The Green Mama Gives a Tour of Her Home

(Welcome again to Manda, one of the finalists in our Editor search for the upcoming Green Therapy blog. Here's her "Green Tour". Comment away!)

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Name: Sadhu, Manda, and Zella Rose
Location: Rogers Park, Chicago
Size/Type: 2000 sqft, 3 bdrm condo
Years Lived In:1.5
Goal: To make a green lifestyle easy with baby in mind

Sadhu and I were recently dubbed the "first family of green" by the Chicago Tribune. This was quite an honor for us. We both do environmental work and it is important that our home and lifestyle reflect our values. We recently had a baby and it has been a fun challenge to incorporate conscious parenting as part of our green, urban lifestyle.

Our home is in a traditional Chicago 6-flat, almost 100 years old. It is a home designed to be comfortable and beautiful at a time before central air and task lighting, thus the space is easy adaptable to sustainable living. We have instituted many systems to encourage conservation, from the more routine water filter (no disposable water bottles!) to the slightly more interesting bag drier (doubles as a bib drier).

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Some of the systems we've instituted are more lovely (the baby's changing table made from sustainably-harvested, local lumber), some simply functional (the retractable indoor clothes line, the cold water setting on the wash, the storage system for her clothes). Some of our systems are extremely low-tech (a basket of slippers for guests to wear after taking off their shoes) and others have the appeal of green gadgetry (such as the worm composter and the toilet top hand-washer).

As you will see from the photos of our home you don't need to buy a specially designed house or invest in solar panels to live green.

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Our Style: Green

Inspiration: Making green living simple with baby in tow.

Favorite Element: We live on the beach! I can hear waves crashing from the baby's room and in the mornings we walk down with the baby and our two dogs so I can swim. As much as I love my home, I also love being outdoors.

Biggest Challenge: For years we've thought about how to minimize our own impact, but having a baby—with all of the consumerism that goes along with it—has added to the challenge.

Biggest Embarrassment: We have sand and dog hair everywhere! (See above.)

Proudest DIY: Our baby! Okay, second to that, Sadhu has made a good deal of our furniture himself.

Biggest Indulgence: Our Hastens organic bed. We sold half the furniture in our house to be able to afford it, but it was worth it.

Best Advice: Have FUN exploring alternatives that are better for you, the earth, your neighbors, and your pocket book.

Dream Source: The GreenMaker--our local green building supply.

-Manda

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.