Frugal Living Interview

Sommer Poquette

If you think 'being green' is for drab hippie types with stringy hair and shapeless clothing, you haven't met Sommer Poquette! Sommer is living proof that being green can be "sassy, sexy and fun"! Sommer is the Founder of Green & Clean Mom , a blog that inspires women to be "some shade of green" and Co-Founder of 3 Green Angels , a group of professional women who work to promote eco-friendly companies.

I am excited to welcome Sommer Poquette to Frugal Living Now to give us some insight on being a green and clean mom!

1. Hi Sommer, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog, Green and Clean Mom.

Thanks for having me. I usually give my About page spiel but after a few years I’ve found that is getting old! Basically, I’m a mom just like most moms – busy, hard working, overwhelmed some days and trying to live in the moment of raising my children as much as possible. Who wants to miss a memorable moment? I currently finished my Master’s in Early Childhood Education and I love education but I started this prior to blogging and wish I would have diversified a bit for business reasons, I’m really loving social media, blogging and consulting.

My children are 3 and 5 and I’m super passionate about trying my best to be eco-friendly and non-toxic but I’m realistic and don’t want to scare everyone away from even trying because I remember how that felt and I actually still get this from some friends who are super “green”!

2. I see a definite connection between "green living" and "frugal living". Can you tell us your thoughts on this?

I agree 100% but that wasn’t the connection I made at the time when I started Green and Clean Mom. My effort was really more focused on non-toxic living; I wanted no chemical cleaners, pesticides, etc. Now I see a direct correlation to making your own cleaners and saving money, recycling and reusing to save yourself and others money: it has been done for years and generations – before green was “cool”.

3. I enjoyed reading your review of Wooden Natural Pod Toys. I have always liked toys that were made with natural materials, and I encourage parents in my Frugal Moms section to provide their kids with simple toys that inspire their creativity. Can you explain the importance of this type of toy in terms of being environmentally green?

This is a constant battle for me because my children love plastic toys and we get many hand me down toys that are indeed plastic. It is kind of hard to avoid in some cases. Natural Pod was and is an on and off client (full disclosure) but we were drawn to each other because of what we both offer: a good fit.

Natural Pod toys allow children to take one toy and make it anything and everything they want it to be with their imagination; which is what children should do and what they do when they “turn off” and play like you and I probably did. I don’t want to sound like a Natural Pod advertisement because I’m not currently under contract with them (full disclosure) but they take what they do very seriously with production, manufacturing, development of toys and child and environment safety to a whole new level.

4. Have you seen an increase in the number of people who want to live green in recent years? Do you think this is an increasing trend?

I don’t have anything to measure this by prior to Green and Clean Mom but yes. My traffic, community of moms and increase of personal friends that were not interested previously has increased significantly. If you look at the book shelves, demand for products and product standards there is a huge increase.

I won’t use the word trend because trends come and go. I’m not going anywhere and neither is the idea of going green and being eco-friendly. I really believe it is here to stay!

5. Can you tell us some of the specific things you do in your home and personal life that are more green than the average American?

Oh, geesh! I really do not compare myself to anyone but myself. I personally try to always just one up myself and do better and better each day and year. It is constant and trying to sometimes just do better each day in comparison to the last. I’m not good at gardening or composting but I try. The green cleaning thing – I think I have that licked!

Personally, I suggested making your own list and trying to decide where you can go green in your life and making the start there. Comparing yourself to the neighbor, myself or a friend isn’t going to make you feel better but knowing you’ve made a personal difference for the environment, you’ve saved money, eaten healthier and your child is breathing better – pat yourself on the back!

6. One of the services that you offer on your site is product reviews. How do you choose the products that you review, and how objective are your reviews?

I’m objective as any one person can be. Do I think of the word free or that I owe it to the company because they sent it to me, no. I think that by being honest I am helping that company make their product better and more marketable – good or bad! I just aim to be fair and honest. In all honestly, I pay for the product via my taxes!!!

I really pick reviews based on what a) I would like to review and use in my home b) what my readers might like c) my sister, she is now a product reviewer and what she would like to try!

7. What are some easy first steps to take if someone wants to start becoming more green?

I would first ask yourself why are you going green, to save money, avoid pesticides, save money, help the environment, say no to toxic chemicals or because your friend ? I would let my questions guide my answers and start there. For me it was to say no to the toxic cleaners for my children to breathe safer indoor air. I let my question guide me to the answers and discovery of new ways, ideas, people and products.

8. Thanks again for talking with me, Sommer! For this last question can you tell us how you first got involved in "being green" and promoting it to others?

No, thank you!

I started for my kids. I sprayed the “blue” stuff and recognized the smell was not okay. I cleaned and I got a headache, so how did that hurt my children and how did they feel? I had a light bulb moment or as says a “wake up” call. I told a friend, decided to blog and here I am!

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