I thought I missed Earth day, but apparently from all the emails I have gotten, I learned it is today!
One of my goals for the next couple years is to get even more serious about being green and Earth friendly. When I think of Earth day, I think mostly about the 3 R's that they taught us in school so long ago. We have always been big recyclers (I even remember volunteering at a recycling drive with my mother when I must have only been five or six) so we are pretty expert at that. We went to our local landfill for recycling day last fall (free lunch and won some prices, plus Theo loves seeing all the machines!) and found out that our landfill here is pretty awesome and modern and will take lots of our electronics, batteries, and even textiles to be recycled. And this is the first place we have lived that takes our recycling from right in front of our house once a week, so we are happy to not have to take it anywhere anymore.
We are okay with Re-using, though I could probably find some more ways to reuse some things. I guess I haven't thought as much about that R. I know I would like to reuse our organic matter by making it into compost, but we haven't figured out the best way to do that yet when we have no place to put the finished compost (next year's focus). But the R we have focused on this year has been the Reducing. After we moved here, and had our first in-home washer and dryer, we finally became a cloth diaper family and got to reduce our monthly trash production significantly and stop spending money each month on diapers! So, to participate in Earth Day today I wanted to share a bit about our favorite kind in case anyone out there is thinking about switching to cloth.
I had no experience with cloth diapers at all, so I leaned toward what I thought would be the easiest diapers which are the all-in-one varieties. These are very easy, because they are identical to a regular diaper that snap on and then can be washed. But, in our experience these take a much longer time to dry, so I'm glad I only bought a few of them. What we love are the GroVia hybrid diapers (with snap shells). These are neat because the outside shell can be reused a few times until wet or dirty (and can even be thrown in with the regular wash) and the inside stay-dry soaker pad just gets snapped in and changed as needed. They are very simple to use, and you can even put in their Biosoaker Disposable Inserts or BioLiners to make them a little more friendly when traveling or being out of the house for multiple changes. We bought enough to get away with doing a load of diapers ever 2 to 3 days, and use Charlie's Soap powder with no problems. We basically run them through three washes, only putting detergent in the second time (and you can skip the spin cycles until the last one).
We spent: about $300 for everything
Other Earth Friendly ideas we do:
- Shopping at farmer's markets (with fabric bags/baskets)
- Living close to at least one family member's job/school who then bikes/walks
- Trying to only get vehicles that get decent gas mileage, and that are the right size for our uses
- Try to have a meatless day each week (even though most of our meat comes from my parents farm and we know exactly what goes into it and how it is produced)
- Paying bills online, and signing up for most paperless electronic services
- Using a dishwasher rather than hand washing (who knew, this saves a ton of water)
- Using a filter pitcher and even a water bottle with a built in filter for on-the-go water