Living Lightly

What I Mean by “Green”

What I Mean by "Green"

Every time I use the word “green”, I cringe inwardly. The word strikes me at best as trendy, and at worst as pretentious. I can guarantee that I am not trendy, and I fervently hope that I am not pretentious. However, for the time being, it seems the most efficient way to communicate, and until another monosyllabic term presents itself, I’ll make do with offering my own very subjective and unquantifiable definition.

So, when on my blog, where you read “green”, decode it as:

  • safe for humans, especially children, and animals, both wild and domesticated
  • non-damaging to the environment
  • not problematic for future generations
  • sustainable or renewable
  • sensible and responsible

Did I leave off “natural” and “organic” on purpose? Glad you asked. Yes, I did. For the purpose of my personal definition here, I am steering clear of fuzzy or legal terms. Natural does not always equal safe, and as you can see from countless labels, many people would argue that everything is natural since everything originated in the earth, no matter how far removed it may now be. As for “organic,” while the legal definition is well and good, I certainly know many excellent farms and ranches that have chosen, for a variety of reasons, not to pursue organic certification. Their practices still follow all the bullets in my list above.

In all this, though, there is the added element of making do with what you have. I think that is part of “green-ness” as well. In certain areas, being green (remember – safe, non-damaging, non-problematic, etc.) is more expensive, more time consuming, and requires more thought. Who isn’t running short on at least one of these, if not all three? The last thing I want, is for someone to throw in their vinegar-and-baking-soda-with- a-touch-of-tea-tree-oil towel because they can’t commit 100%.

So, whether you’re just turning a bright spring green, or you’re maturing into a deep, lush forest green, you’re going green with me.

What I Mean by "Green"

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10 Steps to Green says:

[…] are some of my previous posts to help you get started: What I Mean by “Green” Deciphering Soap and Bodycare Ingredients – Beware of the “-eth” Who Gave Soap a Bad Name Sal […]

Jennifer says:

Your definition of “Green” essentially eliminates virtually every product on store shelves today, including many that claim to be or are masquerading as “Green”

That said, your definition of “Green” is exactly where I want to be in my life, not only with cleaning products but with every facet of my life. In my house you will not find any pre-made, processed, packaged, boxed or GMO food. My companions any myself, we all eat the diet that God and nature intended us to eat. For myself this is a 95%-98% completely raw plant based diet. For my four companions it is a Canine Species Appropriate Raw Diet that I grind up and mix for them every month. Our health , my lack of doctor bills and my companions lack of vet bills says that we are doing something very right!!!! BTW, all four of my companions had been abused by their previous owners, and all were adopted from rescues. Buying a dog or cat from a pet store or a breeder only guarantees that the deaths of 2.7 MILLION dogs and cats EVERY YEAR in animal shelters will continue!!!! All four of my companions are Chihuahua’s, the second highest killed breed in animal shelters today, with the highest killed breed being Pit Bulls. Sorry for the soap-box, but I believe very strongly in my convictions and principles, as anyone that knows me will attest to!!

I have just ordered my first Sal Suds, and bought my baking soda. It has taken me a while to use up all of the harsh chemical based cleaners that I had, but I am FINALLY almost there!!!! When adding Tea Tree or a scent like Citrus to Sal Suds, should I use an essential oil such as Tea Tree essential oil or Orange essential oil or just use Tea Tree Oil or Citrus Oil??? Do you have any specific recommendations for the best product to use?

I have been using Dr Bronners liquid and bar soaps for about ten years and Dr Bronners Lavender Shikakai Pump Soap on my hair along with Braggs Vinegar/Water rinse for just over a year now and I will never go back to soaps that dry my skin and shampoos that ruin my hair!!!!! My favorite in the shower is the Almond bar soap. For the liquid soap in my kitchen and bathroom my favorite so far is a mix of 1/3 Rose and 2/3 Almond castile soap.

Thank you for your wonderful suggestions and advice.

I really enjoy reading virtually everything written in “Going Green” and I truly admire the giving back program that donates 1/3 of the profits of Dr Bronners to charity and all of the work your father did with the Boys and Girls Club. I personally believe that the future of our nation, and the world for that matter, lies with our children, the children that will hopefully clean up much of the mess that my generation has made of this world and once and for all set our world on a sustainable and healthy path!!!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Glad this thought is striking a chord. Onward and upward!

All the best,

Althea says:

You have some wonderful information on here. Thank you. And thanks for sharing that you are Dr Bronner’s grand daughter. That is fun to know.

Jean says:

I can’t say I’ve gone 100% green, but I’m definitely much more emerald than I was several years ago. Some eco people ARE too pretentious for their own good, and that attitude has been ingrained into this lifestyle for those not in the know. It sort of sucks.

Either way, Andrea’s right – this is a very inspirational post and reminds us that it’s not a textbook definition – as long as you’re taking and performing the steps to be friendlier to the environment (and yourself) by using things that are responsible, renewable, reusable and safe, you’re green. 🙂 Thanks, Lisa!

Andrea says:

This is an inspiring post Lisa. It reminds me, and hopefully others to, every now and again, take stock of what is really important in our little circles and in the big scheme of things.

About Lisa Bronner

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

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