Sunday, June 4, 2017

Going Green With A Dozen Kids In The House

2017 is a year of many changes for us so far. A new house, new travels, new milestones, new friends, and new opportunities knocking. Taking full advantage of all of the newness abound and kids who are doing quite well with the numerous changes, I decided to through some lifestyle changes their way too. 

When my oldest's food allergies were confirmed years ago, we made quite a few dietary changes. We became careful with our processed foods (because yes, we still eat them) and are expert label readers at this point. We've been careful with our cleaning products and various household items, but this is the year I've chosen to really go green. 

In the past few months, we've made subtle changes that haven't really effected the way we've lived. We've made sure any appliances we've bought (or intend to buy in the future) have been energy efficient. Our electrical and water was updated (to be more energy efficient). We've slowly switched to all natural and environmentally friendly everything. Dishwasher detergent, toilet paper, soaps, deodorant, cleaning solutions, sunscreens, bug spray, make ups, etc. 

Last week was a big change for us. We began using reusable (cloth) napkins and towels for clean ups and spills. Baby wipes are used strictly for wiping diaper butts and paper towels are only used for cat pukes (and the likes). After a full week of being environmentally conscience, I can tell this will be amazing long term. For us and our environment.

For our first full week, we used only half of a roll of paper towels and one package of baby wipes. Considering the amount of kids and diaper changes around here, that little waste is incredible! This time last year, we used one roll of paper towels a day, napkins at every meal, and at least two to three packages of wipes in one week.

Some of our new go-to's: colorful cloth napkins, tube free tp, Seventh Generation dish soap, alba botanica sunscreen (so far, I LOVE this product), bug spray (deet free and smells wonderful), Schmidt's deodorant, Seventh Generation all purpose cleaner (works just as well as any other cleaning product I've used).

Yes, there was an upfront cost for all of the reusable cloth napkins and hand towels (40 of each) and a slight cost increase for some of our household products. However, for the long term, our cost on household items will be going down. The only area that we have yet to change is with our laundry detergent. We already use a free and clear detergent, yet I'd like one that is a bit more environmentally friendly, while not driving up our overall cost too much. For a household that runs typically 2-4 loads of laundry a day (sometimes less, sometimes more), I haven't found a decent replacement. I'm leaning towards making my own laundry detergent to see how it goes.

I have spent a lot of time researching products and deciding what is best for my family and the daycare. I'm anxious to report back throughout the summer on which products are working best for us and which we'll need to change around. I do know that Amazon Prime Pantry has become a fast friend, as a lot of our local stores do not carry the products I'd like (and at a decent price). 

All my environmentally conscience friends, what products do you use that you just love? Anything I should check out? I would love to hear some feedback and/or any tips you have f!or this lifestyle change of our's!