Why Did Mom Shift $1,000 to Greener Cleaners, Organic Food?

Here’s another One in a Million success story! Carolyn, a Phoenix, Arizona wife and mother of two sons aged five and seven, spent the last year shifting her spending to greener cleaners and organic food. Here’s why:

carolyn family“Early in 2008 I read an article in the Arizona Republic about the One in a Million campaign and it matched my own thinking so well that I went right into the computer and registered.

I feel that, even though I can’t solve all the problems on my own, I should do whatever I can and if other people do the same the cumulative effect could really make a difference. I tell my husband this is my way of taking care of great grandchildren I won’t be around to take care of directly.

I focused my spending shift on food and cleaners because it was an area of my spending I hadn’t really made any changes in yet. Also, I have been trying to green my life for awhile so I’d already done many of the obvious changes. For instance, among other things, I had already replaced all the light bulbs in my house (and my parents house) with compact fluorescent bulbs, I’m a vegetarian (which reduces a bunch of green house gasses) and we had replaced the 25 year old energy sucking air conditioner with a new high efficiency unit.

Though I was trying to have my family eat healthy, I hadn’t really evaluated our food (or our cleaning supplies) for their environmental impact. The shift was kind of tough at first, I found that some of the places I had been shopping weren’t going to work out for things I was used to buying there because the greener alternatives they had available were just way to expensive. So I had to go hunting, sometimes trying new stores altogether, sometimes looking at stores I already went to for things that I didn’t normally buy there.

I have to say that Target and Trader Joe’s have really come to my rescue on more than one instance. Trader Joe’s has such good prices on so many organic things and Target is constantly increasing their inventory of environmentally friendly cleaners as well as organic food. Shopping habits aren’t easy things to change, but now I’m not going back, this has become my new normal routine. I haven’t decided on our green goals for the new year yet, but I am so pleased with what we have done so far that I definitely want to make additional changes to keep us getting greener all the time.”

How did Carolyn shift her spending?

Date            Item                                    Money Spent

all year        organic foods                              $ 755
all year        non-toxic cleaners                       $ 350


Total …………………………………………….. $ 1,105 (or more)

Want to join the campaign? Sign up here; you’ll get a handy balance sheet you can download to help you keep track of your environmentally friendly choices. The idea isn’t to spend more money; it’s to shift money you already spend to greener products and services. Once you’ve shifted $1,000, send us your story so we can share it with others.

Thanks to One in a Million, over $3 million in spending shifts have already occurred.



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2 Responses to Why Did Mom Shift $1,000 to Greener Cleaners, Organic Food?

  1. Just Breathe January 29, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    Way to go! I’ve done some reading and experimenting at home and found a way to further reduce the toxic impact of house cleaners. I purchased a package of plastic spray bottles at Costco. I have one with vinegar and water, one with peroxide and water, and a third with club soda. Reusing the container is greener than purchasing new product and containers. For “scouring” I buy the large baking soda bags at Costco. To dispense, I re-used old grated Parmesan cheese containers with the holes in the top. (Don’t buy that kind of cheese anymore- buy organic block cheese and grate it fresh.) Fresh lemons and tea tree oil round out the cleaning brigade. No fragrance is less toxic and less allergic. Have found the cost is almost free. To scrub the sink, I sprinkle coarse salt and use 1/2 a lemon as a “scrubbing pad”. Sink gleams and smells wonderful. Can use the lemon in the compost pile or can run the garbage disposal to freshen the drain.

  2. Diane MacEachern February 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Just Breathe – I haven’t tried coarse salt yet; good idea!
    Green Cleaning, thanks for the heads up on the national day of action! Keep our schools safe!!!

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