two times I've gone to the store I've used my bags. So exciting! I just wish I saw others doing the same thing. So far, I have yet to see anyone with them. The hard part is remembering to put them back in the car, AND remembering to take them in with me. Luckily last night I remembered them as I had just walked in the door, so I could run back out and get them.

I love recycling. And because I'm so consistent with it, even though Matt forgot to put out the trash last week, we still have plenty of room in our trash can. And I saw it soon enough to put out the recycling. That bin is always overflowing.

I am using a product called Seventh Generation. They sell it at our commissary, and about each month, or as things run out, I'm switching them for Seventh Generation. I use their dishwasher detergent, their All purpose cleaner, and their dish soap. And yesterday, since we are on our last roll of paper towels, I bought the Seventh Generation brand. A little more expensive, but I think it is a better idea to get those.

I know I already posted about Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, but really, they are so awesome. I love using it, it is better for the earth, and I am cleaning more often because I love the smell. And I love the fact that I'm not supporting all those other companies.

I make a point to walk Andrew to school. We live so close, it is pointless to drive unless I have plans to go somewhere right after he goes to school. Matt often rides his bike to work, not because of not wanting to pollute, but because we only have the one car. But there are days when he rides his bike, and I don't use the car all day. I try to make one tank of gas go as far as I can.

I have also been trying to not waste so much food. My sister gave me this good idea to take your ground meat and separating it into balls that are equal in size. That way you aren't using so much meat. For us, a pound and a half of ground beef is WAY too much, and sometimes I can only get it in that size at the store. So, I've done it the last few times, and we waste very little, if any. And when they have free range meat, I buy it. Which isn't too often. And I want to go to the Farmers Market and get our veggies.

I have been buying more organic or better for us foods too. Honestly, they taste much better than their non organic/natural counterparts. They really do. Cascadian Farms granola bars are far and beyond better than any Quaker Oat granola bar. And we are eating Annie's Cheddar Bunnies instead of Goldfish. (by the way, we don't pay that much for them. at our commissary they are only $1.89 for that same box.) Back to Nature makes really good mac and cheese and Fruit and Grain bars. A lot of this I can get for much less at my commissary that most of you can at your local Whole Foods or other natural store. So I know I'm lucky. I've also done this slowly. And I buy a whole bunch when they are on sale.

I have also switched out some of my personal products. Avalon Organics makes the BEST shave cream I have ever used. My legs have never looked so good. It is pretty expensive in a regular store (around $6 when I've seen it) but only $4.19 at my commissary. So, still more than a regular shaving cream, but SO worth it because I nick myself less, the skin on my legs is much healthier and softer, and this cream actually stays on your legs. Lots of times there will still be some on my legs when I get out of the shower if I don't make sure to rinse it off. Also, I've been using Natures Gate lotion. Again, I do not pay that much. I think it was $3.50 when I bought it. Maybe $4, but still that is much less than what it goes for in a regular store. I've also bought, but haven't used yet, their face soap and scrub. I'm almost out of what I had before, so I thought I would try something different. I'm pretty sure I'll like it if it is anything like their lotion.

My sister introduced me to Herbs for Kids. She uses a few of their products. The one that we both LOVE is their herbal throat spray. This isn't sold at my commissary, but I did find a website (which I have no idea where it is now) where I could get it for $5.99 a bottle, but I would have to buy $30 of it to get it at that price. So I ended up buying 6 of them (if it would have been an even $6 I wouldn't have had to!!!) but we've gone through at least 3 of them. My kids love it, it helps their throats to feel better, especially in allergy season. Matt and I have both used it several times. He even kept one by his bed for a few nights. It works much better than any throat spray we've gotten at a pharmacy. When we get to our last bottle, I'll be buying more. There are always allergies to deal with (especially as we move a lot and always something new to deal with) and so it is worth it to me.

My kids eat their greens pretty well (they'll eat spinach and broccoli with big grins on their faces) but there are times when they don't get their greens. Like when we live in hotels for weeks on end. Or when we're traveling. Or when they are sick and aren't eating too well. Or sometimes I just don't make them. I bought these KidGreenz chewables that have broccoli, spinach, and other green foods, like spirulina and algae. For some reason, my kids love to take vitamins, and they love these ones. They don't get them every day, or even every week. But I'm glad I have them.

Gosh, this is long. If you've made it this far, I hope that I've helped you a bit. Maybe you didn't know about some of these products. And the last few aren't really organic, but they are better to use than filling our bodies up with yucky stuff. And I'm not completely organic. But I do what I can so that we can treat our bodies better and our earth better. I wish I could do more about things like composting and having a garden. But we have been moving so often, and living on a military post doesn't always allow me to do gardening or composting. But I still hope to do it someday. The next thing I want to try is natural toothpaste. I know you can make it, but maybe I'll just buy it to try it the first time. Does anyone have any recipes? :)

2 comments:

Jen said...

Wow, you are doing a lot!

We are doing a few little things, making changes slowly. We have switched to mostly green cleaning products and to cloth napkins. I walk J to & from school when I can (weather permitting) and consolidate trips to the store. We've cut out a lot of convenience/processed foods, and eat mostly whole, organic, & hormone free groceries. This week my green change was to join a local produce co-op. It's about 50% cheaper than the grocery store, but its all farm fresh, free trade stuff. And we get our organic dairy & eggs delivered from the farm as well. Oh, and I recycled a ton of plastic cups (the kind you get with kids meals at restaurants) that are made of dangerous plastics I don't want to have in my home.

miranda said...

Yay green! We get most of our food local and organic. And I am slowly replacing our household products with more environmentally friendly versions (just got the Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent). I'm even replacing my make-up slowly.

I think that has to be the key. Most of us can't make these dramatic lifestyle changes and stick with them. So making little changes at a time can be very helpful.