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Old 04-14-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Baby Steps to a more Green and Healthy Home

Hi~ I'm just starting out on this journey! It all started when I decided to use cloth diapers with my fourth baby. The baby is due in October.

I already have been trying to buy more organic food over conventional food.

What I'm looking for are little steps I can take to become more eco-friendly and healthier, room by room and in general. So here is what I thought of so far:

Kitchen
~replace all plastics with other options
~switch to cast iron cookware
~bake my own breads
~cooking and baking from scratch in general
~use reusable bags for grocery shopping

Bedrooms
~replace bedding and mattresses with organics

Bathrooms
~replace shower curtains
~find better beauty products

General
~learn how to garden
~start composting
~use a rain barrel

So this is what I can think of off the top of my head. I know there are many more things. And that's where all of you come in Please share with me your tips and whatever else

Thank you!

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Old 04-14-2011, 12:26 PM   #2
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Re: Baby Steps to a more Green and Healthy Home

Use less paper towels and use dish rags instead. You can toss them in with the CD's when you wash them.

Make your own cleaning solutions with vinegar, water, baking soda, and tea tree oil.

I am on the fence about replacing bedding and mattresses with organics. Just because you're replacing them with green options doesn't mean it's necessarily better. I think I read somewhere that it's much more green to use what you have, reuse by buying second hand than it is to toss usable stuff and buy brand new stuff that does use crude oils and result in pollutions.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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Smile Re: Baby Steps to a more Green and Healthy Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by keonli View Post

I am on the fence about replacing bedding and mattresses with organics. Just because you're replacing them with green options doesn't mean it's necessarily better. I think I read somewhere that it's much more green to use what you have, reuse by buying second hand than it is to toss usable stuff and buy brand new stuff that does use crude oils and result in pollutions.
FIRST, let me say I APPLAUD your efforts to go green!! I am on the same path, and it is exciting to see our family make changes. I have been especially touched that my kiddos seem so proud of what we are doing!

Second, regarding the quote above, I tend to side with Keonli on this particular topic.... Let me preface by saying clearly that I am NO EXPERT, but I do recall reading somewhere that most off-gassing associated with non-organic materials typically occurs within the first few years. So if you've owned something for many years and it's still functional, it's POSSIBLE it may be "greener" for you to keep it and continue to use it use it as long as you can, rather than--for example--buying new and putting your old matress in the landfill. Then when the item wears out, simply replace with an organic option so you are supporting organic production processes.

Also, a couple of other suggestions for possible things to try:
-- "Mama Cloth" -- using cloth menstrual pads (SUPER COMFY & SOFT!!) or a menstrual cup in place of tampons
-- "Family Cloth" -- using cloth wipes in place of TP for #1 (or both #1 & #2 in some families)
-- Using cloth "tissues" in place of kleenex -- we made (and bought) some organic bamboo velour 8x8 tissues, and they are SO SOFT that my family immediately fell in love with them over cold & flu season. Now when my husband has to use any processed kleenex type products (like at work) he complains that it makes his poor nose all red & irritated. :-) Love it when DH is on board!!
-- Making your own yogurt -- reduces plastic waste, since you're not throwing away all those little containers, and instead using a container you already own to store the yogurt in.


I'm sure I could list other ideas, but I have confidence that the wise women of this board will add TONS of suggestions, too!! You're in the right place, for sure!

Good luck on your new "green" adventure!
Kind Regards, WooKid
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:42 PM   #4
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Re: Baby Steps to a more Green and Healthy Home

Ooh, ooh--just thought of another "green" energy saver that we should include on your list.... LINE DRYING your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer. Or, if you DO have to use the dryer, use wool dryer balls (instead of dryer sheets) to keep clothes circulating well and help increase the drying speed.

We have a few allergy-sensitive kiddos, so we don't usually line-dry outside (so pollens, etc don't get on the clothes while they are drying outside), but we do use three indoor drying racks, and they work GREAT! As a bonus, the moisture/humidity from the drying clothes makes our indoor air quality much better too; it sorta reduces the dry-air effect that occurs from Winter furnace heat.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
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Re: Baby Steps to a more Green and Healthy Home

check out the huge no poo (shampoo) thread that was around a while back! No shampoo or conditioner bottles! I'm also trying body lotion alternatives, and my aunt makes homemade bar soaps.
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