Conveniently Green–Going Green the Easy Way

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Today’s post is a combination Conveniently Green and Works For Me Wednesday!

Nobody wants to destroy the environment, but going green can seem so daunting and, let’s face it, inconvenient. That’s why over here on Gen X Moms, we’re going green conveniently. But where do you start? So many ways to go green, so little time. Luckily at Gen X Moms, we have a handy little motto: Just a Little Bit Less. Here’s the easy way:

Step 1. Take a look at your trash.

No, not in your trash. That’s disgusting. Look at your trash. What are you throwing away that can potentially be reused or replaced with a reusable substitute? Keep in mind that we’re just in the evaluation stage. You’re not committing to anything. So what do you have in there that could be reused or replaced? Ziploc bags? Paper towels? Clorox wipes?

Step 2. Take a look at the trash you throw away outside of the house

You know, in the car, on a playdate, at a picnic–what are you leaving behind? Paper napkins? Take and Toss kidware? Plastic grocery sacks? Juice boxes? Again, no commitment here. Make a list, if you’re a list-making person. Otherwise just keep it all in your head. If you can. Which I usually can’t.

Step 3. Take a look at your cleaning supplies

Are there lots of yucky chemicals in your cabinet? Have you seen “green” versions at the store? Are you making your own?

Step 4. Identify your non-negotiables

Here’s the thing–we all have non-negotiables. I’m pretty darned crunchy, but you will have to pry my clothes dryer out of my cold, dead hands. Yes, I know all of the advantages of line-drying my laundry (save money! and energy! better for your clothes!), but seriously–I’m going to roll out of my deathbed, crawl to the dryer, and die right there in my laundry closet with my arms around my Maytag. That’s one of my non-negotiables. What are yours? Maybe you can’t live without your Ziploc bags or your juice boxes. Hey, that’s okay. We all have limits.

Step 5. After eliminating your non-negotiables, pick one remaining item and do it ONCE.

Now here’s the key to going green the easy way. Don’t make a big commitment. This isn’t a cell phone contract. Pick one thing and think about our motto–Just a Little Bit Less. Say, for example, you picked paper towels. Your goal will be to use one fewer paper towel than you normally would. Because hey, if you use a dishtowel to clean up a spill one time, that’s one fewer paper towel in the trash, one fewer off the roll, and one little piece of change in your pocket.

Then pat yourself on the back–you’re going green the wasy way! The idea is to make things conscious. When you reach for something you would normally throw away, take just a second and think, “Hmm, in this one, single instance, can I use something else?” A lot of times your answer will be no, but sometimes your answer will be yes, and sometimes is better than no times. Just strive for one! Don’t be intimidated! Everybody can do one!

And once you’ve got one down, strive for two. Or three. Or all. Or hey, just stick with one. The environment will thank you either way.

Works for me! For more great tips, visit Works For Me Wednesday:

Works-For-Me Wednesday

The Scrivener

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9 Responses

  1. My non-negotiable? Hmm, reusing a towel that I don’t know who used before me and what for.

  2. Great post. I am slowly turning more green each year. One next thing on my list is the ziploc bags and paper towels. So hard to give up. I need to just start making my own baggies that can be washed and buying a stack of cheap cloth napkins and white washcloths. 🙂

    Blessings!

  3. Okay, then I won’t try to take away your dryer. I happen to love my clothesline, but not so much in the winter. Fabulous post! I’ll be bookmarking it. =)

  4. Great tips! I have implemented the cloth napkins and have seen a huge decrease in our paper towel usage. One my non-negotiables… my dishwasher and the high chemical “Finish” tabs I put in it. I’ve wasted so much money trying all the “chemical-free” counterparts and gotten yucky dishes. If you have one that ACTUALLY works I’m open to trying it, but I’ think I’ve tried them all.

    One thing I’ve implemented is I clean and save all my glass jars. You know the ones that spaghetti sauce comes in, and all different shapes and sizes. So now, instead of those glad disposable containers, I use my glass jars. Plus they are glass so they don’t have any chemicals that are going to seem into me and my kids brain.

  5. Step four is too funny! Disposable kleenexes are my non-negotiable.

  6. All excellent ideas. And easy!

  7. A lot of great ideas! And thanks for taking the pressure off by suggesting just one thing at a time. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed by the idea of going green and all the super-crazy-Ed-Begley-Jr’s who insist you should live off the grid and use a toaster to power your bike down the road. This speaks to me as something actually do-able. Thanks again Scriv!

  8. Here here. Start slow and easy. Just like exercise.

  9. […] Or, “Disposable wipes? That’s hardly Conveniently Green, Scriv.” Hey, remember what I said a while back about non-negotiables? Well this is one. I dispose and then use cloth. Kickboxing. Sport of the […]

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