Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day. I've been encouraging the kids to participate this week by having them wear 'green tee-shirts' all week. While I will admit to not being crazy about Wal-Mart clothes, I was loving the organic Earth Day tees for $4. How fun! So, I'll admit to buying a few of those, and the kids really seem to like them.

It was maybe a little over a year ago that I started trying to be more green. Since I began on this quest nearly everything around my house has changed. We recycle. I usually have two full bins every week. Indeed, sadly we could recycle more if we had more room. Our community accepts one bin per residence, my extra is courtesy of a neighbor that isn't interested, but was kind enough to let us use her bin.

The next change I made was in the form of body care products. Costco happened to have an earth friendly shampoo on the cheap, as in cheaper than the conventional I tried it and liked it. Then they added shower gels, lotions, and scrubs by the same company for drastically less than I had been paying for my Bath & Body favorites. I was hooked. Our toiletries went officially green.

Cleaning products were harder to switch out. I had been using the same brands since I moved out of my parent's house. Which in turn were the same products my mom used. After an arduous process of trial and error, I have finally found products that work well and are better for our families and Mother Earth. I am going to share for anyone interested, what I like, and what I switched from at the end of this post.

When TLL was born, I was all too happy to go green with her as well. I found that Similac makes an awesome organic baby formula with all of the extra goodies but none(ish) of the extra chemicals. I also found that Babies R Us and Wal-Mart carry great organic clothing and bedding for babies. I watch the sales and my coupons, and I think I do a good job. Last trip, I bought just about an entire organic wardrobe for TLL for $60. *The really cool thing about this is, if I resell to a baby consignment type store...I tend to get more money for the clothes than what I originally spent.* I will cheerfully admit that I don't know if TLL's skin is just more resilient than the rest of my children's skin, but, I haven't had any of the little rash issues with her that I did with my others.

There are big failures too. 'Green' diapers didn't work for us. They aren't as absorbent, so we were using twice as many. The wipes are fine, but, when I can get 1000 wipes from Costco that are of the premium conventional variety, for $20, I can't justify only getting 250 wipes for the same amount of money. Paper towels are an addiction for me. I love my Bounty, and I have not found an eco friendly alternative in any price range. Toilet paper. I was happy with the Seventh Generation brand, or the Whole Foods brand, but, the kids rioted for Charmin. They won. Make-up is something I really haven't experimented with yet. When all is said and done, I am proud of both how far we have come and how much better I feel about what I am doing for my family.

Happy Earth Day!
  • Shampoo----------> Giovanni and Shikai products

  • Bath & Body Works lotions, gels, and scrubs--------->Giovanni

  • Tide detergent----------->Ecos (way cheaper too)

  • Shout stain remover------->Ecover stain remover

  • Clorox bleach---------->Ecover 'bleach' powder

  • Clorox II color safe bleach----------->Hydrogen peroxide (this is a money saver too)

  • Bounce dryer sheets---------->Method 'wet' dryer sheets (the conventional stuff has animal fats in it, which all though I am by no means Vegan, I find icky)

  • Lysol floor cleaner----------->Ecover or GreenWorks

  • 409 surface spray------------>Seventh Generation or GreenWorks

  • Windex glass cleaner------------->GreenWorks

  • Palmolive dish soap--------------->Ecover

  • Cascade automatic dishwasher tabs------------->Ecover automatic dishwasher tablets

  • Huggies brand baby soaps/lotions/etc----------->method baby

  • baby bedding------------------->Gerber organics

  • baby clothes-------------------->Koala brand organic

  • Air freshener------------------->method

  • Antibacterial hand soap----------------->CleanWell

  • Hand sanitizer-------------------->CleanWell

  • sponges---------------->twist

...and that's all folks.


  1. Isn't it sad that the community only let's you have one bin. We only have one as well, but it's huge can and I rarely fill it. Do you feel you spend about the same on the "green" products? I need to start getting better. At least my dh has gotten better at recycling.

  2. I spend a little more on cleaning products than I used to. I am a sale watcher though, so for instance, I won't pay $5.29 for Seventh Generation kitchen cleaner, so I wait until it goes on sale for $3.99. Then I print out $1.00 off coupons. If the stars don't align themselves correctly, I buy the GreenWorks stuff, which is a Clorox product and priced as such.

    I can do it on a conservative budget, but, it does take time and planning. It was NOT something I did when I was still working. I would much rather play with the kids than read sale ads. Now, as my brain cells turn to mush, I can do both.

  3. I like the Greenworks products as well. We also switched to a push-mower, which is super cool when my hubby is mowing. Not so much when it falls to me! I got a heck of a work-out yesterday.