Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CTWW - looking at our young ones

I skipped this post last week but I'm happy to be on my toes and able to join Reduce Footprints and others for this weeks challenge.  Plus, imagine my surprise when I go to google reader to check out the challenge for this week and find it was one that I suggested!  

Here it is:
This week, if you have kids, think of something which involves your children, which also creates waste or is environmentally unfriendly, and commit to changing it. For example, consider how your baby is diapered and whether or not there is a more Eco-friendly method. What types of materials does your youngster use when creating those artistic masterpieces? Does your teenager drive or walk to school ... and what about school supplies? This week is all about greening our kids.

Or ...

If you don't have children, your challenge is to be an observer and then offer recommendations. Take a look at the families around you and talk about what you see working ... and what doesn't. Offer recommendations and helpful tips to assist parents in greening their children.

These are the diaper covers we use
 As you are aware I recently expanded my family of two to a family of 3.  R is 14 weeks now and doing great!  However with a baby comes more waste.   So far we have that to a minimum and the things we are planning to do as she gets older should keep waste to a minimum.

The biggest one, and the one that gets the most obnoxious comments, was our decision to use cloth diapers.  I wanted to use cloth mainly because I feel it's the healthiest alternative for our child.  The fact that it keeps tons of diapers out of the landfill is just a benefit. haha!   If you look into this these days there are a lot of different options.  We went with an option that is more work on us but was a lot less costly.  The diapers and covers will also last us until she is potty trained and beyond.  Think 2nd child. Although that's wishful thinking on my part as Husband only wants one kid.    We used prefolds, which means those will end up as rags once they aren't diapers anymore. (On a side note - our dog has had a lot of urinary track infections lately and therefore sometimes has accidents in the house.  We have started using the prefolds to clean it up and OMG they work awesome. Best idea ever.) So it's not even that they will go to waste after the fact.  Right now the main cost to the environment is the water usage.  I have enough that I can wash them every 3rd day. That just means I'm doing a lot of laundry. You have to soak them and then wash them with extra rinse.  The diapers don't dry 100% in the dryer. However instead of running the dryer twice I just hang them up.   Oh..and no point in buying wipes when I'm going to be washing diapers.  We use cloth wipes as well. On a side note..these wipes are so freaking soft. I started keeping several with my running clothes and now I use them to wipe sweat off of my face when I run.    The wipes can later be used as rages, as dish clothes, etc. There are a lot of uses.  Oh, and we did look into use a cloth diapering service.  This would minimize waste in regards to water and power used to wash/dry the diapers.  However, we made our decision on cost. It's actually a lot less expensive for us to do it ourselves.

These are the prefolds we use
On a side the diapers really isn't bad. I'm planning to do a post on that in the near future.

I am also nursing as best I can.  I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to do it but I'm making the effort. I do believe this is environmentally friendly because I'm not buying a lot of formula (we do have to substitute).  My body is making the milk and the only waste involved are the bags to freeze it.  At this point I'm making so little of it that I don't freeze it anymore, I just put it in bottles and take it to daycare for the next day.  So even that waste isn't a concern anymore.

With a baby comes stuff. Lots of toys and STUFF.  I'm happy to report about 90% of what we have was given to us used.  The majority of what was bought for us were the diapers and accessories for the cloth diapering and clothes.  R is the only girl on both sides of the family so everyone was very excited and we have a lot of clothes.

These are other inserts we use. I actually like them better
but they were more expensive so we don't have
as many.
 As R gets older I know there will be more waste involved.  We are going to try and minimize this as best we can.  We are both in agreement that we will start out making her food.  We agree that we don't want a ton of toys.  My sisters might have had all boys but there will still be a ton of toys we can take from them, especially right now (we actually already have).  We are also in agreement that we love the wooden toys and not the plastic crap from China.  So we'll try to make our preferences known for when it's birthday and Christmas time. 

I'm sure as she gets older different things will come up, this is just all I can think of for right now. 

1 comment:

  1. I just love this post because, from the very start, you've planned out choices which are not only healthy for your daughter, but good for the earth as well. You really illustrate that thinking ahead and having a plan reduces a lot of stress and problems. Isn't that true of so many activities. I find it very interesting that your biggest cost to the environment is the amount of water used to wash diapers. Most people would guess that it's landfill waste or chemicals in baby wipes, etc. but I can see that for the Eco-conscious parent, water use would be a bigger concern.