Monday, April 18, 2011

Earth Day!

Friday April 22nd is Earth Day.  Many people are celebrating the entire week as Earth Week.  Mommy J and I have been doing many things lately to try to boost our environmental friendliness.

Daddy L has always been a stickler about recycling.  In our town, anything over 1 bag/barrel of trash has to be put in "Town" Trash bags that you must purchase.  He  has done such a good job recycling that sometimes we don't even have a enough trash to put out and we can skip a week.  We've never had to purchase the "Town" bags and he typically puts out 2 to 4 bins of recycling.

Mommy J has found some great homemade cleaning products.  We've made this fabulous All Purpose Cleaning Solution from vinegar, peppermint castille soap, borax, and water.  (I realize borax use can be controversial.  I encourage you to research borax on your own.  We feel that it is used in such small quantities in the cleaning products- the real danger would be from eating it so, if kept properly stored, away from children, it is "safe".

We also made a fairly good window cleaner that is simply water with a few drops of dish soap. It works pretty well as long as you use the correct type of cloth.  Something very absorbent and lint free!

I did try to make a homemade laundry detergent that may have failed.  It was equal parts washing soda, borax, and a bar of castille soap that I pulverized in the food processor.  Not sure if I stuffed the washer too much or if it just didn't work, but one of Pumpkins shirts came out of the wash very dirty. I'm going to give it another try.  I didn't have any trouble getting the detergent to dissolve.  It just didn't clean well.  I am trying to find maybe a different ratio that works better because I have looked at a lot of "natural" detergents that have very similar ingredients. Anyone have any advice there? 

On Saturday, April 23rd, Mommy J and I are going to the Great Cloth Diaper Change.  It is an event where we will help set the Guiness World Record for most simultaneous cloth diaper changes.  The website says there should be at least 10,000 babies being changed at one time!   There are over 400 locations worldwide that will be participating in the event.  You don't  have to already cloth diaper! You can go just for the one diaper change.  I think many if not all are giving out a free (probably prefold style) cloth diaper.  You might just need to bring a waterproof cover!

We've been using cloth diapers on Pumpkin for about 2 months now. I'm trying to be realistic and not beat myself up when we end up using disposables.  I figure I use about 45-50 diapers a week.  We  use disposables for his one day at daycare and during most nights. (Although we are starting to switch to cloth at night too!)  So I figure we use about 12 disposables a week.  If my math is right (and I did not get the math genes here) I calculate that I am cloth diapering at least 75% of the time!  I am very proud of this, but understand that it is not for everyone.  We used disposables 100% of the time with Munchkin and tried to compensate with aggressive recycling!

Mommy J and I also try to compost as much food materials as possible.  I found a kitchen composting bin (ie. a metal bucket with a charcoal filter in the lid) and it does well to hold food scraps of the non-animal variety.  Just remember to get those scraps out to your outdoor composter before they start to take over your kitchen!

What are some things you do to be more green at home?


Kelli said...

This is awesome! I've always stuck with the motto, "Earth Day is Everyday!" Seems like you guys do too!

Veronica Lee said...

Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
Have a nice day!

7macaw said...

I think by nature we don't want to waste so much but it is nearly impossible to buy with out all the packaging. I purchase dry goods from a local store without all the packaging. I feel some satisfaction using the glass spaghetti jars, I can't seem to part with, to store beans, barley, spices and the like. I cannot see the logic in buying an empty container for 2-3 dollars while we through glass jars away. Of course maybe it is just my fetish for containers.

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