Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When Green Living is a Labor of Love

From the bean of Green Bean.

You care about your kids' future.  Or the planet.  Or the open space and wildlife.  Or your health.  And so you decide to "go green".  You recycle more and shop less.  You use reusable bags and eat local food and bicycle.  You compost and grow a garden and bake your own bread and spend your time reading the back of deodorant bottles.

And at some point, it becomes, well, too much.

Green living should not be a chore.  By focusing on the fun stuff, we can stick with our positive lifestyle changes and, maybe, add more. If you are looking to extend your lighter living choices, here are a few things that the superheroes of the Green Phone Booth find irresistible.


Doing it yourself offers all kinds of benefits.  Boothers are addicted to saving money, eliminating nasty ingredients and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Eco-Yogini's DIY Beeswax Pomade
Eco-Yogini loves her homemade beauty products - in particular, honey face wash, beeswax hair pomade, whipped body butter and homemade soap.  She gets to avoid all the endocrine-disrupting, cancer causing things lurking in store-bought personal care products and saves a bundle.

18 Ways the Parsimonious Princess Uses Vinegar in Her House

Parsimonious Princess is on the same wavelength. She love, love, loves homemade cleaning products.  It gives her peace of mind, especially with little ones, and is such an easy way to save money.  Check out her homemade liquid laundry detergent or read about her love affair with vinegar as a cleaner.  Swoon!

Eco-Novice's pancake mix recipe.

Eco-Novice is all about cooking and baking from scratch. It is healthier, less expensive and tastes better.  Over the years, she has shared some killer DIY recipes: taco seasoning recipe, trail mix, and vegan pancake/waffle mix to name a few.


Money cannot buy happiness but it can buy locally grown produce from your farmers' market, and that's basically the same thing.  Eco-Novice and Green Bean are farmers' market regulars.  Eco-Novice heads to her farmers' market because growing a vegetable garden and tending an orchard are not for everyone.  Green Bean shops there because, well, she has to!  Once you go local, she attests, you can never go back. 


Some times, green living is as easy as investing in a few products - compost bin, reusable sandwich wraps, and so on.  Emerald Apron swears by the reusable water bottle. Use it daily and think about all the waste that reduces!

Green Bean's Tips for Organizing Reusable Bags and More.
Green Bean would never go back to disposable shopping bags. She had been using reusables for years but slipped up every now and then.  Then a plastic bag ban went into effect.  Green Bean went cold turkey - and now feels downright dirty when a plastic bag comes home.

What aspects of eco-friendly living to you love?  What do you do for the sheer love of it - not the guilt? 

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Heather said...

I love this post (and vinegar...sigh).

You know, I've never really given much thought to green living as a labor of love, but it totally is. Really, living green is a way I show love for the earth, love for my family, love for my posterity (because I want to pass on a healthy planet to them), and a demonstration of love for the Heavenly Father I believe created our beautiful world. And you're totally right, thinking of it that way, makes it seem like less of a chore. :)

Anyway, your post just made me happy.

Mindful Echo said...

Great post! My favourite green lifestyle choice is to buy used as much as possible. I love knowing that I've saved something from a landfill or avoided some excess production by making a purchase of an items that's been previously enjoyed. Plus, there's the vintage street-cred bonus.

Betsy Escandon said...

It is wonderful, Mindful Echo, that purchasing second-hand is now cool. When my dad was out-of-work when I was in HS, it was most definitely not cool, and we told no one about the awesome treasures and bargains we found at the thrift store.

I've loved many, many parts about going green. I could do without the anxiety over toxins and global warming, but many of the habits are just a throwback to traditions discarded that we now realize brought happiness, pride, and fulfillment.

boots61 said...

I compost because my Dad did it for the garden back in the 60's and 70's. He didn't do it to be eco friendly but why would you pay through taxes to have something hauled away that is beneficial to your garden. When I moved into my house one of the first things he did was to build a compost area. Greening my life (still a work in progress) has been done gradually. All starting with a pledge one Christmas to shop local for all Christmas gifts. It has led me into changing to organic food and products, DIY and buying local as much as possible.Many things I do now are what my parents and Grandparents always did because there just wasn't an alternative. I am carrying on their way of life and showing my own family that there is a better way.

Green Bean said...

@Heather - Aw, thank you! Your comment - and love of vinegar - make me happy. I'd so much rather focus on the positive.

@Mindful Echo - Oh yes!!! I live in a densely populated area with thrift stores stocked to the brim with everything you could need for a fraction of the price new. Why on earth would I ever buy new?

@Betsy - Yeah, I'd happily skip toxins and global warming as well. Can't we all just bake bread and make DIY cleaning supplies and be happy!

@boots61 - I love this. It is just doing what our elders did - living smarter and better. (And I couldn't agree more on the compost!).

Mindful Momma said...

I have to agree - green living is mostly a labor of love! My passion is finding new uses for old things. Plus I do love shopping thrift - it is such a thrill!

Sara Vartanian said...

Great piece-very thoughtful! I keep the love for green living by focussing on an area to change at a time. I think about the change as a lifestyle upgrade :) I'm not much of a DIYer so I love the research that goes into finding brands that fit my criteria.

Lisa said...

Even if some how they found cleaning chemicals were totally safe, climate change wasn't real, etc... I would keep making my own cleaners. There are so many positives I see no reason not to.

And I'd still use reusable containers because IMO they look nicer and they last forever.

Eco Yogini said...

THANK YOU. I really needed to read this today Green Bean. xo


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