Women have the weight of the world on their shoulders somedays. I went to see “I Don’t Know HOW She Does It” last weekend. Drug my poor hubby to see it! It’s a good thing he is okay with chick flicks! (He’s a good man!) It was a good movie, with lots of scenes I could relate to. (If you would like to read an interesting take on the working mom guilt aspect, MommyShorts wrote a great post!)

One of the early scenes that I can REALLY relate to is the LISTS! Kate can’t sleep at night because she is making lists in her head (in the movie it is funny as it looks like they are on the bedroom ceiling!) I know if I wake up at 3 or 4 am to potty, I have to MAKE myself not start thinking or the lists will start going through my head as well, and then I would NEVER get back to sleep for that last 2-3 precious hours!

Some of the things women worry about

Are we feeding our kids the right foods?

Will Johnny get into the “right” preschool?

Is that cleaner you are using in the bathroom causing Susie’s rash?

I feel really bad about all the garbage we are adding to the environment.

Is it possible to find products made here in the US?

How can I EVER get everything done?

Where to start going green

I had to take a step back and realize that while, yes, what I do DOES make a difference, for the good or the bad, I cannot change everything at once. And if we use paper plates in our family we will not cause the next Ice Age.

Just like any major changes in your life, taking small consistent baby steps is what will create lasting change and make bigger difference in the long run than haphazard attempts at doing the “right thing”.

Here are some things we have done in our family:

We cut out 95% of the processed foods in our diet. We shop mainly the perimeter of the store, hitting the produce, the meat, and the dairy. We also hit the frozen aisle, but mainly for frozen chicken and frozen vegetables. Cutting down on processed foods can have an impact on several areas of your life. You and your children will FEEL better eating more naturally. You will also have a lot less trash in your house as you won’t have all the extra packaging that comes from processed foods.

 

We try to shop local when possible. It has been easier during the summer to frequent local county farmer’s markets. Local small farmers sell their produce at these markets. Again, you are making a difference in several ways by doing this. You are getting VERY fresh produce (many pick that morning!) Whether they are organic or not, smaller farmers tend to use less chemicals all the way around, not to mention you can talk to the person who actually grew your tomatoes!  Consider looking up Community Supported Agriculture where you can buy into a share of harvest for as little as $10 or $15 a week . Many have winter crops too, so don’t think it is the wrong time of the year!

If we can’t buy local grown, we shop at our local produce stands. These folks usually go to the state farmer’s market and buy in the morning to sell. While some of the produce may be from our state, when the weather turns, they do ship from other parts of the country.

Buying local as opposed to from the big box stores is important to the economy. I try my hardest not to buy from my local supercenter. Especially for food. Studies show that for every dollar that you spend at a locally owned business, 45 cents goes back into your community. When you spend that same dollar at the big box stores, only 13 cents goes back into your local economy. I do understand there is a cost factor, and buying local can sometimes cost more. I just urge you to weigh it out and see if you can make the switch, at least in a few things.

I have also started shopping at Trader Joe’s and EarthFare and I would shop at Whole Foods if it were closer. Each of these stores has there own policy, such as no products with hormones or antibiotics, no HFCS, no genetically altered foods, etc. Check out each store to find their policies. Again, these things do cost a little more. You will need to determine what is best for your family.  You might also consider checking Amazon to see what items they may have that fit what your family needs. They have many organic, naturally processed products at decent prices, like my Oskri bars I mentioned in 10 ways to naturally boost your energy.

I like to tease my grown kids that I have really gone overboard now and I buy recycled toilet paper!  It’s not REALLY recycled toilet paper, but TP made FROM recycled paper. I realized that we are cutting down trees so we can clean ourselves and flush it down the toilet. I find that buying this makes me feel better, even if it is more expensive!

These are just a few ways to begin going green in your home.

 

What things have you done in your home to promote green, sustainable living? What are you going to try next?