I really want to take my family and household to the green level. However, we're a one-income family and I have a VERY difficult time convincing my non-green DH that the initial investment (which from what I can tell isn't small) is worth it. He works out of state 4 days a week, and doesn't mind living in a green home when he comes home on Fri-Sun. But I have to set it up myself and do it without spending so much money that my DH has a fit. It's not that we can't afford good, quality items. But I've seen the home starter kits for some of these green products, and they aren't cheap. I understand that they may be worth it in the long run, but for a DH who doesn't feel the need to be green, it's difficult to convince him. He'd rather spend our money on home electronics, movies, going out to eat, etc. Not on giant containers of expensive laundry detergent and what-not. And what can I do with all these non-green products I have clogging up my home? I want to make way for green!
BTW, I'm not especially interested in making my own products. I would do laundry detergent if I knew it would make my laundry genuinely clean and smell good. I have to have it smell good. However, I cannot stand the smell of vinegar :yuck: , so if I made my own cleansers, I would not use vinegar.
12-22-2007, 11:55 AM
well mama, A lo of green things are much cheaper than their counterparts.
For instance, using baking soda as a cleanser for your tub and sink, just a little baking soda on a sponge and some elbow grease, makes a great gentle cleanser, if you want it to easily spread and suds put a dab of inexpensive shampoo on the sponge also, works like a charm.
A lot of being green is doing without, not buying things so you don't have to throw them away, making more food from scratch, less packaging etc...
Drying on a rack or clothesline
turning your heat down or your air off or up
What starter kits are you looking at? that would help me suggest things better.
As far as making way for green, the least expensive thing to do is everytime you run out of some sort of cleaner, replace it with something green, and of course recycle the container (:
12-22-2007, 03:08 PM
for on a budget I would agree with go slow. Use up what you got, then replace it with something more green. Watch the coops for cheaper prices on detergents (there was one there for bio klean), bags, and whatever else sparks your interest. And maybe buy a pack of CFLs every payday or something like that. No need to jump in the deep end, just wade in from the shallow and swim your way across.
It's not an all or nothing effort. Even the smallest thing you do to be green makes the world a little bit better place to live for our children and their children yet to come.
12-22-2007, 09:11 PM
Going green, IMO, does not mean ditching everything you have and starting all over w/ new products. That's just a waste and kind of goes against what your striving for. I'm also kind of confused by what you mean by a starter kit?
Like everyone else said, I would use what what you have, then slowly make the transition. It's easier for everyone that way also.
12-22-2007, 09:28 PM
I'm going green on a budget. To do it I'm replacing things as I run out adn making things myself like cloth products to replace paper ones. I have adjusted the heat so it stays no higher than 70 and usually about 65-68. If it gets chilly we add layers. I don't have extra money to just spend so useless sspending isn't an issue for me. Hopefully dd will be potty trained very soon(like before the end of January) so that there will only be one or 2 diapers a day to use. I wash full super sized loads everytime I wash and most clothes are hung to dry except when I need them dried ASAP because I need them for now then I do about 1/2 a load in the dryer to make it worht the time/energy of using the dryer. I'm just slowly phasing in new things and hoping that the slo wchanges will make the transition easier.
