My Baby Steps to Going Green

Before I became a mother, I had never given a lot of thought to the whole green movement (aside from basic recycling). But once I started bathing, dressing, and feeding a tiny newborn, I started faintly worrying about exposing him to toxins that could contribute to health problems later in life.

So while I am still no expert, I have slowly switched out a few products over the last four years. When I run out of something, I just do a little research and buy a less toxin friendly alternative. 🙂

In case you need any product recommendations, here are the green products I swear by:

For General Cleaning

Shaklee’s Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate – with Shaklee’s Get Clean Spray Bottles. You simple fill the bottles with water and then read on each bottle how much of the concentrate to add to make all-purpose cleaner in one bottle, degreaser in another, and glass cleaner in the last. I’ve been using this for most of my household cleaning (minus bathrooms) since February 1, 2011, and it’s less than halfway gone. So I’d say one bottle of this will last me about three years! The product has no scent, but it makes my cleaning a breeze.

For Laundry 

Charlie’s Soap has 454 reviews on amazon, with 4 1/2 stars. It costs $12.99 for 80 loads’ worth of powder, and I believe each jar lasts me about three months. This is another product that has no scent, but don’t worry, laundry still comes out smelling clean (just not flowery). Head over to those abundant reviews to learn more!

For Dish Washing  

Grab Green Automatic Dishwashing Detergent – I could be wrong, but going green with dishwasher detergent seems to be a little more expensive than it is with general cleaning and laundry detergent. But I do really like this product, mainly because my dishes are always sparkling and I’m a bit obsessed with the “thyme with fig leaf” scent. I have the “60 loads” size in my favorite scent delivered to me every two months for $17.38 via amazon prime (which, by the way, I am a big fan of).


My real-life friend Betsy has a blog that is a fantastic resource for moms who want to “go green gradually” (her tagline). What I love about her is that I knew her for an entire year before I learned what an expert she is on going green. She doesn’t wear it like a badge or judge you when you put something in the wrong recycling bin. 🙂 Check out her great ideas on how to begin and her 10 easy ways to reduce toxins in your home.

There are a million more things that I could be doing, and I always have a little list of products I want to switch out eventually. (Next up—soap!) But I’m content taking it slowly.

Where are you at with the whole green movement? Do you have any products you swear by? I’d love to hear about them! 

Linked up with Anti-Procrastinating Tuesdays.

  • Betsy (Eco-novice)
    July 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the shout out, Erica! I use Charlie’s Soap too – for cloth diapers. I’m not sure if any of these is cheaper (or if they would smell as good to you), but I’ve had success with all of these: Biokleen citrus (NOT the unscented one) dishwasher powder, Method tablets, Ecover tablets.

    I’m glad that you have found products that work for you!

    • Erica {let why lead}
      July 25, 2012 at 12:47 am

      Thanks, Betsy! I haven’t looked into either of the tablets, so I’m off to look them up. Thanks!

  • Alana @ Domestic Bliss Diaries
    July 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve been wanting to “go green” myself and I do in some ways {i.e. we’ve replaced paper towels with cloth}, but I could be doing so much better. Problem is, so many of the green products at big box stores are so expensive, but your recommendations all seem so reasonable in a big-bang-for-your-buck kind of way. I’ll have to look into these.

    Have you found a natural cleaner for your bathroom yet? I’m having a hard time finding something that is natural but stands up to a bathroom used by two boys {hubby and little man}.

    • Erica {let why lead}
      July 25, 2012 at 12:47 am

      Amen to all of this! I’m all about small changes, and I’m seriously inhibited when prices are high. 🙂 The Shaklee cleaner especially is super cheap and effective. About the bathrooms—no, and I wish! It’s too engrained in me to use serious disinfectants in there; I’ve been meaning to look into some alternatives. Maybe the next time my current products run out!

  • Alicia@the Overflow!
    July 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Great suggestions here. Thanks for all the practical help! So fun to meet you at the Overflow! this week. Blessings from Iowa!

  • Ashleigh
    July 26, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I do like being green. I’m not very good at it, but I try to make changes where I can. I can’t afford the fancy products, but I LOVE to use baking soda as a soft abrasive when scrubbing my sinks, as well as dishes with baked on stains. I also use vinegar as a deodorizer in my garbage disposal, and to get smells out of laundry {added bonus: it’s a fabric softener. And the clothes come out smelling clean, not like vinegar}.

    If I had all the money in the world, I would use Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products. They smell great! But they are pricey.

    Where I am pretty careful is with my skin care. I love to use products from The Body Shop. They have all natural ingredients, and support local economies around the world. I shop sales, so it’s more affordable that way.

  • Becky K
    July 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I love my Norwex antibacterial cloths. There’s a silver agent built right in to the microfiber, so it acts as an anti-bac cleaner without any chemicals. Thanks for these ideas, Erica!

  • Debra
    July 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I am a fan of all of the BabyGanics products… hand sanitizers, tub cleaner, floor cleaner, dish soap, hand soap, etc. They aren’t the cheapest, but I think it’s worth the cost.

    Another thing I use for a lot of basic cleaning of windows, countertops, carpet stains, etc. is a homemade solution that my grandmother got the recipe for many many years ago at a Relief Society meeting. It seems to be the favorite multi-purpose cleaning solution for the entire extended family now. Here’s the “recipe” for it, in case you’re interested:

    Fill a gallon jug ( rinsed out milk jug is fine if it has a screw-on lid) HALF FULL of tap water.

    Add one bottle rubbing alcohol.

    Mix the following  in a small dish:  half cup water, 2 TBL ammonia, and 1 TBL regular dish soap (Joy, Dawn, etc).

    Add this mix to the jug.

    Slowly fill remainder of jug with water.

    Keep a spray bottle filled for kitchen, bathrooms, etc.

    Keeps forever.

  • Brittany
    July 27, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I’ve been having fun catching up on all the posts I missed since I’ve been out of town. I love, love, love your blog Erica!

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