We all want to live life a bit “greener,” but if you’re anything like me, the prospect of completely turning your everyday things–from what you put on your body to what you eat to the car you drive to recycling your plastic bags–is a little daunting. So when two people–(one of Breezy Mama’s Go-To Pediatricans, Dr. Jon Conti, and Breezy Mama friend, Lane) recommended Happy Go Local: The Smart Mom’s Guide to Living the Good and Sustainable Life, I had to do a little investigating. Turns out that author, Linsly Donnelly has made the task of turning your life in the “green” direction, a bit easier. Read on for her suggestions in “living locally.”
How did having a child change your thoughts on living greener?
Basically it just made me look into the future a bit and realize if we wanted there to be a great place for our children (and really, our children’s children) to play…we were the ones who had to conserve – and in some instances – rebuild it now…
Do you have advice for doing a small bit at a time?
Absolutely! This was the entire premise of the book. I set up HGL [Happy Go Local] so people could read through the laundry list of things and see a snapshot prioritization of relative impact/ease to do (“Screens” in the front of each chapter). That way – readers can sift through action items and pick the baby steps most relevant to them and most doable in their daily lives. It’s so overwhelming to take on the full list of possible to dos…I required a short cut list to get started. In reality – every little bit counts and just doing something is worth the effort. For an idea of big swing efforts that’s “pay off”:
- try eliminating as much plastic as possible. It’s bad for your health and bad for the world (both in making it and it it’s toxic inability to break down)
- get an “at the source” water heater – saves a ton of water from “warming up” shower and sink water
- buy “safe” personal care products (look for CSC certified labels) – better for you and the environment.
My daughter was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. Today, she is healthy and cancer free—my husband and I feel like she’s been given a second chance and it’s up to us to provide organic, healthy food, and try to eat less meat. But again, this task seems very huge and daunting—how should we start?
WOW! Congratulations on your daughter’s health. What a heartache for you and your family.
Organic everything is indeed the way to go. There are a ton of food options now – even at the everyday Ralph’s. You can also default to “local” produce. In most instances it meets organic standards as well. The other piece is the personal care product list. Since we ingest what we put on our skin at the rate of 60% – it’s worth using organic as well.
One Breezy Mama reader asked if we knew of an inexpensive, organic/green online store that sells everything from dishware to cleaners. Do you have any recommendations?
Many! They’re in the book as well. But, basically try Pristine Planet for a good overview source.
Can you recommend a website where one can go and compare the “greenness” of different brands?
The best one I found was for personal care items – www.cosmeticsdatabase.com – which covered all things hair/skin etc. So does Ideal Bite – for food and TreeHugger does a good overview as does the Green Guide and Grist.
One thing that confuses me, personally, is that I can never remember what ingredients to avoid in certain products (i.e. sunscreen or baby wash). Is there a site that lists everything so we can carry it with us as we shop?
I have a list of the “frightening 15” which are the worst offenders in my book. You can also go to www.cosmeticsdatabase.com for a longer list, but those 15 are really the worst offenders.
What three steps should we take, starting today, toward a more sustainable lifestyle?
I’d do the ones below:
- eliminate plastics
- save water around the house (cold water and less of it)
- buy organic products…
Anything that you would like to add?
EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS!
To purchase Linsly’s book, Happy Go Local: The Smart Mom’s Guide to Living the Good and Sustainable Life ($11.66 from Amazon), click here.
About Linsly: Linsly Donnelly (Dana Point, CA) is a businesswoman, yogini, and writer. In her most recent job of “Mom,” Linsly awoke to the importance of leaving a viable earth behind for future generations. She is the cofounder of a successful yoga studio and a busy green mom to two children. To visit Linsly’s website, click here.
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