Everyone has their own reasons for going green. For us, it was a combination of the health benefit, financial benefit and helping out the environment. We knew with our busy schedules that we would need to take baby steps, making a few changes here and there.
Before I get into more of the “why”, maybe I should take a step back go over a few acronyms that I will probably mention at some point in this series. Most of them you may know, but just in case! This list is also not extensive. Just Google, green language to find tons of sites with hundreds of acronyms.
Okay, now back to our topic today, why?
The earliest I remember making green choices was in graduate school. Our apartment complex didn’t recycle so I would save up all of my recycling and take it home to NJ with me when I would visit my parents. I guess to some that was going overboard but it wasn’t a hassle so I barely even noticed.
My interest in intentionally going more green started when I found out I was pregnant with my son (currently 10 months old). I was “that mom” who wanted my son to live in a safe and clean bubble. While a physical bubble is not possible, and invisible one is.
Rob and I started out the beginning of the year making some changes to the foods we ate after reading an article on Fox News (.com) called, 7 Foods You Should Never Eat. It was scary that some of the things I have been eating for years were on that list. These changes were fairly easy and it made us happy that we had actively started making changes. There is plenty more in my diet I need to change, but
I then decided to dive into our cleaning products. I knew most of the chemicals in cleaning products were bad, but I didn’t realize the extent until I read the article, Eight Ways to Ease into a Natural Home. Such a well written and easy to understand article, but damn did it scare the crap out of me!
There were three points that the author of the article brought up I feel important to mention.
– There is no federal administration to regulate what is put into household cleaners.
– Companies don’t need to disclose what is in their cleaning products.
– Cleaning products are considered hazards materials and are not accepted by the Sanitation Department
Don’t worry, I had the same feeling in the pit of my stomach you might be experiencing right now.
Last September, I shared a recipe for DIY Dishwasher Pods. We are JUST finishing up the last few pods. That was the first time I had made a cleaning product we used at home. It felt great, was cheaper that buying the pods in the store and worked just as well. Now I am pretty much addicted to DIYing all of our household cleaning agents and it has become a challenge.
When we realized that I would be staying home with our son we knew we would need to cut some corners to manage our bills and budget properly. Since we were already looking at green options, we decided to compare the prices of some of our cleaning products.
Wow, I never realized how expensive our current products were until I started looking on line and at old receipts. Since you can use the same products mixed differently and with different concentrates, you save money by needing only a few simple ingredients. Distilled white vinegar being one of the most common ingredients which you can get at Wegman’s for $2.59 a gallon.
My dishwasher pods are a great example. We do about 5 loads a week. You can buy a pack of 20 Finish pods for $3.79. That would end up being about $50 a year. Based on how long my last batch lasted, I estimate it would cost just under $20 for the year if we made our own pods.
While $30 may not seem like a lot for the year, think about the number when I factor in ALL of our cleaning supplies including laundry detergent!
Changing to green products will help out the environment with every small step we take. Using the same ingredients for multiple cleaners will limit the empty bottles I recycle (reusing is better than recycling which is better than throwing away). Using greener products will decrease the the number of chemicals we release in the air that can affect the o-zone and aquatic life.
What are some of the reasons you decided or are deciding to live a little greener?