Making a Clean Start

Did you know that there are no federal regulations for chemicals used in household cleaners? What is THAT about? Reading the warning “May be toxic to humans and domesticated animals” on a bottle of cleaner made me really consider how we clean our house and what we clean it with. After all, the “humans and domesticated animals” are the inhabitants I care about! So, today was D-day for cleaning out the storage area under the sink. It was scary, on many levels. But now we have cleaners that are mostly vinegar, borax and baking soda. Will they work effectively? Not sure, but I feel better about having my daughter help me clean knowing she won’t be exposed to phlates and other toxins. See the before and after pics. Before: I needed a caddy to carry all the cleaning supplies. After: much simpler and (hopefully) healthier.

What Does “Healthier” Mean?

We are a regular, suburban family living in Cary, North Carolina. This year, we are embarking on a journey to see if our family of 3 can eat, drink and live healthier for a year. Because that’s a pretty vague goal, we’re identifying “healthier” as:

  1. Eliminating (or at least dramatically reducing) the toxins and chemicals we use in our home. Seriously, have you read the ingredients in Pine-Sol? Or Diet Coke?
  2. Buying (and eating) locally produced vegetables and meat for at least 75% of our meals.
  3. Walking to destinations that are 1 mile or less from our home instead of driving. Biking when possible and safe.
  4. Not spending outside our food budget for high quality, locally produced food. This will be the most challenging, I think.

Along the way, I am sure we will make many mistakes and learn a lot about our culture and ourselves. Join us for the journey!

A Year of Healthier Living on a Budget. Is it possible?

We try to live a clean and sustainable life. Really. Well, not so really. We recycle, we try not to overconsume, my husband takes the bus to work, we belong to a CSA. But there’s a lot we’re not doing–getting rid of chemicals and toxins in our house, eating locally grown produce and meat all year, walking instead of driving, and eliminating severe toxins in our food supply (I’m talking to you, Mr. Diet Soda…).

So this is our year-long journey to see how a family of 3 (+dog +cat) can make a shift in living a healthier life without blowing our budget in one trip to Whole Foods. Because, let’s face it, our commerce system makes it challenging and expensive to live healthy.

Can we do it? It will be an interesting journey and I’ll share with you our triumphs and pitfalls along the way. Here is to ending 2012 feeling good, living healthy and with money in the bank. Let’s begin!