Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Living Green and Being Healthier

After cleaning up a lot of pee yesterday, and then doing a load of cloth diapers, I got to thinking about how the cleaning routines have changed in our house since we moved in.  It used to be all chemical-based, since that’s what was cheap and that’s what I knew.  Then, we got 2 dogs and had 2 babies…

While I wouldn’t call myself totally green, I do make an effort every day to recycle and look out for the planet we’ll be leaving to our children.  It’s part of why I decided to cloth diaper baby #2 (and use cloth wipes!  Which is actually soooo much easier than disposable wipes, at least at home).  Basically, once I had a little baby to think about, and especially when he started laying and crawling on the floor, I was very aware of what I put on the floor to clean up after the big messy dogs.  And then when Daisy started with her spay-related incontinence (joy) and was getting a big cyst/tumor on her shoulder (since removed, but unfortunately coming back), I started really looking into how we could go natural with the dog food and holistic remedies, too, rather than adding more chemicals and hormones into our routine.

Sometimes, I find it to be overwhelming to think about “being green",” I’ll be honest.  But the more I look into it, the more I realize what we are ALREADY doing to live greener every day.  This is no small feat considering the mess and amount of daily waste our family of 2 kids and 2 big dogs can generate.  Trust me when I tell you, it can be a lot.  But it’s good to know that I’m doing a little something right even on those days where the messes just keep coming.  And that keeps me inspired to keep working at it and greening up our life!

So, on the bright side, here’s what we have going for our green lifestyle already.  A lot of little things can really add up!!

  • we rarely fill up our trash can each week – but our recycling bin is always full for pickup every 2 weeks. 
  • we installed a “doggie dooley” in the backyard when we first got the 2 dogs to compost the yard waste.  we’re looking to get this up and running again now that I’ve done some more research on how to keep it going.  (poor system just couldn’t keep up with our poopers, and we might actually need a second doggie septic system. um, TMI?)
  • we use reusable cups and water bottles for us and the boys
  • we make our own coffee each morning and use reusable travel mugs
  • we plant and eat our own vegetables each summer – the garden expands each year with more plants!
    • and we use our old coffee grounds to enrich the garden soil rather than chemical fertilizers.
  • online bill pay – paperless!
  • all-natural cleaning supplies
    • I buy several Method products for the kitchen and bath and like them a lot
    • I use a lot of vinegar and water to clean and de-grease
    • Tea tree oil and water solution to fight mildew in the bathrooms
    • ROCKIN’ GREEN – the super awesome laundry detergent that you know I love and that will truly take the stain out of anything AND that you can feel safe using around kids and dogs that are always on the floor.  (seriously, if you haven’t already, go check them out. I get their “52 weeks of clean” newsletter and have picked up some great tips!)
  • we eat very clean – lots of fresh veggies and fruits, limited (lately no) meat, very limited processed and packaged food.  I buy organic whenever possible and am introducing lots of new flavors to our boys, including homemade things like hummus (which Bear adores).
  • we keep our thermostat lower in the winter, higher in the summer
  • I use reusable grocery bags at the store and reusable food storage containers at home
  • I use washable rags to clean up messes rather than paper towels
  • cloth diapers and wipes for Bear
  • tea tree oil to deodorize the diaper pail
  • we got sleeping bags from Goodwill for the dogs’ crates instead of big, expensive beds
  • we buy an all-natural dog food from a local business
  • walk or run the dogs up to the vet whenever I can for their appointments – love that they are located so close!
  • both pups are “fixed” – I didn’t think of this as being green, but I guess it is!
  • goes along with the doggie composter above, but we always pick up the poop, in our yard, and elsewhere.

What are some of your favorite tips for living greener? 

I hope you have a low-mess day Smile

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