Gradually Green Your Routine

Going green can be an overwhelming goal for most of us – myself included. If  you’re anything like me, you would love to instantly change your lifestyle to one of a green, clean, organized super mommy but – in my case anyway – not gonna happen(not overnight and honestly, probably not ever). To soothe my guilt though, I have started making a few simple changes and I found out by doing a little research that these little changes really DO make a big difference. Here are some very simple ways you can protect the health of your family, save money and be friendly to the Earth all at the same time:

1. According to the Environmental Working Group, these are the Top 10 produce items that have the most pesticides:
Strawberries
Bell peppers
Spinach
Cherries
Peaches
Mexican cantaloupe
Celery
Apples
Apricots
Green beans

When it comes to these foods, you can either purchase organic varieties or you can go with alternatives that have less toxins like Blueberries, Pineapple, Frozen Sweet Corn and Frozen Sweet Peas,Green peas, Mango, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes.

When purchasing Organic Grocery foods, I steer clear of junk foods and soda that are labeled organic since they still have a ton of sugar or corn syrup anyway.

Use coupons from Mambosprouts.com and check out your store brand when buying organic items to save money.

2. Bring your own shopping bags to the store – if you don’t have reusable ones yet, just bring the  bags you got from your last shopping trip. You can purchase good bags to use as shopping totes from thrift stores. I’ve gotten many reusable bags for free or almost free with store promotions and coupons.

3. Change  your light bulbs to CFL bulbs – you can purchase a few now to make sure you have them on hand, so you replace your old bulbs with Eco Friendly ones when they need changing.

4. Use cold water when washing clothes to cut down on your energy bill. Do other things to save energy(the little things your parents taught you from the time you could walk) like turning off the lights when you leave a room and turning off the water when brushing your teeth. I believe in leaving off lights in the house unless you absolutely need them. I prefer sunlight to indoor lighting. When I was living on my own, I rarely used electricity – I think my electric bills were as low as they could possibly be. I was broke and luckily loved fresh air  so I kept my windows open and curtains open in the summer and in the winter I bundled up and used one lamp – those were the days. I also made sure to turn off the water when brushing my teeth and I took quick showers(mostly because it was freezing but it kept the bills low).

5. Check the air pressure in your tires to reduce wear and tear and save gas.

6. The most important one, in my opinion, is this – cut down on red meat consumption. The shocking statistics from an article by Shasha Lyutse on the Natural Resources Defense Council blog site, gives us plenty  of incentive though to cut back on red meat: If everyone in America ate red meat two days a week less than they do now and ate poultry instead, and if they exchanged dairy-based calories for vegetable-based calories two days a week, the impact would be equivalent to taking 17 million cars off the road.

I’ve found a lot of inspiration for meatless cooking at Peasandthankyou.com – ‘MamaPea’ has so many recipes that are really yummy and she’s a busy mom so she knows how to make meals that are kid friendly and, more importantly, quick and easy!

You don’t have to change your lifestyle overnight to make a difference. Find little ways you can make a difference by evaluating your day to day lifestyle – the little things really do make a big difference!

-Bridget Brannon

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