Experts Share Ideas for Greener Living

Many people will argue that the greatest barrier to living a greener lifestyle — one that involves more organic or environmentally friendly food or home and personal care products — is the prohibitive cost.

Experts acknowledge that manufacturers and consumers do pay more for natural products, but they hope, as the market shifts toward more nontoxic alternatives, prices will become more affordable.

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I asked a few experts how we can live a healthier lifestyle on a budget: Christopher Gavigan, who with actress Jessica Alba, co-founded the Honest Co. — makers of safe, nontoxic and effective personal care and cleaning products — and green living proponent Indie Lee of

Lee began her journey as a green expert in 2009 after surviving a brain tumor that may have been caused by environmental toxins. Gavigan has long been a champion of children’s health and development. That led him to partner with Alba, who describes in her book “The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You” (Rodale, $23) how motherhood made her question “greenwashing” in many products.

“Most people think living greener is about safeguarding the Earth, but my approach is about living for your health, which ultimately has positive impacts for the planet,” Gavigan says. Gavigan and Lee agree it is possible to live green without spending too much green.

Here they each offer a few baby steps:

Personal care/office

• Purchase glass nail files that you can wash and reuse. It may cost an extra $2, but it will never wear down, Lee says.

• Use a crystal goblet or cute Mason jar to sip water at your desk rather than continually purchasing water bottles.

• Look for clothing brands that offer affordable, sustainable products without sacrificing style. Lee suggests H&M Conscious.

• Rather than buying a huge pack of pens, purchase a chic fountain pen and buy inexpensive refills.

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