You already probably know that Sherry and I do our best to make green decisions around Casa Petersik, but we actually approach the whole eco-friendly issue from two different places. Which means that we don’t always see eye to eye on the lengths that we’ll go to be green.
Sherry’s interest in being green comes from a health & safety standpoint. That usually means limiting unnatural chemicals around our house, on our bodies, and in our food whenever possible. She’s the driving force behind things like filtering our water, gradually shifting into organic food, switching plastic tupperware for glass, cooking with Greenware instead of Teflon, and trading our personal care and cleaning products for their more natural alternatives (we use Tom’s of Maine, Dr. Bronner’s, and Mrs. Meyer’s to name a few).
I, on the other hand, come from a place of energy and waste conservation with my green ideas. Perhaps because my dad, a retiree from the U.S. Department of Energy, has been a big influence on me (which is why an elementary school project of mine featured solar panels and a family vacation once included a stop at a wind farm). So beyond being the nag about turning off lights when we leave a room or turning off the water while brushing, I’m also the reason that we have a rain barrel, a compost bin, and a dual-flush toilet here at Casa Petersik.
Of course neither approach is more or less valid than the other, because we both agree that each has merit (and together they have some pretty nice overlap). But it does cause some sticking points here and there. For instance, despite Sherry’s warnings, I’ve yet to go cold turkey on the “refuse those BPA-laced register receipts” tip because I just find myself being awkward with checkout people. And I’m awkward enough as it is. So after a bit of debate (and many promises of hand-washing on my end), she decided to go easy on me for this one. Gotta love my flexible and understanding lady-wife.
And if it were up to me, we’d have two more rain barrels in the front of our house too. But when Sherry delicately pointed out that the neighbors probably wouldn’t appreciate that aesthetic (and neither would she) I conceded that we didn’t need to line the entire perimeter of our home with giant plastic rain-catchers. If I lived in a dream world we’d also bike more of our errands – but alas, our narrow roads don’t make this very safe (or even very possible) so I’m glad Sherry tamed my inner risk taker on this one.
Clearly, being green around here involves a fair amount of compromise. Just like all aspects of marriage now that I think about it. The bottom line: I respect her reasoning, she respects mine, and we both do our best to be supportive of the other. So even if it’s not a decision that we’d make for ourselves, we’re happy to put in the effort for our other half if it makes them happy. For example, I’ve been willing to use natural deodorant, as long as Sherry’s been willing to put up with me smelling a bit less fresh after working in the yard. And she’s willing to walk our food scraps out to the compost bin even though the garbage can in the kitchen is a few hundred feet closer- just because composting puts a smile on my face. In the end we figure we’re better off having two sometimes-opposing viewpoints because it actually helps us to embrace more green practices in total. We like to think of it as some sort of wide-range eco approach – you know, like a venn diagram with two overlapping circles.
But enough about us. What goes on in your household? Does one of you push the green envelope more than the other? Or for differing reasons? Tell us all about it. And if you want to witness another couple coming to terms with being green together, we recommend a documentary that we watched called No Impact Man. Let’s just say it raises the be-green bar (and involves a husband telling his wife that she can’t use toilet paper). I don’t think Sherry and I are there yet…
Psst- No Impact Man image from here.
liz @ bon temps beignet says
We’ve recently gone to washable hand towels and hid the last roll of paper towels from sight so that we only use it in an mess emergency.
I’m just happy that I don’t have to buy and store a huge package of paper towels to satisfy our old 1 roll per week habit.
You and Sherry have caused me to be a little more “green” about cleaning products and such. I like the way the two of you approach it very rationally. So…keep the tips coming :)
So far I’ve switched to 7th generation laundry detergent and to Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap. Very small changes, but changes nonetheless. I’m gradually easing into organic food a little bit, but it is so expensive where I live!
One of my professors said once that if you don’t use the energy, someone else will. I never put it in that perspective before, but it makes complete sense. Even if I don’t put 10 gallons of gas in my car and ride my bike to work instead, that 10 gallons of gas isn’t necessarily saved. Someone else will be fueling up their vehicle just as I decide not to do my own.
So, having said that, my husband and I choose to be repsonsible with our energy consumption. If we can open the windows instead of running the A/C and be comfortable or use our fabric grocery bags instead of the plastic ones, we do. However, we don’t focus largely on things that would inconvenience our lives as typically it would not be a large savings of energy or resources. We do use the low energy lightbulbs and our potty uses about a gallon of water per flush.
