Mom Goes Green is THREE YEARS OLD!!!

3rd BDYes, MGG is THREE YEARS OLD! Three years. 430 posts.

I always knew I was long-winded but I never realized  that I would have sooo much to say… or at least not enough to keep me going for three years.

It might come easy for some but, for me… nope, not always!  I’m an over-thinker and oh, for pete’s sake, sometimes I really make myself a little crazy!  (In fact, I think I’m over-thinking this post RIGHT NOW!). 🙂

So… let’s see.  What has been part of the Mom Goes Green journey this year? (time to insert that dizzying dream visual here!)

In my journey as Mom Goes Green I’ve:

Yes… it’s my journey.  And I love it.

And I have appreciated absolutely everyone who’s taken time out of their life to read Mom Goes Green and give some consideration to all the things I’ve shared.

Thank you for joining the journey.  With love and appreciation – Mom Goes Green

Air conditioning vs. fresh air: 10 ways to “keep our cool”

therm risingAt the start of every summer, as the temperature rises, my husband and I seem to have the same discussion… when to turn on the air conditioning!

This is never an easy discussion (okay! read: argument!) as this is the man who wears shorts and t-shirts around the house when it’s 19 degrees outside in the dead of winter.

I prefer the open windows and doors, and want to breathe the fresh air.  To this my husband responds “Babe, it ceases to be fresh as soon as it’s 85 degrees with 70% humidity!”  Well, it’s still fresh but I guess it does cease to be RE-freshing!

Just like heating your house in the winter and whether you do or don’t choose to crank the AC, there are ways to keep your house cooler, stop some of the cool air loss and use less energy in the process:

  • Close blinds or curtains in various windows throughout the day to prevent the sun shining in.  If it’s coming in, so is the heat.
  • Use ceiling fans. They circulate the cool air and don’t use a lot of energy.
  • Program your thermostat.  No need to keep it blasting in the evening or when you aren’t even home.
  • When it’s cool outside at night, shut off the air, open the windows and take advantage.
  • 74 degrees is all you need.  This is a bearable temperature, and if you can tolerate it higher, do it!  Each degree saves 3-4% on your cooling/energy expenses.
  • Don’t worry about unused rooms.  Close the windows, doors and vents in these rooms, and block the bottom of the door if they aren’t frequently occupied.ceil fan
  • Run appliances at night.  This includes dryers & dishwashers that give off heat. Avoid using your oven… give it a rest and grill instead!  And if you do use the stovetop, be sure to use the exhaust fan to take away the heat.
  • Turn off unneeded lights, TVs, computers, etc. when you aren’t using them.  They all generate heat too.
  • Keep heat generating appliances away from the thermostat (TVs, lamps, etc.).  They’ll make the thermostat think it’s hotter than it really is.
  • Don’t chop down trees that shade your house.  They simply keep a house cooler.  And even plant strategically.  Shaded AC units run more efficiently, but just be sure not to block the airflow.

I do try to take my own advice.  It’s not always easy (living with my husband who compensates by turning up the ceiling fans to “jet speed”) but it’s a compromise we always seem to manage when it all “boils down”!

The “Toxic 10”… everyday products you should avoid

toxcWhen making the decision to “go green” the list of “should nots” is equally as important as the “shoulds”…

I’ve posted this list before, but with the amount of questions I’ve been getting recently, it’s worthy of a refresher course.  This list originally came from Healthy Child Healthy World and includes the top 10 toxic products that you DON’T need in your home. Without further ado, start checking the checklist!:

