Welcome to the April edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival – Going Green cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about going green and environmentally friendly living. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.
When people come to our home, or talk to us about our lifestyle choices, they are often surprised by the amount of sustainability built into our lives. What isn’t sustainable in our home, we have goals of changing. To be honest, we live at a level of sustainability that most people find intimidating, at least. But what many people miss about our lifestyle is this:
We didn’t always live this way.
Once upon a time, we were standard issue Americans, with a house full of plastic stuff we didn’t use or need, trading up for “better”, eating processed foods, using coupons to get cheap paper products, getting horrible gas mileage, and on, and on. So, how did we get from standard issue to where we are now?
We made one baby step at a time.
Because that is the only way to make lasting changes. We started out, once upon a time, eating salad with dinner every night. We increased our vegetable consumption. We didn’t buy organic, we didn’t worry about GMOs. We didn’t do microgreens. We bought raw veggies at the regular grocery store, and we made a salad every night. And it was a big step for us, at the time! Slowly, from there, we made one change at a time, until we reached the place in our lives where we are now.
At various times, we have made many changes. Some of them were:
trading in our gas guzzlers for cars with better mileage
trading in houses with lots of extra room for snug little houses
trading in disposable diapers and wipes for cloth diapers and wipes
trading in paper towels and tissues for cloth wipes and hankies
trading in plastic wrap, plastic baggies, aluminum foil and other disposable kitchen products for reusable containers
trading in plastic toys for cloth, wood and metal toys
trading in plastic in our clothing (polyester, nylon, rayon, acrylic, acetate) for natural (biodegradable) fibers
trading in plastic in our home for glass, metal and wood
trading in conventional foods for organic
trading in processed foods for mostly made from scratch foods
trading in commercial cleaners for plant based soaps and water, baking soda and vinegar
trading in commercial laundry soap for soap we make ourselves, using environmentally friendly products
trading in fabric softener for drier balls
trading in 100% heated drier use for using the clothesline as often as possible
trading in traditional light bulbs for CFLs
trading in a lot of our toilet paper use for cloth wipes
trading in disposable feminine care items for reusable cloth products
trading in battery operated items for non-battery operated items whenever possible
trading in standard batteries for reusable batteries in the battery operated items we kept
trading in the big trash can for a small trash can and a recycle bin (our family of 5 uses about 1 standard kitchen bag of trash per week)
trading in throwing food scraps in the garbage for a compost heap
trading in buying new for buying used whenever possible
trading in one time use products for reusable products whenever possible
trading in traditional toiletries for plant based and less toxic toiletries
trading in gardening and household chemicals for non-chemical options
trading in the formula option for breastfeeding
And I’m sure there are many more trades we made along the way. These changes were made over the course of about a decade, by the way. Some changes were made in tandem, but the majority were made one at a time. We made a change until we were comfortable that it was a habit, and we could do it without concentrating on it anymore. Then we worked on a new change. And this is how we continue to become more green, every day. Because the only way to make lasting, meaningful changes, is to make them one baby step at a time.
- Green Renovating: A Lot, A Little, Not So Much – Laura at Authentic Parenting ponders about the many things that have an impact on eco-friendly renovating
- Growing Native in My Flower Beds – Destany at They Are All of Me takes the guilt out of her flower habit by switching from high maintenance flowers to native plants which not only lessens her gardening load, but also benefits the local wild life.
- Baby Steps – Kellie at Our Mindful Life shares how her family became more sustainable, one step at a time.
- A Greener Holiday – Sara from Family Organic discusses the overwhelming amount of “stuff” that comes with every holiday and talks about how to simplify instead.
- Forcibly Green–Obligatory Organic – Survivor at Surviving Mexico talks about her family’s evolution from passive to active green and sustainable living.
- Giving It Away – Juliet Kemp of Twisting Vines writes about the role of Freecycle, the giant karmic lending library, in her simple and green living.
- Simply Sustainable – Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses her family’s attempts to live in harmony with the earth by living simply and more sustainably.
- How Does Your Yarden Grow – Alisha at Cinnamon&Sassafras writes about an ongoing permaculture project, converting her grass lawn into a mower-free paradise.
- Green? – Is it about ticking the boxes? sustainablemum shares her thoughts on what being green means in her life.
- Using Cloth Products To Reduce Household Waste – Angela from Earth Mama’s World shares how her family replaced many disposable household products with cloth to reduce their household waste.
- Going Green in Baby Steps – Joella of Fine and Fair shares some small, easy steps to gradually reduce your environmental impact.
- Are You Ready To Play Outside?! – Alex from AN Portraits writes about gardening, and playing in the dirt, and how it’s O.K. to get dirty, play in the dirt, play with worms, for both adults and kids.
- Lavender and Tea Tree Oil Laundry Booster – At Natural Parents Network, Megan from The Boho Mama shares an all-natural way to freshen laundry.