This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. Cross my heart, all opinions are 100% mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias
Happy St Patrick’s Day! Big J loves this holiday, green is his favorite color! So, let’s talk green today. What does it really mean to “live green”? It’s funny, because I don’t think there is one solid right answer to that question. There isn’t a list of things you need to check off before you can say, “Yeah, we love that we live green.” It’s more of an idea. The idea that everyone does their best to live a cleaner, less industrial-dependent life. And what that means for my family doesn’t necessarily apply to or fit your family. And that’s okay. You do your best and we’ll do ours. Would you like to know about five ways that my family lives green?
8 WAYS TO LIVE GREEN
1. Use NEW Energizer EcoAdvanced Recycled Batteries. We are a household full of toys and electronics. From TV remotes, toys, battery-operated night lights, sound machines, the flashlight on my keys, Our door lock, our baby monitors, they all have batteries. Or, at least, the option to operate on batteries, which makes these items super convenient if we travel with them. We use a fair amount of batteries. I was thrilled to be able to get these new Energizer EcoAdvanced recycled batteries at Wal-Mart.
These are the first batteries on the market made with recycled materials. They are also “Energizer’s longest lasting alkaline ever” and they hold power for up to 12 years in storage. Perfect batteries to keep in your emergency kits! Available in both AA and AAA sizes. Get more info at BringingInnovation.net.
2. Grow your own food. You won’t have to worry about pesticides and questionable growth methods. You’ll know exactly what was in the soil, how long ago your produce was harvested and there’s just something satisfying about eating food you’ve grown yourself. Don’t have a lot of space? Don’t worry, me neither. Container gardening is a great way to explore gardening without dedicating a lot of permanent space to your efforts.
3. Go Paperless. Most companies offer online billing now and many banks offer services that will send your payment automatically or remind you that it’s due. You save trees, your house will be less cluttered with papers and the landfills will have less paper sitting around waiting to decompose. It’s a win-win all the way around.
Are you a list keeper, like me? While I haven’t yet been able to give up my paper lists completely, I do use my mobile devices to keep track of things more now. It’s too easy to leave a list at home on the counter or misplace it. But it’s far less likely I will leave home without my phone or tablet or misplace it somewhere. And if I do, I can have Mr Napping call it. Can’t call a paper list…
4. Re-use old containers. Use them to help you organize. You can even reuse some containers for container gardening. We get animal crackers from Costco, partly because I love using the containers to hold my boys’ toys. They are big enough to hold all kinds of toys. It keeps us more organized and we’re reusing something that would end up in the trash (or the recycle bin).
5. Speaking of recycle bins… Use them! Recycle whenever possible. Our city offers recycling pick up to it’s residents every two weeks. Many stores will collect plastic grocery sacks and recycle them for you. You just have to drop them off at the donation box on your way in the store. Cardboard boxes, newspapers, glass bottles, plastic containers can all be recycled. Find out where the drop offs are located in your area. We don’t make a huge effort to recycle everything we can, but we do put our cans in a box under the sink instead of the trash. The box gets emptied every two weeks into the bins below. You can even turn in cans and plastic bottles for money in some places. It won’t pay your mortgage, but it’s a pretty easy way to earn a few extra bucks.
6. Re-fashion old clothes. This is one of my favorites. I had a pair of old jeans that just didn’t fit right. Somewhere between having two babies, they no longer flattered and they were not very comfortable either. Instead of just throwing them out or donating them (also a good option!) I was able to make them in to a fun skirt. I didn’t have to spend a penny and I got to add the item back to my wardrobe.
7. Make your own cleaning products. There are some powerful, family-friendly cleansers right in your cupboard. Vinegar is one of my absolute favorites to clean with. It does a great job and it’s safe for my kids. I can wash off the toys and I don’t have to worry about them licking them before they are dry. True story. That used to be an actual worry of mine. Baking soda is a great cleaner too. I use it and citric acid in my DIY toilet fizzers to keep our hard water swamp monsters at bay in the bathrooms. Hydrogen peroxide is fantastic in the laundry room.
8. Make your own bath and beauty products. I started making my own chapstick about three years ago and I haven’t bought a single tube since. I love knowing exactly what’s in it: two, or maybe three, ingredients and that’s it, and I can even pronounce them all! Except Jojoba – sometimes, that one trips me up, it’s all the “j’s”. Anyway, making your own lip balm is incredibly easy. Are ready for a little mini tutorial?
– Kitchen Scale
– Small Pot
– Small Measuring Glass (Wal-Mart has an Anchor brand measuring glass that I use and it works really well – find it in the Kitchen stuff)
– Empty chapstick tubes or other containers to hold your balm.
– Medicine Syringe or Pipette
– 0.5 oz Pure Beeswax
– 0.75 oz Coconut Oil
– 0.5 oz Jojoba Oil (this is optional, but helps extend shelf life. You can also substitute liquid Vitamin E.)
– 2-3 drops of essential oils (completely optional and it’s still awesome without them)
– Fill the small pot about a quarter full with warm water.
– Put your beeswax and oils in the measuring glass. Put the measuring glass, full of the oils and wax, in the small pot of water. Make sure NO water gets into the oils!
– Put the pot on the stove on low-med heat and let the wax melt. Watch the water level in the pot, you don’t want it to all boil away. Stir the wax and oils with a sterile plastic spoon or a wooden skewer to combine the wax and oils evenly. Let the spoon or skewer cool and test the texture of your chapstick. Just rub a little on your lips. I’ve made (literally) hundreds of tubes of lip balm and I always have to make small adjustments. If it’s softer than you like, add a little more wax. If it’s too hard, add some more coconut oil. Mr Napping likes his a little more firm because he carries them in his pocket.
– Once the wax is melted, use the syringe or pipette to transfer the melted wax into the containers you’re using to hold your balm.
– Let the wax solidify COMPLETELY before you use it! It will be HOT. Usually a couple hours is plenty, but you could wait 3-4 hours if you’re worried about it. If it cools and isn’t the texture you like, just pull it out of the tube, re-melt it and add a little more oil or wax. It’s almost difficult to mess this up. Just don’t get water in the oil.
* These quantities make approximately 12 tubes of chap stick, actual quantity depends on size of tubes and how full you fill them. I keep my extra tubes in the fridge until we’re ready for them. It helps extend shelf life. Because when you have this many tubes of chap stick, extending shelf life is a good thing.
Living green is even better when you can win $1000 in gift cards – which is exactly what you can do in the GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway. Find giveaway and details below!
GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway – $1,000 in Gift Cards
What methods of living green work for your family?