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Little Things I Do For the Sake of My Family's Health and the Environment

  • Mar 26, 2010
When I read @devora's and @PattyP's lists I thought it would be wrong for EcoMama not to pitch in! Our family by no means does everything we can, but we try. My biggest motivation for 'going green' (tired of that phrase) is the health of my family, which here and now is way more important than saving the Earth for me. But let's face it, if we all thought about our health and the health of others first - the Earth would be a better and cleaner place for everyone! As far as I know, we only have one planet; I intend to be a good steward of it and encourage you to be that as well! Oh, and if you think going green is expensive, you're wrong. It saves us a lot of money! To me, being green is being frugal and mindful about your every purchase. I don't advocate 'green' homes that allot 1,000 square feet of living space per resident, or any other type of 'green' luxuries. That is not green, it is wasteful.
Organic Fruits and Vegetables
"You are what you eat" is not just a cliche phrase. It really is true and I have experienced that first hand. I feel so much better physically since we've ditched processed food and pesticide laden produce. Though we do not eat everything organic, we make it a point to eat as much organic produce as possible. We avoid the 10 Conventionally Grown Fruits and Veggies With the Most Pesticides. I don't know about you, but I just don't think pesticides belong in my food. Neither does Genetic Modification.
Skin Deep website logo
Since there are no strict regulations when it comes to skin care, you have to do the regulating yourself. With the help of EWG of course. Before putting anything on my baby, my husband, or myself, I first check it on this database. If we have a choice between using something that is no doubt carcinogenic and something that is pure and healthy, why not use the good stuff?
See the full review, "Discover how toxic your skincare products are!".
I think it is very important to not just drink enough water to keep you hydrated, but to know what you are drinking. If possible it is great to test your drinking water. Our tap is really horrible (sourced from a local polluted river) , but we found a filter that works great for us and filters out most of what we don't want in our bodies. Water is my first remedy for headaches, which I rarely get. A headache is the first sign of dehydration!
Just use less!
This is really a motto that we live by. In a way we are financially forced to use less, but in many ways it is a choice we make. I think 80% of consumer purchases are wants, not necessities. We like to change that up and spend 90% on necessities and the rest on things that are nice to have. Hehe, that is if there is anything left over after paying the bills! After watching The Age of Stupid I am even more motivated to completely stop buying anything that is not a necessity and be wiser even with those things that I absolutely need to buy.
Cloth Diapers
Our grandparents were quite 'green', my parents even. Being what is now called 'Earth friendly' was the norm at one point. All of the sudden it gets a special name because this generation has become so wasteful and prefers convenience over health. We use cloth diapers a) because it is healthier for my baby (she never has rashes and her skin breathes) b) I don't want to be adding to the millions of tons of unsanitary dirty diapers in landfills c) They are easy to use and look a lot cuter! Not to mention you save a ton of money! You can check out my reviews of Fuzzi Bunz, Thirsties Fab Fitteds and Wraps, Thirsties Duo Diaper, Mother-ease, Smartipants, and Preston's Pants.
Alternative Medicine
I am not into anything mystical or into spiritually based healing. What we do practice is basic herbal remedies that my parents, my grandparents, and great grandparents have used for centuries. Things that actually work. I am surprised that many people going green completely overlook their doctor and their medications. The United States is the most medicated country in the world, and also the most sick country in the world. Any medication you take will give you a host of side effects - for which you'll need more medication. It is a never endless cycle. There are so many natural and proven ways to manage many ailments, from headaches to diabetes.
While I am not a fan of mercury in CFLs, I do still use them throughout the house for energy efficiency. We like the warmer color ones so that the house does not seem like an industrial office. Whatever you do though, please don't put CFLs in the trash! You are putting mercury in your own water that way!
anti-littering campaign
No excuse for littering. I've lived in Russia for many years, and litter is one of the things I despise about it. The streets are so dirty, people have no regard for keeping a city, town, or village clean. That has changed a little, but not much. I take my trash with me.
We just emptied our recycling closet today, yes, a whole closet just for recycling! The thing is, in just one week we have about 3 times more recyclable items than we have of un-recyclable trash. If we took up composting then we would only empty the trash once in two weeks! Honestly, I don't think recycling is something 'green', I think it is common sense. It is really easy!
Paperless E-Statements
Paper, paper, it is everywhere! This is a no-brainer. Less waste, saves time, keeps you sane!
Being a WAHM (work-at-home-mom), all the exercise I get is running after my toddler, taking walks with her, and carrying her up and down the stairs in our home. Unfortunately I don't live within walking distance of anything, but when the opportunity arises I choose to walk somewhere close rather than drive.
Reusable Shopping Bag
Funny how 20 years ago when I lived in Russia, reusable shopping bags where the norm! Nobody used plastic. I think reusable shopping bags make a lot of sense and there is no reason you should be using plastic! Now if only I could get myself to remember them every time I go food shopping!
We are not strictly vegetarian but we do limit our meat consumption. I am quite shocked at the amount of meat consumed in America, more so than any other country. Of course, mass produced meat has a lot of downfalls. Recently I reviewed a study with charts that showed a direct correlation between meat product consumption and rate of cancer and heart disease in various countries. When we do eat meat, we prefer high quality free range and organic if possible.
Public Libraries
I just love having this free access to so many books without having to have an entire room in my own house devoted to a library. Since we are homeschooling, this is an indispensable resource that we would not be able to do without! No wasting money or resources, genius!
I'm not exactly a fan of plastic storage containers, but we do use them. I try to use glass and stainless steel instead whenever possible. We never microwave in plastic containers, who knows what's leaching into your food. In fact, we don't even use a microwave, EVER. Thanks, I get enough radiation from Wi-fi, cell phone towers, and everyone who uses cell phones around me.
Trader Joe's
Not sure what we would do without Trader Joe's! It makes eating organic affordable for us. We get a few things at local markets and some non-organic produce that has low pesticide content, everything else we get at Trader Joe's. We find that we buy less, eat everything we buy, and end up spending less on groceries than when we were a family of 2 (three of us now!)
See the full review, "I should pitch a tent in this place!".
H2O-SH-CP5 Shower Head
Our water has extreme amounts of chlorine in it. Sometimes I wonder how that much is even allowed in it and what is in that water that they are trying to kill it with massive amounts of chlorine. I can smell chlorine when I wash dishes or just turn on the faucet. Our skin has gotten better since we've switched to this shower head. I'm not even going to start on all the reasons chlorine is bad for your health and the environment...
See the full review, "Chlorine free water will do wonders to your skin and hair!".
Clothes Dryer
We use this sparingly since it is an energy guzzler. Nothing like some air and sun!
Viktor Harlov
Instead of ditching your comfy worn in shoes, why not repair them and give them new life? I'm lucky my father is a cobbler, so that's a nice perk! He can repair your shoes no matter where you live by the way :) Just go to cabotresole.com!
See the full review, "Give your favorite shoes new life!".
lisa @ EWG (enviroblog) on Twitter
For the latest in environmental developments I follow EWG, they are so consistent with their reports and consumer friendly information on everything from toxins to cell phone radiation. I urge you to watch the EWG 10 Americans video if you haven't seen it yet!
The less things in a landfill, the better. If we have useful things that we no longer need we post them on craigslist for free. We don't buy clothes for our daughter (not to mention myself), we get everything passed on from friends and family. The great thing is, kids grow so fast that the clothing doesn't have time to get worn out. A lot of the things we get are nearly new. We take good care of it and then we pass it along as well!

