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Green Living Green Living

Ask the Expert: Going Green Gradually

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Do you want to go green – or get greener – but you’re not sure how? Our expert is here to help!

Betsy of eco-novice.com wants to help you go green without losing your mind or spending lots of money. She'll be here all next week to answer YOUR questions and offer her best tips for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Please post your questions for Betsy in the replies below. Betsy will post her responses here as well.

Welcome and thanks for joining us, Betsy!

changing light bulb



by on Apr. 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM
Replies (21-30):
Moms_Angels1960
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM


Quoting queenmary1o1:

I want to start. I wanna start small but simple i want to make sure i can keep up with it. I would like to start off with making dish and laundry detergent

This one is soo easy you'll wonder why you haven't done it all a long. A bit pricey to start but when you don't have to go to the grocery store to get a bottle of laundry soap you'll thank yourself later. There are tons & tons of recipes for all kinds of things homemade on Pinterest or the internet.

queenmary1o1
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM
Thanks!

Quoting Moms_Angels1960:


Quoting queenmary1o1:

I want to start. I wanna start small but simple i want to make sure i can keep up with it. I would like to start off with making dish and laundry detergent

This one is soo easy you'll wonder why you haven't done it all a long. A bit pricey to start but when you don't have to go to the grocery store to get a bottle of laundry soap you'll thank yourself later. There are tons & tons of recipes for all kinds of things homemade on Pinterest or the internet.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
millermom07
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I make my own laundry soap.  I don't make my own fabric softener, but I buy the fabric softener sheets and cut them in half.  I use vinegar in the rinse cycle for my towels.  We reuse things that we can and we freecycle things.  I need to learn to make my own shampoo, body wash, etc.

ysmeine
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 6:06 PM

I make lemon, lavender, and thyme extracts to use instead of essential oils. It is not as potent, but it is inexpensive and lasts a long time. I can even cook with it if I want.

rkoloms
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 6:18 PM


Quoting AubreeLynn7:

 I have been interested in going green for the past couple years, however, when I think about it, I get overwhelmed & don't know where to start. I have it in my head that it'll be really expensive to go green. What's the best things to start with?

Make one change at a time: cloth napkins instead of paper; homemade cleaners; less meat. Living greener will actually save money!

This Is what  we use for most cleaning (initially used as part of my daughter's 6th grade science fair project). It is cheap (my favorite) and non-toxic.

1/4 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup warm tap water

1 tablespoon baking soda

10 drops of tea tree oil (antibacterial, antifungal, etc.)

2 drops oil of lavender essential oil (optional) (antiseptic and smells nice)

For extra scrubbing, I make a paste with salt, baking soda and vinegar.



rkoloms
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 6:25 PM


Quoting bhwrn1:

This is great.

What are your recommendations for someone who cannot afford to buy all organic foods and lives in a fairly suburban/urban area?

For produce, we follow the Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen fairly closely:  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/; avoid GMOs:  http://www.nongmoproject.org/ and stick with organic dairy:  http://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html

Robin in Chicago

rkoloms
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 6:26 PM


Quoting Moms_Angels1960:

I currently recyclce reuse & donate anything I can. I also am making my own cleaners, laundry soap, I plant a garden every year & can out of that reusing the canning jars.

I donate all the plastic sacks from the grocery stores to Goodwill & our food prgram at school.

What else would you suggest for someone like me?

Cloth towels and napkins; less meat

Cafe Kristin
by Group Admin on Apr. 15, 2012 at 10:25 PM

This is a great question. I would love to know your thoughts/tips on this as well. Thanks in advance!

Quoting bhwrn1:

This is great.

What are your recommendations for someone who cannot afford to buy all organic foods and lives in a fairly suburban/urban area?


Cafe Kristin
by Group Admin on Apr. 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM

That's really interesting -- how exactly do you do that? 


Quoting ysmeine:

I make lemon, lavender, and thyme extracts to use instead of essential oils. It is not as potent, but it is inexpensive and lasts a long time. I can even cook with it if I want.


bhwrn1
by on Apr. 16, 2012 at 5:30 AM

For us, we stick to the dirty dozen. So we buy that produce listed on that list as organic always. The are: Apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatos, blueberries, lettuce, and kale/collard greens. I carry the list in my wallet in case I can't remember which ones they are when I'm shopping. We also grow many of our own vegetables when the weather permits (as we live in an area with four seasons so we can't grow outside during the winter and insde has proven less than suitable). All our dairy products are organic, as well. We buy only grass fed beef and hormone free/organic chicken (we eat a lot of chicken, not so much beef). Other than that, we pick and choose what else we do. It's hard. My son eats peanut butter every day for lunch at school, so we always buy that organic. Any foods that my kids tend to eat a lot of is bought organic whenever possible. It's really hard to afford it in general, so we can't do it 100%. I pick the things I think are most important and go by that. Here's a great article for people wanting to make the switch over:

The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic

Quoting Cafe Kristin:

This is a great question. I would love to know your thoughts/tips on this as well. Thanks in advance!

Quoting bhwrn1:

This is great.

What are your recommendations for someone who cannot afford to buy all organic foods and lives in a fairly suburban/urban area?



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