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Going Green: Baby Steps

Every single day, as a family we try to do just a little bit more to help out our earth by recycling, using less energy, and creating as little possible trash as we can.

I’m from the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Generation. These ideas were formed in our brains early on, starting in middle school or so. I did many reports on the destruction of old-growth redwood forests, the meat processing industry and recycling programs. The information prompted me to remove meat entirely from my diet for 12 years. I even, dare I say, drove up to Humboldt County, California and protested the destruction of forests.

That was close to 15 years ago. I have a family now, and zero opportunities to join active Green programs or protest the destruction of forests. More important than using my voice to preach or joining groups was to change my every day lifestyle.

I do little things like unplugging my appliances, turning off lights, recycling everything, and buying in bulk.

There is ALWAYS more that can be done.

So, when I was asked to participate in a going green campaign with Diapers.com and BabyCenter, obviously I jumped.

I went to diapers.com and ordered a handful of products that would make my life much easier to be environmentally friendly.

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My purchases:

Babyganics Grime Fighter All Purpose Lavender & Babyganics Fine & Handy Foaming Soap

Instead of buying the regular, inexpensive antibacterial cleaning products and hand soap, I feel so much safer ordering organic solutions both for our health and the environment.

California Baby SPF30 sunblock

We typically will purchase the large tubes of 50+ sunblock and slather the kids up every single day. Tests have proven that anything over 30 is not necessary, so buying a longer lasting, small stick of sunblock is both cheaper and less wasteful Not to mention better for baby skin.

Sassy Oxo-Biodegradable Scented Diaper Sacks

Most of our life is spent on the go. This means I tend to use old plastic grocery bags for waste of diapers and everything else, which ends up leading to more waste, since the plastic bags themselves can be recycled. These bags are biodegradable, smaller, and easier to use, period.

Sigg Lifestyle Bottle

Confession: I buy a lot of bottled water when I’m traveling with the kids on a daily basis. We don’t buy bottled at home, as we use a Brita filtering system, but transporting drinking water for myself is a chore. The Sigg bottles are lined and don’t taste like aluminum and are easy to carry. Bottled water is now eliminated from my repertoire.

Two Foogo Leak-Proof Food Jars

It’s always easier to buy boxes and boxes of plastic sandwich bags when packing lunches and snacks for children, but it’s a no-no for the environment. These Thermos jars are easy to wash, keep foods cold or warm, and are the perfect size for fruits, veggies and even entrees. While we still have sandwich bags in our home for emergencies, I always try to use reusable containers first.

So, while I might not be planning a sit-in at our local city hall, I’m doing big things in little ways in our lives to be more environmentally conscious, and it’s making an even larger difference.

Your Turn!

I’m offering one person $100 to diapers.com to sponsor your own green challenge!

To enter:

Leave a comment explaining one way in which you have made more environmentally aware decisions in your own life, and/or one way in which you would like to change.

I’ll pick a winner randomly next Wednesday, 5/11 at midnight. Good Luck!

This post is sponsored by BabyCenter in conjunction with the BabyCenter Blog Network. I was compensated for the post, and given $100 to diapers.com to facilitate my own green challenge

UPDATE!!

Thank you to everyone that entered!! I was inspired by all of your stories and appreciate the time you took to detail your green efforts!

Random.org chose #11, Angie of Queenofthesnotprincess! Congratulations!

Join the Conversation

20 Comments

  • Hubby and I recycle as much as possible. We now only have a bag or so of garbage each week and have at least three bins full of recycle. I also take my reusable bags to the grocery store. Another change I made is to clean with water and vinegar; I started this when I got pregnant. We plan to teach our daughter the importance of being “geen.”


  • We have a recycling station in our garage that we take to a center every 2 weeks (curbside is not offered where I live). Last year, we set up a compost bin in our back yard to use in our ‘future’ garden. I have eradicated all toxic cleaning agents from our house. But most importantly, I plan our meals and shop accordingly; so nothing is wasted. -we try to be green and earth friendly.


  • We recycle everything that we can in our house. I also only try to use reusable container in my 4 year old lunch box. I also like the California baby sunscreen idea. My 1 year old have super sensitive skin!


  • I recycle more, use reusable bottles instead of throw away ones. I want to start a compost pile to cut down on what i throw out even more


  • Well one is hard for me, but I want to share my story. Being in NYC I’m sort of forced to recycle which I’m truly glad about. But I often felt like I wasn’t doing it correctly, so I sought out information about the proper way to recycle for our city. Here is a great video that I found: http://www.howcast.com/videos/416427-How-to-Recycle-in-New-York-City

    Then I figured I needed to look at my life as a whole and how I could make an impact with everything that I do. So, I joined a CSA, buying locally and organic makes a major impact on our planet. Also, buying produce in bulk saves me and my community members money. Now, I’m switching out my household items and goods from light-bulbs to laundry to eco-friendly versions. I know there is more I can do, just starting with the things I can afford first and going from there.

    Great contest!!!


  • We cloth diaper our little one and I use cloth wipes. We also use reusable snack bags and recycle A LOT….in Germany if you got caught not recycling it was a 500 euro fine!! We are still paranoid about recycling. I also don’t use harsh cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are my main cleaners! even use vinegar instead of fabric softener. We do a bunch of other stuff, but these are our main ones.

