Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day 2010

Just like the past 2 years, here’s the annual Earth Day post…most of you won’t care; this is really just for me to remember what we do! :)

If you’re curious, here’s what I wrote in 2009 and 2008. It’s not very exciting, so don’t feel some pressing need to go check out those posts, ha ha!

So, I’m still aiming for that tricky blend between frugal & environmentally friendly. Here’s where we’re at this year, and it’s not much different from last year…

Baby Soaps: I could SURE use some help in this category! Oh, my poor eczema-covered children. :( Burt’s Bees is good for Alex, but the boys bathe together, and it makes Max break out. We’re experimenting. It seems like Aveeno is all right (but not totally natural), Gentle Naturals is so-so (and not entirely natural, despite the name), and I just bought a new one to try…can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s much more natural!). This is definitely not a category for being frugal – not when my boys are blotchy and uncomfortable :( I tried coconut oil as a moisturizer, but it didn’t make a difference. I’m trying to avoid desonide/steroid cream, but sometimes that’s all that will work. If anyone has any suggestions that don’t cost an arm & a leg, let me know!

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Cloth Diapers – Bum Genius 3.0s would be my favorite, except the velcro is wearing out, and Alex can “escape” from his diapers. My second favorite is the Bum Genius Flip diaper. These are snap diapers, not quite as “user-friendly”, but still plenty easy to use...and cheaper! I’m probably using cloth at 7 out of 10 diaper changes right now. (We have yet to buy an expensive disposable swim diaper. Old, unstuffed FuzziBunz snap-on diapers are perfect for this!)

Cloth Wipes – Absolutely love them! Dr. Brewer (our pediatrician) even gave us some new ones as a gift when Max was born. How sweet is that? I use them as baby wipes (of course…), but we also use them as baby washcloths, mini spit rags, and extra-soft nose wiping cloths. (, search for Kate Danzer/Eli’s Wipe-Es)

Dishsoaps: Palmolive Free & Clear, 7th Generation, or Meijer Naturals

Laundry Detergent: Planet detergent for diapers, Purex Natural or Arm & Hammer Essentials for clothes (and Arm & Hammer dryer sheets)

General Cleaning: Still LOVING Advanage cleaner – thank you, Deb! That stuff can clean just about anything from countertops to windows to carpet stains! (Although Windex does a MUCH better job on getting hairspray spots off of bathroom mirrors…)They just had some sales that scored me some free 7th Generation and Greenworks products, so I have some of those in the cabinet, too.

Toilet: Clorox Greenworks or (if we’re out) a quick squirt of cheap shampoo or bodywash that I’ve picked up for free at CVS.

Paper Towels: I try to use our cloth towels as much as possible, but some things just require a paper towel…and it’s usually CVS recycled paper towels. (Meijer stopped carrying Sunrise)

Paper Plates & Ziploc Bags: We have paper plates in the house….for crafts. Other than that, paper plates are for themed birthday parties! If I can get Ziploc bags for dirt-cheap, I’ll buy some & use them sparingly. If we don’t have any, well…that’s what Rubbermaid & Tupperware are for!

Gardening - I may try planting tomatoes again this year for Alex’s sake, as I know he’d love to help water & pick tomatoes. I’m so pathetic at it, though. He’ll have to be the gardener of the family if anything’s going to grow here! ;)

Recycling – We switched garbage services this year, so now we have to bring our recycling to the recycling center on our own. It’s kind of neat, as it gives Alex a way to see where our recycling goes. I usually procrastinate & let the recycling pile up until it fills the ENTIRE back of my vehicle! Bad habits are hard to break ;) Hopefully Alex will be big enough next year for recycled art projects! I soooo look forward to that!

Still trying to incorporate two things into every day, but not always succeeding:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”


"The greenest products are the ones you don't buy."


Allison said...

Gardening: If you install a drip system amd use some good grden soil, it's easy to do. The drip system will save on water too.

Dawn said...

Thanks. Do you know if that will work in a container garden? Until I can master containers, I'm not digging up the yard...

How about tomato worms? A lady at the greenhouse sold me a can of powder last year (starts with a D), but I really hate putting chemicals on what we eat. That's been my biggest struggle - the tomato worms eat ALL of my tomatoes!

Allison said...

I would imagine you could put containers on a drip system. Your garden might do better, if you broke down and made a small rectangle area as a set garden area. You could put a drip system on it, and let it be.

Tomato worms? I have no idea. They destroyed my tomatoes last year. I do constantly inspect them for worms and pick them off. I had worms get in my broccoli and collard greens this winter. I caught them early, so they didn't do much damage.