I think as we grow older and as we become parents we may make other decisions as well, but for now, these work for us just fine!
Dr. Bronners is on sale at my Target this week. $9.99 I think? (I’m in New England.)
Excellent post. That movie looks interesting. I’ve heard of the no toilet paper thing. I am not ready to give up on certain luxuries. :-)
I push the green envelope more in our family, from sort of a health/enviromental impact stance. I’ve been easing my husband into healthier/organic foods, more natural cleaning products, reusable bags, BPA free water bottles, and the idea of composting. We recycle any bags that aren’t reusable, as well as bottles and cans, etc. I also turn lights off after him, and itch to turn the water off while he’s shaving. I haven’t played the rain barrel card yet, but we did make a “if we have to go to the grocery store, wouldn’t it be better to bike since it’s only about 3 miles away (if we go the long way to get better exercise while helping the planet)?” rule.
Sometimes we forget or can’t make choices as green as we’d like, but we’re trying to do what we can to make a difference.
I loved that movie! Could not do everything he did but I appreciated his efforts. I am trying to do more reuse to them hopefully elimate the need to recycle so much. Personal water bottles, limiting ziploc for lunches. I have those premium rubbermaid containers- love them! Glass would be ideal but with two boys- one 5 and the other 2- glass everything is a little daunting!
Our 5 year old’s chore is to take out the recycling which we collect in the kitchen–he he knows how to sort plastic, paper, etc. It is pretty cute watching him do it.
Jessica @ How Sweet says
I am much more green than my husband. He doesn’t understand it and doesn’t care to hear about it. It drives me bonkers!
My husband and I are similar to you two. It’s been a growing experience for sure, but a fun one at the same time. It’s almost like a challenge to see what from your lives you make better.
On a side note… we went to Wal-Mart the other day and they printed the receipt on two sides instead of one. While the receipt still has toxins…it’s less paper being used! Plus, you almost always need to keep your receipt from Wal-mart for easier returns!
Mrs. Money says
I think it’s hard to balance your reasons for being green sometimes. And with the news shouting things like global warming, it can also be scary. I think the most important point is that you are doing something. We all need to do something. I give you guys a hand for living green! I think you are role models to many, and that’s fabulous. :)
I’m really into green. I actually don’t mind paying a litte bit more for some products that are eco-friendly or made from recycled products. Especially when it comes to household products, cause we have 5 animals and one day children and I want us all to be healthy and happy. My husband on the other hand it a little harder to be convinced. I hope one day we will be on the same page.
John, we also toured a hydro-electric dam on a family vacation!
As first time home buyers and less than two months have passed since we moved into our casa. Time has flown. Before we moved in I had all of these really great ideas and plans of organic eating, natural cleaning products, compost, recycle, etc.. but then we moved in. I’ve been finding it difficult to find the time/energy among renos and cleaning to put significant effort into these mentioned green projects. I cringe everytime I use a paper towel and throw it out. I really want to have a more eco friendly home. Its a lot more work as you probably already know. But its so important for health (sherry) and the planet (john).
Hopefully I find my green groove soon!
I think that we are very much like you and Sherry. I am more into the food and products where Eric is more into the insulating and re-purposing. But, we both are committed and that committment goes together nicely.
Next project:rain barrel
Love this post! I’m slowly starting to make greener changes. More like Sherry, from a health and safety standpoint.
This is a random question but since you mentioned it… Do you have a brand of natural deoderant you would recommend? I am really allergic to anti-perspirant! It’s strange, I’m thinking it might be te aluminum in it. Plus I heard antiperspirant is bad for your health. Thanks!
Yup, we love aluminum free Tom’s Of Maine deodorant (which can be found at Target). We also love their toothpaste!
Mallory @ R. Simple Life says
John, I’m more on your “side” of being green, but I have to admit, after moving to Colorado 3 years ago, I like both of your greeny-ness. Sounds like you guys could benefit from a town like Fort Collins (where I live); we have bike lanes on almost every single road! People in cars drive like they’re on bikes, since most of them also bike! We bike everywhere, as long as we don’t have to lug anything back. I love it. Yay for green living!
