Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Green Parenting

I am just wondering if it possible to be a truly Green consumer and parent.

There is so much out there to worry about these days as parents. Unfortunately the first child is the guinea pig and the subsequent ones get the benefits of what you learned with your first. With my first I used plastic bottles and food storage containers. With this next child we are switching to all glass because of the BPA. I didn't start cloth diapering my son until 4 months; This child will likely not have a disposable touch it's bottom ever in its lifetime. I used all sorts of name brand soaps and lotions with pthalates and toxins in them on my first son; this child will only have natural or organic soaps and lotions. I used to use a name brand laundry detergent which I recently learned contains arsenic so I will be switching our laundry detergent to 7th generation. I vaccinated my first child ignorantly until he was 4 months until I learned what was in vaccines; this baby will only have selective and delayed vaccines. I still used toxic cleaning products with my son and only switched to vinegar, baking soda and grapefruit seed extract in recent months. I am still learning about off gassing and materials in the home.

There are still many changes to make in every room of our home. I am sure it will take years to completely green my home and lifestyle. I still drive a gas car and non eco friendly furniture. I still use name brand shampoo and mascara with mercury in it. I still eat imported and nonorganic foods.

The biggest deterent to green living is cost. Some changes are cheaper but organic food, clothing and linens still cost a fortune. I am wondering if it is possible for a middle income family to truly live green. Do the little changes we are making really make a difference in the environment and the health of my family?

What our family currently does:
Uses non toxic cleaning products
Shops at a local farmers market for local organic veggies and fruit
Buys organic milk
Buys wooden toys instead of plastic
Buys used if possible
Buys high quality to hopefully prevent replacement of furniture.
Drives one car
Uses cloth diapers and wipes
Gets bills online with no paper version
Uses cloth shopping bags
Wraps in reusable materials

Changes in the works:
Growing our own food
Repainting with milk paint or no VOC paint
Switching laundry detergent
Eating more organic and local foods
Turning our heat down 1 degree
Installing a clothes line
Switching to glass storage containers
Reducing takeout meals to once a month or less
Finding an organic shampoo and vegetable based soap

I will update and add to this as we make these changes.

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