By Serena Norr

I consider myself a green mama-in-training. I’m not 100% green, but I try to do my part to teach my children how to take care of the environment as well as teach myself how to change our routine. Some things are easier to change than others and require consistency for change to happen, but I do feel that a little goes a long way.  With Earth Day approaching, I think it’s a great time to think about ways to go green in your home and change the way to look at the environment.

Trade in Chemical Cleaners
Cleaners on the market are essentially packed with chemicals like phthalates. Although they ‘do the job,’ they are also toxic and unhealthy for you and your children. Years ago these commercial grade products did not exist where common household ingredients like vinegar, oils, lemons, and baking soda where used. A simple solution is to use vinegar and water as an all purpose-cleaner or baking soda and lemons and a light oil with some scented oil as a furniture polish. Not only will your home be chemical-free but think of the savings – especially since most of these products are already found around the home.

Make a Compost at Home.
Composting is a great way to recycle leaves, old newspapers and food (fruits, vegetables, coffee, egg shells) as it breaks down its raw materials and prevents waste from ending up in our landfills. This soil is also incredibility rich and is great for planting as it acts as an all-natural fertilizer To create your own compost, simply insert holes on the top of a plastic bucket (like a garbage can) and add in your fruits and vegetables. Every couple of days add in a new ingredient and mix them around in the bin. In a few weeks you will have your very own soil to go back into the earth! Today, there are also in-home composting kits that make it even easier to reduce waste.

Go Organic.
It is so surprise that going organic is a great way to become a green family. This is not only beneficial to your health but it is also a way to avoid GMO’s and pesticides. A lot of people think they can’t go organic due to the cost, but today there are organic products everywhere – even Wal-Mart carries organic. I suggest starting small – maybe organic meat makes sense to you or maybe it’s dairy – whatever it is stick with it and then incorporate other organic items into your home. For me it was dairy since my older daughter would have it a lot, I then found a grocery store nearby that sold organic food at reasonable prices where I then added in meat and then grains. You can also help the environment by supporting local farmers and purchasing food seasonally at your local farmers market or co-op.

Plant Your Food. Knowing where your food comes from is truly eye opening. To get connected to what you eat, plant some herbs in your garden. If you don’t have a garden you can plant them in pots. Start with simple herbs like oregano, basil, mint, etc that you will be able add in your food. Not only is this an earth-friendly it is an economical solution – and I am certain your food will taste better.

Be Conscious at Home.
Every little thing you do can help the environment as well as help you to break old habits. Something as simple as turning off your lights when you leave a room or shutting off your water while you are brushing your teeth can help. You can also wash your laundry in cold water and dry it our (instead of using a dryer), look for the Energy Star label when making major appliance purchases, switch your light bulbs to CFLs, pay bills online, donate old items, or switch to cloth diapers.
Becoming a green mama doesn’t have to be an all or nothing, you can make small changes to impact the way to live, which will ultimately help the environment as you live more consciously.


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