I just started reading your blog and I love it! My husband and I would both consider ourselves “Green” but definitely see it from different perspectives. While we both value living in a walkable/bikeable neighborhood and using transit, its been a little difficult to to convince him that spending a tad bit more money on eco-friendly house cleaning products, recycled paper products, organic & local food, etc. is justifiable. But we are compromising and we even have a rain barrel and compost bin now too!
Snickrsnack Katie says
Great, so now I am all worried about cash register receipts. It seems there is something toxic EVERYWHERE! Ack!
I am also making a lot of green changes. I have a compost bin that I made courtesy of your website, and I am about to create a rain barrel. I also recycle everything I possibly can and enjoy seeing how little trash we need to put out on a weekly basis. Being green is fun!
Are you considering solar panels on your roof at all?
We haven’t looked into solar panels but from our understanding our area is too shaded to make them worthwhile. Hope that helps.
@Kari – I think you professor was full of it and probably had a big part of his retirement invested in oil futures! As evidenced a couple of summers ago when the price of gas sky rocketed. A lot of people cut back. The oil companies felt it and it was reported. So his theory? BS. For me, I do believe that one person can make a difference, even if that difference is teeny tiny.
LOVE me some organic Fair Trade Dr. Bronners!
What about decorative rain barrels for out front? If I had land, I would so have lots of rain barrels!!
Good for Sherry for refusing the BPA laden credit card receipts, but regardless of who puts them in the trash, you know where they end up? In recycled toilet paper!!
So….. going “no tp” might not be so freaky!
FYI, my casa is no TP and it’s fantastic. Some people refer to tp as a “luxury” that they aren’t willing to give up. Let me just say, that’s like saying you want gravel in your salad for “crunch”!
I have a Toto dual flush toilet, a washlet (a toilet seat with a “washer” built in) and I bought amazingly soft hemp cloth wipes from Etsy.
Now, THAT is a luxury I am soooo not willing to give up.
Wow- that doesn’t sound half bad!
Tiffany S. says
This is a great post. I had no idea about the toxic receipts! I have come around to putting ONE of our rain barrels in full view. Maybe I’ll even come around to solar panels on the front roof, but I’m not quite there yet (nor can we afford them). I think like anything, you can take baby steps toward something that you thought you’d never consider – especially when there’s a greater good at stake.
PS. At the garden show, I saw a rain barrel with a laser cut ginko leaf metal plate wrapped around it. It was GORGEOUS. I can send a picture. The same effect would be super easy to duplicate with a stencil and paint. You know, in your spare time.
Eek! I love this post and love being green! My motives are primarily driven from a money-saving standpoint. I’ve done my best to eliminate as many disposables as possible. Cut up tshirts are great for wiping up spills, rags for cleaning instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, and it’s funny because just today (!) I started using ‘family cloth’ which is the nicer term for reusable toilet paper. Right now, I’m only ready for part-time use, if you know what I mean. But I’m super excited about it!
My other ‘green’ movements have included homemade cleaners, and homemade deodorant, which totally rocks. Another one of my favorites is shopping at second-hand stores. Why buy new clothes if I can wear what is already in the cycle, so to speak. It’s one less way to contribute to the crazy consumerism of this day.
Honestly, I think it’s all about a gradual shift of your mindset when it comes to being green. At least that’s what I’ve found. It doesn’t come all at once, and no one should expect it to. After all, I’m not sure anyone can ever be 100% green *grin*
Jane @ The Borrowed Abode says
I saw the No Impact Man a few months ago, and it sure was interesting. Parts were inspiring…but for now I think I’ll continue to use a conventional clothes washer.
My biggest energy-saving effort comes in the form of reduced heating and cooling in the house. Last winter I saved about 80% on my energy bill by barely using the very inefficient and ineffective heaters in my condo – it was cold, and I just bundled up. Now that we’ve moved to a house, I’ve continued my energy-saving attempt. . . but my boyfriend isn’t a huge fan. This summer I’ve only used the central A/C three times, and we live in northern VA where it’s pretty warm already.
Frankly, I just don’t see the point in wasting all that energy or money to cool an entire house when we’re only using one room of it most of the time.
