Archives For Green

 

We’ve been using cloth diapers for nearly 7 years. All of our kids are out of diapers now (our daughter has been out of day time diapers for almost a year) but we’re still using one cloth diaper each night for our daughter.

After being used continuously for 6 years, most of our diapers were in pretty rough condition. Once our youngest potty trained, I went through our stash and pared down to the diapers that were in the best condition to be used as her nighttime diapers and to save for a possible future baby.

What happened to the rest of the diapers?

Swim Diapers

Diaper shells that were leaking due to damaged PUL became swim diapers. I kept two for Cecilia and the rest were passed on to friends.

The bumGenius shells make excellent swim diapers. In my experience, they do a great job keeping in solids (we had a pool for 3 years when our boys were small so I have firsthand experience!)

Cleaning Rags

Cotton prefolds make wonderful cleaning rags. We had several Gerber prefolds that are now my favorite cleaning rag they are great at absorbing spills. They also absorb water really easy which makes them great as a damp cloth for cleaning.

I don’t have any of the thicker prefolds as cleaning rags at this point because I passed on some of these when Cecilia potty trained because they still had quite a bit of life left in them for diapering.

Absorbing and Cleaning Cloths

After being used for nearly 5 years straight, our microfiber inserts still absorbed but smelled horrible after a few wears. It got to where I was stripping nearly every 2 weeks because of microfiber smells. At that point, I replaced all of my microfiber inserts with infant prefolds which took care of the smell issue.

What should you do with all of your microfiber inserts?

They make wonderful cleaning cloths!

My favorite cleaning cloth is the bumGenius newborn insert. When we have a spill, we just place one of these inserts over the spill and it absorbs the liquids up so fast. And, since they’re not being used for diapering, there is no microfiber stink to deal with.

Find a New Home for Useful Diapers

I only suggest upcycling diapers that are no longer useful for diapering babies. If the PUL is still in good condition, the prefolds are not in tatters and your microfiber still has life in it, find a new home for those diapers! Either try to sell them and make back a bit of your investment or just pass them on to another parent who can continue using them.

 

If you cloth diapered, what did you do with your stash once you were finished diapering your babies? 

2016 Garden

Our garden is doing pretty good this summer and we’ve been enjoying tomatoes for several weeks now. Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable to grow!

I’m always amazed at the growth this time of year. Our cantaloupe, watermelon and sweet potatoes have all grown out of their beds and appear to be taking over the garden. It definitely is no longer neat and tidy but it is productive!

Garden

This is what our garden looked like on July 8, right before I harvested the corn.

Garden in April

Here’s the same view from April 24. It’s amazing how things grow so fast!

Squash and Cucumbers

I purposely planted fewer cucumbers this year but they are very prolific and we’ve been picking cucumbers for weeks. I’ve made several batches of refrigerator pickles as well as canned Bread and Butter Pickles and Dill Chips.

Our squash and zucchini have done very well this year too. We’ve eaten quite a bit and have blanched and frozen some to add to stir fry this winter.

Corn and Vegetables

We had a decent sweet corn harvest. This was our second year to grow corn but the first year in a raised bed. We only had 12 corn stalks but they produced  pretty well.

Garden Harvest

I have several Marigolds planted throughout the garden and I think they’re just lovely. I’ve enjoyed picking small bouquets of marigolds and whatever other flowers are blooming.

We’re also still getting CSA boxes each week (the bottom right picture is one of our CSA boxes).

Canned Tomatoes and Pickles

This past week, I canned Dill Chips and Tomatoes. I ended up with 7 quarts of tomatoes which will be used as the base for chili and vegetable soup this fall and winter. I’m hoping to can quite a few more quarts of tomatoes and hopefully salsa in the coming weeks.

Harvest

Now that our tomatoes are in, our garden pictures are much more colorful! I’m enjoying our Cherokee Purples the most – they are an amazing tomato! I eat them plain or with bread and mayo for a simple but delicious tomato sandwich. Our yellow pear and cherry tomatoes are doing quite well, I’ve been adding them into my scrambled eggs each morning and that is so yummy. We’ve also picked two of our sugar baby watermelon (top left picture). They’re tiny but taste pretty good!

I’m starting to plan our fall garden and am looking forward to many, many more weeks of gardening and backyard produce!

Green Your Life

Do you have a desire to make changes towards more natural and eco-friendly living?

What’s stopping you?

