The Traveling ‘Green’ House

Having your address change every few months can often impede long-term household goals.  Our family does however try our best to live a life that is as green as possible under our circumstances.  While we resided in Germany we got used to recycling EVERYTHING.  It was not a choice, but a requirement to use the proper facilities to recycle unwanted goods, we had 4 separate recycling bins to do just that.  As we returned to the states we wanted to bring home that tradition, and though we recycle as much as possible here, we wanted to do more around the house to reduce our impact.  Today I wanted to share a list of things our family does to try to maintain a healthy and mostly eco-friendly home.

  1. Reusable Paper Towels
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    Recently our family has attempted to cut back on our paper good usage, and so we’ve been experimenting with Bamboo paper towels.  Although we have not completely kicked the traditional paper towel habit we have significantly reduced the amount we use on a daily basis.  These bamboo towels are washable and wonderful for little messes around the kitchen or bathroom, great for wiping down sinks and countertops.
  2. Reusable Drinking Glasses, and Stainless steel straws
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    I generally consumed at least one Iced beverage or smoothie a day.  Tossing away straws or plastic cups just makes me feel sick, so my husband and I fashioned our own traveling cold drink containers our of Ball Mason Jars, gardener rubber grommets, and Stainless steel straws.  Although it may not seem like a lot, it really adds up in our home.
  3. Hybrid Car
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    When we returned home from Germany we were in the market for a new car.  Our old car was a little cramped and could hardly fit two adults and a rear-facing car seat.  I had been researching hybrid cars for several years and finally found the perfect fit!  We purchased a Toyota Prius V and could not have been happier with the results!  We have driven over 800 miles and filled up our gas tank twice!  Obviously going out and buying a new car isn’t right for everyone, but if you are in the market for a hybrid vehicle that is great for a family, I would highly recommend the Prius V!
  4. Cloth Diapering
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    When our son was born I proposed the idea of cloth diapering to my husband, and he was quick to dismiss it.  After a few months, hundreds of dollars in diapers, and several blow-outs in disposable diapers my husband was willing to give it a try.  We tested multiple styles and brands before we hit our stride and found the most wonderful cloth diapering solution for our family.  We use organic bamboo fleece diapers that snap, and a wool diaper cover over the top.  We haven’t had a single leak in the cloth diapers, and have been able to save a great deal of money.  It takes a bit of practice, and you do have to invest to get things started, but in the long run you will reap the benefits of this investment!  We are also planing to have more children, and we are thrilled that diapers will not be a financial concern when they come along!
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  5. Organic Groceries and Household cleaning supplies
    Our family tries to purchase local and organically grown produce as often as possible, and we keep only organic cleaning supplies that are free of harsh irritants in our home. Our favorite grocery store currently is Earthfare, they have wonderful prices and a great variety of products.

People tend to believe that trying to be ‘green’ is too difficult or expensive, and I have to disagree.  Our family has seen the benefits of reducing waste with a few small changes, and have ultimately saved money in the process.  I hope this post may help anyone on the fence about making more sustainable choices in their home, and encourage those who think that they can’t do it!  What are some ways you and your family make your home “green-er”?

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