Ever since I was a child I have worried about our planet. As a kid I worried about how much water was being wasted in the drippy bathroom faucet. I also worried about our planet running out of water because too many people let their faucets drip. I worried about cutting too many trees for our firewood. There were so many little concerns that gave me the worst pit in my stomach. I don’t know where these fears originated, but they were very real for me. I’m not sure it’s normal for a six year old to lose sleep over environmental concerns, but I did. I forgot about it a little in highschool, but when I got pregnant, my fears became even more alarming. I saw what we were doing to our planet and I had no idea how I was going to raise kids in a world that was falling apart and every item had so many chemicals in it. I had gotten pregnant during the beginning of the Fukushima Fallout. It set me into full on panic mode. It seemed that we were doomed. Then, I realized that is up to us as citizens of Planet Earth to do what we can on an individual level before we can accomplish anything on a global level. I have done what I can to cut my carbon foot print, and preserve my children’s place in this world. Now, I hope more people will hop on board Mother Earth Train. We only have one planet, and we only get one body. We have to protect both.
Protecting our body and our planet go hand in hand. Protecting our family is even more important. Since the birth of my daughter; I have avidly recycled, cut out most of the harmful chemicals, and tried to live a cleaner, greener life. Below I will share the tips, tricks, and products that have helped along the way. And yes…I still forget to recycle certain items. I still buy bleach for very specific needs. The thing I don’t do is bombard my house and family with the poison that is in almost all products on the market today. I don’t have it all figured out, but I try everyday, and I hope you will too. It all comes down to living mindfully. Here is a list of ways my family lives a little cleaner:
- Recycle what you can. Our state doesn’t accept a lot of recyclable items, but I make sure to recycle the ones that they do accept. I also reuse a lot of container for various purposes.
- Don’t use bleach unless you absolutely have to. I use bleach to clean mold and mildew. That’s it. Period. I don’t put it in my laundry or soak my dishes in it. One small bottle lasts me FOREVER!!! I use Apple Cider Vinegar and homemade cleaning agents for all household cleaning. I also use Apple Cider Vinegar for washing fruits and veggies.
- Use eco-friendly and family friendly soaps and detergents. I will provide a list of my household cleaning products at the end of this article.
- Use reusable sandwich and snack containers.
- Don’t use plastic wrap. There are a million other things you can do. Buy large leftover containers with lids, make or buy beeswax food wraps. You can even cover food with a clean towel if it is only for a short period.
- Women should use natural chemical free makeups. I have a whole bunch that I absolutely love! For natural mineral based makeup with no talc or mica check out http://rejuvaminerals.com
- Use natural aluminum free deodorant.
- Don’t throw your clothes in the hamper after one use. Re-wear those pair of jeans! Obviously socks and underwear are a different story, but if something doesn’t smell or look dirty, chances are you can wear it again and nobody will notice.
- Shower and wash less. I shower every 2-3 days, and only wash my hair once a week unless I have been extra sweaty…. At first this was a hard transition. My hair is naturally oily, so I came out looking pretty rough after about 3 days. Once you find the right shampoo to use once a week, and your scalp adjusts to the changes, your hair will start to feel amazing. Our bodies are really good at what they are supposed to do if we let them. So don’t over wash, because your body needs some of those oils you are washing off. You can also make your own dry shampoo to use after a couple days of not washing. And no, I don’t smell and look like a hippie. (even though my husband calls me one…so maybe I look a little hippie, but I promise I don’t smell….)
- I give my kids natural and homeopathic medicine when I can. My daughter has debilitating seasonal allergies and the only thing that has ever worked for her is a homeopathic remedy from Boiron. I will list it below.
- Make more snacks instead of buying them. I make banana bread all the time because it is cheap, super easy, and my family loves it. I make it with honey instead of sugar. We still eat packaged snacks, but you can cut back a lot by making homemade snacks.
- Pack lunches and car snacks instead of eating out. Eating out creates a lot of waste. Some days I don’t have time to pack a bag of munchies, but most days I have a big o’ bag of food with us. Especially because my children are hungry every five minutes.
- Use reusable napkins or paper towels made from bamboo. Toilet paper and tissue are great items you can source from bamboo or recycled paper.
- Use a bamboo toothbrush. They are a little more expensive than a normal tooth brush, unless you can buy in bulk, which you would have to do online.
- Just be mindful of what you are using and how you are impacting the world around you.
Those are just some of the ways that I adjusted my life to better care for my family and my Mother Earth. Currently I am waiting until we can move into a place of our own(we rent right now) so that I can have chickens, a garden, and a compost. I remember helping my mother with the chickens and the garden when I was young. I really hope I am able to give that experience to my children as well. You can always grow small herb gardens and tomatoes without a real garden. You can also have a few chickens if you have a small area for them to roam. You don’t have to live on some country acreage to have these simple things.
Cheers, and have a Mindful and Magical Day!!
Here are some of the products that we use in our house. I don’t support shopping on Amazon for all of our needs. I try to buy form local businesses as often as possible. Some items I cannot find locally, and then I source form Amazon or other online stores. I believe we need to keep our small local ma’ and pa’ shops open as long as possible. This list is to give you examples and prices of what we use in our home. Click on a picture to see prices.