Sustainable Living & What It Means To Me

sustainable for him

Sustainable Living.

It’s a topic that often erupts a stream of overwhelming emotions.

Where do I start?

I was first influenced to start “going green” about a year before I became pregnant with Jayden. I started using CFL bulbs and I attempted using reusable shopping bags. I thought doing these things were so cool. I mean I could buy these light bulbs, save on my energy bill, and not have to replace them for at least years. I could get rid of my overflowing pile of plastic grocery bags and use cute reusable ones. Oh, and less plastic bags would end up in landfills… I had a plan, but the big picture was not clear.

Then, I became pregnant with Jayden. Through research, I started learning about the harmful chemicals in everyday household cleaners. And that’s when my passion for living a sustainable lifestyle got serious. It was never about protecting the planet. It was about saving money, it was about convenience, and later on the well being of my unborn child. I absolutely did not want him exposed to elements that may hurt him whether instantly or gradually with time. I had to be sure of this.

Now, going green and living sustainably to me is about making healthy and wise choices for my family. Sure, clothing made of bamboo or 100% cotton feels nice. Sure, furniture and decor made of recycled and organic materials are quite clever. But these things often carry a hefty price tag and honestly, do I really need them? And that’s what often scares first time “greenies” from embracing the lifestyle. It’s a preconceived notion that going green is expensive, but by doing adequate research and buying what would truly contribute to your lifestyle and health for the better, you can achieve sustainability without sacrificing your budget.

I didn’t want to expose my son to harsh chemicals found in household cleaners, so I slowly started swapping out what we had for safer cleaners. My artillery of cleaners now vary depending on cost and new products I may discover. I had my heart set on cloth diapering Jayden and I did so sporadically throughout his first two years. I did end up using chlorine free disposables when I didn’t use cloth. I felt confident knowing his bottom and boy parts were irritant free.

Jayden had developed Eczema and it progressed as he got older. Through more research, I became aware of even more harsh chemicals that are present in cosmetics. That’s when I decided those products could not touch his skin. At this point, I was frustrated. It seemed every product had something wrong with it and all the good products were expensive or not available locally. So I had to start shopping online for those products we needed and I’ve found alternatives to the more expensive brands.

I continue to shop online for many of our cleaners and cosmetics simply because they are easier to acquire. I am very excited to learn that Seventh Generation products are going to be sold at Walmart, a store that I shop at frequently. This is definitely a step in the right direction for both brands. This shift will defintely make it easier for others to buy Seventh Generation products; fans and newbies. I would assume that Walmart isn’t stopping at just Seventh Generation. I’m hoping to see Walmart start carrying some of my other safe favorites too. What a convenience that would be.

Living sustainbly to me is doing what fits the lifestyle, budget, and the needs of my family. We are in a shaky stage in our lives; young and trying to keep our head above water while raising a toddler. Sometimes it can get hard trying to commit to a routine and lifestyle. And it’s so easy to feel lost and have the desire to just give up. But we are dedicated to making these changes while we are all still young instead making the changes later when it could possibly be too late.

seventh generation walmartI’ve been invited by Walmart and Seventh Generation to participate in a sustainability challenge. Next week, I will better address the actions we’ve taken to live a more sustainable lifestyle beyond cleaners and cosmetics and the aspects we still need to work on in our home. I hope you follow my fellow Walmart Moms, Jennae Green Your Décor, Monica of Mommy Brain Reports, Jenn of Frugal Upstate, Denise of Wholesome Mommy, and I on our four week journey to living a more sustainable lifestyle.

As you already may know, I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Seventh Generation provided me with product samples. Walmart has also provided me with additional compensation for the time involved in the campaign. Participation in this program is voluntary. All opinions are my own.

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is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper.

2 Comments

  • Reply August 27, 2010

    Melissa Garci

    OK I just have to say that is a darn cute pic! We are trying to take steps as well to be a little more green.

  • Reply August 27, 2010

    Shelly

    I really try as much as I can to make better choices in this department. I am also pretty cautious about marketers trying to make big money off consumers dealing with greener living. I am thinking about switching some of my cleaning products for more earth friendly ones but I am still trying to figure out how to afford it all! I have been doing really well with re-purposing items and even Dwayne has jumped on the bandwagon! I need to see if I can get some coupons somewhere to try out the Seventh Generation line of products. Lord knows I love me some Pine-sol!

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