Making the Switch to Green | Seventh Generation
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Making the Switch to Green

Author: RealMomofNJ

I consider myself green, but I admit I'm not completely green. There are many things around my house -- from baby items to toiletries -- that aren’t quite eco-friendly. Most of these products have eco-friendly alternatives, but I keep using the conventional versions. The reasons for my loyalty are not particularly compelling, either. Sometimes I buy a product because it is what my mom always used, and sometimes I'm driven by price or convenience. Other times I worry that the natural product won't work as well, and then there are the hectic shopping expeditions when I just can’t think about trying something new.

But all these reasons are really just excuses.

I have been reminding myself lately of my motivations for going green in the first place. Other than the obvious reasons of wanting to be more respectful of the environment and help my family lead healthier lives, I get a great feeling of satisfaction from using green products, particularly green cleaners.  Plus, almost every time I try one, I love it and wish I'd tried it sooner. With more and more stores now offering environmentally conscious options, I feel silly holding on to my old ways out of habit or laziness. The pride and happiness that follow making more responsible choices are always worth the effort or extra couple bucks. Also, I've found it's never as difficult or inconvenient as you think to switch to green products. And the satisfaction of making the smart choice is huge!

What products do you continue to use despite green alternatives and why?

photo: Patrick Hoesly


peterthomoss picture
A powerful chemical smell is usually the herald to a clean apartment, after you’ve gone through and scrubbed with various strong cleaners to get the job done. Yet, the smell itself is bothersome, and the use of harsh chemicals in your apartment home isn’t always best for your family or for the environment. Go greener and cleaner by making your own natural cleaning agents in your apartment Alfakleen Chemical Labs
Jacquelyn Parchman picture
Jacquelyn Parchman
Has anyone tried the "crystal" deodorant? It's basically mineral salts, which prevent bacteria (that cause odor) from forming. You just apply it to damp underarms, or anywhere else-even feet I've used this product for over 2 years and never had a problem while using it. The best part: one stick will last about a year! Not bad for a $5.00 investment.
andiecande picture
For katespo5: I try soaking the stained spots with the soap and cold water. Hot water will set a stain, so make sure you wash in cold water (more enviro-friendly anyway) and don't heat dry it if it needs to be washed a second time. Just bought the 4x 7th gen laundry soap, but haven't had the cahnce to try it yet. Fingers crossed. :} I just got a dishwasher in my 80 year old house *happy dance* and I started using the dishwasher packs from 7th gen and I love them. My fiance and I are lazy cleaners and the packs are so easy, even he will use them, and our dishes come out clean without spotting or streaks hat I used to see with some of the non-earth friendly kinds. I was surprised, but they work really well. Good luck!
abanmc picture
Bubbles678 I have found a GREAT green alternative to tampons! It's called the DIVA cup, you can find it at local green stores. Instead of the tampon it's a silicon cup that gets reused over and over for collection, you dump it in the toilet, and wash it before reuse or storage. I haven't used tampons in probably 3 years. I use Seventh generation dish soap (though I will admit to keeping a bottle of power soak dawn for the really tough stuff) I make my own laundry detergent: 1 bar fels-naptha laundry soap, grated and melted on the stove with just enough water to cover, then in a large pail, add to 2 cups of baking soda and 2 gallons warm water, mix well, put into old (yay for recycling!!) laundry containers, shake well before use. shampoo: 2TBSPS baking soda to 12 0z water Conditioner: 2 TBSPS apple cider vinegar to 12 oz water body soap: 3 bars soap of your choice (I personally like dove, my husband like more "manly" scents so I buy dial or whatever smells good to me) grated, and added to 6 cups of water and melted together. Works JUST like "real" bodywash. Kids bodywash/shampoo: same as above only with a glycerin based body bar. I have saved over 700$ per year by making my own and reusing old bottles. No more in the landfills and better for my family
Bubbles678 picture
i have doing my best to switch to green ( and even better, cheep, homemade green products ) i have adapted Dr.Bronners liquid soap as shampoo. i am still at a loss to find an affordable alternative to conditioner. I have a kind that is 93% biodegradable, but the company is not know for its ethics, so i will just have to live with it for now. that and organic tampons, they are just WAY to expensive no matter where i buy them.
RenaeK88 picture
