Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Tan/Green about Ways to Reduce the Trash in Your Garbage Can, and I’m excited to welcome Erin from The Humbled Homemaker to Life Your Way:
Up until a few years ago, I really didn’t think much about green living. To be honest, I balked at recycling and organic eating as fads, and I chalked off natural cleaning and body care products as something only the uber rich could afford.
Fast forward to June 2008. As I held my firstborn bundle of joy in my arms, I suddenly realized I was in charge of her well-being–from the food I fed her to what I put on her body to the environment I was helping sustain (or destroy) for her future.
And in those first few weeks of her life “going green” took on new meaning. It was no longer a fad. It was a necessity if I were going to best care for my daughter.
No, I didn’t dive in all at once, but that day I began baby steps to my journey as a new mom going green.
Are you a new mom looking for some green living baby steps? Check out 7 ways new moms can go green:
I know this is easier said than done for some women. There can be challenges like mastitis, thrush, and working, but if you can breastfeed, you’ll not only be providing your baby with the most natural food possible, but you’ll be saving waste on formula containers and bottles as well as the gas it takes to get to the store to buy those items–not to mention the electricity it takes to warm up bottles!
Now, I didn’t even consider using cloth diapers with my first. Even the thought turned my stomach. But when my first was not ready to potty train when my second daughter came along, I started crunching numbers and knew diapers might very well put us in the hole! Thankfully, I had several friends using cloth diapers who convinced me that they really are no grosser than using disposables. Sure, it might take slightly more time since you have to wash them, but the savings to your wallet and good stewardship to Creation are most definitely worth it! Besides, cloth diapers are way cuter and softer than disposables! (Line drying your diapers will make this step even greener.)
When I buy baby food, I feel like I am wasting both money and packaging. Sure, I re-purpose old baby food jars, but at some point I have to recycle them, and then I feel bad for ever buying so many in the first place. Making your own baby food is very easy in a blender or food processor, and you don’t have to worry about all those excess jars!
4. Use natural care products on your baby’s skin.
With my first baby, I thought natural body wash and shampoo would be too pricey to try. Thus, I continued to use a conventional brand until my second came along. By that point, I realized the potential dangers of conventional soaps, and I was determined to avoid exposing my girls to those toxins! When my second was a few months old, I started making my own baby shampoo and wash. I also occasionally use Burt’s Bees–especially during the newborn stage.
5. Use natural care products on yourself.
The longer I’m a mom, the more I realize that taking care of myself is taking care of my girls. So in the past couple of years I’ve slowly been making the switch to natural skin and hair products. One of my favorite products to use is Mandi’s homemade deodorant. It’s super easy, and I always have the ingredients on hand! The best part? It actually works!
When I first married, I scoured the grocery store for the cheapest food I could find. But when I became a mom, I realized that cheap does not always mean quality. And many times the cheap, convenience food I purchased was detrimental to our health–and the health of the planet. Now, my family still operates on a tight budget, but I’ve learned that switching from pre-prepared convenience foods to whole foods, like simple meat-and-produce dishes has served my family’s well-being, helped preserve the environment, and still kept my pocketbook intact.
With two (and three come August!) girls under the age of four, I am keenly aware that almost anything in our house may go into their mouths at one time or another. For that reason, I like to clean with non-toxic cleaners. I now use products like Norwex cloths and Crunchy Clean’s pure oxygen, and I make my own cleaners using mostly vinegar, water, baking soda, and essential oils. My go-to all-purpose cleaner is a very easy-to-make citrus cleaner.
What are some ways you’ve gone green after becoming a mom?
Erin is a Jesus-loving, cloth diapering, natural birthing, (mostly) real-food eating, breastfeeding natural wife and mama to two little redheaded girls (with a 3rd on the way!). She writes for her local newspaper, blogs about her far-from-perfect homemaking at The Humbled Homemaker and edits eBooks at Your eBook Resource.
Ways to Reduce the Trash in Your Garbage Can