We take small steps now. We reduce, reuse, and recycle. We use cloth diapers and wipes most of the time. We're careful about our water use and combine car trips/errands whenever possible. (And not just because I hate driving.) However, I know we can do better. My hope is that setting up a new home will motivate me to encourage simple, everyday changes with our housekeeping, eating, and self-care.
What I really want is for my children to see that this is just how we do things. I want taking care of the earth, eating healthy, and using earth-friendly products to be a natural part of their lives, not an abstract concept. My plan is to concentrate on just three areas and continue to make steady progress while involving my children in my thought process as much as possible. Following are a few minor changes I'm looking forward to trying.
Cleaning. My goal is no chemical cleaners. At all. I'm going to try some of the cleaning suggestions here (an article posted in Whole Living, a wealth of great information). This one has another motive as well: my six-year-old recently became fascinated with helping me around the house. I certainly would not hand her a commercial cleaner to use on her own, but I would totally ask her to polish the furniture with olive oil or scrub the sink with a lemon. Learning home economics and helping Momma. Score! I've also considered making my own laundry detergent, but with the amount we go through around here, I'm not sure I want to take that on. (But if anyone has suggestions, I'm open to them.)
Food. Imagine a brand new kitchen with not one crumb of food. Where do you start? What do you bring in? A while back I had this brilliant idea to eliminate food dyes as a first step in our food overhaul plan. I even found this fabulous site and went all crazy looking for "numbers" in everything we bought. Unfortunately we never really got any further than that. My new goal is to buy more produce locally. We go through a lot of fruit and veggies around here, so I figured this would be a good next step. (I've even found a farmers market that will deliver a basket of seasonal produce every week to my door, which sounds tempting. Hmm.)
Personal Care. While the idea of cleaning my kitchen with baking soda and a lemon seems totally do-able, when it comes to products I use on myself, eh . . . I'm iffy on whether or not I'm willing to craft, say, my own toothpaste. I also have no interest in going no poo, although I try to use as little as possible and I don't lather up every day. (But I did find this great post about going shampoo-free and must admit I find it slightly intriguing.) I am a bit giddy, however, about the opportunity to try out some more natural (albeit commercially available) products. I recently became a fan of Toms of Maine, and I'm especially thrilled that they have a children's toothpaste that does not contain the aforementioned nasty dyes.
Like I said, baby steps. I know I'm not going to wake up one day and transform into the model green living example. But, we have to start somewhere and I'm hoping to capitalize on the novelty of a new home in a new area to inspire me.
What small steps have you taken to help your family get greener?
Thanks for reading and have a blessed day.