My husband says that I have turned into a hippie, but one of my new year's resolutions was to be more eco-friendly, more green. Note that I said "one of". The jury is still out on if it is allowed to have New Year's ResolutionS, rather than A New Year's resolution, but the two of mine kind of go together. The second New Year's resolution was for us to save more money, isn't that everyone these days? Well, let it be known that some of my greener ideas have saved us a little "moolah" along the way.
So you all know that I do cloth diapers and have been doing those for quite a few months now. The original reason that we switched to cloth was not at all about the Earth or about money but about what's best for Leeland. Leeland had a TERRIBLE diaper rash which eventually blistered and made me cringe and cry every time I changed him. A friend turned me on to cloth diapers and after doing some research I decided that they would not only be what's healthiest to use but also what would be more cost effective. We are currently saving about $80 a month from no longer buying diapers. (I say "saving" but in actuality the money is just going somewhere else, not actually in our savings account.) We are also saving the planet, one cloth diaper at a time, as it takes 500 years for ONE diaper to decompose in a landfill-- gross and ridiculous! Along with the cloth diapers, we use cloth wipes which were totally FREE because I made them out of receiving blankets that were cut up. I would guess that saves us around $10-15 a month not buying baby wipes.
The newest thing that we are doing is that we are cutting out paper towels. We are on our last roll of paper towels that was purchased back in December and once they are gone, they're gone. I started thinking about it, and I don't really see a point in the paper towels. We really don't use them often and the few things that we use them for, there are other options. Such as the cloth napkins that have sat in a drawer since we got them as a wedding gift 2 years ago.
The next thing that I have been doing to be greener is using re-usable bags when I go shopping for groceries or other items. Apparently plastic grocery bags are a top item in the landfills and they don't decompose all that well. I made excuses for a while about using them and how I actual re-use the plastic bags in the bathroom garbage can or I carry my lunch in them, but if I'm completely honest-- they sit under the sink. I attempted to clean out the area under our kitchen sink a couple weeks ago and found like 50 plastic bags. Just to call myself out, that's a little RIDICULOUS! Plus when you take re-usable bags to a store like Target, they give you a 5 cent discount! See, being greener AND saving money!
The next thing on my list of things to do is to buy some re-usable snack bags. They make really cute ones, and I can use them in my lunch box or pack Leeland's snacks in them for the diaper bag. Another greener measure that will save us money because I want have to buy sandwich bags anymore. The last thing that I am doing to be greener is using re-usable feminine products. I recently tried out sea sponges and fell in love with them. I know, you probably think it's really weird, but they work better than any tampon I've ever tried and they are re-usable! An added bonus is that I don't have to carry feminine products around and be the awkward lady trying to be discrete by carrying her purse to the bathroom. If you want more info on the sponges you can find that by CLICKING HERE I purchased my sponges at Earthfare for around $15.00 and they should last at least 6 months. There are other re-usable feminine products available also like the Diva cup and there are a variety of brands of re-usable cloth pads (next on my list to purchase). Cloth pads example
Well, that's the start of my New Year's resolution, combined with simply recycling. If anyone else has other green ideas or anything I haven't thought of yet, please let me know! And I'd love to hear what you do to be "green"! :D