I’m a new intern at Eco-Bags (www.ecobags.com). In my few weeks here I’ve gotten a real education about what it means to be “green” from co-worker moms and dads who’ve been down this road. Initially, I had thoughts about “sustainability” that included higher prices, longer routines, and more complicated tasks. Any mother knows that the thought of doing more or having things be more complicated is enough to send us to a couch with exhaustion! However, after diving further into the ‘green realm’ I discarded a lot of my stereotypes immediately.
With a child comes heightened concern about certain daily procedures and their effects. Cleaning chemicals with toxic fumes, plastics that leach harmful chemicals into food and drink and even contaminated dirt (70% of dirt contains chemicals) are all aspects of everyday life that made my head spin with worry. Doing something about these scary concerns doesn’t mean organizing an angry mob to picket in the streets, but instead involves making simple alternative choices that have the same level of impact as minus the hostile storming of the castle!
In the world of ‘simple ideas, big impacts,’ the more I researched the more I discovered the simple changes I could make without huge effort or expenses. These included:
1) Diapers: Who knew there were such choices in diapers? Bamboo diapers sell from $13 to $25 apiece. A box of regular diapers sells for $25 to $40, without factoring in the cost/impact of garbage disposal , and must be replaced within a three to four week period (depending on how quickly they are used). By comparison, the bamboo diapers are washable, soft and eco-friendly.
2) Sheets made from organic cotton cover my son’s toddler bed instead of synthetic ones. They wash really well, they’re not scratchy and knowing there were no chemicals involved in growing, harvesting or manufacturing them makes them ok for my baby’s bed.
3) Plastic shopping bags are extinct in my household with the ECOBAGS replacements I received. I got to reclaim a whole drawer in my kitchen when I started saying “no thanks” to the baggers with the plastic bags!
I know that these are small steps but it feels good to make a difference in my family’s life with these changes. After all it is a simple, yet impactful concept to “clean the planet, one bag at a time.”