Kudos to both of you for all of your efforts! Every little bit we do helps. Like another person commented, as long as we are all doing something, it makes a difference! One thing I have found that works for us is to pick one “green” initiative at a time and stick to it until it becomes a habit, and then add another, one at a time. We currently recycle everything we possibly can (paper, aluminum, glass, plastic, etc.), we buy organic fruits and vegetables, and we just started composting. I also try to re-use as many things as possible. My next step is ridding our house of all paper napkins and paper towels and switching to cloth! Keep up the inspiring posts and great tips!
We recycle just about everything we can, which includes taking our aluminum cans to a private recycling company for cash about once a year. We use CFL bulbs, biodegrable doggie waste bags, and either decline a bag or use reusable shopping bags at the stores.
When I say we, I mostly mean I. I’m struggling to get my husband on board with green efforts. I recently mentioned the desire to replace all our chemical laden cleaning products with a few green ones and he just about had a conniption! I’m not giving up!
Does anyone know of a good source for reusable shopping bags that aren’t branded with a store name? As much as I love my Target ones, I’d prefer the option not to advertise for them everywhere I go!
We LOVE these: https://www.younghouselove.com/lets-talk-about-sax-baby/
Snickrsnack Katie says
You know, I just realized, after reading your how-to on rain barrels – that you need to have a gutter on your house. For some reason, the area where I live in Houston (an older neighborhood) none of the houses have rain gutters. It seems insane, and it is! Is there a way for me to create a rain barrel without a gutter? Do I just set it under roof, hoping that the water fills it up? This is probably a totally stupid question. I want a rain barrel!
Good question Katie! Anyone have any ideas for a gutterless rain barrel?
Krista D. says
My husband and I are both VERY green – he moreso than I. About 5 years ago, we switched to an all-natural (not necessarily organic) diet, and he lost 75 lbs! He went a step further and switched to all-natural personal hygiene products, but I haven’t been able to make that step. I still love my Pantene! I also haven’t been able to make the leap to natural laundry soap – I’ve heard differing opinions on how they work. But, I do line dry my clothes when I can!
But, I have conceded in other areas. In December, we installed 8kw of solar panels on our roof. Initially I wasn’t excited about how horrible they’d look, but luckily, our south-facing side is toward only one house and a corn field! And, the $8 electric bills (for our 2700 sq. ft. home) help. John is welcome to come to Pennsylvania to take a look anytime he likes! :) We’re looking into geo-thermal heat pumps now to eliminate most of our dependancy on propane.
My husband also drives a Civic hybrid. He tried to talk me into one, but the back seat is pretty small, and I’m the one to shuttle the two young kiddos we have around. So, I opted for a larger, but still fairly gas-friendly, Accord.
I’m currently in the middle of switching to glass storage in the kitchen. It’s always an on-going process for us!
I am definitely the green-pusher in our house. I do the grocery shopping, so the mostly local and organic food is my doing, although I recently found out he is glad we eat that way. Our condo association requires all recyclables to be separated, meaning our setup takes up most of our laundry/storage room, and he complains about it but does it. I like to conserve water and energy and all that – he is good to an extent, but gives in to the AC before I do. I’d like to buy more “used” stuff for house projects/decorating, but he is still coming around to that idea as he has weird germ issues – which is also why he has a mental block about natural cleaners. He needs those chemicals to convince himself the germs are gone!
Sherry & John,
Do you find yourselves more sensitive to chemicals and perfumes as you are living more green? My husband and I have allergies (I have skin allergies and sensitive to dust, and he has allergies & asthma), so we’ve switched out of necessity.
Also, what do you use for your laundry detergent? I use Cheer free & clear, and I may switch if there’s a better alternative. Thanks!
We love Seventh Generation detergent. Right now we’re using the unscented kind (and no fabric softener) for even less “stuff” that could irritate baby Clara. As for being more sensitive to things that we’ve phased out, I’ve actually always had an allergy to ammonia (which is in many harsh chemical cleaners and bleach) so I’m so happy about our switch!
My husband and I are similar to you guys (he’s more into the energy thing, me i’m more into the health side of things). That being said i’ve dove into the deep end of gardening this year and love that my husband is thinking about installing a 2nd (and maybe even a third) rain barrel… but our neighbour does have 2 himself.
I’ve been wanting to get a rain barrel and start composting. I don’t know why, but I have a fear of composting. I’m afraid it will smell and draw bugs and I am not sure I understand how to do the compost in the yard with the leaves and such, it seemed a little complicated from what I read. I would like to use the compost in my garden. I also worry my dog may play in it or something.