  • Do you not know where to start?
  • Are you thinking it will be inconvenient?
  • Do you think living ‘green’ is expensive?
  • Are you afraid that people will think you’ve gone crazy?

When it comes to making changes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and then give up before you even start.

When I started my journey towards living ‘green’ several years ago, I was a little overwhelmed with all the changes that I needed to make. But, I started with just one thing. We started recycling, then we started using cloth napkins and soon after that replaced paper towels with cloth cleaning rags. The changes seemed to snowball and now we’re quite ‘green’ – we cloth diaper, don’t own a  microwave, make homemade laundry detergent and I even use reusable menstrual products (like the DivaCup and GladRags.)

The key to making life changes is taking a baby step approach. It’s worked in areas like finances, changing eating habits and living more naturally.

If you do have a desire to change, Green Your Life by Emily McClements of Live Renewed is a resource that will encourage you along your journey and help you make small changes towards a greater lifestyle change.

This eBook is written in a very encouraging tone and the suggestions are easy and most are very inexpensive to implement. In fact, you may find that changing your habits towards more natural products and living greener may actually end up saving you money!

The book covers:

  • Green and Natural Cleaning
  • Natural Personal Care Products
  • Eco-Friendly Baby and Child Care
  • Green Around the Home
  • In the Marketplace – Better Buying Choices

Here are some of my favorite green changes that Emily suggests:

  • Replace your commerical dishwasher rinse aid with undiluted vinegar.
  • Adopt a less is more mindset.
  • Replace disposables with reusables. (Reusable snack bags are a great substitute to ziplock baggies.)
  • Buy the best quality you can afford. (Typically higher quality items last longer which helps prevent waste!)

Small Changes

Begin with baby steps and slowly green your life.

The first step, purchase a digital copy of Green Your Life.  The book is just $8.99 and includes a FREE bonus membership to the upcoming Green Your Life Challenge in February 2014!

The next step, start reading the book and choose just one thing to change.

GYL_Sharable_Quote

This post is part of a Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Green Your Life. Check out what other bloggers are saying about the great new book:

Jan. 8 – Ninth Street Notions
Jan. 9  – Red and Honey
Jan. 10 – Running Family
Jan. 12 – Five Little Homesteaders
Jan. 13 – My Blessings Homeschool
Jan. 14 – Vintage Kids | Modern World
Jan. 15 – The Humbled Homemaker
Jan. 17 – Accidentally Green
Jan. 20 – Home With Purpose
Jan. 21 – Intentionally Simple
Jan. 22 – Feed Me Mama
Jan. 23 – Saving by Making
Jan. 24 – More Than Mundane
Jan. 27 – My Humble Kitchen
Jan. 28 – Sorta Crunchy
Jan. 29 – Simply Rebekah
Jan. 30 – A Delightful Home
Jan. 31 – Gidget Goes Home

Disclaimer: I was provided a digital copy of Green Your Life.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own. This post contains affiliate links

 

Cloth Christmas Bags

Trying to have a ‘green’ Christmas isn’t easy.  Over the past few years, I’ve been taking steps towards using green wrapping. I try to use recycled materials like newspapers and paper that comes in packages as well as reusing gift bags we’ve been given the previous year.

One of my favorite ways to wrap presents is using cloth Christmas bags which can be reused over and over, making them very ‘green’.

Making cloth Christmas bags is so simple. Mine are not super fancy and the edges aren’t serged but they’re adorable and I love that they’ll be reused over and over in our family.

The best part, they cost nothing but about an hour of time – I had several different Christmas fabrics in my fabric stash.

Cloth Christmas Bag Fabric

Step 1: Cut out your fabric in a rectangular shape. The size doesn’t matter, just base it upon how big you want your finished bags. I made several bags of varying sizes to hold both large and small gifts.

Hem Fabric

Step 2: Hem the edges of the fabric that will become the top of the bag. This step makes them look much neater.

Fold Fabric

Step 3: Fold your rectangle over with the hemmed edges touching and sew up the sides.

Cloth Christmas Bag

Step 4: You’ve sewn a cloth Christmas bag! All that’s left now is finding the perfect gift to place in your bag and tying it up with a ribbon.

Gift in Cloth Christmas Bag

Isn’t this cute? I used scrap ribbon (mostly ‘recycled’ from gifts I’ve received in the past) to tie up my bags.

Unwrapping Presents

We’ve been using cloth Christmas bags a few years now and love that they help prevent waste.

Are you taking any steps towards a ‘green’ Christmas? If so, what are you doing?