5 Easy Go-Green Ideas for the Family

Did someone say going- green was going to be easy?
It’s not easy going green.
With an over scheduled life and barely any mind space to add on more initiatives – it can be pretty daunting. Or so I thought. But then there’s this little something called baby-steps.
Global warming,environmental issues and the mounting threat to our natural habitat was something I was familiar with, but that had mostly been drawing room conversation.

A few years back ,many would label going green as a ‘fad’ , something that’s fashionable to talk about or something that the kurta-chappal donning,tree hugging activist-types do. But hey..it doesn’t take genius to figure out our planet is on the edge and today there’s an increasing number of people willing to make changes in their daily lifestyle if it helps the cause.

So, some time back (about 3 years) , I reckoned it was time time to walk the talk. Or start with baby-steps rather.

The first step was a realization that going green isn’t an all or nothing stance. It’s not as complicated or big as buying the next hybrid car or installing solar panels on your house or composting your household waste. Yes, that’s a lovely thing to do, but most of us probably need to start with smaller steps. The second was – It’s not somebody else’s issue and every effort – even the smallest one by one single person contributed to a greener, healthier planet. Finally,  I owed it to my kids, who deserve a cleaner, healthier environment to live in.

My attempts at living more eco-consciously as an individual and as a family have met with reasonable success ,but I’ll admit it has taken time and consistent efforts to make it a mind-set. Because being more conscious about our lifestyle choices is not a ‘fad’ but a belief and an attitude. The amazing side-effects have been a healthier lifestyle and kids who are wonderfully connected with nature and recognize the need to protect it.

So , 1-2-3-4-5 ! My list of five favorite earth-friendly things to do –

1. Be a Natural Goddess!

Swap chemical packed toiletries for natural brands and home-made bodylicious recipes.Why pay a bomb for something that’s sold through more-or-less false promises, marketing hoopla,infuses a whole lot of chemicals in the body and leaves the planet bruised ? Why not pack in more punch with fresher alternatives that are greener and healthier?

Kitchen?Shower?That’s the ..uh..shower goodies!
The kitchen is a lovely place to whip up some TLC for a beautiful body.Scrubs,Packs,Hair rinses, Body butters et al – the kitchen offers nourishing ingredients to make ’em all. Some of my favorites include a Honey-Papaya -Oats pack, a Coffee-Olive Oil body scrub, a Sugar – Lemon hand scrub, Tea &Coffee based hair rinse plus a few others.
Coffee Scrubs..mmmmmm!
Apart from the home and kitchen remedies that Gran’ma swore by , the internet is teeming with earth -friendly ideas. Mayonnaise, Avocado, Honey,Lemon, Egg white, Vegetable Oil, Cocoa Butter, Sea Salt-  just some of the natural, full of goodness ingredients in these earth-friendly and super easy beauty recipes –  http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/diy-natural-beauty-products-recipes-461108#fbIndex1
2. Say ‘Yes’ to Natural Household cleaners !
All those corrosive chemicals, bleaches , disinfectants , fragrances in most of the commercial household cleaners are known to have both a negative short term and long term health impact, apart from damaging the environment. However, the kitchen offers 2 powerhouse natural cleaners – White Vinegar & Lemon.
Here’s a ridiculously easy and green recipe for a gorgeous all =purpose cleaner that I have been using ! (adapted from http://www.greenlivingtips.com/)
2 cups Water
1/2 cup White Vinegar
20 drops Tea Tree Oil (Disinfecting, Anti -fungal, Anti-viral properties)
20 drops Lemongrass essential oil (Anti -bacterial and masks Vinegar odor, which anyway dissipates naturally)
950 ml Spray Bottle
This spray is suitable for acrylic, ceramic tile, wood, marble and granite.
3. Walk ,Cycle, Work the Stairs!
That’s a no-brainer. More on road motorized vehicles means more fuel burnt and hence, more air-pollution. Walking to nearby markets , school bus-stops and using leg-power as much as possible is not just fantastically good for our planet but also great for keeping in shape. And of course, save that heartburn caused by the phenomena called no-parking-spot left.
Walking with the kids to their school bus-stop is one initiative we have just begun with – it does mean we need to wake the kids up earlier and get out of the house earlier , but trust kids today to do what it takes if it helps make the planet a better place! 🙂
I also am a big fan of opting for the stairs instead of hitching a ride up the elevator. Elevators use a lot of power plus working the stairs means you sneak in that little bit of exercising in your daily routine!
4. Honey, I greened the kids!


Although, kids today are far more aware of the dangers to Earth and steps that we must take to ensure a cleaner, healthier environment – it pays to make it an actively discussed subject at home. It helps them connect better with their environment, understand the interconnectedness of life forms, teaches them empathy and make them feel more accountable for their carbon footprint.
For some fun green activities for kids check out http://www.kidsbegreen.org/ and 10 easy-on-the-pocket green crafts at http://www.moneycrashers.com/arts-crafts-ideas-kids/. And of course, the all-time favorites at  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/ and http://kids.discovery.com/ !
My son is a big fan of Discovery’s Man vs Wild , just that he would like to rename it as Man & Wild, while my daughter is constantly looking for ways to re-cycle stuff around the house!
5. Eat Organic and Local produce as much as possible
I switched to Organic some time back and also grow some of  our most consumed vegetables in my garden. Eating organic may be a more expensive option than buying conventionally farmed produce, but can you really place a  price tag on one’s own and the family’s health? An unsettling report on pesticide levels in Indian food exports can be read at http://www.rosebridger.com/2011/05/indias-crops-laced-with-pesticides.html
Here are some top reasons for why one should eat organic – http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/organic-foods-health-and-diet.
In case one doesn’t want to splurge on organic all the way, there’s a lovely natural vegetable & fruit wash that can be used to effectively remove pesticide residues from the surface and also the wax off some fruits like apples.
1 Cup Water
2 Tbspn White Vinegar ( the acid in the Vinegar neutralizes most pesticides)
1 Lemon (Natural Disinfectant and leaves the vegetables smelling fresh!)
Spray Bottle
Just spray the greens, vegetables and fruits with the mix , leave for about 10 minutes and wash off.
1 cup water + 2 tbspn White Vinegar + 1 Lemon + a Spray bottle
Further I also try and stay away from ‘imported’ fruits and vegetables , ensuring consumption of local produce as much as possible – which is keeping the distance between the farm and the table to the minimum. That exotic ‘imported’ fruit or vegetable  from thousands of miles away causes a huge carbon footprint with its transportation and preservation techniques used. Also, buying it does nothing for the local farming community. Even on a health quotient – its not fresh like local produce would be, hence logically – not as healthy either.
There’s lot more I would like to do and much that is being done by wonderful, aware people in our city.But, there’s more that needs to be done. Every person counts, every effort is a step towards being a shade of green. It’s not easy going green, but then do we have the luxury of choice?

Leaving you with a beautiful version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’…

What’s your go-green step? I would love to hear about your easy ideas for more eco – conscious ways of daily living!


  1. The lemon-vinegar cleaner idea is fab. ANd i've been planning on cycling to the train station in singapore every morning instead of taking a cab. Just started a job in SG so i was wondering how to include cardio in my weekly regime now.

    This post made me feel stronger about cycling to the MRT. it'll probably mean a change of clothes once i get to the station but it'll be worth it.


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