I will say I have not heard of any toxins being in the receipts, seems they are just everywhere, right?
Looks like I have some research to do :)
Thanks for the great green post!
I believe in going green for all possible reasons including that sometimes it really is the most economical choice! Sometimes it takes a little more money to make those green decisions, but I believe that it makes the world better. My husband has started to get a little greener as the days go by and he even considered working with a solar company when his background is in Military intelligence with the Army. I can’t wait till we get settled so I can use no/low VOC paint and plant a garden, and maybe install a rain barrel myself and go back to using cloth diapers on our baby. I loved Kushies! Have you two tried those? Great for days when you don’t leave the house. What diapers do you use? I have been using a combo of 7th generation, and Natural Choice and another I cant remember. (Most any that are chlorine free I dont like the texture of Nature Baby but I LOVE the concept that they are completely compostable)
We’re using cloth diapers for the long haul (which you can read about here) but since Clara is still too little for them we’ve been enjoying Seventh Generation diapers. Hope it helps!
Thanks for this post! I loved “No Impact Man”! Fortunately, I don’t think it was as extreme as you mentioned, and appreciated the fact that they were simply “trying” to see what types of things they could eliminate from their lives. I loved that the wifey, despite having to give up her shopping hobbies, starting really seeing the big picture when her pocketbook began to swell with all the cash they were saving :) Not to mention that practically-empty trash can and all the things they ended up changing in their day-to-day lives!
I have to say I’m mostly the Sherry in the camp. (Who can know if we’re 100% in alignment?) :)If switching to a healthier products benefits the environment, it is an added bonus, but not something that I consider in my decision.
I absolutely believe we need to be excellent stewards of our planet, but I am not quite as convinced we’re as bad off as the media would have us believe.
After all, these are some of the predictions from the first Earth Day 40 years ago:
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist
“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” • Sen. Gaylord Nelson
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist
Thank goodness none of these things came to pass. I guess the one thing I gather is that moderation in marketing a crisis doesn’t exactly sell. So I try to take that into consideration when I come across new “information” about environmental impact. Just because something sounds good for the planet doesn’t necessarily mean it is good.
Take Farmer’s Markets. I love them. I shop at them anytime I possibly can because the food tastes better and I believe that it is healthier (more vitamin packed) than what I can find in the grocery store. But it isn’t necessarily greener than other alternatives. Here’s what economist Don Boudreaux had to say:
“Although foods sold at farmers’ markets are indeed grown close to the places where they are sold, these foods are also transported from farm to market in small vehicles – typically, in pick-up trucks. In contrast, foods sold in supermarkets are generally shipped from farm to market in very large vehicles, each of which moves to market multiple times more foods than is moved by pick-up trucks – each of which moves each unit of food one mile using less fuel than is used by a (much-)smaller pick-up truck to move each unit of food to a farmers’ market. Therefore, the amount of carbon used to transport, say, each tomato and each link of artisan sausage to a supermarket is likely less than is the amount of carbon emitted to transport each of these items to a farmers’ market.”
…And Mr. Boudreaux’s quote doesn’t even touch on the possible greater carbon footprint of small-scale farming.
I have never seen No Impact Man. But I wonder if he was really as “no-impact” as he thought he was being.
I think balance is absolutely key and I appreciate your mindfulness in bringing that up. After all, there are very, very extreme things that are green… like no humans living on the earth. But that’s not really want we’re going for. I hope. :)
We live in a straw bale house we built. Have energy efficient appliances . We use mostly home made cleaning products with the exception of borax and laundry/dishwashing soaps. We live in very rural state and in our area there is literally no recycling. We had it for awhile but transportation costs killed it. This is huge problem in my entire state. We live in the country so we do have to drive alot.
We are probably going to be installing solar panels ,just getting proposals from installers now. If it is something you really believe in ,don’t be put off by the cost. I didn’t learn until I talked to the installer of a grant we could get from our utilities co that would almost cover 50% of the costs.then there are federal and state tax credits you can get. THe grant was not advertised anywhere that I can find. So I would not have known of this opportunity unless I talked to an installer.
