Save Money while Going Green (The Cost of Going Green, Part 1)


In many cases, going green is totally compatible with being frugal.  I think of my peasant ancestors living hundreds of years ago.  How big was their carbon footprint?  How many hazardous chemicals were they exposed to?  Our consumerist culture has gotten us into a lot of trouble with chemicals and climate, and you can take a large step in a greener direction simply by buying less.

Reuseit™ Sandwich and Snack Bags {GIVEAWAY}

The reuseit™ sandwich bag - made of nylon in the US.
Recently I ran out of quart-sized and sandwich bag ziploc bags simultaneously.  As I pulled the last one or two baggies out of the box, I resolved to stop buying disposable baggies and find reusable alternatives I could use instead. The fact that I was using these disposable plastic baggies up until a couple of weeks ago is why I am truly still the "Eco-novice."

From Disposable to Reusable (Plastic Baggies)

 Ziploc Sandwich Bags - 125-CountZiploc Bag, Snack, 50-Count Boxes (Pack of 12)Ziploc Storage Bag, Quart Value Pack, 50-Count

Recently I ran out of quart-sized and sandwich bag ziploc bags simultaneously.  As I pulled the last one or two baggies out of the box, I resolved to stop buying disposable baggies and find reusable alternatives I could use instead. The fact that I was still using these baggies up until a couple of weeks ago is why I still call myself the "Eco-novice."

First I made a list of all the things I use plastic baggies for (I'm sure I've left some things off this list):

10 Tips for Going Green with a Reluctant Spouse

"Why can't he care about the environment as much as I do?"

"How did you get your husband to go along with cloth diapers?"
"How did you get your spouse interested in switching to organic food?"
"Is your husband into going green too?"

These are questions I get on my blog and from friends in real life.  In the beginning, I think it is safe to say that my husband was not as enthusiastic about going green as I was.  Several years later, he is nearly as gung-ho as I am.  I asked my husband for some ideas that might help turn a skeptical or reluctant spouse into a green-enthusiast.  Here is a list of ideas we came up with.

How to Begin


When you decide you want to go green (or get greener) it can be daunting to decide how to begin.

Some general tips:

When you run out of something, don't replace it or replace it with something greener. A few years ago when I ran out of paper napkins, I just never replaced them (and dug out of a bin in the garage the cloth napkins I'd been given as a wedding present years before).  When I decided it was time to replace all my mismatched and weathered tupperware, I decided to invest in Pyrex.  Recently I ran out of quart-sized and sandwich bag ziploc bags simultaneously.  What a great time to search for alternatives and give up disposable plastic zippies all together!

Green Cleaning - Bathroom

 Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir Scent, 32-Ounces Bottle (Pack of 8)Faultless Starch 04403 Bon Ami CleanserMethod All Purpose, Go Naked, Spray, 28-Ounce (Pack of 8)

Possibly the hardest part of switching to greener cleaners is deciding which ones to buy.  Once you have a tried-and-true cleaning favorite, it's hard to bother to switch to something new.  Luckily, I've done all that annoying research plus trial-and-error stuff for you.  In the next couple of weeks I'll be introducing you to all of my favorite green cleaners.  There are definitely others out there that work.  These are just the ones that I've tried that have worked for me.


My Bathroom Cleaners

Bathrooom counters, sink and bathtub

Party Like It's 1999


Last week I hosted a Healthy Home Party, a community event sponsored by Healthy Child Healthy World, LUNA and Klean Kanteen.  You invite a bunch of folks to your home and discuss how to protect children’s health and development from common toxics.

As soon as I agreed to host the Party, I felt twinges of regret and perhaps a tiny bit of dread. Because hosting parties is not really my thing.  Evangelizing about being green is not really my thing.  I mean, sure, I have this blog, but I don't tell everyone I meet about it for heaven's sake.  Half my family doesn't even know it exists.  This is just where I dump information, which I hope will benefit those who are interested.  In social settings, I keep most of my green opinions to myself.

Eco-novice's Top 10 Resources

Here are 10 resources I regularly use in my research regarding healthier products and greener living.
 


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA's mission is "to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment -- air, water and land -- upon which life depends."  The site has information on a range of topics, including human health and energy conservation.

What About Mom?

A reader sent in the question below about organic bras. Since I know very little about the organic cotton clothing world, I asked Rachel (of Euphoria Baby and Euphoria Maternity) to address the question. 


Q: Have you done some research on organic clothing, especially good bras that don’t break the bank and are not made in sweatshops? I see there are lot of organic cotton baby products and not much for mommy.

Green Cleaning - Kitchen

 Heinz Distilled White Vinegar 16ozbiokleen Automatic Dish Powder with Grapefruilt Seed & Orange Peel Extract 32 oz (908 g)

Possibly the hardest part of switching to greener cleaners is deciding which ones to buy.  Once you have a tried-and-true cleaning favorite, it's hard to bother to switch to something new.  Luckily, I've done all that annoying research plus trial-and-error stuff for you.  In the next couple of weeks I'll be introducing you to all of my favorite green cleaners.  There are definitely others out there that work.  These are just the ones that I've tried that have worked for me.

My Kitchen Cleaners

Kitchen table and counters

How I Meal Plan


It's taken me a while to figure out a meal plan system that works well for me.  For many years, I've kept a list of all my greatest hit recipes to refer to when planning the next week's meals, but I always agonized over what to choose that week (Didn't I just make tostadas? Is that too much chicken in one week?) and often ended up forgetting an ingredient (because sometimes I'd forget to check the ingredient list for each recipe before going to the store) or tossing out a perishable ingredient that didn't get used up.

10 Benefits of Green Cleaning

Possibly the hardest part of switching to greener cleaners is deciding which ones to buy.  Once you have a tried-and-true cleaning favorite, it's hard to bother to switch to something new.  Luckily, I've done all that annoying research plus trial-and-error stuff for you.  In the next couple of weeks I'll be introducing you to all of my favorite green cleaners.  There are definitely others out there that work.  These are just the ones that I've tried that have worked for me.

Here are some of the advantages of green cleaning:
  1. One of the easiest ways to reduce your families' exposure to toxins
  2. No toxic fumes - no need to worry about proper ventilation or indoor air pollution
  3. No toxic residue - so you don't have to rinse after using on surfaces that come in contact with food which will eventually be eaten (which, in my house, includes kitchen counters, kitchen table plus all floors)
  4. No need to change cleaners when pregnant
  5. Kids can clean with you
  6. No gloves required
  7. Don't have to lock up cleaners to avoid poisoning
  8. Don't have to worry about mixing 2 cleaners into a toxic cocktail
  9. Better for the environment - the fishies will thank you
  10. Cheaper, if you make them yourself 
Stay tuned for more posts on green cleaning. 


The complete Green Cleaning Series:

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