Green living in Houston? Is that possible?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 49 Old 09-02-2010, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It looks like we may be heading to Houston this fall to live and I am freaking out a bit. Houston is so high on the toxic list that I am hoping and hoping that there is somewhere green to live within an hour of the University hospitals. We homeschool, attachment parent, co-sleep, eat organically with one vaccine injured kiddo being healed with alternative medicines, like our space (land would be great)kind of a family. Whoo - that was a mouthful! So where? What co-ops-meat, food, frontier? Heard Holistic Moms shutdown - great if we could get a group of moms to get that up and running as well as bringing TACAnow to Houston. So help?? Where can we live on a budget, get space and be green. Any families like us in Houston???

Thanks Mommas,

OceanblueMomma of 4 awesome kids and married to my soul mate
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#2 of 49 Old 09-02-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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IME there are tons of green-leaning families in the Houston area. How much space are you looking for? Does one of you need to commute in daily for work?

Tons of food options- farmers markets, WF, Central Market, etc. Paidom swings through town every two months with grassfed meat. (other meat options too, they're just what we use...) I know a couple of local moms personally who run regular frontier co-ops.

Tons of homeschoolers- a group for every type- just depends on what you're looking for.

don't know if that helps any....

-Angela
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#3 of 49 Old 09-02-2010, 02:39 AM
 
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I'm one of those mamas who runs local Frontier. I'm in Sugar Land, which is a great area, and there is plenty more space further out from here. We have a WF here in Sugar Land (there are others in various parts of town), have farms south of here on 59 that bring local produce to farmer's markets, have babywearing groups that meet locally (and all over town), etc.

We're another no-vax, co-sleeping, homeschooling, homebirthing, babywearing, etc., etc., etc. family - and there are plenty more to be found.

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#4 of 49 Old 09-02-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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I'm also in Sugar Land, we've only been here 2 years though so I'm not knowledgeable enough to recommend parts of town.

I don't know if you want a local alternative healthcare provider, I don't have a good list for Houston, we're working with someone long distance. But there must be good ones in town, I just don't know of a clearinghouse for names/recommendations. The Holistic Moms group was in a different part of town than I'm in, I hadn't realized it shut down.

I hear ya on the issues like air quality, at least with water it's pretty straightforward to filter, but just beware (depending on where you're coming from) they spray for mosquitoes here, about once a week (for half the year? not all winter) where I live and I understand that's the norm in the area--maybe in really rural areas it's not? Not sure about that. I was not expecting that.

Despite that, I've found many wonderful things living here that I did not expect, first of which is the people. Lots of great people, the AP community is spread throughout the city--at least it seems to me--and it's very nice to have a place where I feel fairly normal. Welcome.
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#5 of 49 Old 09-02-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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The Holistic Moms group still meets...they're just no longer under the Holistic Moms National network. They're deciding on a new name, actually (they meet the 1st Thursday of each month).

We live in Pearland. We're a homeschooling, co-sleeping, attachment parenting, organic eating, no-vax, natural-ish kind of family, too. I have a child on the autism spectrum--who is on the path to recovery--so I think it would be great to have TACAnow here.

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#6 of 49 Old 09-04-2010, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great feedback. Where is Pearland?? Ugh Spraying - hello neuro toxins! Maybe we need to shoot into the "country" a bit....What is the new Holistic Moms group name?? Will have to check this out. How about homeschooling groups? Religion doesn't matter to me - just want to find our "village".

p.s My hubby is a DAN!

What other co-ops are out there? Love love Frontier! I run one also. Meat and veggies - who to avoid, who is great? ohhhh what the heck is with everything electric? what does that run a month - we scratch cook...solar panels are looking good at this point

THanks again ladies!
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#7 of 49 Old 09-04-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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Tons of co-ops and veggie choices, just have to get here and see what's close to you.

Pearland is south. Was one of the last directions to be developed so the downside is that the highways haven't caught up yet so if you will be driving anywhere at rush-hour it will take FOREVER.

Electric rates are way better than a few years ago. A/c runs it up in the summer more than anything.

-Angela
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#8 of 49 Old 09-05-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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to houston (well not yet but soon).

