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Tips for Transitioning to a Green Life

Going green can be overwhelming. If you take it one step at a time though it’s not so hard and can be rewarding. 

Tips for Transitioning to a Green Life, Eco-friendly Tips

Being green sometimes seems like a never ending and expensive adventure. Seriously, how much do I have to change in order to “be green?” It can feel like you are going to go into debt just to switch over to being green!


Well personally, I feel that it is an one step at a time process. Pick the things that matter most to you and start there. Work your way into the other areas that might require more money and/or time. While I love living as naturally as possible every little bit matters. I’m still taking it a step at a time. So even if you are only doing a few things that are “green” it makes a BIG difference in the long run!

Green Living Tips

Here is a list of some things you can do in your home with/for your family to live more naturally.

  1. Recycle. Many communities offer free curbside recycling. But if not, there are often locations in the community where you can drop off your recycling. And for older kids it can be a project you give them, I know I did that as a kid- e.g., collecting old soda cans.
  2. Organic. It can be expensive to buy all organic. So, if you’re like me and can’t afford to go all organic right now, purchase organic items from the Dirty Dozen list.
  3. Meatless Monday. Reducing the amount of meat we eat is healthy for ourselves and the environment. Try cutting back one day a week. It’s also a fun day to try creative new recipes. Check out Meatless Monday for more information.
  4. Homemade Cleaning Products. Making your own cleaners is super easy and very effective. A solution of half vinegar and half water is an all natural disinfectant that can replace conventional disinfectants.
  5. Cloth Diapers. If your baby is in diapers consider switching to cloth diapers. There are less toxic chemicals exposed to the baby’s skin and they are better for the environment. Check out the Real Diaper Association for more information.
  6. Save Energy. Turn the lights off when you’re not using them. Also, when the light bulbs in your house need replaced, choose the energy efficient ones.
  7. Reusable Shopping Bags. Reusable shopping bags are a great way to save trees and avoid plastic. I have decided to just buy a few bags each time I go to the store, until I get enough to completely sack all my groceries in them. This way I don’t have to spend money all at once on bags.
  8. Read Labels. Try and not purchase processed foods. This can be hard for some families who are very busy, so read the labels and avoid high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Both are very bad for our bodies.
  9. Be Informed. There are many things in our products that we are unaware of, check your cosmetic products with the Skin Deep Database and join the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families petition for congress to have stricter regulations and guidelines for chemicals in our products.
  10. Be An Example. You don’t have to make a massive transition overnight. Show your friends and family that it is easy to make changes that are good for you and the environment, by simply taking it one step at a time. Share what you know!

Additional Resources


Join our email list for even more green living tips! And share your tips in the comments below. 

The Magic of Baking Soda and Vinegar

I have been using homemade cleaning products for almost two years now and absolutely love the switch! I am always on the hunt for new cleaning recipes, I figure why not try a new recipe and see what my favorite ends up being. My main “go-to” cleaner is the vinegar and water solution, it’s great and I use it as my grab and clean source for disinfecting.

One of my most recent discoveries is baking soda and vinegar for pots and pans. I have several older pans that show their “age” and until now have not been able to bring them back to looking like new or even barely used.

What you do is take your pan and soak it in vinegar, just plain vinegar and not diluted. Let it soak for at least an hour but the longer the better. Once you are done soaking the pan pour the vinegar out and sprinkle baking soda on the pan and start scrubbing. This really doesn’t take much scrubbing either before you start to see the “yuck” slide right off. After that you simply rinse and look at your back to new pot or pan! I was absolutely amazed at how well this worked and there was no harsh chemicals involved which makes me extremely happy!


Photo credits: the.barb


About the Author

 

Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.

 

Homemade Non-toxic Finger Paints

20120224-234859.jpgWhat child doesn’t like to paint? Better yet, what child doesn’t love to finger paint? It’s not very often that kids don’t like getting messy and using their hands to paint fun and creative pictures for the refrigerator.

As a mom I am constantly wanting to make sure that the products we use are safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. There are more and more choices for these types of items on the market, for instance Crayola has washable non-toxic finger paints, it comes with four 5 oz. tubes. This is a great option for many families. Another great option is homemade non-toxic finger paints. This idea can seem a little intimidating at first and there are so many recipes out there that it can be hard to know which ones to use.

This is easiest recipe I have found.


Ingredients

  • Water
  • Flour
  • Food coloring

Directions

Just pour some flour into a bowl and then pour enough cold water to make a very thick paste. After that, add hot water until you reach the consistency you want and add the food coloring. Let cool for a few minutes before painting. It took less than five minutes to make and works great. Make only enough for the current project because they do not keep well, but with as quick and easy as it is to make it takes no time before you are finger painting another masterpiece!

 

*Editors Note: We do not endorse Crayola finger paints as we are unsure of the ingredients. They are likely safer than many options but still use with caution. We recommend always looking for products that disclose all ingredients to be sure of their safety. We also recommend for this recipe using natural food based food coloring like the ones found at the Natural Candy Store*


About the Author

 

Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.

 



Eco-friendly Products at your Door

We all know the actress Jessica Alba, but you may be unaware of her latest efforts regarding all things green. She is a spokes person for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. And she has now partnered with Christopher Gavigan and together they have launched a new company, The Honest Company.

