Newbie At Being GREEN

It’s only been in the past year that I have started thinking about ‘being green’ from a chemical perspective.  I’ve always recycled (at least since the 90’s when I first had my own apartment).  Now, it’s a way of life.

About five years ago, I was thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I was tired of the same old, same old … you know, the same one most Americans make, losing weight.

I thought, why set myself up for failure again (since I’d been making the same resolution and failing at it for many-many years)?

I decided my resolution that year would be something not weight related.  I would still try making healthier choices, of course (at least til mid February), so I decided that I would try to ‘go green’ and use cloth bags for my grocery shopping.  I would be doing my part in saving the landfills.  I bought $10 worth of bags from my grocery store and was on my way.

At first, it was hard to remember to bring them … sometimes I’d remember to bring them from home, but then forget to bring them into the store.  It took some time, but now, it’s a way of life.

This year, I started looking at the ingredients on the labels of some of my cleaning products.  I’m no scientist, but man there’s a lot of stuff listed that sounds pretty foreign to me.  So I started looking into ‘green’ cleaning products. I went to an informational meeting (direct sales company) to learn about them.  I was educated in what some of those chemicals can do to your body.  Some were carcinogens … yikes, cleaning can give me cancer ??

After learning this, I went home and researched some more (yes … I’m one of those double and triple checkers).  I then knew I wanted to make some changes, but the cost seemed to be out of my price range.  Replacing these items would totally blow my budget.  Then I thought about how people kept a clean house in the old days.  They didn’t have a different spray bottle for every different task.  So I started researching…and found out many ordinary, everyday products could multitask. 

Baking soda wasn’t just for baking … Vinegar wasn’t just for salad dressing. Before WWII, these were cleaning staples.

My first foray into these new (to me) cleaners was making my own laundry detergent.  At lunch, a friend of mine was talking about her to-do list for the rest of the day.  On it, was to make a batch of laundry detergent.  I was intrigued. I questioned why she made her own.  She said brand name detergents were killing her budget.  She has a large family and went through a lot. Plus, it was better for people with sensitive skin because there were no dyes or perfumes.

I went to her house to learn how she made it.  It turns out there are several recipes, but we used the one from the Duggar family.

We went shopping for the ingredients and a 5 gallon bucket. I spent less than $20 and had enough ingredients to make several future batches.

It was so easy, and one batch lasts my family of 4 for about 6 or 7 months.  I still have to pre-treat stains (just like I did with the name brands), but I think it works well.  This will definitely now be a way of life for me.

Budget friendly and ‘green’ … yeah me!

If ‘going green’ is something you are considering but need an extra set of hands getting started, contact Tracy Helps You.

photo by: fuzzcat

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