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June 18, 2010
This is an AWESOME idea list. I try to be green and follow some of this already, but thanks for even more ideas! :) You're right about generation issues. I learned so many things from my mother and father and practice them daily (garage sale-ing, clothesline and obviously recycling) but when I have friends over and I dump something into my recycling bin or mention where I bought the cute outfit I'm wearing (ebay, garage sale), people are always shocked. I feel like I know a secret that they don't and that's sad because it's so obvious!
June 18, 2010
Thanks for the comment Jaime! Don't worry, I get the same looks! :) Like when someone comes to my house and sees cloth diapers drying on a fold out rack they say "Why don't you just put them in the dryer?" (after they get over the initial shock that we don't use disposable diapers), well I would if that was free and if it didn't shorten the life of the diapers and clothes! ;)

PS: Have you checked out the Green Living and Eco-Babyz communities? You would probably like both!
March 26, 2010
good information Nastya i agree with you 100%
March 27, 2010
Thanks Luda! :)
March 26, 2010
I think about it...
March 26, 2010
Excellent list. These are good, practical suggestions that anyone can follow to some extent. Thank you for sharing and providing your story, motivations, and resources.
March 27, 2010
You're welcome Lisa, thanks for commenting!
March 26, 2010
Wow. Fanstastic list. I love your dedication for your family. It's amazing what one family can do. Being healthy and eco-friendly are great goals. Thanks for the list. Still wish we had a Trader Joe's in Kentucky.
March 27, 2010
Thanks Clay! Yes, I am lucky to have a TJs within 30 minutes of my house!
This list was inspired by:
created a list. March 18, 2010
All the great reviews in @Clay_Miller's Green Living Community has inspired me to create this list.  I may not be the most eco-conscious person out there …
Paperless E-Statements Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) Littering Recycling Water
About the list creator
Anastasia B ()
Ranked #22
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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