    Let me know how you like your Foogo containers! I’ve been thinking about buying some for down the road.


  • I grew up in Portland, OR and am also of the Reduce Reuse Recycle generation. Now that I am all grown up with my own little children I understand why these seemingly small things we can do add up to such a great help. Since I had children I immediately switched to all natural / organic cleaning supplies and also am aware about containers. I am a glass or metal (love the foogos in this house) container girl and will only use plastic if BPA free. Growing up in a tupperware house of the 80s it has been a big switch for me as an adult to only store things in glass and metal. I hope my kids grow up repeating what they see us do for the environment and expanding on it in their own ways.


  • We are as green as we can reasonably be in our home life and have been for quite some years and try to get better each month. Probably the biggest impact of all has been driving a Prius. I average about 44 mpg which although is about the same as many non-hybrid cars driven in Europe, it’s a heck of a lot better than the gas guzzling SUVs that get driven where we live.


  • We cloth diaper and use second-hand stuff whenever possible instead of buying new. We also drive a hybrid and bike whenever possible! At home, we avoid plastics and chemical cleansers.

    great topic!


  • this is such an awesome giveaway. as a mom, i have become so much more aware of the environment and how i can do little things to take care of it. we recycle, i cloth diaper, and i try to save on energy by turning off lights/tv/computers if we aren’t using them.


  • One way I have become more environmentally conscious is by using cloth diapers on my youngest daughter. We also have compost bins and a rain barrel.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!


  • I’ve really tried to reduce our daily waste by using reusable lunch and snack containers and we also convert lots of our recycling into crafts. It’s amazing what a couple of kleenex boxes can turn into 🙂


  • I love this Jessica! I too try and be *green* and yes it takes baby steps! Our kids use Foogo sippy cups and the Lunch Bots, stainless steel containers for food. I also use Seventh Generation cleaning supplies and we compost!

    One way I would like to be better: Not use SO many paper towels!!!!


  • Jess– This has been on my MIND lately like none other. When I moved in with my (stubborn) husband, he did NOT recycle. He stated that there was too much recycling in this county at a rate in which (he was told) was too much to even recycle. He was told there was “mountains” of recycling just waiting to be recycled, and he felt that was just as bad as landfills of garbage.. So..After a few years of laying awake at night tripping on the fact we dont RECYCLE! Embarrassing dinner parties, explaining “No, we dont recycle” *GASP!!* I got a recycling bin anyways. I don’t care why, or how, or when. Its our duty as citizens of this earth to take care of her. So, that’s my latest cause!
    Next is no more plastic!!! Ugh. Workin on that one! 😉


  • Great giveaway! I’ve stopped buying napkins, paper plates, and paper towels. Instead, I’ve invested in great cloth napkins, some nice plastic dinnerware for the nights we have a lot of guests and don’t want to use our ceramic dishes, and I started using different microfiber clothes for spills, cleaning windows, etc. Norwex.com is where I got a very good two step clothe system for cleaning windows with just water 🙂


  • what a great giveaway. I think going green is great. I have been trying to reduce out waste as much as possible. we have a pull out trash can that has 2 bins. we put all the trash in one and the recyclables in the other. We also take all the cans bottles and any plastics down the the recycler. We also going to try and use cloth diapers with the baby that we have on the way. Another great way that we have tried to reduce our carbon footprint is that now my husband is taking a carpool to work, so we are trying to reduce the pollution in the air. 🙂 every little bit helps


  • a bike is on my “to purchase” list for this week. i live within easy riding distance to the grocery store and post office – both of which i visit regularly. i am excited to have a bicycle to make these trips more environmentally friendly and to also help my pocket book. 🙂


  • Going greener is my motto. I’ve done what I know so I’ve found more we can do. Our biggest is our gardening – and you can do it, even in the city. When you put it in the soil yourself, it just tastes better and saves $$. We also upcycle the kids’ clothes and make sure all the toys don’t go to a landfill. We pass down books, toys, videos with other families and set up swaps for size exchanges for clothing/shoes.


  • The most successful thing we’ve done recently to help other’s go green is to talk our landlord into changing all of the lightbulbs to more eco-friendly ones. We had changed all of the lightbulbs (among other green adventures) in our apartment when we first moved in. We told the landlord about the savings in energy and cost (and subtly mentioned the reduce in carbon monoxide emission and the fact that he’d be putting less bulbs in landfills over teh long haul) and the next day he replaced all the lightbulbs in the building! Our next task is to talk the city into letting us do the green bin at the apartment (compost waste) as it seems everyone around us has it, except the apartment buildings on the street. I am still trying to figure out what I am going to do if they say no. Maybe we can talk the landlord into a compost garden somewhere!
    Besides this, we also recycle, use “green” cleaners, carpool when possible (which, sadly, hasn’t been often recently), and always use reusable containers for food and such. That’s all I can think of right now but we are working on going greener!


  • We have been more concious about recycling anything we can. The recycling company doesn’t take everything at our street, so we have been saving newspapers, magazines, cardboard and taking them every few weeks to be recycled instead of throwing them away. I have also switched to “green” all purpose cleaners for the surfaces in our kitchen! We also use the eco friendly light bulbs and have changed all of the ones in our home.

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