Simple Steps to Go Green!

So, are you wrapped up in trying to follow through on your New Year's Resolutions or are you getting ready for Spring cleaning, hoping it will usher in warner weather? Are you cleaning up and clearing out, organizing and simplifying? Or, are you just trying to make it one day at a time, regardless of what day it is or what year it is? Either way, one simple change you can make is to choose one thing in your home or lifestyle that could use a little greening. By greening I simply mean choosing a safer, greener, more sustainable option. It is not easy to change everything all at once. People ask me all the time if we have always lived in a sustainable manner, if we have always eaten all organic and Non-GMO, if we have always used alternative fuels. The answer is a big NO. Each step we took to "go green" was one step at a time. And, sometimes it is as simple as picking up litter when you see it, like our kids insist on doing. They know.

If you want to choose something, though, like diet and choosing safer, healthier foods this Spring, decide on one thing you can change to the foods you buy. Maybe it is simply buying organic fruit from now on, or choosing grass-fed meats. Maybe it is choosing more whole foods, rather than processed foods, or simply taking out one processed food that you know is not healthy. If you already eat lots of whole foods or mostly organic, maybe try and intentionally choose Non-GMO foods, or at least choose Non-GMO corn or soy, the top culprits in today's food that are high in GMO's. Or, consider growing your own food, yes, even if you live small or travel full-time you can grow a few things in a few small pots. Whatever you choose, make sure to not get overwhelmed. If you do, you won't stick with it, who would? Taking steps toward health should be something you want to do and stick with in order to see and feel the lifelong benefits. Going green with your food isn't just about helping save the environment or sustainable farming jobs, although it does help those things. It is about being healthy, for body, mind, soul, and earth.

But, maybe you are happy with your current diet, or have taken so many steps on the food revolution that you don't need to make this one more thing to do right now. Look around your home and your day-to-day activities and see if there is one change you can make to green your lifestyle. Did you scrub the counters with Clorox Wipes and notice that bleach smell? Yes, it's clean, but not so much for your nose and the indoor air you are trying to cleanse with wiping up dirt on your counter, right? It is all connected, the counter, the dirt, the air, your nose and lungs. Yes, those toxins in a Clorox wipe are strong enough to sanitize any countertop, but they are also sanitizing your breathing capabilities. Take it from a chemically sensitive person, I have gotten migraine like headaches, watery eyes, inflamed ears, nose and throat symptoms all from sniffing one too many clorox type cleaning products in my day before I made the connection. Did you know you can buy a big ole jug of vinegar and dilute into a spray bottle with water and you will get your counters just as clean and smell just as nice and sanitize everything while saving your health. It is also more cost effective, better for the environment, and better for your indoor air quality, especially important during cold winter months when you may not be getting enough clean, fresh air into your home (depending on where your home is at the moment). You could also use baking powder or make your own handmade soaps and cleaners, but if you just want to take one step toward going green in your home, this is a great one! If you already do this, look at the other chemicals in your home and eliminate one. There is always an alternative, always! Just remember cleaning products and chemicals didn't always exist, so back when they didn't, people used other things.

If you have gone green with your food and your home, then consider what else in your everyday could be more sustainable and eco-safe not just for the environment but for your health and the health of your family. Look at your next purchase, where it comes from, who makes it, what materials it is made out of. Buy less plastic and more natural materials. Think before you buy, and if you are looking to make a bigger scale change, consider renewable energy and going solar; alternative fuels and using biodiesel or even waste vegetable oil (if you have a diesel engine); looking into new flooring, try bamboo; need a new countertop, try recycled paper. Going green saves you money, saves the environment, and saves your health, always, whether right up front or in the long run! It really is worth it! For you now and for our future! Because you, too, can go green with the Eco Womb! Stay in touch and let us know how!

-by Angela Malson, Eco Womb Mama Bear, as seen in Fulltime Families Magazine article, February 2013

Angela Malson