Living Lightly

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

“Going green” is not a change that you can make suddenly. It takes time, research, and a change of habits to get started. If you take on too many changes at once, chances are you will overwhelm yourself and all your intentions will be sunk. What the transition doesn’t take is more money. Natural house cleaning and solutions are much, much cheaper than conventional items, both in the short and long term.

My journey started after I became pregnant with my first. I became concerned with all the chemicals contacting my skin, and through me, the little developing body within me. So I started taking a look at all the products I was using on my body. A great resource in this is the Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). This site reviews many, many personal care products, and explains those unpronounceable ingredients—what they do and what hazards are associated with them. Their Guide to Healthy Cleaning does the same for cleaning products.

Then I moved to a house with a septic system, where everything that went down my drain ultimately ended up in my yard. It didn’t just go away into the great nether world of a sewer system. So, I started changing what I used around the house.

One of my first switches was with the laundry. This was a really easy one because the cost per load of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner to conventional detergent was about the same. Plus, the Sal Suds worked better and since it’s fragrance-free, I didn’t need to worry about a separate detergent for my children’s clothes. Soon after, when my curious 2-year old got hold of the bottle of 409, I switched the sprays I use on household surfaces to use an All-Purpose Household Cleaning Spray made with either Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap or Sal Suds. After that, it became a matter of tweaking what I do here and there, and learning more tricks of the trade.

So, make it easy on yourself with one step in front of the other. Which ingredients do you already have on hand? Work with them first. Leave any environmental eco-guilt behind—it’s not a long term motivation. What change do you care about the most? Start there.

Further reading

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Carolyn says:

Hi Lisa,

Let me say thank you for all these posts on your blog, they have been so useful in this green transition that I started last June. I feel so happy that this New Year’s resolution is finally taking shape.

sheri james says:

I wanted to take a second to say how much I love casil soap. I use it for everything! I am currently converting to using the castil bar soap on my hair since I love it in the shower. I have seen Dr. Bronner’s products for years and never bothered to investigate. All I can say is I am delighted for such a truly multipurpose product. Major money saver! I am going to be mixing up some sal suds all purpose spray this week. I can’t wait to try it!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sheri- Thank you so much for sharing your kind words! I’m so glad the soap is helpful to you. I hope you enjoy the Sal Suds Spray! I use it for everything!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi there – The one product that is perfect for bathing and cleaning is the Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soaps. They are primarily designed for the body, but work amazingly well around the house. The Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is designed for cleaning and is slightly more effective and clean rinsing. It is a mild detergent, and should not be used for bathing. Hope that helps!

Let me know if other questions come up!

All the best,

B.S. says:

Hello Lisa, I am new to the go-green community and came across the Dr. Bronners products, castil soap and sal-suds. This is a pretty general question so I apologize if im not under the right blog. I’ve read that they can be used for bathing and cleaning but Im wondering which is really better of the two for an all purpose use, to including a shower-gel. Or is there a difference in the functionality of the two?

About Lisa Bronner

My grandfather was Dr. Bronner, my family makes soap, and I share ways to use it plus tips on greener living.

Learn about my book, Soap & Soul!

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