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Green Compromises

Sometimes I come across someone who really wants to make their life greener, but they are wary about taking the plunge.  Some find certain lifestyle changes daunting, some are worried about costs, others think that going green is an all-or-nothing deal.  It doesn't have to be daunting, it doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be all-or-nothing.  

I came up with some problems and solutions to going green.  

Problem Solution
You're squeamish about dealing with dirty cloth diapers while on the go.

It's okay to supplement with disposables.  Even if you only use cloth diapers while at home, it will significantly lower the amount that end up at a landfill.  (Using just one cloth diaper a day means 365 LESS diapers in the landfill!)  

You could also opt for a hybrid diaper, where you flush the liner while you're out of the home, and then bring back the rest.

Eating organic is just too expensive.

It's true, eating organic can be very expensive.  Eating produce from local farmers is an excellent alternative.  It's often cheaper and the farmers sometimes do practice organic farming methods but don't get USDA certified organic because it's costly to do so.  

Second, you can also pick and choose which conventionally-grown fruits and veggies tend to have higher pesticide loads, and just buy those organic.  Stuff like onions, mangoes, and kiwis have lower amounts of pesticides, so you might choose to save your money and not buy those organic.  Check out this list of which fruits and veggies to buy organic.

You'd love to go car-free, but with your kids, it's really hard. You don't need to get rid of your car to go green -- just use it less.  For short drives on nice days, think about how much fun it will be to take a walk with your kids.  Otherwise, when it comes time for you to buy a new car, consider a hybrid or something that doesn't use a lot of gas.  It's tempting for a parent to buy a bigger car, but check out some hybrid options.
You read that you can lower your carbon footprint by going vegetarian, but you like meat too much! Cutting down on your meat consumption will lower your carbon footprint, too.  Consider yourself a "flexitarian."  For instance, instill "Meatless Monday" at your home, where you eat vegetarian every Monday.  Or skip having animal products for breakfast and lunch, but allow yourself a steak for dinner.  
You can't afford organic clothes, baby gear, or toys for your kids.

Buy used!  Buying used toys and baby gear will lower your carbon footprint AND cause less plastic stuff to just sit in a landfill.   Just remember to make sure the items haven't been recalled and never buy a used car seat.  

You can also organize swaps with other neighborhood families.  Swap toys, clothes, and more.  

You'd like to garden, but you don't have a green thumb. Find out what grows easily in your climate.  For instance, here in Massachusetts we typically have an easy time growing things like squash and tomatoes.  They take minimal effort.  Some plants, like raspberries, are essentially like weeds and they take no care but you end up with plenty of delicious berries!  
You can't afford organic cleaners and detergents. Baking soda and vinegar, baby!
There aren't any good local or organic wines in your region. Follow the green line rule.  If you live west of the green line, buy your wine from vineyards on the West Coast, like Napa or Sonoma.  If you live east of the green line, you're better off buying your wine from vineyards in Europe.  
 You read about reusable shopping bags being covered in bacteria and now you don't want to use them anymore.    Besides the obvious (wash your bags) you could always use the reusable bags for "dry" items like boxes of cereal, containers of juice, etc, and use plastic bags for things like meat or produce, which can be susceptible to bacteria such as e. coli.  Just don't forget to reuse those bags or take them somewhere that recycles plastic bags.