So where are they now? What do they still do, and what did they let go? Is sustainability something you can sustain long-term without going bonkers?
Recently, they met again in Murray's living room.
Natalia Volz still cleans with vinegar. Her son says it stinks, but she wants to avoid the chemicals and fragrances in manufactured cleaners.
Beth Resweber still pays all her bills online, a paper-saving move. She's wondering what action to take on all the ad circulars that come in the mail. Recycling isn't enough.
Stacy Clements still has no air-conditioning. "The tough days are when the varnish on the furniture gets sticky," she said with a shrug and a grin.
Never mind the humans; the veterinarian said her dog needed the AC. But visitors say her house looks friendlier with the windows open.
The women have cut back so much on trash that they don't even have to put it out at the curb every week. They pretty much still ride bikes, wash the laundry in cold water, and use a clothesline instead of a dryer.
"I think my clothes are lasting longer," said Sarah Sultzer.
They've sealed window leaks and police the thermostat. Bottled water? Not a chance.
But, yes, to be honest, they've also backslid a tad.
The Clementses' basement fridge, an older one that presumably is less efficient, has been put back in service. With four kids, they simply need it.
All the women have watched their families' water usage inch upward.
They more or less concluded that, like anything else - weight loss, for instance - it's often easier if you're in a group that can encourage you and hold you accountable.
Truth to tell, the moms sometimes wonder whether some of their efforts are paying off. Sorting the recyclables seems mountainous, endless. The question isn't whether the plastic is a 2 or a 5, but whether squinting at all those symbols is a good use of their time.
But no, wait. They laughed this one off. Ditch recycling? These are women who, once they decided to branch out into their communities, Dumpster-dove at the school to investigate how many recyclables were being ditched.
They've seen changes in society that are both encouraging and dismaying. People seem to be switching from incandescent lightbulbs to more efficient ones. At the same time, the women are suspicious that many attempt to "buy their way" into a greener lifestyle, which they see as a contradiction.
But the strangest thing of all - the theme that ran through the meeting - is that even with all the changes, the women feel guilty. They don't think they do enough.
We talked about that a bit, and they wondered if the source of their disquiet was simply that they're more aware. Now that they've seen, and documented, how much their actions count, why aren't they doing more?
Either way, they decided it was all about paying attention, and getting their families to do likewise.
Two years ago, they said they hoped the actions that alternately embarrassed and amused their kids would at least stick with the children.
Evidently, they did. The kids ride their parents about letting the water run in the kitchen sink.
The other day, Volz bought grapes from far away. Her daughter refused to eat them.
Then again, when they were at a store and Volz realized she had forgotten her reusable bag - evidently conveying her chagrin to her daughter - the girl took a realist's attitude.
"Mom," she said. "It's OK." And, really, it was.
Contact staff writer Sandy Bauers at 215-854-5147 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her blog at http://go.philly.com/greenspace.