Moms Talk: It Ain't Easy Being Green

It requires more effort on our part, but it's becoming clear that in order to preserve the health of our kids and our planet, we moms need to move toward a greener lifestyle. In this week's Moms Talk we discuss different ways to live more naturally.

A friend of mine sent me a Facebook message earlier this week asking for my recipe for homemade laundry detergent.

We were chatting about how we both are trying to take it easier on Mother Nature and attempting to move our families to a less chemical and preservative filled existence, and I thought, “Voilà! My Moms Talk column this week is born!”

After all, part of being a good mom is making sure our kids don’t grow up in a toxic world.

There seems to be a growing trend toward going green in our country. The number of more natural products stocking the supermarket shelves is continually expanding, and almost every big food retailer now has an organic section.

It makes my crunchy granola hippie in my heart happy to see these changes, and I wish more families would embrace them.

In my family, we try to do simple things to reduce the size of our carbon footprint and make the foods and products we use healthier and better for us.

We recycle, we are water waste conscious, we use real dishes instead of paper and plastic. I buy organic meats, veggies and dairy products, and I try really hard to buy as much fresh food and make as many things from scratch as I can to avoid preservatives and chemicals in our foods.

I've tried to do away with harsh chemicals for house cleaning. If I don't make it myself, I buy the natural, green products. I mop and clean with hot water, vinegar and lemon, and we clean our carpets with hot water and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a great natural cleaner, and it’s better for the environment as it simply breaks down into water and oxygen.

We still have a lot of stuff we need to do to be better Earth stewards, but I’m proud that every person in my little family at least has environment and health responsibility on their radar.

My next step is those cute little reusable sandwich and snack baggies for my kids’ school lunches. I feel horribly guilty every time I put a box of Ziplocks in my grocery cart. 

I’m also making my own mosquito spray for this spring and summer. All the chemicals in bug spray make me cringe when I think about spraying them on my kids and on my planet.

My little sister gave me The Green Witch Herbal for Christmas this year, and it’s chock full of ideas for natural health remedies, cosmetics and home products. Don’t let the name fool you. It's not a book of magic, and I’m not cackling over a bubbling cauldron or twisting curses. It's a book about how the women before us used flowers, leaves, berries, roots, and barks in home and garden, and for hygiene, beauty and health. I have learned a lot about healthy, organic alternatives to harsh synthetic products.

You can also find zillions of tips for healthy, natural living on Pinterest. I see awesome ideas there all the time.

In what ways does your family protect our planet and live a more natural lifestyle? Any tips? Any gripes? Please share your comments below. 

*If you have a Facebook account, you can see Raven's homemade laundry detergent recipe here.

Jane Patla Tanner April 28, 2012 at 05:46 PM
My 2 girls have used the Laptop Lunches boxes (dishwasher safe) with a Built lunch bag (wash in washing machine) and Kleen Kanteen water bottles for almost 5 years now and both sets are still going strong. Haven't had to buy any baggies, plastic wrap, etc... for lunches in 5 years. There are now plastic and stainless versions out there. Haven't lost any pieces as their lunches are 0 waste so I don't have to worry about them throwing anything out accidentally as they have no need to even go to the garbage can at lunch. We save too as I can buy in bulk and not have to get any individually wrapped items (less $ and less waste). I've also been using the reusable Wrappers from Reuseit.com for bigger sandwiches and leftovers - these are now almost 5 years old too and fully washable - love them!


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