12-22-2007, 10:05 PM
Going green, IMO, does not mean ditching everything you have and starting all over w/ new products. That's just a waste and kind of goes against what your striving for.I guess I didn't think about it that way. Take it slowly, replace as I run out. What I did was I went a little crazy and just started purchasing greener products before I actually ran out of the non-green stuff (I did this before coming here and posting this thread). I've already been struggling with what type of detergent to use on the new cloth diapers I've just started using with DD, and I already had 2 different detergents on hand that weren't even half empty (Purex for everything except DD's stuff, which I used All F & C for). I then found out that All F & C isn't good for cds, so I found Arm & Hammer Essentials. I read that it's natural and safe for all the baby stuff as well as the entire family's stuff, it's environmentally good, and it's cheap. So, I bought it. I felt I needed to start using it asap because of the cds. Didn't want to ruin the cds with the detergent I had already been using. Anyway, so I ran out of dish soap and I bought Seventh Generation. I like it a lot. Didn't waste anything there! However, I have a cabinet FULL of non-green cleansers that were always bought in bulk. Soft Scrub, Pledge, Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner, Clorox all-purpose cleaner, etc. Without using these items first, I purchased Method Wood for Good and Seventh Generation all-purpose cleaner. It will take me forever to use the old stuff up, as there are multiple bottles of everything. So, I thought I might donate them to the local women & children shelter, along with the Purex and All. That way, the items will be used by someone and not wasted. IDK, I suppose I should just use everything I have on hand already. I'm just so excited to make this lifestyle change, and I apologize as I have been cursed/blessed with the "all-or-nothing" mentality since birth! I just need to slow down and pace myself!
By the way, can anyone tell me what they know about the Arm & Hammer Essentials? I read on another forum that it's environmentally sound and it works great if you don't mind the scent (I think it smells fantastic but others I know prefer unscented products).
I'm also kind of confused by what you mean by a starter kit? I found these on a few different online retailer sites, like greenhome.com's environmental store I looked at today. I saw a Naturally Clean kit for $25, an Options for Life kit for $30 and a Clean Environment Company kit for $16. All of these kits I found contain multiple products that will clean your entire home (except for wood polishing...didn't see any of that). I think these are affordable for us, just not sure which is the best brand, or if another site has anything better.
12-23-2007, 12:09 AM
When i switched everything over I gave what I didnt want to use to my Mom. A big reason I switched is cause it made me wheeze to use bleach and really harsh chemicals. And I thought if it makes me do this, what is it doing to my kids!! It helped me not fill my home with the chemicals but it also didnt go to waste. I kinda felt bad cause then she was filling her home with toxins, but she would have just went and bought it new and I thought that recycling my stuff was *kinda* green:giggle:
Make your own Non-toxic cleaning kit. You can use lavendar oil or tea tree oil if you can't stomach vinegar (but I've heard the vinegar smell dissipates quickly).
google homemade natural cleaners and you'll find lots of recipes, etc.
12-23-2007, 04:30 PM
I agree with the other post-ers that you don't have to do everything at once. One thing I started doing just a few weeks ago that I really love is ... I went to the thrift store and bought lots of used cloth bags. Now I don't let those cashiers put my stuff in the never-ending plastic bags. It's a small thing, but I feel better, because my cloth bags were already used, and I am doing some small thing to help the environment. The cloth bags are great too, because they don't break, can be carried on your shoulder rather than in your hands, and I have to climb a flight of stairs with all my groceries, so it generally makes my life easier.
BTW, my son said the other day, "Mommy, guess what? I hug trees." I LOL'ed.
12-25-2007, 12:35 AM
You don't have to do expensive home products to go green - you can totally do it on a budget and it won't be a big deal.
We don't make our own cleaning products except our floor cleaner, everything else we buy, but it's not that much more expensive than conventional (plus i don't clean super often so it lasts awhile).
What I would do is pick a handful of products to replace at a time - say toilet bowl cleaner (conventional is BAD), glass cleaner, and laundry detergent. You can get green brands for good prices at www.drugstore.com and I always find free shipping codes. Then in a few months do a few more cleaning products.
Same goes for bath/beauty products (which unfortumately are more expensive than chemical-laden conventional) but you can do just one or two at a time as you run out - and focus on changing your children's first to limit their chemical exposure.
Going green is only a huge budget expense if you decide to go radical and change it all over at once - but if you do it little by little you won't notice the difference money-wise much at all :thumbsup:
01-30-2008, 09:08 AM
01-30-2008, 10:07 PM
I use vinegar, baking soda and a little bleach to clean EVERYTHING in my house. Honestly, going green has decreased my total expenditures, not increased them. For example, I don't generally use anything to clean my toilet bowl -- scrubbing with a toilet brush is sufficient. I save $8/month by not buying paper towels anymore. I spent $4 to buy washcloths that I use in place of paper towels and launder weekly. That is just one example.
