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Posted by Sirena Rubinoff | Sep 16, 2009

Organic that Doesn't Hit Your Wallet

A Room-to-Room Guide for Going Green in Your Home

Living an organic lifestyle is not limited to the food you buy for the kitchen, but rather can be extended to many of the house wares you need for the rest of your home. We are living in exciting times where more alternative organic products are being offered every day. So, if you're looking for a way to lessen your carbon footprint in the world, check out these great organic products that are simultaneously good for the environment and easy on your wallet.

In the Kitchen

Your kitchen might be the easiest and most affordable room in your house to re-outfit organically. You can start by making the simple switch from using plastic grocery bags to more sustainable and environmentally friendly ones. Reusablebags.com offers a great Lightweight Organic Cotton Shopping Bag Set for only $19.95 that includes 4 organic cotton grocery bags and 4 large reusable mesh produce bags with wide handles that can easily hold 25-35 lbs. These bags are durable, machine washable and a sensible alternative to plastic. Next, you should check out The Natural Abode for a wide variety of organic bamboo kitchenware available in natural wood tones or bright colors. There you will find organic serving trays, eating and serving utensils, spatulas, tongs, utensil holders, bowls, cutting boards, and even sushi rollers and chopsticks. The best part is that most of these items cost less than $15! You can also outfit your kitchen tabletop with organic products, such as hemp tablecloths, organic cotton napkins, and all-natural placemats. Check out Crate&Barrel for great tabletop deals like this woven Pandan Reversible Placemat for only $3.95 a piece.

In the Bedroom

The most important part of your bedroom is your bed. You need to get a healthy night of sleep in order to function at your best every day with work, family and extracurricular activities. Many traditional mattresses are made of petroleum-based polyurethane foam, which the Environmental Protection Agency has linked to respiratory problems and other health issues. So if you have breathing problems or simply want to provide a less toxic place for you and your family to sleep, you might want to consider going organic in the bedroom. Organic mattresses are on the expensive side, selling for $1000 to $3000 a piece. A better option for the budget-minded consumer is to add organic bedding to the mattress you already have. Look on Overstock.com for the best online deals, such as this full-size set of organic cotton 300 thread count sheets for only $40. This ridiculously low price includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet and 2 standard pillow cases in a variety of cool colors all made from 100 percent organic cotton sateen. And if you're looking to add extra comfort to your bed, try this E.C.O. Luxury Latex Mattress Topper. It only costs $125 and is made from two inches of organic latex rubber specifically made to conform to your body and evenly support your spine for a better night's sleep. Don't forget about adding organic clothing to your bedroom closet as well! Check out your local Target, Walmart or Costco megastores for inexpensive basics made from organic cotton or hemp.

In the Bathroom

If your bathroom towels are starting to wear out or you're simply looking for fabric that's better for your skin and the environment, check out Plow & Hearth for a new set of plush organic cotton towels that won't break the bank. You can get a set of two washcloths, hand towels, and bath towels for only $61. Or purchase items separately at $2.49 per washcloth, $7.99 per hand towel, and $19.99 per bath towel. While you're rethinking your bathroom towels, you might also want to think about what you're wiping on those towels: Ladies, your make-up might make you look gorgeous today, but it could be made with ingredients that will be harmful to your skin in the long run. Organic cosmetics are specifically made without petroleum by-products, artificial colors, preservatives, fragrances and other chemicals typically used in many cosmetic lines. If you're committed to your current cosmetic brand, check to see if they have an organic line or products. If not, check out Saffron Rouge, North America's largest online retailer for natural and organic skin care products, mineral makeup and cosmetics with the tagline, "If it's not organic, it's not here." And as long as we're talking about skin, don't forget the skin on your bottom - organic unbleached toilet paper is healthier for you and your toilet. So, next time you have to refill your toilet paper supply, ask your local grocery store where they stock the organic kind and do your part to keep everything you flush down the toilet biodegradable.

In the Laundry Room

Another easy way to go green in your household is to switch to organic cleaning products. You can make your own mixture of vinegar and water to wipe down most surfaces in your home. For non-vinegar cleaners, you can buy organic dish soap, hand soap, and laundry detergents. Check out your local grocery store for the cheapest variety that suits your sense of smell or if you're looking for something new, we recommend Sodasan Certified Organic Cleaning Supplies. Here you can purchase a heavy duty scrub for only $4.50 that will give a thorough cleansing of all hard surfaces, such as enamel, stainless steel, and ceramics. They also offer a 5-liter laundry detergent for $32 that will wash seventeen 10-lb laundry loads. Sodasan also provides organic fabric softener, spot remover, and wool wash detergent for delicate materials.

Organic living is a great way to respect the environment and utilize its best natural products. We hope this room-to-room organic guide will inspire you to do your part in going green without worrying about the cost breaking the bank. Even if you just pick one room or product to focus on, you will be doing that much more to help conserve the natural beauty of our planet. Good luck!

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