Green Living on a Budget

Green Living. Overused? Quite possibly.

I think the phrase is losing its true meaning because of growing popularity of the movement. I still use it so that people at least partially understand what I am talking about. But what does it mean to you personally? What is green living to your family?

I was never an environmentalist and honestly, I’m not after ‘saving the planet’. For me, it is all about the health of my family. Isn’t that what we all really want? Saving the planet is a pretty lofty goal, not to mention we are not omnipotent. Taking care of your family on the other hand, is an endeavor much more manageable.

Organic food, cloth diapers, non-toxic cleaning. These are the three basics that are a must for our family of three with a toddler. We have saved so much money by foregoing disposables and not buying chemical cleaners, buying organic food became that much more affordable. That is a valuable trade off where both our health and budget win. Why do I consider these important? Using basic logic, here is how I think: if chemicals and pesticides are designed to kill living organisms – it is impossible for them to do nothing in our bodies. Sure, you will not die right away from ingesting pesticides, or wearing chemicals on your skin in the case of cloth diapers – but these things are not inert. We can’t all afford organic clothing, zero VOC paint, furniture without formaldehyde, and organic mattresses. But there is something you can do for your family without breaking the budget. What your family eats is by far the most important.

Most of all, healthier and more non-toxic living is best attained by buying less, not more. I feel it is a common misconception that only the affluent can afford to ‘live green’. You don’t need the organic t-shirt that announces to everyone that you are Eco-friendly. You don’t need recycled paper towels, your budget is much better off with reusable ones. You don’t even need to buy expensive green cleaners when it is so cheap and easy to make your own. Somehow we manage to eat mostly organic on a way below average household income. Simple living forces you to examine priorities and you may need to decide what is more important to you. The health of your family and time spent with them far outweighs having the latest gadgets and an enviable wardrobe, at least I would hope so!

What is important to you about simple green living? What matters most to your family? What do you really want to learn more about? I am curious to know what moms are most interested in learning and I would do my best to answer your questions as the new Today’s Mama green living blogger for Boston!

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