01-30-2008, 10:39 PM
just start off small, take one step at a time and feel good knowing that every little bit makes a BIG difference! good luck!
01-30-2008, 11:09 PM
just start off small, take one step at a time and feel good knowing that every little bit makes a BIG difference! good luck!
This is what I've been trying to do lately. I kind of gave up on trying to do it all. I can't decide if I want to try a eco-friendly laundry detergent because I'm afraid it won't be as good as what we're used to (currently it's Tide Coldwater). I have used Arm & Hammer Essentials recently, too, and have some leftover if I decide to go back to it. I have been using Ecover liquid morning fresh fabric softener on the dipes (wasn't sure if this would be okay but I've read from others here that they do it too without any problems). I use Arm & Hammer Essentials dryer sheets for everything else. I've seen a lot of positive reviews for Country Save, but when I tried it, I really didn't like the smell of it, so I sold it off. I've seen lots of mixed reviews for most of the other eco-friendly laundry detergents, so I'm afraid to try them because they're so expensive. I'm not going to make my own because I don't think it would clean as well as the store-bought kind, and I just really like the scented detergents (we aren't sensitive to that). I'm also stuck with dishwashing machine detergent. Same issues as above. I'm still using Cascade because I haven't been convinced enough to spend more money on anything eco-friendly. I would definitely put my money on an eco-friendly product if I were convinced it would perform as well as regulars. Other than that, I've started either buying or making my own cleansers (I'm loving Clean House, Clean Planet and the Earth Scrub with TTO and Peppermint...WOW). I buy Seventh Generation paper towels, because we like paper towels. Haven't used up the regular tp but when we do, we'll switch to Seventh. I use reusable bags EVERYWHERE I go. I turn off the lights, have been switching bulbs to CFLs as they burn out, run the dishwasher and washing machine only for full loads or if I have a poopy dipe, I run it plus whatever other dirty dipes I have on a small load setting. It's too dang cold here to walk or ride a bike anywhere, but come spring, DH is getting me a bike with a baby attachment. I also have a couple of baby carriers that I love for walking, and I also use the Chicco stroller because it handles very nicely. Let's see.....I'm recylcing aluminum cans at my son's school, which uses the earnings to help fund Bully Awareness T-shirts for all the students. I'm accumulating other recycleables that the local grocery store collects in a bin. I'm trying to look for ways to repurpose old things. I made a pair of pajama pants for DD out of one of her old receiving blankets, and I'm getting ready to do more. I bought Toms of Maine deodorant, and it works okay enough to keep buying it. I haven't bought any other natural body products because I can't afford them, and I like bath products and being hairless, :blush: so I won't be going au-naturel anytime soon.
I think that covers it. I'm trying to feel good about the things I am doing and worry less about the things I can't/won't do. It's hard also because none of our family/friends are eco-conscious. My DH is only living this way because he has no choice! He's okay with it, but he doesn't really care one way or the other, and doesn't participate in the thought process of it all. Just does what I tell him to! :giggle:
DAMN...THIS IS A LONG POST...SORRY...
02-03-2008, 08:33 AM
It sounds like using the non-eco stuff you have left in the bulk packages is distressing to you and that you no longer want to use these products given you want the best for your children. Have you considered seeing if your freecycle would allow you to post cleansers? Or maybe your friends might take them at a fraction of the cost or free even? That's how I got rid of some of my items - the rest I took to the hazardous wastes depot once I realized I'd been hanging onto some of this stuff for almost 10 years (which was getting ridiculous because we'd already moved some of them once). :blush:
Like all the other mamas said, being green can be cheaper in some respects and there is no need to buy into some of the marketing by some of the companies out there who specialize in green products. You don't need a new product to clean different parts of your house and you don't need a kit.