I am definitely trying to be more aware of our “greenness” than my husband. We have a 7 month old baby and I just want the best for him. I hear the argument all of the time of how we didn’t have all of these “green/organic” things growing up and we did just find. My aunts and uncles grew up in the depression era and processed food was a staple to them and they often wonder why I chose to eat or not eat the things that I do.
I just wish that I could get my husband on board with my wanting/needing to be more eco-friendly. If he could just look at it from an environmentalist stand point instead of a financial one, that would be great!! I know that sometimes it costs more to be green, but I think it is worth it in the end.
you guys have probably seen this site before. but just in case here is a website that ranks how dangerous personal products are for both the environment and for people who use them. it is a great site and it is kind of fun to look up products that you use everyday. it is kind of surprising sometimes b/c not all “organic” products are necessarily better for you. anyway, just thought i would share :)
Oh yeah, I love EWG’s cosmetics database! I look up all of our products there before we buy them!
The best part about buying a new home was that my husband and I could recycle again. When we moved from Seattle to Texas we started out in an apartment and our community did not recycle. I was so upset that I found local school sites that would recycle our paper and cardboard and saved all of our cans and found a place to recycle them too. I was the lady with a station wagon full of cardboard in the elementary school parking lot just because I couldn’t bear to throw it all away. When we were in Seattle our smallest bin was waste because we could even put food waste & pizza boxes into our yard waste bin for city composting. Oh, how I miss those days.
I am more than excited to purchase a rain barrel and my husband and I just bought an electric lawn mower on Craigslist (he refused to look at push mowers…).
For John – my brother tried several different organic deodorants and highly recommends Lavilin. You can’t find it at Target but local health and nutrition stores have it. He says it works so well he doesn’t have to apply it every day. It looks spendy but one of those little tubs lasts for quite a while.
I’m definitely in your camp John….my hubby is in no camp! We have started a compost post and even put in a rain barrel…both present for me from hubby. Funny the things that can make us happy. I’m trying some of the more natural cleaners…but they are pricey!
Loving my rain barrel…but like you want more!
Nice Article John. We’re always trying to find more ways where we can be “green” and I see some more ideas we can implement here! I see that No Impact Man is available on Netflix (tiny.cc/noimpactmannetflix), so I’ll have to check it out tonight.
I love the fact that you are doing so much to be green, whatever your motivations are! My fiance and I do what we can in our rental apartment (we’re obsessive about recycling, we use eco-friendly products and cleaners, and we use filtered water, glass containers, etc.) We’re looking forward to doing more when we buy a house. My hubby-to-be actually recently got LEED certified so he cannot wait to make our home green.
I’ve been wondering, is the Petersik Casa vegetarian? Some photos of your fridge and cabinets seem to indicate that you all may be meat free. I’m trying to eat less meat and am curious to find out if/how you all made the transition.
We’re a low meat (but not a no meat) household. It definitely saves us money (which we can put towards organic fruits and veggies) and we enjoy lots of pasta, homemade pizza, and tofu stir fry dishes… so we don’t really miss the extra meat at all.
Amy B. says
My hubs and I purchased this rain barrel from Sam’s Club last year and we have really enjoyed it. He attached a soaker hose to the outlet to slowly water areas that need it and it comes with a little valve to turn it off when it isn’t needed.
Aesthetically, its a huge improvement over the 55 gal drum approach and we actually think it looks nice sitting under our gutter on the side of the house. They have a few other pretty options too depending on your style. John, maybe Sherry will let you get more rain barrels after all :).
Great post! DH & I are more in John’s camp, although (especially) with small children we do have health concerns. But as you noted, there’s lots of overlap. (Also a lot of overlap with being frugal!).
I feel that relatively speaking we do a lot (although there are areas we could improve on). I do find it frustrating that I work hard to be environmentally conscious when everyone around me apparently couldn’t care less. For instance, I really minimize my driving (by bundling errands, walking, etc.), but so many of my neighbors pull up in huge cars a half hour before school ends to get the primo spots, then let the engines idle….Oh well. I still feel it’s important & hope more people will try–meanwhile, I’m working on more steps.
I have a couple of great product recommendations…
1. Earth Science natural deodorant. I love this deodorant and have found it to be a very effective product. Even more so than Tom’s of Maine. There are a few different scents, but I prefer the fragrance free version. Even my husband likes and uses it. If you’ve been using other natural deodorants, I recommend trying it once and seeing how it compares.