What part of town will your family be needing to be close to for work commute (if any)? That really matters when looking for suggestions.

we are a cosleeping, organic eating, no vaxxing, homeschooling, etc. family as well and we have managed just fine. we have a great support network as well with the families that are around us because there is a good sized group of likeminded individuals (and most of us know at least of each other).

It is possible to live a green lifestyle here.

*eta*

I live in Spring Branch which is a bit more in the city than the places mentioned above but I need to drive in to downtown for work and refuse to drive more than 20 minutes to work every day if I can help it. The prices inside the city were not what we wanted to pay for the size of house we needed so we are a bit outside the main part of the city but still not in the suburbs. the houses here are the typical quarter acre lots.

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#9 of 49 Old 09-07-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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I used to live about 1.5hrs east of houston in a really really rural area. They don't spray for mosquitoes from trucks there...they just use airplanes. It doesn't matter. Mosquitoes are so bad here in the summer. They actually go through our neighborhood (we live in yucky baytown) almost every day.

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#10 of 49 Old 09-07-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
p.s My hubby is a DAN!
Will he be practicing here in Houston? I'm a "Rescue Angel" for Generation Rescue and I frequently refer people to DANs. We have a couple here in Houston and Thoughtful House is in Austin, just a couple hours away.

I'm not sure of the new name for the Holistic Moms group...I didn't make it to the meeting last week so I'm not sure if they decided or not. They were thinking either Southeast Texas Holistic Group or Bay Area Holistic Lifestylers. I have contact information if you'd like.

There are a few homeschooling groups spread throughout the city, both religious and secular. There's actually quite a bit to do here for homeschoolers, I think.

Keep us updated...I wouldn't mind hearing your child's recovery story.

Kristin, momma to Cade (11/01) and Camden (7/09) . Wife to Jeff and lover of Jesus.
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#11 of 49 Old 09-07-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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I might be biased, but I like Montgomery County, which is N/NW. I live on the West side of Magnolia and there are farmer's markets up here on a weekly basis. There is also a co-op we can order from every other week for organics, plus several organic/free range ranches that sell meat co-op style and through the monthly markets. I'm part of the Cypress Attachment Parenting group organized through Meetup.com, but there are members all over NW Houston (Cypress, Jersey Village, Magnolia, Conroe, The Woodlands, Tomball). I love this part of the city for it's rural nature. I truly do live 'out there' and it takes us at least 30 minutes to get groceries. Most of our meet ups take me at least 45 minutes to an hour to get to, so rural is fun, but sometimes limiting. I recently helped organize a local playgroup, but most of the families are pretty traditional. It's really a toss up - do we travel to spend time with like-minded folks or walk next door to what is convenient? I'm finding a little of both is ok for us.

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#12 of 49 Old 09-28-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the info. My hubby is heading down next week and I need some more guidance. We are looking to rent and want some land too. What are some good "must haves" in a rental in Texas? We are from the midwest so what is common for this area that we need to be aware of? Like our area is prone to tornados - house has to have a shelter of some sort. Any issues like this? What is the story about flooding? I have friends telling me it is like Florida with months of rain-is this so? Then is mold a huge issue down there? I have 4 people in the house with huge mold allergies.

Thanks again!

oh--hey what is up with electric appliances? We have gas -can they handle cast iron pans??
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#13 of 49 Old 09-28-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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You can ask if a home or area is on a flood plain. I'm sure there are flood plain maps online, as well. There are certain areas quite prone to flooding (along some of the bayous and then some down near the Gulf), but most of Houston and surrounds is not. Still, any homeowner or landlord will know if they're in a flood plain. We are not prone to tornadoes like the midwest is. You won't even find tornado sirens here, let alone shelters. We get some tornadoes here and there with major thunderstorm systems (which are fairly common) but overall the threat is dramatically lower than where you're coming from.

Mold can be an issue because of the humidity. I would check a house thoroughly and perhaps find someone who can test air quality if you have major allergies. I know some friends who went through dealing with "black mold" a few years ago but I don't hear as much about it now. Still, I was touring newly built homes and found mold in a closet (likely a plumbing leak). I think it's more likely to be found in homes with plumbing issues than just any old house, though. A good a/c system that removes humidity from the air will go a long way to reducing mold, too.

You'll find both electric and gas appliances around here. We have an electric flat top range right now and use cast iron just fine. Just don't drop it on the glass. When we buy a new house, though, my DH is all about getting gas!

