Greenonthego's Blog

sustainable living vs. sustainable budget

Health & Beauty March 16, 2010

I have had several friends ask about how we are going green. What products we’re using, what foods we’re buying etc.

I have a few links to share along with some ideas/places to buy certain items. check back often in our Just getting started category for more ideas on what to do!

Home/Health Products

My children use California Baby for their bath soap and hair/body. I use Jason’s Naturals for kids conditioner.

Since skin care products aren’t really regulated, I enter different skin care products I like into this Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database  in order to find out which ones I was okay with putting on my children’s bodies. Feel free to punch in any of your products and figure out what works best for your family! 🙂

I just found a new lotion recommended by a friend for my daughters exema. She said that Shakai Borage dry skin therapy, is the only thing that works for her daughter. I looked it up in the skin deep database. It said it had parabens, which is something we are trying to avoid. I didn’t believe it so I gave the company a call. They have recently removed the parabens. SO, if you like a product and the database says one thing go ahead and give the company a call to make sure!

I can’t wait to try it, it sounds promising!! 🙂

Toothpaste & supplements?

We prefer Natures Sunshine products & Shaklee Products.

I was raised a Shaklee kid, chemical free home! What a great gift from my parents, Thanks mom. I still use their cleaning products they have a get clean campaign; you might have seen it on Oprah. I feel good knowing my kids are living in a chemical free house! 🙂

I was turned onto Natures Sunshine Xylibrite toothpaste after I did a  research paper in college about xylitol sweeter. It is amazing and has such great health benefits! My mom always told me how horrible fluoride was for my body, I took her advice and researched it. I opted not to raise my kids with fluoride in their toothpaste. I love xylibright for my husband and I but for my kids I’ve been sticking to the stage 1 oral B tooth paste that is fluoride free. It also has xylitol as a sweetener & anti cavity fighter.

We also use Natures Sunshine supplements for our family. My kids love their gummy Organic vitamins & supplements.

Boost their immune system:

When we are sick or around sick kids we boost our immune system with Emergen-C’s. It gives us 1,000 mg of Vitamin C plus tons of other stuff too! Trader Joes seems to have the best price at $7.99  a box. They carry the orange flavor which in my opinion is one of the best, raspberry being the other. DON’T buy Acai berry, it was so bad I contemplated throwing out the whole box. needless to say I sucked it up and downed them, but I was the one that had to do the dirty work, no one else in the house would touch them!

Fred Meyer (Kroger)  also carries them at a reasonable price given they are on sale, which they usually are at $8.99 a box.

 

Cereal update… March 12, 2010

I found a cereal the kids like and it is organic, plus it is from a company I like. Barbaras Bakery.  We found their puffins cereal to make a great snack but not the best cereal and milk sort of thing. So finding the Organic Wild puffs is a plus!

Proceeds are donated to a great cause, helping to save puffins. It’s a bird I didn’t know of before buying the cereal, but in reading the box my kids got excited about helping an animal, learning about the animal and learning that our purchase choices affects others. Such a great concept!

Okay so on to our new favorite cereal,

They seem to like it!

It’s Organic, so I’m confident in what is in it, non GMO, and all natural ingredients.

The only thing I’m not sold on is the price, so it looks like we’ll enjoy a bowl of Organic Wild Puffs once in a while….at $4.59 a box, I’ll keep an eye out for sales. Oh and I just saw cocoa ones too! My kids love their chocolate. I’ll have to give them a call and find out if they use free trade chocolate! 🙂

Maybe I’ll start a cereal co-op. Who’s in?!

Until next time~Sarah

 

Minor melt down… March 8, 2010

Oh my, I almost had a tiny nervous breakdown. I was looking for some bamboo sheets for Katelan, when I came across sheets that said, “rayon bamboo” curious by this term I decided to research bamboo fabric and i found this article that made me almost cry, literally.

Let me explain. Jordyn, my nine month old, is cloth diapered and I made her some bamboo inserts for her Gdiapers. I almost cried when i saw how many chemicals are used to break down bamboo, and that it is marketed as organic but really might not be. I just thought, “wow, I’ve gone cloth to expose her to as few chemicals as possible and then I end up exposing her to a ton of them right in her sensitive area! *sigh*”

After some more reading and calming myself down I realized that bamboo does have a certification through OEKO-Tex. I then thought, “Hooray! she’s safe!”  I also reminded myself that nothing I do will ever be perfect.  I need to relax and remember what Sue (Katelan’s mom) says about what we do most of the time.

