Natural Living Des Moines


Natural Living Des Moines – proud to be central Iowa’s FREE source by sarahtar
October 25, 2009, 4:49 pm
Filed under: About Us

I’ve just returned from the Harvest Festival at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah and spent some time on the way back thinking about how proud I am of Natural Living Des Moines. I started this site a number of years ago after being inspired by the ReDirect Guide I saw in Salt Lake City. I wanted Des Moines to have its own listing of resources for natural living.

Originally, I had wanted to turn the site into a print guide, like the ReDirect Guide. It would have turned the free listing site into, eventually, a paid-listing site. But the goal and focus have changed. It doesn’t make sense, really, to have a print guide. I mean, particularly for Eco-Living, right? Waste of paper, and energy, and everything. And I don’t think it’s right to charge anybody for the privilege of being listed here. I mean, what does it cost me but a few minutes of my time?

The publicity comes from those who are listed, in addition to my own efforts. I’ve been amazed at how much traffic the site gets, and more than pleased at the positive emails I get on a nearly daily basis. Natural Living Des Moines has grown so much since its inception.

Yes, now there are other copy-cat listings. Most of those are either pay (and quite expensive at that) or are sponsored by big-name media. But Natural Living Des Moines was here first, and remains – and will always be – free.

We’re getting ready to proceed with a few exciting plans that we’ve put off for far too long around here. I think you’ll be excited about the new developments, too. I look forward to sharing them with you as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, if you know someone who should be listed, have an event we should put on our calendar, or have a topic you think we should blog about, or – better yet – want to write something for the blog, just shoot us an email!!



Welcome New Bloggers! by sarahtar
May 12, 2009, 1:11 pm
Filed under: About Us

Over the next few days, I hope you’ll be seeing introductions from several new Natural Living Des Moines bloggers. Each blogger brings their own unique perspective on natural living in Des Moines (and, in one case, elsewhere) and I’m looking forward to reading their posts.

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Lisa, Sabbath, Abby, Diana, and Marillyn.

Interested in blogging for NLDM? One post or many, as long as it’s about living natural, we’d love your input. Just email me at sarahtar1 at gmail dot com.



Me and Green by sarahtar
April 23, 2008, 7:59 am
Filed under: About Us

I get asked about this a lot, mainly by people who know that I present somewhat of a dichotomy with this site and blog. Why is this stuff so important to you? Why are you into natural living? What does Green mean to you?

See, I love the environment and everything. I spend a lot of time in it (we’re big hikers and campers not to mention just general outdoors people). Most of the things I do benefit it. I spend a lot of time consciously doing things to improve it.

But I’m not an environmentalist. By any stretch of the imagination. I’m a political conservative. I think Greenpeace is a bunch of terrorists. I shop at Walmart and I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t typically dress like a hippie and I wouldn’t live in a commune even if there was good money in it. I’m pro-business, and I don’t think Corporate America is out to screw the little guy OR the environment. In light of this, you can see how my striving to live green might seem a little strange.

But, see, I do not think a person has to be an “environmentalist” or out to save the planet from SUVs in order for a more natural lifestyle to make sense.

To me, it’s just common sense. It doesn’t take a lot of thinking to figure out that exposing ourselves to toxins, heavy metals, and things like endocrine disruptors probably is not a good thing. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that continuing to pollute our planet with these things really is not doing us any favors as a species, either.

Then there’s the financial aspects. It’s easy to drop a lot of dough on “green” products. But here’s the secret the media doesn’t advertise much – it’s easy to save a LOT of money by being green, as well. You don’t need to buy the fancy expensive Green window cleaner – use vinegar. You don’t need to spend your money on Aubrey Organics shampoo that’s made who knows where and shipped here – use baking soda. Using cloth menstrual pads cuts way back on that monthly expenditure that most women have – making your own from found materials makes it even cheaper.

And there’s also something to be said for getting back to the basics. It’s appealing on a sub-conscious level. I can’t explain why, but I am drawn to more natural, more simple things.

My personal goals are to be healthier, save money, and live a simpler lifestyle. Being green and more eco-friendly is just a nice side effect for me.



Natural Living Des Moines by sarahtar
April 21, 2008, 2:15 pm
Filed under: About Us

So what are we doing here?

Natural Living Des Moines’ goal is to be a source of information for those seeking to live a more natural lifestyle here in central Iowa. To that end, we have a resource directory, a calendar of events that might be of interest, and this blog, which hopefully brings you useful articles and information on topics ranging from giving up shampoo to giving up garbage.

The resources are focused on central Iowa, mainly because that’s where I live and that’s the area I’m familiar with. It’s been very tempting to include links to general resources – there are so many good ones – but most of those resources are not difficult to find with your favorite search engine. So, generally speaking, links to resources not in central Iowa and not focused on central Iowa have been limited to blog posts, and not the resource directory.

Why is the site called Natural Living Des Moines and not Green Living or Eco-Friendly or something like that? Our focus is more on the vague collection of activities that I call “natural living.” Eating organic, eating local, eating whole foods, avoiding toxins of all sorts, buying locally made goods, choosing natural products over unnatural ones (cotton over polyester, natural soaps over Irish Spring), reducing our consumption, breastfeeding, using cloth diapers, planning/supporting natural childbirth, living a simpler life, wearing our babies, etc.

Not all of these things are necessarily green or eco-friendly (babywearing, for example). And not everyone who pursues natural living is necessarily doing it to be Green or Eco-Friendly. Green and Eco-Friendly are nice side effects for some of us – and they are the whole point for others. There’s room for both here.

So that’s what we’re trying to do here. We’re just a resource.

We are Des Moines’ first and original Natural Living resource directory. We continue to be a free resource, one that does not make any money. There is no charge to be listed in the resource directory or the calendar. I’m not trying to make a buck off of the “green trend.” I’m doing what I was raised to do – finding a small way to make a difference in my world, and to serve others.

Want to join us at NLDM? We’re still looking for regular bloggers. I have had a lot of enthusiastic beginnings, but few of them have become anything! You’d be welcome to blog about anything related to natural living, anything at all.

Have a business you want listed? An activity for the calendar? Just toss us an email.