Saturday, July 23, 2011
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.
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?
- 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.