I’m on a mission to research fabrics, but at this time unbleached organic cotton and wool might just be the best options. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Bamboo sounds too good to be true. I still want to love bamboo as much as I have in the last nine months. I’m on the fence though. As for hemp, I do not like it because of its smell. Literally I thought someone had lit up and smoked in my baby’s room one morning after she woke up with a very saturated hemp diaper. *yuck* not a happy smell to have when picking up baby, just didn’t feel right. lol

 

Cereal wars… February 25, 2010

Thank you Food Inc. for being so informative and for making me so aware of what I am putting into my family’s bodies.
After yesterday’s post, Katelan asked me why the Quaker Oats Company is bad. I didn’t have a solid answer, I just know that after watching  Food Inc.  and King Corn, I’m much more skeptical of big box companies. Just to put to rest my insecurity over the Quaker Oats Company, I looked up Mother’s cereal. I called their customer service to find out where the corn used in their cereal comes from. The woman on the phone said, “I can’t tell you if the corn used in our cereal is genetically modified (GM) or not. I’m thinking, “are you kidding me? Your cereal claims to be all natural but since “80%” of corn grown in the us is GM, there is no way to tell?”  I’m sorry but all natural doesn’t scream GM to me!  And as Katelan pointed out, they probably didn’t use fair trade cocoa either. So small children were  most likely enslaved to bring me my Mother’s Natural, Cocoa Bumpers. In retrospect, I should have just gone co0-co0 for Cocoa Puffs and actually enjoyed the bowl of chocolately goodness. Okay, so  I just went a little overboard with the cocoa puffs comment, honestly I did avoid the High Fructose Corn Syrup among the other things I can’t pronounce by purchasing the “all natural” cocoa bumpers. And this is a process, I’ll figure it out in due time, and we will survive after eating our box of cocoa bumpers. This process of calling companies has, however has put me on a mission to find a cereal that doesn’t use GM ingredients and doesn’t break the bank. I’m on a mission, wish me luck!

Soap Box:   So scientists might think that genetically modifying my food is a good idea but I sure don’t. My mom was at Costco yesterday and over heard a woman very frustrated saying, “I need to blow off some steam! I can’t believe that guy thinks eating Organic is pointless.”  My mom went over and told her she believe in eating organic. The woman proceeded to explain that a man next to her in the aisle said he was a scientist and he thought eating organic was a big ploy to get American’s to spend more money and eating organic makes no difference in the quality of food you’re buying.  admittingly I once thought much like the scientist. But I have since changed my views after some research and education.

To the scientist in Costco: You’re telling me that pesticides are good? I’d like to see him curled up next to the fire with a hot steaming cup of pesticides!

Still on a search for Non-GM, Healthy, Tasty, Organic, Fair Trade Cereal…

Too much to ask? ~Sarah

 

Green Grocery Goals February 23, 2010

Filed under: budget,shopping — greenonthego @ 9:27 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mission: My first shopping trip to Trader Joe’s.

Question: Can I buy my weekly groceries for around the same total cost and go organic?

I head to Joe’s, looking very Oregonian in my flips flops, jeans, messy bun and Oregon Ducks hoodie. To complete my urban hippie-chic look, I even wrangled up all my reusable grocery sacks, which I must admit, haven’t made an appearance at my previous shopping trips to Safeway and Wal-Mart. I’m jumping remember? Plus, I want to look like a seasoned pro at Trader Joe’s, not a newbie.

What did I find? Organic food is pricey, but not all of it is unreasonable. I found tortilla chips and many other organic products sold under the Trader Joe’s label to be quite comparable. Some prices shocked me. But, I kept reminding myself that quality food, made without growth hormones and tons of chemicals, SHOULD cost more. Overall, I spent a little more than I normally would, but I also bought some food that didn’t make my grocery list, just to try it out.

After my so-so go at green grocery glory, I was a bit disappointed, but not defeated.

Then, today, I was banking inside the Fred Meyers, when I decided to take a stroll through their organic section. I was excited to see a great selection, and some pretty great prices. They had lots of sales and many choices that I did not see at Joe’s. The bulk foods section even offered some fair-trade items, as well as many organic foods. Then, it  was as if the end cape lit up with the beam of sun breaking through the clouds to spot light organic cheesy pasta goodness. Mac and Cheese, on special, half-off.  There is hope. I can make eco-friendly, organic food choices and not destroy my bank account.

Now, I am sitting with a bowl full of organic pasta bunnies, made with organic milk and regular butter (I am still using up my Wal-mart food…it’s a process, remember?) . The best part is it tastes great; maybe it is the taste of a small victory, or maybe the flavor of knowing what I am putting in my mouth didn’t come at the cost destroying of our planet.

I’d say it was a pretty promising start to this adventure…

Excited,

Katelan