I have been thinking for a while that I’d like to document the steps I’ve taken so far to “green” my daily routine. Not just how I’ve made our lives more eco-friendly, but how I have tried to make it healthier by avoiding trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and phthalates specifically. At the same time, I need to acknowledge where I am failing and still need to take ground. As I thought through this in my head, I realized that a post like that would be reeeally long, so I think I’ll make this a regular feature called Green My Routine. If you have your own blog, feel free to join in by linking up!
Today’s Green My Routine is: Mornings
For bathing, we use two options: handmade soap bars from Whole Foods (to avoid phthalates, parabens, and sodium laurel sulfates) or Kirkland Body Wash from Costco which is surprisingly also free of those things, has a great citrus smell, and is very cost effective.
For shampoo, I have a Green Fail so far. I have such a dry scalp that I’ve been unable to find an eco-friendly shampoo that doesn’t leave me with itchiness and flaking. I’m currently trying the Hugo brand but it isn’t looking any more promising. For conditioner, I use Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Conditioner.
I also use hair conditioner on my legs to shave, so I don’t buy shaving gel. I have another Green Fail when it comes to razors. Before kids, I removed hair using homemade body sugar, but now I don’t have the time to keep up with it and I’m back to disposable razors (horrible, I know). According to Beth Terry, my best option would be to buy an old fashioned safety razor and refill the blades. I really want to do this!
After spending years and a ton of money on expensive organic and not-so-organic body lotions, I recently gave up on commercial body moisturizers and decided to try to make my own. I have been using this recipe for homemade coconut oil lotion bars to make my own solid lotion for the last few months and it works pretty well. I add some Peace and Calming essential oil blend for scent. I also have some Hugo Naturals body lotion as an option for when I’m in too much of a hurry to apply the coconut oil bar.
I’ve done a few posts about natural deodorant and how to use crystal deodorant, so that’s what I use to control odor. I rarely wear perfume of any kind any more because it is all phthalates, phthalates, phthalates. When I do want fragrance, I use Aveda’s Pure-fume which is specifically blended for me using essential oils.
If I washed my hair, I apply a little Aveda Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother when it’s wet. I blow dry and finish with Aveda Control Paste and, if I am doing a zig zag part, Aveda Control Force. I just realized that I am an Aveda whore. It’s true. They are not paying me to talk about their products, but clearly I am addicted.
If I didn’t wash my hair, I use my homemade dry shampoo. I got some free commercially made dry shampoo at BlogHer 2012 and after using it 3 times, my scalp reacted so badly that I had to invent my dry scalp mask treatment to restore the balance. What do they put in that stuff?! It can’t be good!
Since my son recently exhibited a sensitivity to the organic cereal he was eating every morning, we have mostly cut cereal out of our morning food. Right now, I typically have oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins, and sometimes banana. Sometimes Christian makes steel cut oats with chia seeds in our rice maker overnight.
The kids have yogurt, which is a Green Fail because they will only eat naturally flavored yogurt (no HFCS or artificial colors or flavors, but they want it fruit flavored), which only comes in individual containers. It would be much greener if I could buy large containers and spoon it into bowls, but there is currently no brand that makes large containers of organic fruit flavored yogurt. WHY IS THIS?! What is so difficult about that?? I tried making my own yogurt but the kids absolutely hate plain yogurt. I tried flavoring plain yogurt with honey and fruit but they hated that too. Somehow they knew that it wasn’t fruit flavored out of the container. I have given up. We kill the environment every day with those stupid individual containers.
In addition to the yogurt, they eat eggs from our backyard chickens and Costco. Another favorite is “honey toast”, which is toasted homemade bread from my bread machine spread with coconut oil and local honey. My son would eat waffles every single day if we let him. To save money, I make my own. It was somewhat of a Green Fail for a while because I was using the Bisquick Heart Healthy mix which contains a lot of preservatives I didn’t love. Still, it was the only Bisquick mix that didn’t contain trans fats. Then I found this recipe for wheat waffles on Weelicious and we’ve been using it lately. I make a batch and freeze whatever we don’t eat that day. I’m going to have to start making double batches because these kids can EAT in the mornings. We put maple syrup (cheapest at Costco) on the waffles, or even honey because conventional Aunt Jemima-type syrup from the store is made primarily of high fructose corn syrup and has artificial colors. No, thank you.
I have to admit that I do use a Keurig for my coffee. I didn’t buy it, it was given to me by a family member who didn’t like it. Since I am the only person in the house who drinks coffee, it’s very convenient. It could be a Green Fail except that I use a reusable cartridge, which I fill with Trader Joe’s Fair Trade Organic coffee, instead of K-cups. I only buy K-cups for guests, and I make sure that the coffee in the K-cups is also Fair Trade. When they finish with the K-cup, I peel off the top, dump the grounds into my compost, rip out the biodegradable paper filter, and recycle the plastic part. Hopefully that makes up for the evil of using 4-5 K-cups per month.
I could still take some ground here with breakfast. Honestly, most “green” moms don’t allow their kids any sugar so the waffles and yogurt should be right out. And many consider wheat of any kind to be bad. That pretty much leaves eggs and oatmeal. I have not yet convinced my children to eat oatmeal. Yesterday my son told me, “Oatmeal is for Mommy and Daddy and LL. Oatmeal is not good for me.”
How about you? Any suggestions for my Green Fail areas? Any other questions I can answer about our mornings?