  • Air fresheners – they’re full of chemicals, synthetic fragrances and even anesthetics that can be inhaled into our lungs! (All you really need is some essential oils & water in a sprayer bottle!)
  • Bottled water – this water is no less contaminated (and sometimes MORE contaminated) than your tap water… add the BPA content of the plastic bottles and they are simply bad news. (Reusable stainless steel bottles are the only choice.)plastic bottle
  • Canned goods – their epoxy resin linings often contain BPA, linked to hormone disruption, heart disease and obesity. (Buy fresh, organic and/or join a CSA.)
  • Couch cushions – avoid anything containing foam that says it meets California TB 117 because they contain toxic fire retardants (like those horrible mattresses!  Remember, there ARE better choices.)  Those chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects, and thyroid, reproductive and neurological disorders.
  • Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners – they contain lye and acids that can burn skins, eyes and internal tissues. (A homemade cleaner of vinegar and a few simple ingredients can do the job just as well.)
  • Dry cleaned clothes – even though the chemical perchloroethylene (or perc) is applied elsewhere, it is linked to a number of cancers and even bringing home those clothes (and wearing them!) dramatically increases your exposure. (Choose a “green” dry cleaner or simply avoid “dry clean only” clothing.)
  • Oil-based paints and finishes – they can contain up to 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens … enough said. (Okay… a few more words: choose no-VOC paints and finishes only.)pain't cns
  • Perfume and cologne – one formulation can contain literally hundreds of chemicals that can absorb through the skin and accumulate in the bodies. (Again, just an essential oil is fantastic!)
  • Pesticides – these chemical poisons linger and contaminate the air and undoubtedly get dragged into our homes. (Take off those shoes in your house!)
  • Rubber duckies! – okay, more than rubber duckies… ANYTHING that contains PVC or vinyl.  They can leach phthalates (linked to hormone distruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant).

Please check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s original post for more great information on all of these “toxic 10”, as well as other important suggestions for substituting better options…

So, how many are still in or around your home?… I’ll bet you’re about to change that, aren’t you?!?

Did you say FREE?… THANKS White Cloud GreenEarth!

WC Green EarthI recently join the White Cloud Roll-volution!  I found the best 100% recycled-content toilet paper on earth (White Cloud’s GreenEarth brand, of course!), but my husband STILL wasn’t replacing the roll… yes, you understand that feeling when you unexpectedly find only two squares remaining!

I said he needed a lot of practice and now, our friends at White Cloud are giving us the upper hand without the added expense.  In honor of Earth Day, they’ve added 50% more to the GreenEarth packages (that’s THREE extra rolls!).  I think I’ve tried every recycled brand and honestly, the others don’t compare in quality.  Fortunately GreenEarth is surprisingly soft, so you don’t “feel” like you’re using recycled content toilet paper! Afterall, we don’t want a family revolution when it’s not up to par!

And, by the way, their FREE offer is extended to their paper towels too (you get an extra roll!)… that’s especially helpful WC pap twlsfor those of us dealing with family members that like to grab TWO when only ONE would do! (Yea, I live with them also!)  Now, you can get an extra roll while you work on adjusting their over-usage habit! They ARE super-absorbent, so that will help in your “retraining” quest too.

With the way we all seem to use (and abuse) our stock of toilet paper and paper towels, I have to continue to give the GreenEarth brand a big green “thumbs up”.  I love knowing that I’m not needlessly sacrificing trees… PLUS they’ve taken amazing strides in reducing their energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, and they recycle big time!  (See why I love GreenEarth?!)

White Cloud GreenEarth is still available exclusively at Walmart, so go and get yourself some… and some extra too… for FREE!

Thanks, White Cloud GreenEarth!

(Disclosure: I am a White Cloud blogger. While I am compensated for my time, my opinions are entirely my own. White Cloud neither directs nor edits my posts, comments, views or opinions.)

Earth Day 2011… 20 ways to “do something”!

Today, April 22, 2011, marks the 41th Anniversary of Earth Day!!! (Yes!… this is our major holiday, fellow “greenies!”)

Earth Day was created in 1970 as a way to remind us to appreciate nature and this amazing planet we live on, and learn how to protect our environment and all of its inhabitants. (Did you know:) while it is celebrated in the Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it is actually observed in the Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere (both days being the exact “middle point” of the season). Ahh… Earth Day trivia!

This year, find a way to celebrate! Take notice of all that we HAVE to celebrate and no matter how small and insignificant your actions may seem, they matter… they add up… they make a difference…

Take action, talk about it, MAKE a difference… EVERY day should be Earth Day!