MegaEarthy: The Great Greening, Part 2


As explained in Part 1, I’m trying to use all-natural products and ingredients to clean my home, my body, and my family. I began in the nursery with the introduction of cloth diapers and wipes, with my own homemade wipe solution. So far, so good on that front!

My go-to diaper detergent

The laundry detergent and chemical-free dryer balls that I use for the diapers, also are working well on my regular laundry. My only issue is with the softness (or lack thereof) of my bath towels. Without any chemical softeners, they come out stiff and scratchy. . . Moving on.

BATHROOM
After researching homemade shampoo and conditioner, I elected to purchase a ready-made version. Many brands use the word “natural,” but that just means it contains something natural, not that the entire product is natural, making shopping difficult. However, after a trip to the local health-food store, I came away with products that I, so far, really enjoy. I already use a face wash that I purchased at the same store, and I love that also.

An area I am having difficulty with is cosmetics.  I would love to try Bare Minerals or something like it, but they are just too expensive.  The owner of the health food store gave me a sample of Kiss My Face’s tinted moisturizer as a foundation alternative, and I had my doubts, but I actually really like it! She also gave me a natural lip gloss, and not only does it look great, it tastes great too (honey mint)!  I have temporarily settled for some mineral make-up from Physicians Formula, though they are not exactly all-natural.  It’s the closest I could get at Rite Aid.

So many uses!

I also have had trouble finding an all-natural body wash.  The ones I was able to find at the drug store that claimed to be natural, still contained sulfates.  I decided to stick some Dr. Bronner’s in an old foaming soap dispenser that I had, since it’s quite watery.  The foaming really helps and the peppermint version I use is quite refreshing! I actually really loved a wash I had been given from ecoTools, but apparently they no longer produce it.

Also, the natural deodorants I have found aren’t that great.  They remain sticky and cause chaffing.  I’m experimenting with using a thinner layer; we shall see.

SO FAR:

A few set-backs; make-up, fabric softening, and deodorant are presenting challenges.  Dr. Bronner’s is amazing and has many uses;  I will see about getting the mild, baby version for replacing baby wash.  I’m already underway with household cleaning, but will include that in my next post.  Mostly, Dr. Bronner’s, vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.  I will just say, my house smells amazing 🙂

To be continued. . .

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MegaEarthy: 50 Shades of Green


Since I was young, I have been concerned for the environment. I even had a Greenpeace tote bag and T-shirt in Junior High. I probably felt that this meant I was “green.” Besides sorting the recycling for my mother, I’m quite sure I was not. But how much does one have to DO in order to say you’ve “gone green?” Are there different levels of greenness? When, exactly, can I say I’ve done my part and can stop feeling guilty for killing the planet?

So, how green am I, really? On the one hand, I keep my house toasty in the winter and as cool as possible in the summer. I let my car idle to warm up and while waiting to pick my kids up from school, sometimes with the air conditioning on. I buy products which are disposable, and are sold with far too much packaging. I could go on and on.

On the other hand, there are many things I do to try to be green. We recycle, and I recently put our bins where we can easily access them – they had been in a closet and I’m pretty sure I was the only one aware of their existence. I’m constantly turning off lights and TV’s (usually left on my on of my children . . . or husband). We buy local produce, when possible (which isn’t often, in our little town). I try to conserve water, whenever I can; I even purchased a high efficiency washer and dryer set. I still feel that all of these things do very little for the world; like I’m living at a low-level of greenness.

Our cutest cloth diaper, bumGenius in Lovelace ❤

A couple of months ago, I made a change that I feel ups my green level and actually makes a daily difference. I began to use cloth diapers on my baby. Now, I’m sure that I’ll be writing more about this in a later entry, but I’ll sum up for now. It makes me feel like I’m actually achieving something. After diapering my first two children in disposables, I’m proud that this child’s waste is no longer (she started in disposables) rolled up in indestructible, plastic packages, taking up space in a landfill for the next 1000 years. The amount of garbage we accumulate has gone way down, since making this change. Now, I’m still using disposable wipes (the hard-cord cloth mamas use cloth wipes!), so I’m still creating garbage in the nursery, but am feeling more green than ever! Babies tend to use 10-12 diapers a day, for the first 2-3 years of their lives. That’s a whole lot of nasty, if you ask me! It takes a small investment to start, but you save tons more, in the long run. It also takes a commitment to spend time washing and reassembling them, but it’s all worth it to make a difference in this way! However, I know that there is a lot more I can do, in my daily life, to do better.

We hold the health of the world, in our hands!

When it comes down to it, it’s the everyday decisions that matter. If you make a conscious effort to make “green” choices, then that’s the difference you make, today. I plan to ask myself, “how green can I be today?” upon waking, from now on, and to remind myself to make good choices throughout the day. There have to be at least 50 shades of green, in terms of how our daily decisions effect the health of the environment. I’m going to try, every day, to make my shade the greenest that I can.

What shade of green will YOU be today??