Make An Eco-Promise to Live a Little Greener! | $400 Home Depot, Sheridan Nurseries Gift Card & $3,000 Eco-Leisure Prize! #CAAautogreen Autogreen Challenge

Something I’ve always struggled with when it comes to living a greener lifestyle, especially with children, is balance.  When I was first a new mom I had the all or nothing mentality and “moderation” wasn’t in my vocabulary. The plastic had to be replaced with glass. The chemically cleaners had to be garbaged immediately. My pantry needed an overhaul yesterday. The point? Making green choices can feel overwhelming especially when it’s not something we’re used to.  It wasn’t until I was a mom for a year or so when I finally figured out that it couldn’t be all or nothing. I accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to be a green queen all the time and that it’s (gasp!) okay to send your kids to school with ziplocs when you realize in the morning that you forgot to empty and wash the reusable containers from your child’s lunchbox again! Haven’t we all been there??

Now, the good news about making the switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle? It doesn’t really have to be difficult. You can take your time, make subtle changes and save money at the same time. Most eco-friendly alternatives are cheaper than conventional options! Here’s how we’re living eco-friendly these days:

To clean nearly every surface in my home I use vinegar and dish soap. My 4L jug of vinegar and dish soap each costs around $3 and lasts for a couple months.  I mix about 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup hot water with 1-2tbsp dish soap in a spray bottle, swirl it around and tada, I have a safe, chemical-free, homemade cleaner that works on my butcher block countertops, kitchen and bathroom sink and even the toilet. Don’t like the smell of vinegar? You get used to it and somehow you train your brain to accept vinegar as a “clean” smell. Or try adding a few drops of essential oil to your spray bottle. The vinegar smell goes away once it’s dry so don’t worry about your home smelling like a pickle (for too long).

homemade cleaner

The easiest way to save some money and clean greener is to ditch your dryer when you can. Not only is your dryer hard on your clothing but it’s costing you money (approximately $0.25- $0.75 per hour of drying time) and the environment – dryers emit millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. I have drying racks in my basement that are used daily and now that it’s nice outside my clothesline will be put to good use! Is there anything better than the smell of fresh sheets from the clothesline?

clothes line

Find ways to conserve water. We equipped our lake behind our house with a pump that fills up a big tank of water in our garage that we use for watering flowers and the garden. The benefit of pumping lake water for irrigation is that it is incredibly environmentally supportive and the water naturally contains decayed vegetative matter! This means our little veggie garden is getting water that is already naturally fertilized. The organic garden of my dreams is underway!

We all like updating our homes, but make a point to renovate a little greener. When it comes to fixing up your home instead of heading to the home improvement store right off the hop always Always ALWAYS look on kijiji to see if you can find what you’re looking for second hand first. My back porch was rebuilt entirely with recycled wood from a building site in the city and my garden fence was made with 1×4’s (kijiji find!) that cost next to nothing!

tree seedlings

Get busy planting and help instill the value of conservation in your children!  My son, along with 70,000 other grade one students across Alberta recently came home from school with tree seedlings to plant! Get involved and contact your local Environment & Sustainable Resource Development office to see if they’re offering free seedlings.

Since 2009, CAA Autogreen has planted over 32,000 trees in communities across Ontario and this year they will be planting trees on behalf of   participants of their Autogreen Challenge! All they’re asking is to answer this question:

What’s your eco-promise this year? What’s the one simple thing you’re going to do to help the environment?

Your answer gives you one contest entry in winning a weekly $400 Home Depot gift card or Sheridan Nurseries! For more entries, share your tips online in social media.   You could also be randomly selected to win a $25 prize just for chiming in with the #CAAautogreen hashtag!

AND they’ll be giving away a $3,000 eco-leisure prize  pack that includes:

– $1,500 gift certificate for Long Point Eco-Adventures

– $500 Mountain Equipment Co-op gift card (valid online or in store)

– $500 gift card to your choice of Home Depot or Sheridan Nurseries

– $500 prepaid VISA card

I hope you’ll join me in this easy but effective green living challenge! Be sure to follow the challenge on facebook and twitter!

About Amanda

Amanda Robinson is the eco-chic, green living, fitness loving mom behind Natural Mommie. Since 2009, Amanda Robinson has been the source for moms to learn how to bring more balanced green beauty, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products into their homes without being too “crunchy” or “granola”. Amanda is passionate about design, wellness and inspiring moms to make more eco-friendly and healthy choices without having to trade in their stilettos for Birkenstocks. In addition to Natural Mommie, Amanda is also the owner and designer behind Top Knot Style - a beautiful collection of handmade oversized luxury knitwear.

7 thoughts on “Make An Eco-Promise to Live a Little Greener! | $400 Home Depot, Sheridan Nurseries Gift Card & $3,000 Eco-Leisure Prize! #CAAautogreen Autogreen Challenge

  1. My eco promise this year is to be greener doing laundry. Recently we installed a clothesline, which I am using constantly. I may make it a double on a T bar. I donèt use any type of fabric softener, including dryer sheets.

  2. We have an aquaponics system and are growing basil, peppers, kale and chard.

  3. I already recycle aluminum cans and plastic or glass bottles, but I often neglect to wash out food cans to recycle them too. I’ll do that this year! I water with a watering can to save water and have a low use shower head, but if money permits I will get a new low flush toilet as well.

  4. My eco-promise this year is to wash in cold and line dry outside more, especially my cloth diapers.

    1. It’s so hard to break the mindset that hot water = more clean, isnt’ it?? I think I need to make that my eco-promise this year too!

  5. My one eco-promise, among others, is to use our rain barrel we just purchased. We have a big garden this year so I want to conserve water and use that to water the garden. We also just put up a big clothes line so I hope to completely minimize the use of my indoor dryer other than for towels which are too starchy when line-dried.

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