The Lazy Moms Guide to Going Green

The Lazy Moms Guide to Going Green Houston Moms Blog

They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In my case, it’s paved with reusable grocery bags!

I tried so many times to be the kind of superwoman who remembers to bring grocery bags with me to the store, but 9 times out of 10 I would forget. Then I would feel guilty and I would end up buying more reusable bags! It was a viscous cycle. I had a pantry full of reusable grocery bags and lots ‘green’ guilt. Then, in a random conversation with a good friend,  the phrase “It’s good to know yourself” was said.  That simple statement struck me to my core. I DO know myself! I’m a grown woman, a mother of 3 and I am a solid type B personality.  I am ok with that. For years I’ve watched with awe as Type As use label makers, organize spreadsheets and get giddy over buying a new planner {what do they write in that thing, anyway?!}

No matter how hard I tried, I was not the type of person to continuously remember to bring  grocery bags with me to the store. And yet, my household still runs relatively smoothly.

So, I decided to stop working against my true self and make the kind of habits that I felt were more my speed. I know that I can’t be the only one that feels overwhelmed in her quest to care for the Earth, so I thought I would share some of the habits I have found to be successful! And good news, the first one is by far the easiest…

Stop using those little plastic vegetable bags at the grocery store.

The Lazy Moms Guide to Going Green Houston Moms Blog

They are unnecessary. These small bags are used for a few minutes on the way home and then thrown into the trash. Instead, just put your fruits and vegetables in your cart! Unless you’re getting a lot of something very small {like brussel sprouts or Jalapeños} there is no need for the extra bag. At first it may seem a bit unorthodox, {and I definitely get sideways looks from some cashiers} but you’ll get used to it, and after a while the little plastic produce bags seem ridiculous.

Buy reusable sandwich and snack bags.

The Lazy Moms Guide to Going Green Houston Moms Blog

These small bags can be used over and over again and only require you to wash them out and hang them to dry. {which is a chore for one of my kids}. Mine stay in a kitchen drawer and they require no more effort than pulling out a plastic sandwich bag. They come in lots of fun patterns too! You can find them in lots of stores or on Amazon. 

Use refillable water bottles.

The Lazy Moms Guide to Going Green Houston Moms Blog

My girls bring water bottles to school with them every day. They each have their own water bottle that they fill in the morning and put in their backpacks for all day use. It requires minimal forethought to fill a bottle with water and carry it with you. It gets pretty hot here and I like to stay hydrated so I have water with me at all times. Like Rachel Hollis says “Drinking … half your body weight in ounces of water every single day isn’t just a good goal… it’s a life changer!”  And it’ll be a waste reducer too.

Recycle.

The Lazy Moms Guide to Going Green Houston Moms Blog

This one may seem obvious but I’m surprised at the amount of people that do not do this. If your neighborhood offers a recycling service then that’s a great way to reduce waste! If I can throw my trash in the trash can I can throw my recycling in the recycling bin. If your neighborhood does not offer a recycling service, then there is usually paper recycling at schools and plastic bag recycling at grocery stores. I have used both of these methods and while they require more effort {and, lets be honest, I usually end up with a huge pile of recycling by the time I get around to it} I always feel better about going the recycling route rather than throwing recyclables in the trash that would just end up in a landfill. And the bags that I don’t bring to recycling are used for our small trash cans around the house and for dog waste clean up in the yard. Winning!

Here are a few places to recycle around town ::

Houston Zoo :: Recycle old handheld devices

Goodwill :: Recycle old clothes and home items

Walmart, Target, HEB & Kroger :: Recycle plastic grocery bags

Target :: Recycle aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers, plastic bags, MP3 players, cell phones and ink cartridges.

Best Buy :: Recycle printers {and receive a purchase discount}

Houston Furniture Bank :: Recycle old mattresses {small fee}

The Home Depot & Lowes :: Recycle used batteries 

Compost.

The Lazy Moms Guide to Going Green Houston Moms Blog

This one requires a little startup effort, but pays off in dividends. Does composting sound difficult or intimidating?  I assure you, it’s not. I have a small bucket on my countertop designated for fruit and vegetable waste and a bin in the backyard for composting. At the end of each day I just take the food waste and bring it out to the composting bin {read :: I make my kids do it} and give it a spin.  You can add yard trimming, weeds, fruit and veggie scraps, but avoid meat and citrus scraps, as they’ll attract vermin.  My bin has a handle for spinning the compost and I turn it once in a blue moon and after a few months I have wonderful dirt that I can toss in my garden! Minimal effort with maximum results!

So these are my easy-going earth friendly habits. Could I be doing more? Absolutely! Couldn’t we all!? But at the moment these are the things that I find a manageable and doable for my lifestyle.  It’s better to do something rather than nothing and I feel good that I’m teaching my daughters to respect the Earth. If you have any simple green tips to share I’d love to hear about them. Sound off below!


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Brandy is a native Houstonian who currently lives in Cypress. She is a photographer and mom of three girls:: Eve {February 2011} Giselle {February 2005} and Gwen {January 2002}. Her husband’s work in the oil industry has moved her family to three different countries {England, Norway, and Brazil} but Houston kept calling them back! Now she and her husband are putting down roots and enjoying the challenge of raising three girls. Photography has been her passion since she attended Cy Fair high school, and she now owns Brandy Dykes Photography! She loves the outdoors and is determined to find all the hidden and not-so-hidden natural gems in and around the city. Brandy loves a good joke, is currently a Starbucks Gold Member and will stop to read every Historical Marker she encounters. You can find out more about Brandy on Instagram {@brandydykes} or on her blog.

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