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#14 of 49 Old 09-29-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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Only thing I can think of depending on the age of the rental is to make sure it has central air but that would have to be a much older rental.

-Angela
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#15 of 49 Old 09-29-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Only thing I can think of depending on the age of the rental is to make sure it has central air but that would have to be a much older rental.

-Angela
No kidding. If there's one thing you *must* have in Houston, it's a/c!

I was rather shocked to move out of state for a while and discover places that *don't* have a/c.

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#16 of 49 Old 09-29-2010, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A/C check! What about consignment shops for clothes and toys? Alternative grocery shopping to Whole Paycheck? We eat organically - any great places to buy it for less? Does the Costco carry organic food and produce? Oh what the heck do you all use to kill mosquitos-I understand they are very bad in Houston. What else? What else?

I do have to say I am scared excited about this and hoping to find a great community of friends to call "family" again.

Thanks again for all your help!
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#17 of 49 Old 09-29-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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Most regular grocery stores carry *some* variety of organics these days. HEB is probably the best bet as one of their top-of-the-line stores has its own organic line and they'll carry that. I have found it to be very hit-or-miss, and just stick to Whole Foods where I *know* I can get at least 95% of what I'm looking for at any given time.

Costco does carry a fair assortment of organics, though, of course, it varies a good bit. Costco is "in town" so for us that's a periodic stop and not a regular one, but even with being pretty super-picky about what we buy, there's a good bit to find there.

There are some co-ops with organic produce around, some centrally located and others in the suburbs, so that can help a lot. There are a couple of organic/grass-fed/natural meat producers that come in on drops every month or two, as well, and some go to the local farmer's markets (most of those are in town, though there's one in Katy, one being planned for Sugar Land, and at least used to be one southwest of Sugar Land).

The cities/counties spray for mosquitoes (nothing you can do about that other than move to the country). It's always at night, so we just ensure no one is outside or going in/out when we hear a truck coming. By morning, there's no odor (and the one day when someone DID have to go out right after a truck, you can't miss the smell - yuck!). There are certainly other natural things you can do to reduce mosquitoes, from special lights to getting a bat colony or banana spiders. What you do will depend heavily on where you settle. I have found natural bug sprays to be perfectly acceptable (some better than others, of course) for personal protection when we know we're going to be out on a summer evening, but otherwise don't worry too much about it.

HTH!

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#18 of 49 Old 09-30-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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Costco has excellent organic selection. I live behind one of them and truly love it.
HEB has just about everything I need to buy that I dont get through frontier co-ops. My fruits and veggies come from West memorial coop (an offshoot of central city coop) and are all organic since we only eat organic food at home.

Meat and chicken comes from Paidom who delivers down here once every couple of months.

Mosquitoes are evil here. Badger repellant and jason's works pretty well on them though... but still those suckers are just awful. youjust get used to them after a while.

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#19 of 49 Old 09-30-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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Yep yep to everything from Heather and Alma. We shop tons at Costco. Paidom is our meat provider of choice also- we've been very pleased.

And yeah, you don't kill the skeeters yourself, you just run and hide from them

Plenty of resale, just depends on where you are in town.

-Angela
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#20 of 49 Old 09-30-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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I had a holistic chiropractor in Clear Lake if you end up out that way, message me if you need the info.

There are also open spaces towards the south, San Leon and such... but some of them are in evacuation zones along the coast. San Leon was hit hard by Ike. The other hard part about being on the southeast side is that you pretty much have to evacuate THROUGH the city. It took us 5 hours to cross town before Rita (normally a 60-90 minute drive), and people who waited longer had it worse.

When we moved to Houston from Indiana, the heat was the first major difference. It hits "summer" somewhere in April, quickly ramps up heat and humidity in May, and doesn't ease off until around September. We could be out at 10 pm and it was still like a sauna.

Tropical storms sound scary, and can be really bad to drive through (many people stay home when it rains in Houston), but they do help keep the heat down in the summer. Learn the rain / flood patterns on your driving routes, there are some roads the flood every rain. Keep an emergency fund and evacuation or shelter-in-place plans (depending on where you are in relation to the coast) for hurricanes. We bought two 7-gallon jugs, filled them from the tap in the spring, and changed or dumped them in the fall. Rita freaked us out, being Midwesterners, and we were gone before Ike, but before that the last real storm had been Alicia in the 1980's. So it's always on your mind, but I only evacuated once in 8 years (would have been 2 in 10 if we stayed).

