23 January 2014

Going Green(ish)

I've been trying to find ways for our family to go green. We do a lot, but I'm always on the look out for more ways I can buy and waste less, recycle and reuse more.

Here's what we've got going on in our house:
- Kyle and I both take lunch boxes to work and try to limit sandwich bags with reusable ones.
- We compost (I've failed at this lately, mostly because our compost bin smells and I don't like lifting the lid. No excuse!).
- I use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
- I use crocheted "swiffer" covers when I actually get around to cleaning the floors.
- I use cloth panty liners and head-over-heels love them!
- I use our clothes line during warmer months.
- Cloth diapers, y'all!
- I used washable nursing pads while Sam and I were in that season.
- We recycle all we can. Our city only accepts plastic where the neck is smaller than the base/widest part. Think pop bottles but not yogurt cups. I save all 5 and 6 plastics (plus corks and batteries) and take them to Whole Foods (the only thing I can afford to do at Whole Foods).
- I work full time now (did you know that?). Kyle and I work at the same university in the same building. We drive together to save money and because it would just be silly not to.
- We hardly ever use paper towels. One roll lasts forever and I keep it hidden away for emergencies. We use cheap white washcloths instead.

Things I'd like to try/get back on board with:
- I used to go to the grocery store armed with reusable grocery bags, but I've totally been a slacker here. Makes me sad.
- I have been considering getting a Diva cup. Totally weird or totally amazing?
- For a while I was cutting our kleenex in half. I blow my nose a lot and it was getting out of hand. I think I just need to invest in a few hankies.
- Cloth toilet paper? Totally crazy I know, but I am an aggressive toilet paper user and it's just so darn wasteful. (Aren't you glad I came back to blogging? You're learning more about me than you ever thought possible)
- I would like our family to take shorter showers and save water when brushing teeth and washing the dishes. I'm so bad at just letting the water run while I wash dishes.
- Reusable cotton balls. They are just too cute!
- I'm toying with the idea of not dying my hair anymore. Hair dye is super terrible for you and the environment. I tried natural stuff but it did a terrible job. I absolutely hate dying my hair at home but it's stupid expensive to have someone else do it. The only thing keeping me from letting my hair go...I have more gray hair that any 28.5 year old ever. Seriously. Oh decisions.
- I've gotten lazy and stopped washing out Ziploc bags. I used to rinse them out and hang them on the fridge to dry. For things that I consistently keep in bags (brown sugar for example), I empty out the crumbs and keep it in the freezer until I buy more.
- We have lots of cloth wipes but I've gotten away from using them. Need to start again for wet diapers (and a solution of water, tea tree oil, and castile soap).

I'd love to know: what "green" things do you do? Anything I should try? Do you think cloth toilet paper is utterly ridiculous or utterly brilliant?! 


  1. The diva cup is amazing! I swear by it! I've had one since September when my cycles came back and I've never looked back. :)

    I love it that you're trying to be so green! Thanks for the ideas! We try to be green too but lately have been failing miserably as I've gotten out of the habit.

    Our cloth diapers have been putting me through the ringer with some sort of ammonia build up or bacteria build up.

    1. Glad to hear you like the Diva cup! Have you tried stripping your diapers? See what your manufacturer recommends. I've used dawn dish soap as well as "funk rock" from Rockin' Green. Worked great and took the build up away (and the smell!). Hope you are doing well!!

  2. Thanks for this post. We also cloth diaper and have gotten away from cloth wipes. I should get back to using those as well. Thanks for some many good ideas of things I've never heard about. I've thought about using cloth wipes as cloth toilet paper but just haven't gotten around to doing it. I don't really see the difference between washing those and washing cloth diapers. They could even go in the same pail.

    1. I don't see the difference either! I think it would be rather easy. I already love doing laundry. What's a little bit more :)

  3. I also switched to the diva cup when my cycles started again post baby, and I love it! Not crazy at all! Also, I had a friend who used reusable baby wipes as toilet paper, and then put them in a little pail next to the toilet...I think she only did it for pee, but it still saved a lot of paper!

    1. Yea, that's what I was thinking about the toilet paper. And glad you like the Diva cup! I think I'm going to give it a try!

  4. A friend of mine loves the Diva cup. I didn't think I wanted to deal with it while I was working. But I think being at home would give me a little more privacy.

    We used to be much more "green" before we had Henry. We've slid a lot. Don't compost much, use way too many paper towels and diapers. (We tried cloth and couldn't find any to contain Henry ;) Plus daycare woudln't allow them.) But I'd love to try that again if we have another one.

    Love following along on your posts. I couldn't do everything (toilet paper is probably where I'd draw the line), but I'm inspired to do more. And I stopped coloring my hair this year for financial and eco reasons. I don't miss it at all.

    1. I think I might try it! Don't worry, I'll report back on the blog :)

      Being "green" is so difficult with a little one. I've definitely chosen convenience over conservation during the most hectic times! I love, love love cloth diapers. Let me know if you ever have questions.

      Yes! Gray-haired beauties unite (well, I'm not sure if you have gray hair...I do!). I'm excited to have one less thing to worry about.

  5. Hahahahaha...cloth toilet paper...thats awesome. Maybe a wee bit gross (see what I did there?), but if you want to try it I say go for it! Also, you would love the company I buy all our household items from. Environmentally and financially friendly! Good job, girl.

    1. Where do you buy your household items? I'd love to look into it!

  6. I love your ideas! I've been trying to be more green also, and am especially big on using foam soap dispensers. It saves a lot of money, and doesn't take much effort to refill (mixing your own soap... not buying premade foam soap). I've also been meaning to put aerators on our sinks, and a brick in the toilet tank to use less water :)

  7. I love my Diva cup! It's better at work because you can leave them longer than disposable. I've converted a couple of friends. One took hers to Africa and she was happy to not have to travel with all of her supplies. Another friend loved it for camping.


Thank you for coming along for the ride with me. Your comments make my day!