2. Terressentials Organic Bath and Body Products. I came across this company when it was featured on the Discovery show “Dirty Jobs.” What is so remarkable about this company is that their products are made from 100% Organic ingredients. Yep, every ingredient in their products is organic. I find that impressive. I’ve ordered a lot of their products and have especially enjoyed their lip balm, lavender garden body and hair wash, and their shea butter. For people looking for the ultimate in healthy body products this is the place to shop. I have never found anything more intensely organic in body care products.
Maggie Rose says
Both Ryan and I are pretty environmentally aware but we too have differing “pet” causes. He buys organic and “green” bath products, but I’m more concerned with our budget! However, I’m much more stringent about recycling paper and he’s better at washing out glass to be recycled. We don’t have a compost pile, but we do collect food scraps in a little countertop compost bucket and take them out to yard waste (in Seattle any food scrap or food-waste paper can go into the yard waste bin, even meat!). Maybe you could get something like that (it has a carbon scent filter) so Sherry didn’t have to trek outside? We agree that when we own a house we’ll look into putting in solar panels. And we’re down to one car – but luckily we agreed on that when lack of parking was an issue!
My husband and I (plus 2 kids) ride our bikes everywhere, or take public transit. I’ve never owned a car, and when people comment on how “green” we are, I tell them we’re just cheap. Seriously. Not owning a car has probably saved us $10k per year. More money for organics, CSAs and all that other not-so-cheap green stuff.
We try and do our part with small changes. I read a previous comment about if ‘we don’t use the energy, someone else will’ which is totally true BUT… at least I know that [I] am doing my part to try and help the Environment. I know that my family is doing their part… It may be a small pin-prick of changes in this large world we live in but if everyone did their small little part here and there then it would make a major impact. We all can’t think about ‘Well if I don’t do that, someone else will’ because that’s how change is never made. We have to start with ourselves.
With that said, I switched out all our cleaning products to Eco-Friendly/All Natural [Seventh Generation]. We have one can of Ant and Roach killer for the house [sugar ants are big down here in the South] and I can’t remember who makes it but it’s all natural and is made with Lemongrass oil. My shampoo and conditioner I actually started using long before I even decided to really push the ‘green’ envelope. I had a coupon for the ‘Organix’ shampoo line and it made my hair feel the best it has ever felt from any other kind of shampoo [and I have tried many over the years]… since then I have been buying that brand and luckily for me it’s made from all natural ingredients and the bottles are made from recyclable plastics. Let’s see… We use energy efficient light bulbs. Our house has a silver/metal roof which saves energy, We are turning our carport into a Garage and are using ‘Hardiplank’ for the siding, which is an environmentally friendly siding material. I never buy water/water bottles. I have a BPA Free 32oz water bottle that I carry everywhere with me and just fill it with the water from our Fridge. We have a veggie garden growing in the backyard and we are currently in the process of turning our inground pool into a salt water pool [we’re just researching what the best salt generators for a 36K gallon pool would be] SOOOOO if anyone knows anything about Salt Water Pool generators please let me know. There are so many out there!
Interesting post on the green issue. I am very “green”, vegan, recycling nut, only buy organic, local when possible, avoid products with a lot of packaging.
My issue with the commercialized green movement is that it often involves consuming NEW green products. Really, the best way to go green is to reduce what you buy, and buy what you need used.
I think this could really apply to home design…there is a TON of furniture waiting to be refinished and repurposed. Saves money and the environment.
Tar Paper Crane says
Great post! Nice to read the different takes on the same subject. What is good for the earth is good for our health too, so really, you agree!
Would you believe I was once married to a man who was so bent on being the greenest person he knew that he insisted that composting human fecal material was a brilliant idea and wouldn’t let me use the air conditioning in 100+ degree heat indices? I was always pretty environmentally conscious, but he really pushed the green envelope, so to speak. Compromise was obviously not in his vocabulary, and he decided many of his extreme changes after we were wed. See what can happen when you marry too young? It’s so nice to see two people who can compromise and enjoy the benefits of green living without making the other uncomfortable. Kudos to you. Just thought I would share an extreme example of green-gone-wrong, no pity seeking here. I am now married to a wonderful man, and I could not ask for more. Life has a way of working out ;o)