We use earth friendly, biodegradable, non-toxic household cleansers. This decisions was mainly made for the sake of the babies. Neither Brian nor I felt good about having a bunch of chemicals lying around to be mistakenly consumed, inhaled, or absorbed. It took a little explaining to get the cleaning lady on board, probably more of a language barrier, though... I switched to Clorox Green Works because they have a great line of products that smell great and aren't harsh at all. I bought them at WalMart and they are REALLY affordable, no more than "regular" cleaners. Because Clorox didn't have any cleaners specifically for wood floors or furniture polish I use Target's Method cleaners for those...a tad bit more expensive. I also use vinegar and water for cleaning all the baby's toys and highchairs and stuff. I've switched to ammonia for stains in the laundry. (If you decide to do this, please don't do what I did and open the jug and take a big whiff...I almost killed myself) I'm probably going to try vinegar for a fabric softener b/c I'm using the Downy free and I'm always up for an experiment.
I don't douse myself with body sprays or perfumes. O.K., except for my Nina Ricci which I only wear for special occasions...it was a gift...and it smells really good... Other than that, it's lavender water for me, which smells pretty good, but has pretty much no lasting aroma. We use California baby products for the kids, for now (they're stupid expensive). There's this great website out there that rates cosmetics and other personal care products on toxicity, or something like that. Check it out, it's really interesting.
Knowing the above information now... I also wear non-aluminum deodorant. To be exact, it's made of liken. Liken may or may not be the green mossy stuff that grows on rocks. That's what Brian told me anyway, so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that statement. He also likes to tell people I rub patchouli under my pits. So rude. As for the efficacy...on a scale of 1-5 I would rate it about a 3. By that, I mean I don't smell too bad when I finally sit down for a minute after the babies are in bed. Sometimes I have to add a little Dove at the end of the day, which may be defeating the purpose, but oh well. I am trying so give me a little credit. If I had the time to take a daily shower I would probably not have that problem. Not sure I should have admitted that. Have I reminded you lately I have three almost-8-month-olds?
I don't shave my legs. Not really. Just checking if you are really really reading this and not just skimming. I shave them a couple of times per week...see the above shower comment.
I obsessively keep the AC turned to 77 or above in the upstairs, 79 downstairs, and turn it off in our bedroom during the day. I also keep all unnecessary lights, ceiling fans, and small appliances turned off when not in use. This is really more of an electricity bill issue, but whatever. I say I am trying to reduce the need for nuclear power plants or something. I'm pretty sure they have to be bad for us.
We keep our water heaters off to conserve gas. O.K., again not really. To be exact, our water heater appears to be possessed and the pilot light goes out every day. Used to be every couple of days...now it's a daily thing. There appears to be absolutely no reason for this to be happening...which makes it pretty difficult to fix, huh? Because believe me...we have some pretty smart people in our family that can pretty much fix ANYTHING...but not those dang water heaters. Oh yeah, we've also had two plumbers out as well. Nothing. To tell the truth, it was pretty obvious with the first guy he wasn't committed to figuring out the puzzle. The second guy actually tried, but told me before he left..."can't fix what ain't broke". I beg to differ. Something is definitely broke. So, I'm holding out for the ghost theory...or some sort of gas demon. I mean, what else explains BOTH pilot lights going out? I'm just using deductive reasoning, guys.
I use glass instead of plastic as much as possible. Of course, I'm pretty sure I alone have depleted the earth of about 400 trees considering the amount of paper plates we have consumed in the past 4 years. Oops. Look, I'm trying to make it right. No more plastic cups, plastic ware, or paper plates for me. Yeah, me alone. Brian is still using it, but I'm hoping he will see the error of his ways soon. I can live off of one bowl, glass, plate, knife, spoon, and fork per week. Good for me.
I buy organic as much as possible. Oh wait, I buy expensive as much as I can.
We use glass bottles for the babies and I use glass containers to store their food. This may change when they start holding their own bottles and bopping their siblings on the head. We'll see. I have heard a good alternative for plastic bowls are stainless steel or tin. That won't make a lot of noise when chunked across the room. They also make stainless steel sippy cups. They are roughly 4 times the cost of a plastic one. Oh well, so were the bottles. Instead of having 12 bottles I have 3 that we use and 3 stand-by's. It has worked well, I'm used to the washing, and is a lot less clutter on my counters. I don't like clutter.
I make their baby food. It's nowhere near as hard as it sounds. I swear. Of course, I have come up with some pretty strange concoctions, but no one has gotten sick yet. I have had a few funny faces, though. I bought this great book and frequent this great website. Between the two I have felt very informed, prepared, and enlightened. Most of the foods I buy organic, if I can. Clean it, chop it up, and steam it. Puree it with a hand mixer or a blender. Pour it in ice trays, freeze it, put it in baggies, and keep it in the freezer. Easy cheesy. I can control the texture of the food (sort of). Plus, I can do strange things...like Bananacado...and Sweet Potatacado...and Butternutazuchinniapea. They have no idea that I am having so much fun at their expense. Ha Ha. Plus, I get to feed them stuff that looks like this...