THE BLOG
11/17/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Day Three: You Don't Need To Live In A Treehouse To Be Green

Book excerpt, p.241

"In a way. I almost envy my mom's generation. There must have been a great deal of bliss in such ignorance. I sometimes hate knowing what I know [about green living]. It's a burden. At other times, however, I wish I'd known it all long ago. I catch myself saying under my breath, If I'd known seven years ago what I know today.

But I can't afford to look back. None of us can. There's too much work to be done. Armed with my research and certain in my knowledge about what's green and what's not--knowledge I've done my best to organize and share with you--I try each day to make better choices."

P. 8

"Look, I don't live in a log cabin. I don't bake my own bread. I wear leather shoes like everyone else. I'm normal. I'm you. And I'm far from perfect when it comes to being green. I'm different shades of green, let's say--some days kelly, some days hunter, some days a selfish lime. But I'm trying, and I think there's a lot of value--practical value for you and your family--in trying too."

I firmly believe that you do not need to sacrifice your convenience, pocket book or even preferences to make a healthier home for you and your family. So I have outlined 10 simple steps from my book to get you started:

1. Start by replacing a bunch of your cleaners (your general spray cleaner, glass cleaner, counter top cleaner, floor and bathroom cleaners) with a natural, nontoxic all-purpose cleaner. You will only need one to do that. Really!

2. Replace your laundry detergent with a natural nontoxic one so the clothes you wear and the sheets you sleep on have no fumes for you to breathe.

3. Go to your bathroom and read the shampoo, makeup and moisturizer labels. Ask yourself, "Do I really need scent in these products?" Take stock of all of your other products and try to replace one a week with a safer, greener choice.

4. Use BPA-free plastic baby bottles and fill them with breast milk or organic formula. Choose powdered formula over canned formula to avoid BPA leaching from the can-lining.

5. Pay attention (without freaking out) to the toys you buy for your kids. Avoid lead paint and soft plastics that contain phthalates.

6. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid processed food. Even better, choose organic and locally grown meats, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

7. Try to get the plastic containers out of your kitchen and replace them with glass containers.

8. Make a vow to stop buying bottled water--NOW. Instead, buy a water filter pitcher and keep two in your fridge at all times.

9. For cleaner and healthier air, open your windows once a day when the outside temperature is comfortable.

10. When buying new stuff for your home, focus on green products especially mattresses and carpets.

For more simple steps, buy Green Goes With Everything: Simple Steps To A Healthier Life and A Cleaner Planet (All net proceeds go to charity)