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Posts Tagged ‘Eco-friendly’

So maybe you don’t think of yourself as being particularly entrenched in “going green.”  That’s ok, you can start small.  There are many things you can do every day to help, that over time will make a huge impact.

*Use re-usable kitchen towels instead of paper towels or napkins. You’ll save a crapload of trees.

*Recycle. We have a small plastic trash bin in the kitchen and it is filled nearly every day with recyclables.  It adds up quick, folks.  Most cities and towns have a regular recycling day and will provide you with bins for each type of recyclable, along with a list of what they accept and don’t accept.

*Carpool. It saves gas, money and cuts down on those nasty emissions.

*Use cloth shopping bags. Saves trees, is a better choice for the environment than the plastic alternative and some stores even give you money to use them!  Target gives you $.05 off of your total for each one that you use, regardless if it is one of theirs.

*Use non-chlorine bleach. Still cleans and disinfects, without the harm to the environment or your family.

*Use unbleached coffee filters. These are the brown ones, folks.  They are made without the use of the chemical dioxin .  They’re going to turn brown anyway, right?

*Use rechargeable batteries. Not only saves you money but helps keep heavy metals from building up in landfills.

For more ways you can help, there is a great website here.

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Yes, they still exist.  Yes, lots of people use them for their children, myself included.  Although it may sound daunting, cloth diapering is actually pretty easy once you get past all the different types of cloth diapers there are out there, how to identify them and how they work.  Gone are the days of diaper pins and ill-fitting rubber pants.  While prefolds (the diapers my mother used for me) are still in use, snappi fasteners have replaced the old diaper pins and waterproof covers with velcro closures replace the old, ill-fitting pull-up rubber/plastic pants.  And while diaper services still exist, it is relatively easy and much more cost-effective to launder them yourself.  It is a huge cost savings to line-dry diapers if you can.  Some people find that line-dried clothing can be a little stiff.  After they are dry, pop them into the dryer for just a couple of minutes to restore fluffiness.

Have you bought a pack of disposable diapers lately?  They are quite expensive.   Not to mention they are…well, papery. Who wants scratchy paper rubbing up against them ((shuddering)) when you can have buttery soft microfiber fleece?  There is also the impact on the environment and the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process of disposables, much of which has already been documented and out there on the internet for some time.   I will provide links to some sites of interest and I do suggest grabbing a snack and hunkering down for a very informative read.

Other than getting over the hump of understanding all the cloth-diapering jargon (pf=prefolds, AIO=All-In-One, AI2=All-In-Two, etc.), one may initially be stunned at the cost of a single cloth diaper.  While initial cost outlay may end up being more than you expected, remember these are reusable.  Properly laundered and maintained, cloth diapers can last for years and be used for more than one child.   There are also a number of sites on the internet for swapping/selling cloth diapers and cloth diapering products (diaperswappers). That’s right, mamas.  When your little one outgrows a certain size, just trade up for the next size!   While it may be a hard-sell in the beginning for some, the convenience of  today’s cloth diapers and the sheer cost savings are usually enough to win over a doubting partner.

I have cloth diapered more than one child.  I have also used cloth baby wipes and made my own wipes solution.  While I can still be found with some ‘sposies on hand (there are now chlorine-free, more eco-friendly disposables on the market)  for some trips out or for those times when a family member is babysitting and just doesn’t want to deal with the many and varied cloth diapers and accessories in the nursery, I far and away prefer cloth.  I had a lot of fun (and still do) learning about all the different kinds of cloth available, and continue to be in awe of sahms (stay-at-home-moms) who create wonderful embroidered diapers, covers and cloth-diapering products.   Ooh, and when your little one’s cloth diapering days are behind them, the prefolds and cloth wipes make excellent household cleaning rags.   Recycle, recycle, recycle!

It’s a whole new world, mamas.  Check it out.

Diaperswappers

Green Mountain Diapers

Diaper Pin

Fuzzi Bunz Cloth Diapers

Kissaluvs Cloth Diapers

Disposable Dangers

Seventh Generation Disposable Diapers

Earth’s Best Disposable Diapers

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I am all for handmade gifts during the holidays (or anytime, really).  My sister enjoys doing this and I always look forward to seeing what she came up with.  This past year she made corkboards.  I am totally in need of places to tack up notes and such, so I was excited when she told me (yes, she TOLD) ahead of time what she was doing for everyone.

When I received it it was the most awesome thing.  The corkboard was made of cork, yes.  Wine corks! Knowing how my sister loves wine (she’s a member of a local wine club), I thought, “She made one of these for everyone in the family?” Seeing how many corks were on just one board,  I raised an eyebrow.  “No,” she said, “I didn’t drink all that wine.”

Whew!  So apparently you can buy wine corks.  Very cool.  Who would’ve ever thought–?  Certainly not me.  I don’t drink wine.  I hardly drink at all.  I have a wine rack and a few bottles, but those few bottles have been there a mighty long time.   I do believe my husband had them when we got married.  o_O

So anyway I now have a lovely corkboard handmade by my sister that totally beats anything you can buy at the local retail store.  Anyway, have you seen how much corkboards can cost?  Geez.   Besides, mine is way cooler and harvesting cork doesn’t harm the trees and actually helps the environment.  Bonus!

For information on how harvesting cork can benefit the environment,  go to:

http://environment.about.com/od/greenlivingdesign/a/wine_stopper.htm

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The answer?  Nothing.

Yet.

We tore everything out from last season some months ago.   The ground needs to be weeded and tilled and I need to get off my butt and figure out what I’m planting out there.   I have some things I intend to start from seed and others I think I will buy some plants that have already sprouted up a bit.

Last year’s garden was my first experience having a back yard garden since I was a kid.  Thank goodness I have some green-thumbed friends who never tire of me picking their brains!  We did get some lovely tomatoes and beans last go ’round.  Some things came up nicely, others didn’t.  I was rather disappointed that my yellow squash never got past the baby stage.  It ended up with a nasty fungus.  Poor squashies.  😦

My cucumbers never did develop, either, save one that looked so much like a watermelon I thought that’s what it was until I sliced it open.  The watermelon and canteloupes didn’t do anything, but I had beautiful okra and pole beans.  The tomatoes were plentiful and delicious!

The following are a few photos from last season:

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Welcome to my blog! You’ll find a little bit of everything here, but I figured I would start with an explanation of the name I chose for the blog. There will be a good deal of talk about green things, i.e. gardening, eco-friendly tips, organics (that’s where the “peas” comes in) and our family’s continuing efforts on becoming as self-sustaining as possible.

My husband and I met during a production of the play Camelot and it has been a recurring theme throughout our relationship. I am the Queen of this manor, there are little Princes and Princesses, and while I would love to say my husband plays the role of dear King Arthur or the brave Sir Lancelot, he played the role of King Arthur’s bastard son Mordred (until he was unceremoniously tossed from the cast for mooning the director :-/) and I think I am right in assuming that he would describe himself as such. I would say he is more Mr. Corporate Turned More Laid Back Mr. Corporate With Way Cooler Hair.

Love of course is what everyone strives to have in their life, and our home is no exception. Love of life, family, adventure and nature. Oh, and dogs. I love them, too, even though most days I claim to want to kill them.

Peas, love and Camelot. Everybody needs a little. I’m just sayin’. 😉

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