I'm an eco product nerd too (obviously we are on this site in the first place), but I wanted to share a few products in response to the previous posts I would recommend : ). For laundry detergent, I recently tried the "Method" brand (I got spring daisy). It is carried at Whole Foods and Target, and satisfies my longing for a laundry detergent that leaves the "fresh laundry" smell in your clothes that many of the natural detergents (which are often much more mildly fragranced), do not, yet it is 95% natural. For dish detergent, Method also makes one, but I am using a brand called "Bright Green" right now that seems to be working well. I don't know if they have Safeway where you are but that is where I got it. For deoderant, I just could not find a natural one that I felt comfortable using (that worked for me) and I tried MANY. But, one I found that is at least not animal tested and probably the only mainstream one you can get anywhere is by "Mitchum".
katespo5 picture
I can't seem to switch to a non ecofriendly laundry detergent, the stains just don't come out without a "name" brand non ecofriendly detergent, any suggestions. I also can't seem to switch from my dishwasher soap either! Help!! All of my other home cleaners are green and very ecofriendly, I'm just having trouble with theses few items.
JoRobin54 picture
My go-to products are vinegar, baking soda and old holey socks and other cotton clothes. Alone or in combination with water or each other, those three products can clean every surface or spill in our house. We do keep a roll of "responsible" paper towels around for the times when my partner just can't help returning to his old habits. But that one roll has lasted more than a month...and counting. And I confess to using 7th generation disinfectant wipes in the bathrooms for their 99.9% strength.
clcfish29 picture
As a Cincinnati native (far from the most eco-conscious city), I used to work at a natural supplement company and got used to eye-rolling when I touted using natural products over pharmaceuticals. Then when I bought a hybrid car in 2005 before it was trendy, even more teasing came. Then when I got pregnant that year, chemical cleaners gave me headaches I'd never experienced before and I bought my first Seventh Generation products. That's when I became obsessed with buying organics and natural products. I will never forget the strange, disapproving looks I got from older women in my family when I pulled out brown diapers to change my daughter! Over the years, I've slowly swapped out more and more things for eco-friendly alternatives, but there are some things that still don't work for me. Although I use a natural deodorant, I still keep Secret in my office desk and at home for emergencies when the natural stuff doesn't cut it. And while my daughter uses most of the same products as me, she's 5 and loves licensed characters on her body wash so it's hard to not let her have at least one cool thing like her friends. And the tissues! As a person with horrible sinuses and allergies, the lotioned tissues are a requirement if I don't want to look like Rudolph and suffer with a dry, peeling nose. Waiting desperately for the natural companies to whip up miracle products for these issues!
ladybullis picture
First of all, I want to say how grateful I am that I have an awesome whole foods store near my house that totally promotes green living. I started buying bulk bar soap which eliminates the plastic container. I do all the of common stuff too - post consumer recycled paper products and green cleaning products. But my new favorite discovery is Dr. Bronners lavender castile oil soap. I have had this around my house in case I was camping and wanted to bathe in the river. That never happened but I did remember it when my new green consciousness came over me and I started using it as body wash. I also have started using it as facewash which was a scary thing to try as I have adult acne. BUT, ever since I have been using it (almost 2 weeks) I haven't had a break out! I ALWAYS have some blemish on my face. Another great part about it is that their package is made of recycled materials and that my store carries it in bulk so I just refill my bottle when I run out. I highly suggest you try this product!!
benelux2000 picture
I just recently moved to Palm Springs and my mom went shopping with me. I told her "Mom, this is the start of my new life, I'm going green!" So, what's the first product she puts into my basket at Target? Tissues (regular, not recycled-and I didn't catch it)! She then added paper towels, toilet paper (all not of the green kind). I had a problem with it and she was like well what else are you gonna use? I said Mom, there are alternatives and I want to use them. As I grow in my Green lifestyle, I have given away most of my non-green products (I sort of felt bad doing this because I don't think they should be in the environment anyway) but I didn't want to be the one doing it. I use handkerchiefs for my tissues now. I am waiting for a delivery for toilet paper and my new reusable baggies (like Ziploc but cloth)so I don't have to add this to the environment either. Also I have decided to do a challenge: One bag of garbage (a tall kitchen bag) from Easter Sunday to Christmas Eve. It's pretty cool that just this challenge is changing my life. Sorry for my long response but I think it's important to say it's possible! Going garbage free isn't that hard, but it will change your life.
Stephanie picture
Do frozen vegetables count. I buy them because they are cheaper and have a longer shelve life.