It is that time of year when we dig into the new products and lifestyle changes we have incorporated into our lives, as well as reflect on what worked and what we like. Remember to start small and simply replace your current products, one at a time, as you run out. Adoption of a sustainable lifestyle is possible one baby step at a time.
“Almost Zero” Waste Lunch
We have started taking cotton napkins to work to use with our lunches instead of picking up a paper napkin at work or taking a paper towel from home. It has remarkably cut our consumption of paper towels by a 1/3 of a roll each month. We also switched to Sigg bottles and got rid of all plastic water bottles. We use glass containers for our food instead of the toxic plastic containers (that should never be microwaved). We use a cute/ washable LL Bean canvas lunch tote instead of a paper bag. Finally we use reusable utensils (regular flat ware) or corn based degradable utensils … try it, these are all easy to incorporate. Be the one who talks about it at work and pass the environmentally friendly practice on.
Environmentally Conscious Gardener
When we hired the environmental gardener we liked all the things they said they could and would do for our yard. The experience with the green practice was a success, not so the gardener. We have a new gardener and although not outwardly an advertised green gardener, he has agreed to carry on some of the green practices we started with our previous gardener. Next year, he will help us get rid our front yard grass and replace it with much more earth and water friendly native plants. I will write a separate article on that once it is complete.
We lost our beloved cat and dog a couple of years ago and finally this past year we were ready for pets. We ended up with three litter mate kitties (a whole other story how we suckered ourselves into this one). We wanted to use environmentally friendly litter and have gone back and forth between Swheat and Worlds Best Cat Litter a corn based litter. We like them both. However, Worlds Best has a multi cat line that we really like.
We have successfully switched out 99 percent of our bathroom products and make-up for paraben-free, 100 percent organic (when possible) products. I know when you are in the process of switching it is nice to have some suggestions, since some of these things are not cheap. Here are some of our favorites. Also, unless noted all of these products are available at Whole Foods. Most of them are also available at Elephant Pharm, Mother’s and Henry’s/Wild Oats.
Trader Joe’s, Tea Tree Tingle. This is a really wonderful shampoo. It is not 100 percent organic but it does have a majority of organic ingredients and it is paraben-free. We try to support TJ’s efforts whenever they carry earth friendly products.
EO  Jasmine shower gel. This is a wonderful and refreshing shower gel.
Alba  Very Emollient body lotion. A light and lovely lotion.
NOW  Almond and Grape seed oil. We use it like lotion after our shower. Love this product and it is edible.
Giovanni  Cool Mint Lemonade salt scrub (Costco sometimes). This is not 100 percent organic but they are paraben-free and have a nice product line. We also love that Costco actually carries it so we support them with our purchase dollars.
Green Hippo  hand wash. We love this new company. Their products have no chemicals, they are all natural. They are a start-up so give them your support, if you can. They have a nice range of products.
We have two: DHC  100 percent organic Olive Oil (online only) and Zia  Daily Moisture with spf 15 DHC is not a green brand but their Olive Oil is organic and I love it. DHC is a Japanese company and only available in Japan or online. Zia is fast becoming one of our favorite brands, for skin care and cosmetics.
Avalon Organics  facial toner. We actually have used several of their products and have been very happy with all of them.
Zia  press powder. We really like this company and all their products. I was hooked on Bobby Brown and actually like this press powder better than hers.
Mineral Fusion  eye pencil. Very happy with this product, again is has replaced my Bobby Brown.
A couple of words first. We’ve tried and, in a pinch, will use Trader Joe’s recycled TP. However, we have tried just about every brand out there and Seventh Generation  is really the best one.