Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ditch Disposables Challenge



One of my favorite blog reads is Crunchy Domestic Goddess. It is a fabulous blog that is all about green living. One of her recent posts encouraged and challenged her readers to ditch disposables. This is something that I began over a year ago and have just totally fallen in love with. We have done such a great job, as a society, of complicating life with 'ease'. When we thought something was going to make life better and in fact it is so much more work, more mess, more pollution, more cost, more responsibility, and more work. It is just disguised as easy, quick, and less of all things listed.

When I started cloth diapers it was primarily for the health benefits. I was so sick and tired of the diaper company's changing their ingredients and causing my kiddos to get diaper rash constantly. I was also disgusted by the absorbency beads that would get stuck in their parts. Diaper innards are not FDA approved like lotions, balms etc etc....The insides of diapers also cause a numbing feeling on the baby's 'area' making it near impossible for the baby to feel themselves pee and also keeping them in diapers longer. (Try it if you don't believe it) :) So after lots of convincing my husband we decided to pay the monstrous fee and invest in cloth diapers. At first it is a bit more work, getting use to washing them, explaining them to caregivers, and getting into a new routine. Then it became easier. No taking lots of little children and no recurrent bill that is outrageous...yeah I am talking 400 per month minimum!

So one year later I am loving. Here is the list from Crunchy Domestic Goddess and what I have done. Also what I am doing since I have been challenged :)




You can make the switch from:

•Paper napkins to cloth napkins DONE and will post about it with pics next week



•Paper towels to cloth towels DONE and here is how...I went to Sams and got a huge stack of micro fiber shop towels and man they are absorbent! We keep them in a pail under the kitchen sink and get them out as needed.



•Tissues to handkerchiefs Totally need to do this, this is the first goal in this challenge for me. I will however, have a huge supply of hankies because reusing them before washing is not my idea of sanitary or healthy. So we will have lots of little tissue sized hankies.



•Paper, plastic or Styrofoam plates to your kitchen plates DONE We had been doing this already, but when we found out that Liam is allergic to plastic we threw away all the kiddie plastic plates. On Wednesday Bren and I went to Target to get a few stoneware bowels and low and behold we got a great deal! They had these sets from the back to school dorm supplies that were one stoneware bowel, one stoneware plate, and a stainless steel fork, knife and spoon. They were in various colors but we got ten sets of the red and guess how much they were each???? $2.48! That is right, ten bowls, ten plates, and ten sets of silverware for 24.80! AMAZING considering the single bowls were between 3.99 and 6.99 EACH!



•Inexpensive plastic “Take & Toss” sippy cups to Sigg or Camelbak bottles or the Kleen Kanteen DONENever really used the take and toss but def used plastic sippy cups....we switched from plastic this time last year but had bad luck with the kind we bought so we do have plastic BPA free non-disposable sippy cups but will eventually have the Kleen Kanteen ones when we can afford the price tag of at least two cups per family member!



•Disposable water bottles to (again) reusable bottles like Sigg or Camelbak DONE



•Plastic sandwich bags or paper lunch bags to reusable containers/bags Need to do and will be doing on this challenge and I have some ideas but could def. use some so I will post about this soon!



•Swiffers (or similar products) to a broom and dustpan or mop (or use reusable cloths like cloth diapers/terry inserts in your Swiffer) DONE got a libman washable mop head mop and always used the other things for the rest.



•Disposable dust rags to cloth rags DONE



•Disposable diapers to cloth diapers DONE



•Disposable wipes to cloth wipes Half-way there....I have the wipes. I bought a yellow pack of the micro fiber shop towels from Sams so that they would be a distinct color. I cut them into fours so they would be small and now I just have to mix the solution and put them into the containers...it is another blog waiting to happen :)



•Disposable feminine products (tampons, pads) to reusables like DivaCup, MoonCup, Glad Rags, Luna Pads, Pretty Pads, or New Moon Pads, among others DONE...used DivaCup and Mama Cloth then got a hysterectomy ;p Swaddle-Bees and Mommy's Touch are my favorite brands!



•Grocery store bags to reusable bags Half-way there...I have them and use them most of the time but the rest of the time I leave them in the car....so I have to be more purposeful in taking them into the stores. Sometimes when I know I forgot them or when I don't want to take them into the store (like at Target, it just feels weird taking them into a store that isn't where I am getting groceries) I will just put my stuff back into the cart w/o bags and bag it when I get to the car. I will do a post on how I make these bags too, it is a great idea to share!
Or, for the really adventurous:

•Toilet paper to cloth wipes/washcloths (for #1 or #2 too if you are really, really adventurous) TOTALLY NOT THIS ADVENTUROUS!!! My bathroom is disgusting in my eyes anyway...I could have a maid just camp-out in my bathroom and I still wouldn't feel like it was clean...I have four little children who can't pee in a huge toilet to save themselves from the mama monster! Of course I am my own worst critic but seriously bathroom germs are gross!

