Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Soap Nuts Review

I won a free sample of Soap Nuts from NaturOli and Passionate Homemaking, so I thought I'd let you know how they worked.

They smelled kind of funny in the bag, but they worked really well. I even washed cloth diapers with them, and they came out smelling fresh and clean. I lost count of how many times I've washed with them, but it's been around five loads and they are still usable.

I checked the website and they are only slightly more expensive than my regular detergent (about one cent per load) but I can't find information about their shipping costs. I may call and ask them, and if the shipping is reasonable I may buy some.

I want to use the most environmentally friendly products I can without being budget unfriendly, so Soap Nuts may be the solution for my laundry.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Small Steps: Big Impact-- Soap

If you use body wash, try switching to bar soap. It comes in much less packaging, and the cardboard it is wrapped in is much more easily recycled than a plastic bottle.

Do the same for your hand soap. Get a soap dish and switch to a bar. It's better for the environment and cheaper too. While you're at it, make sure you aren't using antibacterial soap. We're killing off good bacteria and creating super bad antibiotic/antibacterial resistant bacteria.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Please share this site

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Also, if anyone has a great idea for a post for me or for guest posts, please let me know. I want to share all the ideas we have! The more moms are in on it the better!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

No 'poo update- Day 7

This is day seven of not using shampoo and I'm really surprised how well it has gone. The first couple of days were pretty greasy, but after that not so much. No one who saw me would be able to tell I hadn't used shampoo for a week. It still feels a little bit oily, but only as much as if I had skipped one day of shampoo before.

Going no 'poo does take a little bit longer than just washing your hair with shampoo. There is no lather to spread it through your hair, so you have to really take the time to work in the baking soda. But other than that it has been no problem.

Oh yeah... and you have to rinse the vinegar out or you'll smell like a pickle factory. Duh. Can you tell I didn't read all the directions the first time? :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Soap Nuts Giveaway

Passionate Homemaking is giving away twenty sample packs of soap nuts, which are a natural laundry alternative. If you're interested go check it out!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thoughts on Global Warming

I know that there are people out there who don't believe in global warming, or who believe that it is cyclical and not something to be worried about. I am not one of those people. However, for the people who don't believe in it, I have this to say:

Why not act as if global warming is real anyway? All of the ways to counteract global warming are good for the planet in other ways. Many ways of combatting global warming (CFLs, unplugging things, driving a more fuel efficient car...) save you money!

So just act like it's real and follow the steps whether you believe or not.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Small Steps: Big Impact-- Cell Phone Chargers

I know you all unplug your cell phone chargers when they're not in use, right? But if you drive regularly, you might consider charging your phone in the car. The car already has to be on, so you aren't using extra electricity to charge the phone. Just a thought.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

An Eco-Mommy's Ramblings

Warning: Serious rambling ahead.

Yesterday Doodlebug had to wear disposable diapers. Ugh. I thought I had enough cloth to last two days, but I didn't. So she had to wear 'sposies while I washed. Ugh. I hated every minute of it. I hated thinking about filling a landfill with the things. I hated thinking about the little chemical-ly gel balls on her skin. Yuck yuck yuck! So I went and bought more prefolds so I have enough to get through two days now. I thought cloth diapers would be inconvenient. I didn't know I'd get so attached to them!

I've been really thinking hard about the comment about breastmilk in The Story of Stuff. They say that breastmilk is one of the most toxin contaminated foods on the planet, because humans are at the top of the food chain. This has been really bothering me, so I'm going to slowly switch to organic. I'm not going to go and throw away everything I have or anything... just switch as I run out. And I'm starting with the things I eat the most often. I bought organic milk today (the kind I was drinking already had no growth hormones, but it wasn't organic). I was going to buy organic eggs, but they were like four dollars! I couldn't bring myself to pay that. But then when I got done at the store I took my receipt and added up all the junk food I bought and I spent five dollars on junk food! So that's the end of it. I'm giving up the junk so I can buy organic and Doodlebug and I can be healthy.

I'm also trying to go "No 'poo" right now. Today was day one of no shampoo. Instructions are here. I've tried before, but got frustrated because I tried to give up too much at once (conventional soap, deodorant, shampoo...), so I'm going to try it for two weeks and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.

Small Steps: Big Impact-- Egg Cartons

When you buy eggs, if you can buy the ones in cardboard cartons, go for it. Not only are they more easily recycled, but they break down faster in a landfill if (for some reason) you don't recycle it.

In my neck of the woods, though, the eggs in cardboard cartons are several dollars more expensive than those in foam cartons. So I buy the foam ones, but reuse them by giving them to my mom, who happens to have chickens. If you know a farmer with chickens (or can find one), they might appreciate the used cartons to hold their excess eggs. You might could even work out a trade. Five egg cartons for a dozen eggs, anyone?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Time Excuse

People have many reasons for why they "can't" help the planet. I'm going to take a look at these excuses over time and bust through them. The first excuse is "I don't have time."

I don't have time to... wash baggies, tins to recycle, foil to reuse, etc.
You are going to be washing dishes anyway, aren't you? It takes about five extra seconds to rinse out a zippy bag or wash a tuna can. Foil can be laid on the counter and wiped off with the soapy rag in seconds. If you are already washing dishes, don't you have twenty extra seconds to save the planet? If you have a dishwasher, you really can't use this excuse.

I don't have time to... use cloth diapers.
Again, if you have a baby, you are already going to be doing a ton of laundry. What is one more load? If you have a washing machine, it takes less than three minutes to load the thing and start it. Even if you have to carry your laundry to a community laundry room like I do, it still takes less time than a trip to the store to buy diapers. The only thing about cloth diapers that takes extra time is rinsing out the poopy ones, maybe one to two minutes? Some people don't even rinse them, though, so if you really DIDN'T have the time, you wouldn't have to do that.

I don't have time to... take my recycling to the recycling center.
I don't really have a great answer for this one except to combine it with other errands. But consider this: An aluminum can takes between 80 and 200 years to break down in a landfill. A glass bottle will take over a million years (Source). Now how long does it take to drive to the recycling center?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


One of the big things I (and many others, I'm sure) have neglected in "going green" is recycling. It is extremely easy and a huge step toward reducing waste. While the big goal is to reduce consumption in general, what you can't reduce you should recycle!

So I'm on a recycling adventure. In my town you can recycle metal (aluminum and tin cans), newspaper, and cardboard. There is no pickup, so I'll have to haul it myself. I saved a trash can from the landfill (i.e. found it in the dumpster) the other day to be a recycling bin for my tin cans, and for now I'll use two cloth bags to hold newspaper and cardboard (until the dumpster yields more trash cans). I don't want my tins to stink until I have enough to carry, so I'm washing them with my dishes.

I'm pretty excited about all this. I knew you could recycle aluminum here, but I hadn't thought about tin cans. So I'm taking one more step.