Saturday, July 23, 2011

Going Green!!

I may be a little late to this party, but better late than never!  I'm so excited about the changes we're making that I just had to share.  Many of you have already done all these things.  In fact, you've been my inspiration.  Here's what I've started with on my journey to green.  (I'm still on this journey, by the way.  I have so much to learn!)

Cloth diapers-  This probably marks the beginning of my journey.  I chose to cloth diaper, not for the sake of the environment (this is an added benefit), but for the sake of my baby.  Disposable diapers have become more and more effective because of the combination of chemicals and synthetic materials used.  Some of these may not be good for Baby's skin.  Once I got on this bandwagon, one thing led to another.

Recycled cloth baby wipes and wipes solution-  I loved that cloth diapering meant I didn't fill so many of those plastic sacks from the grocery store.  Unfortantely, I still needed a quick way to ditch dirty wipes, so the plastic sacks continued to be necessary.  I cut up an old dinosaur blanket and am using these for Calvin's wipes now.  I've seen many baby wipes solution recipes out there, but have settled on this one for now.

Castile Solution
1 T oil (I'm using grapeseed oil, good for sensitive skin.)
1 T Castile Soap (made by Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps)
2 drops tea tree oil (Tee tree oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.)
1 drop lavender essential oil
1 c water

Now the wipes go in their own wet bag and get washed with towels.

Speaking of the wash, I've started using Planet hypo-allergenic ultra liquid.  Yes, it's expensive, but I have a front-load HE washing machine and subsequently don't need much detergent for each load. 

One of the problems with cloth diapering and living in a place with hard water is not being able to use fabric softener.  I never knew fabric softener was bad for us.  Go figure.  My kids have eczema and other skin problems so I should have ditched the fabric softener years ago.  Live and learn.

Homemade fabric softener (Ok to use with cloth diapers as far as I know)
For 1 gallon (I only make 1/4  of this at a time.)
1 c baking soda
6 c distilled white vinegar
8 c water
10-15 drops essential oils if desired (probably should leave this out if using on cloth diapers)
Add baking soda to bottom of container, then 1 c water, stir, add vinegar, rest of water, essential oils.  I have mine in a pitcher so it can "breathe". 

Another guilt trip I've been on for awhile has to do with the amount of paper towels we go through in a given week.  LOTS.  I can't stand the thought of germs hanging around in sponges or rags so I've always used paper towels for everything.  I'll probably still buy paper towels to have on hand "just in case", but I'm trying to use rags most of the time.  Yes, this means more wash, but I'd rather recycle old t-shirts and towels as rags than keep buying paper towels.  I'm hoping we can really reduce our waste this way.  And in case you're wondering, like my husband was, we're still going to use store-bought toilet paper : ).  Until I read about a great alternative, anyway :).

Finally, I've always been bothered by the aluminum content in deodorant.  Tsh Oxenreider gives homemade recipes for all kinds of toiletries including deodorant in her book Organized Simplicity.  Here's her deodorant recipe.

Homemade Deodorant by Tsh Oxenreider
1/4 c baking soda (to neutralize smells)
1/4 c cornstarch (for drying power)
4-6 T coconut oil
Essential oils optional

I mixed the dry ingredients then nuked them to facilitate mixing.  (Coconut oil is solid below 76 F which made it hard to mix otherwise.  Then I set in fridge to solidify before packing into an empty deodorant container with a spoon.)  Depending on how warm your bathroom gets, you may want to store your deodorant in the fridge.  At least make sure it stays cooler than 76 degrees F, or you could end up with a melted mess.

Queen and I even took our own bags with us to the store this morning.

What are you doing to go green?


  1. Good for you! I think you are going to motivate me to go green!:) Lori

  2. Well, I have been taking my own bags to Kroger for a couple of years now. I do use the plastic ones during my monthly trip to Walmart--we use them for the kitty litter.....I really don't know how else to dispose of the kitty litter.

    I think we use too many paper napkins, and maybe paper plates. But it's a toss the dishwasher twice a day, or use paper plates for one or two meals and a snack and run it twice a day.

    I do assign one cup per day for the kiddos to drink out of all day. Each person has his own color. I also wash and reuse solo cups each day. We use those for snacks(popcorn,etc.) and we take them to our CrossFit workouts or when we run. I fill a 1 gallon cooler with water and we use those solo cups. Like I said, I wash and reuse them. So that is saving on buying and disposing so many water bottles.

    Water bottles: I do buy them, but I refill and reuse mine for about a week before I put them in the recycle bin.

    We recycle newspaper, plastic, and cans, and we burn all of our cardboard and paper.

    I know that's not much, but it's a start.

  3. Hi Celee! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!:) I love teaching my American Girl class and my Nancy Drew class. The girls are such fun! At the end of classes in the Spring I host a mystery party for the girls as a celebration of all we have learned and accomplished. SInce I will be reviewing curriculum for the Crew I will be putting the classes on hold for awhile. I can only handle so much and I know you understand!:) Please stop by again soon as I will be blogging about my Nancy Drew class this weekend.:) Lori

  4. You're way ahead of me, Roan.


  5. What a FUN POST!!! I'm a visual person, so the pictures made it so much more inspiring! I was making my own laundry soap, but ran out so now I am using Charlies soap (only takes 1/8 of a cup per load). I am making my own hand soap, which I will be blogging about soon (doing it for health reason), I made my own body soap as well. humm let's see, I also do not use my dishwasher, don't ever buy water bottles, I don't bathe the kids every night (honestly it's better for their hair and skin) and I make everyone in the house use their towels at least two times before I will wash them. Anyhow, I am very excited to make the softener you suggested, as we have very hard water as well. Thanks for the post!

  6. ok, I reread my comment.....if I use paper products I can run my dishwasher once a day instead of twice.

    I wash towels twice a week. That's it. So we use towels 3-4 times before washing them. We hang them to dry. Sheets, every other week.

    My kids don't bathe every night either.....a lot of days, the pool is their bath!

  7. I'm probably more frugal than green but it works for us. :)
    Cloth napkins, buying in bulk (less packaging), cooking from scratch, gardening, and I did the cloth wipes when I had a kiddo in diapers-works great. I've not made my own toiletries (deodarent, shampoo) but hope to get there eventually. It's a process...
    Take care

  8. Wow, for some reason I thought you had tried and stopped cloth diapering which made me feel better for using the disposables. The "if Celee uses them, I don't feel so bad" mentality. ;)

    So, how is the deodorant working? Also, have you tried Tsh's no shampoo method of keeping your hair clean? I tried it very briefly but had a hard time with it.

  9. Jan, I did quit cloth diapering for almost 2 months when Calvin got a bad case of Staph and I couldn't keep him cleared up. Ironically, it seemed to help when I put him back in cloth diapers. I should have stuck with them the whole time! I like the deodorant fine, but I'm not an antiperspirant junkie : ). I haven't tried her no shampoo method, but my hair is very thick and dry and I only wash and condition it about once a week.




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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.