There are several thrift stores around town, including Interfaith Caring Ministries, and they sometimes/often have good quality goods at reasonable prices.

I hadn't made it to the Clear Lake Farmer's Market before we left, but I knew it was there.

Unitarian Universalist Pagan
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#21 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again everyone. We are heading down next weekend to find a house. We are looking in Spring, Katy and Sugar Land for a house. We are moving in 5 weeks so I have a few more questions, I hope you all can help me a bit more

1. Great Cell carriers to be used in the heart of the city and those burbs

2. Great local banks that are not the screw you over like BAC and Chase-haha?

3. CSA recommendations for those areas?

4. Meat people - looking for organic or practicing cow, lamb or goat and possibly bison(trying for the first time this weekend)

5. A great healthy restuarant to try while visiting, Any suggestions?

6. Raw milk farms with A2 peptide cows

Thanks again! We can't wait!

Hey anyone know of great secular homeschool groups??
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#22 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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Cell carriers: It depends on what kind of phone you want/need. Do you have a data plan? If so I think that T Mobile is cheap when you get their unlimited plan. They work great all over Houston and the world (mine has been in every continent almost!).

I used to have Sprint and I was happy with their service as well. I would not use AT&T unless you have an iphone.

Local Banks - Unfortunately most local banks have gone by the wayside... but we use Amegy Bank, they are small-ish. I really love how they treat people and they are not the banks you mentioned. I know that we have good credit unions as well someone else might be able to get you some info on those.

CSA - I know that Central City Co-op has locations in many places maybe their website has details as to whether they are close to you or not? I also know Healthy habits coop that is out in the suburbs but I dont know where exactly they would be in relation to the house that you find.

Meat - Paidom, Paidom. PAIDOM. Love their stuff. I've even been to their location and I was impressed.

Restaurants? Well it depends... I love A moveable feast and think that they have good healthy options. I know that many like Ziggys in River Oaks. Houston has MANY MANY restaurants.

Raw Milk - I get ours from Stryk farm. dont know if they have the A2 peptide cows however.

Homeschooling groups, there are a few but most are not secular. There is one that I have experience with but I know that there are others around, it depends on the age of your kids.

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#23 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome! Thanks for the great info. I started a homeschool group up in Chicago which has turned into a great community, I have no problem setting up down in Houston - good peps are good peps no matter what you are into(except if you are into law breaking -haha).

I have heard a lot of great things about Moveable Feast - we will check it out! Thanks for the recommendations.
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#24 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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Hey.... if you start a secular one here I would even join it.

Let me know if you want to meet up there, I love that place and it is close to my house.

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#25 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome! Let's do it! Have you ever been in a group on Meetup.com?? It is very visual unlike Yahoo groups. Now a name?? This is going to be great!

Linda
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#26 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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Alma answered most Tons of secular homeschooling in town- pick a group in your area- wherever that ends up being. I belong to several. The favorite of mine currently is http://www.haeahomeschooling.com/ eclectic and welcoming.

-Angela
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#27 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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no i havent linda but i would be willing to.

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#28 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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Honestly, right now the market is flooded with secular homeschooling groups. So much so that I think several are in danger of dying off because new ones have sucked off participation. We really need to build up what we've got and not splinter further (only so many days a week to hold stuff and when they all run into each other it hurts all the groups)

-Angela
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#29 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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I think that different groups fit different people so I dont think that having many is bad because that way there are choices for those that want them.

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#30 of 49 Old 10-14-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So is there a I attach parent, boob it, organic/natural eating, homebirth, don't care what you religion you are, earth lover, support each other, have small group classes, playdates, etc... kind of groups?? That is something I am looking for. I agree a group is as only as good as its members make it. Back when I started my group up here, we had 5 families join in a week and I invited them to my house for a gathering not having met a single one - it was fantastic! I think like-minded people tend to stick together. I don't have to be a certain religion to be an honest great person. Just my 2 cents on that

So anything like described above??

Will check out the group posted. How about boy stuff - I have a 9 year old wanting boy scouts style stuff, hockey, horseback riding and really any sport. Anything for the older boys?
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