It is a company based on giving our children and our families the products that are safest, natural and healthy. I know for myself that this is a big concern, that is why I won’t use a lot of conventional products such as standard disposable diapers. Cloth diapering is a great way to be eco-friendly and avoid harsh chemicals along with being economical. For some, the idea of cloth makes them a little squeamish, but the natural and biodegradable diapers on the market are very expensive.

The Honest Company has kept this in mind when making all of their products. They have everything from diapers, baby wipes, soaps/shampoos, laundry detergent and even dish detergent that are all eco-friendly and at lower costs than many other similar products. They offer a free months trial of their products to first time customers so it is a great way to test out their products first hand!



About the Author

 

Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.

 

Tips for Having a Green Christmas

Christmas will be here soon. Have a green Christmas this year with this easy tips. 

Tips for a Green Christmas, Eco-Friendly Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner. It’s a busy time and often stressful time for many people. The meaning behind all the shopping, gift exchanges, travels, and meals is wonderful, but did you ever stop to think about the impact that it has on our environment?

Between Thanksgiving and New Years household waste increases by more than 25%! That waste is coming from food, shopping bags (non- reusable), wrapping paper/gift bags, and all of the accessories that come with gift wrapping (such as bows and ribbons). I never realized just how much waste the holiday season can create. Here are a few simple ideas on what you can do to reduce the waste this Christmas.

Tips for a Green Christmas

  1. While shopping, be sure to use reusable shopping bags.
  2. Waste less food. Everyone loves good leftovers the following day, but try and not be excessive because what you don’t eat will eventually spoil and be wasted.
  3. Reuse tissue paper and gift bags. I save all gift bags and tissue paper I get and reuse them. Once you start saving the bags you build up a good collection so there are always bags for any occasion on hand.
  4. Use green wrapping paper. If you are not a fan of gift bags there are always other green options with wrapping paper such as recycled wrapping paper, using fabric, or using part of the gift (like a scarf) to wrap. Take your pick!
  5. Carpool when possible. If you are traveling and there is a way, try carpooling to reduce the number of cars on the road. Not only will this help the environment it will also help with the holiday traffic!

Hope these simple tips will help you be more green this Christmas!

Tips for a Green Christmas, Eco-Friendly Christmas

Want to do more to reduce waste this Christmas? Read these 10 tips for reducing waste during Christmas

Popular Baby Shampoo Contains Hazardous Chemicals

Raising children in the world today brings about more concerns than it used to. We are finding more and more products that are made with hazardous chemicals. Which products are safe to use and which will cause harm. It can be an overwhelming picture.

Many new parents receive a common gift at baby showers, baby shampoo and bubble bath. Every baby needs to be clean and that sweet smell of the bubble bath will do the job, right? What many parents do not realize is that the most commonly given baby shampoo and bubble bath contains known carcinogens.

Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo contains two carcinogens—formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane—that were not listed on labels. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has actually been trying since March of 2009 to have the company remove these ingredients from their products. The company has come out with a “natural” product that does not contain any known carcinogens. However, the “natural” formula costs more than the original formula, which still contains the harmful chemicals and is still on the shelves.


The problem with this is that many families are still purchasing the original formula because of the cost factor and because it has been around for years and being the original shampoo people feel that it can be “trusted,” but apparently that is not the case. Johnson and Johnson made a statement on Oct. 31 2011, stating that they plan to phase out formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from it’s baby products worldwide. This will be a great relief to parents!

Editors Note: Click here for a few alternative baby care products. The Soap For Goodness Sake product is a locally made product!


About the Author

 

Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.

 
Photo credits: Chesi – Fotos CC


Toxic Purses

We are aware of the dangers of lead in paint, but did you know that the dangers of lead do not just stop there? Now they are finding traces of lead in purses, handbags and wallets!

This was a big shocker for me. One of the big reasons it was such so shocking is that ever since my teen years I had a purse collection like many women. My closest was filled with all kinds of purses; sparkles, shiny, faux leather, canvas and pretty much any kind you can think of. Naturally, after I heard about lead purses I was concerned.

The Center for Environmental Health pulled purses from over 100 retailers to test for lead. They pulled from all different retailers, including Target and Wal-Mart, a place many of us shop for the affordability. The results were scary. They found that some purses had 30 to 100 times more lead than what is allowed for all children’s items.


The purses that held the most concern were faux leather purses. The lead is used to bring shine and make the color last and unfortunately these are the purses that seem to always be in style. The big thing to realize with these purses is not simply that they contain lead, it’s that the lead rubs off onto our hands, clothes, and items inside. This means that we are likely ingesting lead periodically during the day.

So the question is whether or not a cheap handbag is truly worth the cost it has on our bodies. I have cleaned my closet out, I will not carry a purse that poses a risk. Now it’s time for all of us to not only get rid of these toxic handbags, but to also tell others. There are many women walking the streets with one of these handbags on their shoulders and they have no idea. If you are concerned whether your purse contains lead the Center for Environmental Health offers free lead testing.

*Editor’s note: The faux leather is almost always made from PVC. Almost all PVC contains lead to stabilize it. To avoid lead look for purses that are PVC-free. You can buy real leather but there are concerns about other heavy metals in leather due to the tanning process and some also have ethical reasons for not buying leather. We recommend looking at Etsy.com for a handmade purse made from fabric. *


About the Author

 

Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.

 
Photo credits: Clean Wal-Mart