With Earth Day 2011 right around the corner Busy Mommy Media and I have teamed up to bring you “6 Little Green Steps” you can do to make a difference in your home, your community, your budget, travel, health and the baby nursery! It isn’t impossible to live a greener lifestyle when you realize that there are simple things you can do every day and that going green is not a competition!
For me, going green at home was the most important thing I could do. My daughter was a baby and was diagnosed with asthma and this is when I realized I needed to green my home and look at how I was cleaning, what I was using every day and how I could make simple changes to have a healthier safer home.
1. Research. This doesn’t mean go overboard and kill yourself reading books, articles and breaking Google search. Find out what is in your cleaners and household products using the Household Products data base.
2. Avoid products that contain*:
- 2-butoxyethanol (or ethylene glycol monobutyl ether) and other glycol ethers
- Alkylphenol ethoxylates (some common ones are: nonyl- and octylphenol ethoxylates, or non- and octoxynols)
- Dye (companies often hide chemical information behind this word; when it’s unknown, it’s safer to skip it)
- Ethanolamines (common ones to look out for are: mono-, di-, and tri-ethanolamine)
- Pine or citrus oil (on smoggy or high ozone days, compounds in the oils can react with ozone in the air to form the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde)
- Quaternary ammonium compounds (look out for these: alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC), benzalkonium chloride, and didecyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride)
*This list was compiled by the Environmental Working Group.
3. Start Somewhere. So you have a lot of products that contain terrible, horrible, scary ingredients and you might be freaking out! Don’t! Take a deep breath and next time you go to the store and you need a new household cleaner replace it with a safer, eco-friendly option. Before you know it you’ll have a cabinet full of safer, greener options that are good for your home and the environment. Some of my favorite include ecoStore USA, Method and Seventh Generation!
4. Take Off Your Shoes. A simple way to not spend money but make your household safer, greener and healthier! Oh and save you time from cleaning! When you take your shoes off at the door you leave the outdoor junk at the door too! The lawn pesticides, lead, dirt, and who knows what else! Did you know that 85% of yucky stuff is carried in on clothing, shoes and pets? Practically Green has a great article on this for more information.
5. Open the Window. Yes, you can go green just by opening your windows –we’ll if you ditch your fragrance air fresheners that are usually containing nasty ingredients! The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air pollution is higher than outdoor air pollution. So let in some fresh air!
6. Saving Water, Recycling and Leading by Example. I wanted my kids to see our home was a green place to live and this meant I needed to show them each day how to save water, energy and lead by example. Shutting off the water when I brush my teeth, giving the children the job of shutting off the lights when we leave in the morning, asking the kids to help me recycle and catching each other doing “green “things” like shutting the door behind us or taking off our shoes!
It comes down to having fun and not making going green in your home a chore but a fun way of life that is good for everyone that lives with you and future generations. Even becoming inspired by sites like One Million Acts of Green for daily ideas can be helpful in staying motivated and finding new ways to green your home environment! Whether you clean green today, recycle tomorrow or in act a firm no shoes in the house rule – you can do something that makes a difference and I promise you’ll have fun doing it!
For more green tips and ideas on going green visit, Sommer Poquette over at Green and Clean Mom. Her blog that makes living green fun and achievable! Join her over on Facebook and Twitter and check out her new My Mommy is a Blogger children’s book debuting the spring of 2011!