Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Slowly... One step at a time.

Ever heard "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."?

The same could be said about natural living. "How do you live naturally? One step at a time."

It hasn't happened overnight, but here are some of the changes we've already made.

We don't use paper towels or paper napkins. I have a special stack of cloth towels for cleaning up spills and yet another cloth towel stack for normal hand-drying. I invested in extra washcloths, too. That way I wasn't always washing a load of cloth towels! I wash enough, as is! We made our own cloth napkins. Instead of throwing them in with the towels, we put them in a little container under the sink until wash day! It's perfect!

We replace a lot of package foods with healthier, homemade alternatives. Our alternatives aren't always whole foods, but they are made without a bunch of preservatives and I know every ingredient listed. My oldest has a very severe nut allergy and we recently discovered that we needed to be more careful about what her food comes in contact with. No more "processed on the same equipment" as nuts, either. Our favorite thing to replace are breakfast foods! So long Toaster Strudels, hello homemade sausage biscuits!

We replaced our medicine cabinet with better alternatives! I use essential oils for tummy aches and headaches. Honey and elderberry are staples at our house! And not just for eating. We also don't go to the doctor. We haven't had a reason to go in the last year or two, but I'm not anti-doctor. If the need was truly there, we would go. Most things are treated with a holistic, natural approach.

We replaced our microwave with a toaster oven.

We are working on replacing our plastic with glass. Our tupperware is gone, in its place are mason jars. We're getting rid of the plastic plates/cups/bowls that the kids had been using and replacing them with glass. It helps that my kids are older (4 years and up) and I trust them a little more with glass!

We are working on eliminating dyes. We know they aren't good for us, but they seem to be everywhere. The more and more that I read about the downside to dyes, the more and more that I want to avoid them. I have first hand experience with dyes altering behaviors, too. When we were growing up my brother was a HANDFUL if he consumed something with dyes and other artificial ingredients. However, when he consumed a more natural diet he was simply "just a boy". No hyper-activity, just rough and tumble BOY! I've seen it in my own children. The healthier I feed them, the more controlled they are!

Deodorant, toothpaste, and other items are carefully considered before purchasing. Aluminum free. Fluoride free. Natural ingredients. Choose carefully. When talking about feminine hygiene products, there are reusable, green products like the Diva Cup and products that are chlorine-free or cloth! Be smart about what you use! And try new things!

We make our cleaning products and laundry detergent. My favorite is the all purpose cleaning spray that I add essential oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint, or even lavender! Nothing is better than making your own non-toxix cleaning supplies and you can rest easy knowing that homemade laundry detergent isn't just economical, it's safer! My favorite recipe combines Fels Naptha soap, washing soda, and Borax! For a more natural approach, try line drying your clothes as often as possible, too.

Other natural living tips

What are some steps you've taken in living a more natural life?



Tina Hollenbeck said...

Honestly, not very much, as I'm just starting to think about this type of thing, and I'm not very "domestic." Truly, it's a miracle that I cook dinners most nights, given that I was raised by a very undomestic mother. So I'm thinking about being more natural, reading, researching...and we'll see what comes of it.

I do have a question for you, though: If you purposely avoid fluoride, do your children have a problem with tooth decay? I know the reports of problems with fluoride, but I am concerned about cavities, especially because my younger daughter has the "bad bacteria" in her mouth (i.e., giving her a propensity toward decay even though she brushes very well).

Erika said...

I don't know about your daughter, but I know for us, personally, we have never had problems with tooth decay since using fluoride-free. In fact, the cavities that my oldest had, all happened while using fluoride toothpaste. Sorry I couldn't answer your question better. :-)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

I really liked your blog post with lots of natural living stuff. I've been following a healthy lving/gluten free lifestyle since September 1st, and that includes making all the things in my home non-toxic. In any case, I'll have to come back later for a longer visit here.I found your blog via the link-up at Women Living Well ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

kris_tea said...

I've just recently gotten interested in moving to a more natural lifestyle. We love to cook so I've been making out a weekly menu & shopping on Saturdays. Since we almost always have leftovers, we rarely go for fast food anymore. It's not only helping our health but also our wallet.

Finances are the main reason for us moving a bit more natural. I want to stay at home with our kids if we ever are blessed with children & I'm finding some of this is much cheaper than the alternatives. Also, thinking of having children makes me want to create the healthiest environment possible for them.

Other things I've done recently include, making our own laundry detergent (same recipe as yours). I plan on making our cleaning supplies after the ones we are using now run out. I've been convinced to use less paper towels (we still find them useful for things like patting chicken dry). I'm considering making my own deodorant next.

I really am interested in taking the next step into herbs & EOs for health. I know that is one area that can become a bit pricey if you aren't careful so I'm trying to do all the research I can first. I especially want to see what I can take when I become pregnant since I am a bit of a slave to "pill popping" & I know I can't do that while pregnant...& shouldn't anyway. ;)


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