Guest Post: Taking Baby Steps toward Going Green by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

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Think About This Thursday
Today’s installment of Think About This Thursday is a request from Cheryl C. Malandrinos for your assistance in going green! Everyone has to start somewhere on their journey to an eco friendly existence…where did YOU start? What baby steps did you take to go green in your life? Please leave comments and think about what type of actions, products, or lifestyle changes you would recommend! 
I asked Diane if I could be her guest blogger today because I need your help. Here’s the situation: we’re a busy family of four with four pets. My husband and I work fulltime and the kids are involved in a few activities that turn us from parents into chauffeurs several days a week. Maybe we sound similar to your family.
The thing is I’m having a hard time changing our lifestyle so that we’re more environmentally friendly. We recycle and many of our food scraps make their way into the compost pile. I buy Green cleaning products when I find them—man they can be expensive. I’ve also switched us over from buying bottled water to putting tap water into reusable bottles.
I guess I just don’t feel like that’s enough.
I would love to try my hand at organic gardening, but have no idea how to get started. When I had my first vegetable garden here, I tried using a homemade solution to keep the pests away, but it didn’t work at all, and I became discouraged.
So, here’s where you might be able to help us. If you could give us one tip that would move us closer to being a Green family, what would that be? These would need to be baby steps, as I can’t see us making the change overnight; especially when not all our family members are onboard. But, since I am the one who is home most of the time, I can start plugging away a bit at a time and go from there.
Thanks in advance for sharing your tips. I’m sure our family and our community will be greener as a result.
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens  
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.
You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/. 

Posts feature partner companies & may be sponsored. Post contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on links.

My thanks to Cheryl for taking time to guest post on my blog! 

Comments

  1. Hi Cheryl- Baby steps are really important or its easy to get burned out quickly. A few things we did when we first got started were to switch to those new light bulbs that use less electricity, buy more locally grown foods from places like your farmers market and hang our clothes on the line in the summer time. Every little bit helps!
  2. Great ideas, Ellen. The clothes line is a no go because they aren't allowed here, but I have an indoor drying rack that I put on my back porch from time to time. It's just not big enough to handle a whole load of laundry.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Cheryl
  3. Oh, Diane, I should probably say thanks for letting me be a guest blogger. Geesh, I have to blame the snow for my lack of brains. :)
  4. Cheryl, I just stopped by to show my support. I admire the steps you've taken so far. I am not one to offer any advice! I need to take a lot of baby steps myself!

    Blessings
    Michelle V
  5. Farrah from Notes from Farrah says
    When we pack lunches we don't use plastic bags or paper bags. We use washable containers for snacks, sandwiches (or other main food), and even use thermos' for drinks and hot item foods.
  6. One tip is difficult without knowing you better. I've done many posts on how to go green, little by little, and would love to have you stop by my site. But if I could pick two tips, it would be make more of your own cleaners http://greenertoday.blog.ca/2010/12/06/diy-cleaners-10125069/ (too easy, I swear) and buy organic for the dirty dozen(http://greenertoday.blog.ca/2011/01/06/all-about-organics-10317067/) Once you get started, it isn't so hard. You can do it!
  7. Cheryl, clotheslines are against our neighborhood rules too which just irks me to no end! When I needed a new dryer, I upgraded to one that is energy effecient and has a sensor in it to 'sense' when your clothes are dry instead of using a timer.
  8. I find that buying in bulk and dividing into reusable containers is not only better for the environment but cheaper!
  9. Hey Cheryl,

    Another thing you can do to go green is get or make a rain barrel. You and the kids could have fun painting designs on it or you could just leave it plain.

    You can use this collected water to water plants, huge money saver if you get the garden started again, or even if you just have some basic house plants. You could also use the water to wash cars or any other such use.
  10. I'm a little late to the party, but I'm with Cheryl...I need to find ways to go green. I did have an organic garden though so maybe I can help there. I actually had raised beds and didn't use any pesticide. The bugs came, I'd pick them off. It really isn't that big a deal if you're out there quite a bit making sure the bugs don't take over, lol.
  11. Anna (Green Talk) says
    I am having writing about going green for four years and one of my favorite post has to be 18 Easy Green Steps without spending a dime!

    See http://www.green-talk.com/2007/11/09/18-easy-green-steps-without-spending-a-dime/

    It is the easy steps that change behavior. Try what works with your family, and do the best you can. Don't sweat it if you can't do it all. Every step counts. Good Luck!
  12. I am right along with you, Cheryl - baby steps! I will be very anxious to read all the tips that readers give you. Frankly, we are more on the red side than green, lol. Horrid, I know.
  13. Awesome tips everyone. Farrah, I won a couple of reuseable baggies off Ellen's blog a while back and I use them every day. The kids like them because they don't have to stop by the trash cans on their way out of the cafeteria.

    Lynne and Anna I'll definitely be stopping by those links today.

    Diane, what I buy in bulk is usually meats. Are there safe containers for that?

    Vanessa, rain barrel is something I've considered too. I've seen the ones that gardening supply stores offer, but they are too expensive. What would make a good rain barrel?

    Thanks again for all the advice.

    Cheryl
  14. Cheryl: If you are handy, check out how to make a rainbarrel from the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/region3/p2/make-rainbarrel.pdf

    They offer ideas on where to find free/cheap barrels

    For meat storage, that is tough. You can buy ecosmart plastic bags which are probably more expensive but use less plastic than your traditional ziploc type bag.

    Good luck in your journey to going green and thanks so much for guest posting for me!
  15. Rebecca Camarena says
    I could use some tips on how to start a compost pile. Except I can't just have a pile in the yard, the dogs would love it too mcuh.
  16. Thanks Diane. I'll check it out.

    I loved being here. Thanks for having me.

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