Want More Green In Your Life And Your Wallet? Here’s How!

There are lots of trends popping up at any given time that claim to make our everyday lives easier.

Many of these trends actually take a lot of effort to follow, and the pressure to keep up with what others say “we are supposed to do” can be overwhelming.

There is one lifestyle change that has gotten a lot of attention in recent years and although it may be “trendy,” it can definitely have huge benefits for families.

“Going green” is a term we may associate with overzealous environmentalists with recommendations that are often not realistic for busy families to follow.

But going green doesn’t mean living in a tent somewhere without electricity while we hunt for our own food.  I mean, who has time for that?

Going green can have a positive impact on the environment, yes, but green living can save your family a lot of money and teach your kids healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

Green Home reported:

Being green isn’t just about helping the environment – it’s also about keeping yourself healthy and happy. Our bodies put up with a lot every day, from fast food burgers to air pollution to a poor night’s sleep, and going green means doing what you can to ensure you don’t let toxins in your environment affect you.

…whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to educate yourself not only about your impact on the environment but also about how your environment is affecting you.

Many of us think that the primary focus of green living is our impact on the world around us, but with all the changes in what we eat and how we live in the last few decades, we often introduce unwanted substances into our homes and our bodies.

All of the processed foods, cleaning products, and chemicals we use to supposedly make our lives easier are often quite harmful.

There are several things we can do to make our homes, and in turn our families, healthier and they have the added benefit of helping to keep toxins out of our communities in general.

Some of the tried-and-true things that our grandparents and great-grandparents did around the home are still great ideas today.

Simple is often better.  Past generations would use what they had, got creative when they needed something new, and often made their own products for the home.

We’ve all heard, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but we often think in simple terms like just taking our soda cans and plastic water bottles to the recycling bin at the end of the driveway.

What if we could take it one step further in our homes and save a ton of money in the process?

There are many ways to reuse items in our communities.

Visit thrifts stores for clothes or furniture that you can redo to suit your style.  Start a neighborhood “swap” a few times a year in which you can exchange outgrown kids’ clothes or other items.

Do you have a particular hobby that the family enjoys?  Put the word out to friends and neighbors to save scraps of wood, old newspapers, buttons, twine, etc. and use them for your favorite craft project.

By exchanging goods and services with others, you can save money and teach kids that not everything is “disposable,” which is often contrary to the message we hear in society today.

Lots of moms today like to make their own cleaning products.  Let’s face it, even so-called “natural” cleaning products sold in stores usually contain more chemicals than we can count – or pronounce.

There are thousands of ideas online for making your own soaps, laundry detergents, and household cleaners.  You can make them in bulk, and doing it yourself usually cheaper than store-bought items.

The greatest cost in this is that of your time, but the knowledge that your family is not being exposed to extra chemicals is well worth it!

Manufacturers like to feed off of the fact that modern-day parents are busy and want quick and easy shortcuts for all the things we need to do.

But all of the disposable products out there, from paper plates to plastic water bottles to zippered sandwich bags – especially disposable diapers – contain chemicals that are absorbed into our bodies.  And the cost can really add up.

Yes, it may be more time-consuming, but using real dishes, cloth napkins, and reusable food storage items (like making your own reusable sandwich bags or investing in one good reusable water bottle) can make a huge difference in your health and your wallet.

Many modern parents have realized how much waste we generate with disposable diapers, and this is one of the best changes you can make if you have a little one in the house.

There are a lot of options available now for reusable diaper covers and inserts, and there’s always the old stand-by – cloth diapers, which many parents are going back to.

Disposable diapers contain many chemicals that come in contact with your baby’s delicate skin, so this is a great change to make if you want a starting point for going green.

Have you ever wanted to “buy local” or buy organic but don’t know where to start or whether you can afford it?

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This “trend” is here to stay as communities work together to keep their families healthier.  Organize and create a community garden in your neighborhood or learn how to grow vegetables in your yard.

This is a great skill to teach the kids and they’ll have lots of fun planting and watching veggies and herbs grow.  Even if you don’t have a lot of space, many vegetables can be easily grown in containers on your porch.

A lot of us already know to go paperless with our bills, opt-out of junk mail offers, or read our favorite magazines online.

But if you do still get a lot of unwanted paper, get creative!  Cut out colorful images from ads and let the kids make collages.

Or save large envelopes to store bits and pieces of all that stuff that accumulates around the house.  Label those brand new return envelopes that come in the mail with solicitations for money and store receipts, scrap paper for notes or art projects or small items like stamps.

There are thousands of tips for going green and things we can do to save money and teach our kids to respect and care for the world that God created.

Many times, the “old ways” are better and safer.  Don’t hesitate to ask a grandparent or senior in your community for tips on budgeting, repurposing,  and making safe household products.

After all, the “new and improved” products we are always bombarded with are not only expensive, but who knows what effect all these chemicals and products will have on us in the future?

Stay healthy, save money, and make small steps toward going green!

Do you have any great green living tips for families looking to improve their health and their finances?  Leave us your thoughts.