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April 17, 2011

Welcome To Earth Week

There are so many different ways that we can help the Earth. I can honestly say that ever since I started cloth diapering (which we started to save money) has also helped me to become more aware of the amount of waste disposable items make. Each week I find myself buying less of certain items and switching over to reusable. I also find myself looking around my home for items that can be 'repurposed' and used as something else. And why not? If its just sitting there collecting dust there is no reason it can become something better! Here are some of the changes I have found myself making, in the process of making and thinking about making. All things that will help reduce waste, are better for my home and my family, same me money, and are just fun to use!

-Cloth Diapers (this one is kind of a no-brainer!) Thousands and thousands of diapers go into the dumps each year. I remember throwing out 2 garbage bags a week full of ONLY disposable diapers and wipes. YUCK! Cloth Diapers have prevented me from having to fill the dumps and well, lets face it, they are just to sinkin' cute!

-Cloth Wipes- I will be honest and say that I tried this switch. I used only cloth wipes for a while and although it made sense I found myself not liking to deal with the cleaning of those little wipes covered with poo. So I switched back to disposable wipes. I still use mainly disposable wipes but would really like to start using only cloth wipes. I am going to start making this switch by starting out at home with the cloth wipes and then eventually use the cloth wipes while out and about. Even though wipes are not as space consuming, and take no where near as long to decompose they are still waste that is being put into our Earth and I want to become more aware and concerned with what I put in my trash.

-Paper Towels- I have been looking around all over the web trying to find some "Un-Paper" towels to bring into my home. This is probably the first/next change that will be happening. I just have to find the ones that will fit my family the best. I have also considered making them myself. I have found some cool ones that snap together and can roll up onto a paper towel dispenser, there are bright colored ones, cute printed ones and the simple white ones. If you haven't seen or heard of cloth paper towels check them out!

-Mama Cloth- How many of you use Mama Cloth? I considered this for a little bit but I am not ready to take that plunge. Maybe someday I will go for it but for now there are other areas I would like to change first in my adventure of becoming 'more green' and Earth friendly.

-Sponges- I used to buy dish sponges all the time and while these are not horrible items they are kind of a waste of money and they are magnets for bacteria. I decided a while ago that after my last sponge was gross enough to toss I would toss it and never look back. I found my cloth wipes stash that I wasn't using and 're-purposed' them into dish rags. Unlike most people we have to wash our dishes by hand. These wipes were a great size to use. I found that using a kitchen wash cloth was just to big and awkward to use to wash dishes so the wipes were prefect!

-Packaging- I save all my boxes and poly-mailers that I get items in and re-use them (unless they are in sad sad shape, then they get tossed.

-Reusable Bags - Every time I go shopping I pull out my handy dandy reusable grocery bags. I love them! I have a lot of these and they are starting to fall apart but for a buck at your local store they are easy enough to replace and way better for the environment!

-Wet Bags- I always make sure I carry extra wet bags in my diaper bag for dirty clothes, or shoes, or what ever the need may be. I would rather shove that stuff into a wet bag that I can reuse rather than a plastic grocery bag.

-Lunch containers- I have found that using reusable lunch baggies and sacks are becoming more and more popular. I have started using less plastic baggies for lunches and leftovers and am now using more of my tupperware containers and reusable items for the leftovers.

What are some other ways that you have switched over to more Earth and Environment friendly items? What are some of your favorite brands, shops etc?

6 comments:

Rachel said...

I made my own unpaper (cloth) towels, mama cloth, cloth wipes, training pants for DS2. & cook/preserve as much of our food (including grinding flour) from scratch as possible

slang76 said...

In addition to the reusable grocery bags, I love my reusable produce bags. I know you don't actually need produce bags at all, but I hate my produce rolling around everywhere. I got my reusable bags from Crate and Barrel I think, but you can get them lots of places!

OneMama said...

I made some cloth wipes from nappy flannelette and for a while, used disposable wipes to clean off the majority of the poo and then the cloth wipe to get rid of the wee or last bit of chemical laden dispoable wipes.

DS is not in cloth at the moment (my homemade efforts just don't contain his efforts anymore!) so my cloth wipes were covered in some pretty fabric and are now in the kitchen for hand wipes for the table during dinner, cleaning the floor, etc then get thrown in the washing machine.

If you're handy with knitting needles or a crochet hook try knitting some dishcloths for washing dishes. Acrylic yarn (the cheap stuff) is great for scrubbing (even baked on and left to go hard pasta bake, lasagne, etc) and cotton yarn is brilliant for wiping benches and cleaning the 'cleaner stuff' like glasses, cutlery and crockery. They're quick and easy to finish too!

I also made some reusable produce bags from muslin. Found someone who made them from old net curtains, which would work better because they are see through then (the muslin wasn't see through so each bag had to be opened to show what was inside)

Anonymous said...

I love mama cloths! I have been using Lunapads for the past 8 years and I don't know what I'd do without them. At first I as skeptical, as I can be pretty lazy, but the feel alone made using them worth the time. And really, they don't take much time. I throw them into a bucket and let them soak overnight and then wash with my towels. Super easy and better for me and the environment.

TEXAUS MOMMA said...

You totally should try mama cloth, I started last month...Love it! If you want a economical way to start, check out bunnyfeet boutique on FB, she usually has Monday Madness, and often has sets that work out to $3 each and that includes the shipping! They are cotton velour usually...sooooo soft! Love mine! (I also just threw the light flow ones in with my regular laundry, no softener..)

Michael Tiffany and Tasha said...

If you are afraid of using mama cloth you could try the diva cup. My sisters use them and love them. I haven't had a period in two years (pregnant or nursing) so haven't gotten one yet but plan on doing so when I am getting close to weaning time with baby #2.
To be earth friendly I have reusable shopping bags, do cloth wipes with a homemade solution, make my own laundry detergent, garden, use a wetbag, use tupperware daily, have a compost heap and use dying racks for many of my clothes (especially diapers).