Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Here is a link on the dangers of common household cleansers. Here and here are some links on the dangers of laundry detergent and fabric softener. I have a feeling that this post will be long enough without me trying to list the danger of each thing you are replacing.
Depending on how dirty your sink and tub are you can either use vinegar/water and a cloth, baking soda and vinegar scrub or the Pumie. I have also read that Bar Keepers Friend is pretty Earth friendly.
For cleaning the counter top I use vinegar and water. For cleaning the stove top (when it is all gunky and crusty from food), I use baking soda and vinegar. I let it sit and it just wipes off with very little to no scrubbing.
So as you can see, it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive to clean your home the green way, with green and natural cleaning products.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
- We are trying not to lead a disposable life
- Plastic isn't very “classy” - my opinion only
- The feel of plastic is usually “cheap”
- Less plastic = less petroleum usage = less dependence on the middle east
- Plastic contains carcinogens
- The more liquid a food is, the more it touches the plastic, so the more opportunity it has to pick up plastic molecules.
- Acid foods, such as tomato sauce, appear to be particularly interactive with plastic.
- If you heat a food item in a plastic container—even if the container is microwave safe—the transference of plastic from the container to the food is even more likely.
So what is a foodie like myself to do?
Then one day it dawned on me, (I sometimes have these "light bulb" moments, it's actually quite humorous) why not use glass canning jars!?
And to take that one step further, instead of recycling the glass jars that some of our food comes in (peanut butter, pesto (which I should be making homemade but can't get my basil to grow enough so that I can), salsa (which again, I should be making homemade but I can't seem to get it to taste right!) why not use THEM as well!
Another idea is to just leave it in the pot you cooked it in, put the lid on and store it in the fridge that way. One less thing to wash! (It probably comes at no surprise that I'm a bit anal about what type of cookware I use as well...we will save that for another post).
Just an interesting FYI...Have you ever noticed the little numbers on the bottom of plastic bottles and other plastics? Those tell you what the plastic is made of and also indicates where it can be recycled (some facilities only take certain numbers of plastics).
Safer (not safe but safer) plastics are:
#1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) - usually for soft drinks, water bottles, ketchup and salad dressing, peanut butter, pickle, jelly and jam jars
#3 polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC) - 2nd most commonly used plastic in the world. Many toys are PVC too and kids put everything in their mouths so watch out for those!
#7 other (usually polycarbonate) - many drinking cups are made of this, baby bottles, big water jugs, kid's sippie cups (more on this issue later)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Photo of my son making soup in his toy drum
One need not go to the boutique toy shop on Main Street in order to purchase good quality toys. In addition to using what is found in nature, I have found most of our toys at the local thrift stores or re-sell shops. I have also traded for toys on online parenting boards.
Monday, August 3, 2009
There are prefolds, which are just the flat, "old-time" diapers (not to be confused with "flats" which you have to fold a few times in order to create the thickness).
You either pin them or use a plastic Snappi to hold it on. Or, some diaper covers are made so that they will hold the diaper in place without having to use a separate pinning mechanism. In the summer, my babies just wear a pre-fold without a cover.
The pros are that they are cheaper and a lot less trouble to maintain. You don't have to worry about stuffing them (like with the pocket diapers). You can just wash them, dry them and throw them in a pile until you need them.
Then there are fitted diapers, which are like disposable diapers in their shape and in the way you put them on. They have elastic around the legs and either close with Velcro or snaps. You have to use a cover with these as well.
The Pros are that you don't have to worry about pinning them and you just put them on like a disposable.
The pros are that these are probably the most convenient as you literally use them just like disposables. You don't have to worry about stuffing them (as with the pocket diapers), you don't have to worry about a cover, you don't have to worry about pinning.
The cons are that they can be bulky and that if you have a heavy wetter they can leak. They are also pretty expensive. Depending upon how many layers are sewn into the diaper, they can take a long time to dry.
Last are the Pocket Diapers. They are "All-in-ones" in that they have the waterproof cover already sewn on. The difference is that you stuff these with 'inserts' (which can be anything from a pre-made insert to a folded up flat diaper).
The pros are that you can stuff them with as little or as much "stuffing" as your child needs (or as the situation calls for, stuff it heavier for long car rides, lighter for around the house). They also, for some reason, tend to be more trim and not as bulky as some of the others.
The Pocket Diapers were my favorite with my now four year old. But I got so that I literally dreaded getting them out of the dryer and having to stuff them all. That's why I switched to the pre-folds....they were so much easier. I am also concerned with using synthetic fabrics...I much prefer natural fibers. With Zoe I use unbleached prefolds with wool covers.
I also had times when I used the cloth at home and disposables at night and when we went out. Every little bit helps with finances and with the environment. It doesn't have to be "all or none".
Within the four basic style of diapers you will find different features and different materials. It can get pretty overwhelming. You just have to break it down in your mind. Categorize it into one of the categories and then go from there.
With all types, you will find a few "store made" brands and then tons of WAHM (work-at-home-mom) brands.
Then there are the covers. That opens a whole new Pandora's Box. The basic two, though, are wool versus synthetic waterproof materials.
I much prefer wool. Wool can store moisture up to 35 per cent of its own dry weight yet it remains dry to touch and speeds up the body's own cooling system. Wool is breathable, it doesn't hold in the heat like plastics would. It allows for the circulation of air. This helps to prevent diaper rash. Wool contains natural lanolin which creates a natural waterproof barrier. Wool is also an anti-bacterial. It does not have to be washed between every diaper change. Once every few weeks should be sufficient. Just let dry between uses.
You could also use a cover made with PUL. Some people find these to be less intimidating than wool...although, once you get the hang of wool, it really is quite simple.
There are many places online where you can buy and/or trade for new and used cloth diapers. Unfortunately, ebay has prohibited the selling of used cloth diapers at this time. There is a petition circulating to try to get this rule amended but in the meantime you will have to look elsewhere. Some of the sites where I have found mine are http://www.diaperswappers.com/ and http://www.mothering.com/ as well as http://www.amitymama.com/. You can also do a google search on the type of diaper you are looking for and find tons of sites.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Natalie wanted her face painted at one of the booths but it was hot and she was sweaty and I knew that it would get smudged within minutes so we told her that we would paint her face when we got home. It looked so much fun that the entire family got into it and we all ended up with war paint.