January 2008 - Food allergies made us pay attention to our intake.
We noticed that Chloe, who was ten months old at the time, had eczema pretty bad on her face. It covered her eye lids and circled her little mouth. She was itchy at the creases in her arms. So, we decided to start eliminating foods from her diet. It turned out to be dairy. Once that was gone, she cleared right up. Did you know dairy is in everything? Bread, crackers, cereal, butter, and of course the obvious cheeses and such. While this didn’t really change where we were as far as eating organically goes, it did start making us aware that we needed to change our diets and that every little thing that goes into her tiny body (and ours) is very important!
January 2009 - We began using all organic cleansers, soaps, food, bedding, and some clothing – 10% increase
Willow was 2 months old and had developed a severe rash from her head to her belly button. It was bad. We thought she was allergic to our detergents, clothes, sheets…you name it. We considered it. So, I began rewashing all of our laundry in organic detergent. When I say “all of our laundry,” I mean all of our laundry. Every article of anything in the house, including bedding was washed….yes, it took me a week. At this point our children slept in their own beds (for the most part), so we made sure we had organic bedding for the girls.
We also decided to make sure our soaps were organic–shampoo, bath soap, hand soap, dish soap, cleansers, and laundry detergent. Anything that would in any way touch Willow’s skin had to be organic. Yes, clothing too (some of it), and what wasn’t organic as far as clothes went, would help us see if a reaction came about when she came in contact with it. I even purchased organic shirts for me since her little face rested on my chest or shoulder most of the time.
A changes in what is put into our bodies was also something we needed to make. We took this chance to begin eating organic foods, rather than foods that have been grown with chemicals in their growth process. We eliminated processed foods from our diet as well.
December 2010 – Fabric shopping bags – 2% increase (12%)
Fabric bags have become a part of every shopping experience for our family. We made our own bags using upholstery fabric and these heavy duty bags are used for groceries and any other shopping that we do. No more wasted plastic. No more plastic bags taking up space, just waiting to be used for something.
January 2011 – The Composter – 3% increase (15%)
A fabulous composter has been added to our food consumption and future gardening experience.
May 2011 – Family cloth and cloth napkins - 1% increase (16%)
We implemented the family cloth into our lives, eliminating (mostly) the need for toilet paper (excluding guests in our home). This change will be great for our environment, but also aid in teaching our children to be resourceful.
We have also changed to using only cloth napkins in our home in order to cut down on paper waste, but also to add more quality to our meal times.
June 2011 – No more plastic toys – 4% increase (20%)
Because of the quality of play that comes from toys that are wooden, wool, and fabric, we have rid our children’s playtime experience from any type of plastic, rubber, or any other kind of toys. This change will give them more well rounded experiencial play and give them more opportunity for full integration in their play. It also eliminates a lot of closed ended play and leaves them with toys that are open ended in nature.
August 2011 – Growing a garden – 5% increase (25%)
We are veggie gardeners now! We have decided to grow our own food as much as possible in order to each as fresh and as organically as possible. It’s also a fabulous way to teach our children about the earth and how they are such a special part of the earth. They learn how to sustain life. They learn to be self sufficient. And they learn about the wonders of God’s special world.
December 25, 2011 – Stainless steel pots and pans – 5% increase (30%)
We changed our pots and pans to stainless steel. They’re purdy and won’t emit toxins into our food. Score! And despite what people say, they are easy to cook with and to clean. We also got a fabulous cast iron skillet, which I absolutely LOVE!
June 2012 – No more TV – 5% increase (35%)
We have taken a step that has given us the opportunity to make a big lifestyle change. We gave away our TV and decided to make our home one that does not include that type of entertainment. Each moment in our lives is so precious and so important. This is a big change that will help us make the most of each moment and not let any of them carelessly slip by during those easily wasted hours in front of that very amusing box on the wall. It will help enhance our relationships with one another and give us the chance to spend more quality time together and our quality of life as a whole. It is a big change, but a good one. And think of all the wonderful things we’ll have time to do instead!
August 16, 2012 – Glass cups for the kids and stainless steel straws – 2% increase (37%)
We switched our entire sippy cup collection over to glass “Ball” jars in order to eliminate the amount of plastic that came in contact with our children’s drinks! Stainless steel straws are used with their cups, rather than plastic. One more way to eliminate chemicals and waste!
January 2013 – Organic produce from local farmers – 5% increase (42%)
We’ve been buying organic produce for quite a while now, but we have recently started purchasing our produce from a local company that gathers produce from local farmers and distributes it. It is cheaper or at least comparable to grocery stores and it actually opens us up to new fruits and veggies that aren’t available in local grocery stores. But the best part is that we can support the hardworking farmers in our area who do a fabulous job growing fruits and veggies without adding in harmful chemicals and pesticides to our food.
March 2013 – Homemade cleansers, soaps, and detergents – 5% increase (47%)
Making our laundry detergent has been going great! We’ve been doing that for about a year now. But we just added in hand soap, body wash, dish soap, and other cleansers.
March 2013 – Non-shampoo hair rinse – 2% increase (49%)
This month we started something new that I, along with probably most of America, had never heard of. We are so used to buying and doing what we’re told by commercial vendors that we forget the basics about cleaning. I stumbled upon a recipe for a super awesome hair cleaning regiment using baking soda and vinegar. It keeps our hair non-oily and very clean (and it does not smell like vinegar). You also only need to wash your hair every few days.