Can you think of anything that isn't on here? I have two to add that are not on here but that we do.

The first being to have a duster and washable towels/napkins in your car to eliminate drive-through paper products.

The second is to keep a set of hand towels in your purse...one for drying your hands after using a public restroom that doesn't have the hand blower. The second is to use for opening doors etc...so you don't get the hand drying towel germy you can use a special one to open the doors because I know a lot of you use a towel to turn on the faucets and open the doors. I have a bandanna for opening doors.

And at another regular blog read of mine SortaCrunchy, Megan is taking the Disposable Challenge also and she gave some other suggestions...

•Disposable wrapping paper or gift bags to reusable cloth gift bags Will Do at Times



•Single-use batteries to rechargeable batteries Need to do my husband has been trying to get us to do this slowly for a long time but it is an investment!



•Plastic straws to glass or stainless steel straws....I soooo didn't know they had stainless steel straws, but I remember how gross straws that my grandfather would keep to reuse got despite washing...so I am very hesitant...I need to look into this more.



•Replacing Goodnights/Pull-Ups with cloth....Tried this and am not sure if I can convince my hubby to invest in another brand that has the potential of failure.



•Lastly, taking containers to restaurants instead of using their foam ones....well I know some restaurants won't let you do that for health codes...but I have to solve my home container problems first then I can look into this.

Do you have any other ideas? How are you doing some of this now?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

*Blushing*

Well folks, I have been nominated by one of my dear sweet readers for a blog award. I am not sure how to respond to this because I really feel like a elementary school girl that just got the vote for best eyes in the yearbook. It is an honor and a little weird. I knew that I wanted to be a writer and I knew that the saga that is my life was interesting at times, but to get a day-to-day interest award...well gosh! Thank you! So here is the link if you would like to vote for me....the voting ends in December so you have plenty of time! And thank you *whomever you are* (yes I would love to know) for the nomination, I am truly touched! BTW You do have to register on a very brief 10 second registration in order to vote....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BEAUTIFUL!

Today I am bringing you two things, an update and a referral!

For an update, yesterday morning we met with the commander of the Med Group to discuss our EFMP (Exceptional Family Members) and if we will be approved to go to Japan or not. After lots of pre-meeting prayer, hustle, and anxiety it went amazingly! We got his blessing and now have to wait 14 days to hear from Japan on if they will accept us or not. Please keep this in your prayers! Thanks!

Now, here is my referral. Today at some point, please check out this artist and her beautiful prints. Also pass on the link if you feel so moved! This lady is near and dear to my heart and has been from my early years in life. When I was very little she introduced me to French, and the love of different cultures. I loved the occasions that I could go over to her home and look at all of her treasures and books from afar. I knew when I was little that one, I wanted to own her house :) and two that I always wanted to travel like her. I was determined to go to college so that I could have a life similar to hers. She is also the first person I ever made a gourmet meal with (my first taste of scallops YUM!). Her husband taught me the Fox Trot and other traditional dances and it was sooooooo much fun! I truly think that these relationships mixed with the love of my nanny and poppy is really where my love of vintage began. Mixed with the love of treasures and travel my mom had a box of brochures from all around the East Coast. She taught me how to be a tourist in my own back yard. This gift has benefited our military lifestyle very well. We have found many great places around OKC that we might not have found if I hadn't learned how to be a traveler from my family. How I miss them!

So who is this artist I am speaking of? Amie Tannenbaum, my favorite Aunt in the whole world, and yes, she has always been my favorite! Here is her link. She has an nationally and internationally acclaimed photographer and some of her pics where taken during my wedding!

Amie Tannenbaum

Have a great day!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quinoa where have you been all my life!

Quinoa pronounced Keen-wah, is a grain and a complete protein. Which means the meat of the grain family and is out of this world amazing. It is also low calorie, high fiber, and sooooooooooooo yummy. It is like the Bible in the book store for food....Amazin! Violet and I made it for the first time last night. I had never heard of it prior to reading my vegan and gluten free cookbooks. I guess the traditional eaters are afraid of healthy foods (just joking) but seriously Bren and I were so worried about serving it before we tried it that we almost made a second dinner as a back up just in case. Oh and when I say we I mean we were both worried but I would have made the dinner hahaha. Bren doesn't cook! So Violet and I made Organic Red Quinoa by Eden something...I will post pics later! She was so excited to be helping me in the kitchen. Liam was close by playing and the other three had daddy time in the back yard. The meal was gluten free, dairy free, Vegan deliciousness and we all felt so full and so good after dinner, it is like the way we should feel when we eat! Try it sometime!!!