A Green(er) Life: Three Changes


Living a frugal and simple life is green in many ways. We don’t consume much, we recycle and use cloth for just about everything but toilet paper!

Since Paxton was born, we’ve found ourselves desiring to live a green(er) life.

Thinking about living green(er) can seem overwhelming and expensive: switching toiletries, buying more organics, purchasing meat that is hormone free, just to name a few.  The best way to make changes without getting overwhelmed is to begin making small steps each month!

We’re going to be making small green steps each month towards more natural living.

Our January changes:

1. Replace Conventional Shampoo and Soap.

Our whole family is no longer using conventional shampoos and soaps. We’ve switched to Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Soap as both shampoo and body wash. Paxton has been shampoo free for 3 weeks now and we’re using the Dr. Bronner’s as body wash for him.

2. Purchase Organic Produce for items on the ‘Dirty Dozen’

I have a list of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ (that I keep in my purse so it’s handy at the grocery store) and these are the items that are a priority to purchase organic. Yes, organic foods cost more than conventionally produced foods but the extra cost for the ‘dirty dozen’ is worth it to our family.

3. Purchase Non-Conventional Chicken

We’ve begun purchasing Springer Mountain Farms chicken. Their chickens “are fed only a diet of grains and soybeans; without the use of antibiotics, chemical medicines, hormones, or animal by-products.” They are located in Northeast Georgia so their chicken is local!

{Cost: We paid $1.99/pound for a whole chicken. We cut up the chicken and separated the breasts, thighs, wings, and then boiled the remaining carcass.}

More Information:

Are you making any changes towards living a healthier and greener life?

14 Replies to “A Green(er) Life: Three Changes”

  1. I make group orders with neighbors and friends, and share equipment with them as well. We've reduced so much clutter, waste, "unused capacity", and reduced our expenses significantly in the process. We buy more natural and organic products, and can now buy from local farms, because we can get them less expensive in bulk now. We're now using an online tool called SplitStuff to find new participants and organize the logistics.

  2. It took me awhile to get to where I am now, but the small steps do add up. I do use mostly organic products, practice recycling, am very conservative with my utility use, cook instead of eating out too often, garden and have chickens, do not buy much and when I do I try to shop thrift stores, etc.etc. I did not put all this in to practice overnight. It does make some folks look at me like I am odd, but I have gotten over that. It makes me feel good inside and that is what counts!! I know I am doing the right thing. When I find people who ” Get it”, they become my friends!!!
    I am continuing to take my simple frugal living to the next level. My goal this year is to practice all those ways to reduce my trash level to one bag a month (like buying items with less packaging), keep insulating my barn studio, learn to can ( I freeze everything now), make even less trips to town, and a few other things to make me more self- sufficient and reduce my environmental impact.

    Love your web site. I am trying to link up with like minded people who can become sort of a support group!!!


    1. Sounds like we are very like minded and would definitely be friends "in real life"! I agree with what you said that when you meet people who "get it" they become friends! I've had that experience since we've moved, the people who are like minded quickly become friends! I love your trash goal! I'm looking forward to having a garden again so I can compost, food scraps really add up in the trash! As far as canning goes, The Ball Blue Book is a great resource to teach yourself how to can!

  3. I am on the path to greener and simpler living too. I will be checking out the dirty dozen as we have started buying organic but when we are strapped for cash I never know what my priority items should be. I am also decluttering the 'stuff' in our house which seems like a huge task so I have broken it down into decluttering 11 items a day for 11 days and I am blogging about it to make sure I do it. I am looking forward to having a look through your archives now, Stacey x

    1. I have a list in my purse of the dirty dozen as well as the safest 10 to buy conventionally, like avocados since they are so thick skinned. I rarely will purchase those 10 items organic because they really aren't worth the extra money! Your 11 items in 11 days challenge is smart…take it a small step at a time!!

  4. Great post. I read the "No shampoo" by Simple Mom. I tried her baking soda/water shampoo substitute on my hair today and it worked great! I have fairly oily hair and my hair looks just like I washed it. It looks great and feels great. I'm going to try it for a few weeks and see if I can really tell a difference, but so far, so good.
    In the last year, I've switched cleaners to greener living, most of them. A few harsh chemicals I still have, b/c I haven't found great substitutes, i.e. oven cleaner, tub cleaner, toilet cleaner. Any suggestions? I've got a all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner and drano substitute, but that's it, I want more. 🙂
    Thanks for posting!

    1. Glad you liked the 'no shampoo' method! Happy to hear you are having great results so far! My hair is not cooperating; the past 2 weeks using Dr. Bronner's every other day has left it oily and last night I tried the 'no poo' method and it's still oily. I suppose I'm one of the "lucky" ones whose hair goes through an adjustment period! The funny thing, my husband's hair is incredibly oily and it has looked so much better since using Dr. Bronners! I'm so jealous!!

      We've switched to most natural/green cleaners especially since we have an active baby! I currently use some 7th Generation products which I have been very pleased with and use white vinegar for a lot of cleaning too! I don't own any oven cleaner and currently use 7th Generation Bathroom Spray for tubs and toilets but I was using plain white vinegar for toilets before!

      1. Are you still using the no-shampoo method and Dr. Bronner's soap? I'm curious how these have worked for you over the long haul? I'd definitely like to try Dr Bronner's once we use up the soap we have but am nervous about using it for my hair since my hair is so oily

        1. The no shampoo was a flop for me. I think I just didn't give it enough time to adjust. And the Dr. Bronner's made my hair really greasy. My hubby did use it for several months with excellent results though. I ended up switching to Burts Bees shampoo which isn't 100% natural but I am more comfortable with it than mainstream shampoo!

  5. I have been reading about going without shampoo for a while now, and your post along with the Simple Mom's might just be what I needed to give it a go! Hubby is extremely skeptical, but he has learned to go with the flow now, haha.

    Our "journey" towards a more sustainable and greener lifestyle has been slow but sure. We have networked with a lot of local farms and get all our milk, eggs, meat and cheese from local sources that practice methods of farming we believe in. We also buy just about everything else organic if we can. I make my own baby food now, and we have stopped buying cleaners in favor of making our own. I am trying to use up the rest of my laundry detergent before making my own – it's amazing how much of that stuff I had stocked up on! Same for shampoo – I think we have a years supply of shampoo and bodywash from all the couponing I used to do!! It's hard to think of getting rid of it.

    1. We have such similar lifestyles! The past two times I've washed my hair I've used the baking soda/vinegar and actually liked the results better than the Dr. Bronners. {I also think my hair is finally adjusting!} Hubby is mostly on board with these changes, in fact his hair is looking much better than it was before. He was using anti-dandruff shampoos and had horribly oily hair and now that he's using Dr. Bronners and someday just using water his hair is looking good and it is not as oily!

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