Staying on the Green Bandwagon

You know how the easiest way to stick to a diet is to not bring ‘problem’ foods into the house in the first place? Well, I’ve found I do the same thing with keeping to a ‘green’ diet. There are certain (decidedly un-environmental) conveniences I simply can’t resist if they’re easily accessable, so instead I don’t purchase them at all.

Maybe I have the will power of a knat, but I find this works for me. Out of sight, out of mind! The following are non-green items I try to avoid like the plague (because if they’re in my house, I’ll gladly use them!):

Do Not Enter sign.svg

Paper towels and napkins. My (long suffering) husband has asked for these for his packed lunches, but I deny him, because if they’re sitting in the napkin holder or on the rack, I’ll reach for them every time. And our nicely-folded, freshly laundered pile of second-hand cloth napkins work just fine, thank you.

Plastic baggies (zip-locks). Again, poor hubby. But I pack the kids’ lunches using their Laptop Lunches sets, and for all our other packable needs, we have a great set of sealable glass containers. If those pesky zip-locks are in the drawer, they become my go-to option.

Convenience foods (with all their excessive packaging). Instead of buying frozen burritos, we now make our own and freeze them. As for those boxes of ‘lunchables’ my kids beg for: slices of lunch meat and cheese with a container of crackers can be made in-house (who would have guessed?!). Click here for more alternatives to pre-packaged snacks!

Plastic toys. This is a hard one, because from time to time, there’s something the kids really want, and I do cave. But in general, if the packaging volume is double that of the toy it’s housing, it doesn’t come into our house. The kids know this. (I’m trying to get Santa on board, too.)

What about you? What items do you ban from your home in order to stay on the straight and narrow (eco) path? What can you just not give up?

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Amy Whitley is excited to be writing bi-weekly for the 5 Minutes for Going Green team! You can read more about her attempts at eco-living at her blog The Never-True Tales and find great places to travel with children at her review site Pitstops for Kids!.

5 Responses to Staying on the Green Bandwagon
  1. Amber
    April 21, 2010 | 1:45 pm

    I hear you on the paper towels. We still have these, and I want to get rid of them because they are SO convenient that I reach for them every time. Paper napkins, not so much, but when I’m wiping up (yet another) sticky spill the idea of being able to toss the whole thing is super-appealing.

    The convenience foods are probably the biggest item I’ve banned. If I have them, I eat them. If I don’t, other options magically open up before me. Funny, that.

  2. Tricia (Once A Month Mom)
    April 22, 2010 | 8:49 pm

    How awesome that the burritos have helped you stay green by reducing foods bought in individual packaging. And some great reminders on ways to stay green this Earth Day.

  3. Amy Whitley
    April 23, 2010 | 12:57 pm

    Banning convenience foods is so good on so many levels, I don’t know why I didn’t do it years ago. Oh wait…I know why: they’re so convenient! :)

  4. Amy Whitley
    April 23, 2010 | 12:58 pm

    Your site has really made it easier to be green, because I buy so much less food with packaging waste! Another benefit of OAMC!

  5. Tori @
    May 7, 2010 | 11:26 am

    The easiest thing I ever did was get a whole bunch of sandwich wraps ( and snack bags ( to replace plastic wrap and plastic bags! Now that’s all we ever use! And I love to use small stainless steel bottles to pour water or juice in instead of water bottles and juice boxes.