Thursday, March 3, 2011

journey into the great "green" beyond

i do not consider our family "green" by any means, but i have always been a little conscious of the earth and the things we are doing to it.  when we moved back to columbus, i joined a great moms group who introduced me to a few easy changes to make our lives a little greener.  the bonus to almost all of these things, is that in addition to helping save the planet, they also save you money!  woot!

the biggest change was cloth diapers.  with carter, using cloth diapers did not even enter my mind.  cloth diapers to me were pins and plastic pants and dealing with the stuff that goes into diapers (eeeeewww!).  but as i quickly learned, a good number of my new mommy friends were using cloth diapers, and (gasp!) they were WAY cooler than the cloth diapers of ole.  without going too much into the whole cloth diaper tangent, let me summarize by saying they are super easy to use, super convenient, and let's face it, super cute!  here is a picture of holden wearing his first cloth diaper (look how skinny he was!)

i had to do some talking in order to convince my husband to give cloth diapers a try (and the convincing is ongoing because, well, my husband is weird and thinks kids can't roll over or crawl with a cloth diaper because they are bulkier than disposables, but i digress...).  anyways, so it shocked me when he suggested that we switch to cloth instead of paper towels.  suddenly, our roles were reversed.  i pretty much wanted nothing to do with cloth paper towels, or un-paper towels if you will.  however, we was willing to give cloth diapers a shot, so i thought i should give his idea of the un-paper towels a shot.  i searched our linen closet and found these, which we have been using for a few months now.
 if you're wondering what they are...well, they are washcloths with some sort of odd embroidering on the border that someone thought would be a great baby gift when carter was born.
i figured instead of taking up space in the closet, we finally had a potential use for these and not much to lose.  turns out, they are great!  it's just as easy to grab one of these instead of a paper towel and then i just throw them in with the regular wash, so it's not even any extra loads!  (i will say we still use *some* paper towels, because some things just need thrown away instead of thrown into the laundry with our clothes, but a HUGE amount less than before).  and again, saving money!

like i said, these have been working great, but let's face it, they are hideous.  so i ventured out on black friday to joann's because they had flannel for $1.29/yd and it seemed the perfect opportunity to make some cuter ones.  fast forward to today, and i have finally finished them (ok, so it's 3 1/2 months later, but better late than never right?).  so here are our new and improved un-paper towels
 i just LOVE them!  they are so much nicer and add a little "cute" to the kitchen instead of a little "hillbilly." :-P
the last way i'll touch on that we "greened" up our lives is by using vinegar to clean.  who knew that a little bit of vinegar could be so useful?  i now use my un-paper towels to wipe down my counters daily with a spray of 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water and i don't have to worry about all the chemicals getting on to surfaces where we prep food!  enter my husband again, who upon hearing this cynically asked "is it antibacterial?"  turns out, it is!  the pH of vinegar doesn't allow anything to live so bye bye bacteria and hello extra cash...AGAIN.

this is a journey that we've just started on and i am anxious to explore more ways to not only help the environment, but also help our wallet.  turns out, kermit was wrong, because (at least for some things) it IS easy being green!

what are some of your favorite "green" things you incorporate into your lives?


  1. Ha! The first cloth diaper Jack ever wore was a Moonbeam Flip too! I basically have the same pic with a 7-week-old Jack :)

    We do un-paper towels too (I also keep a roll of paper towels around, but we don't go through them nearly as quickly!). We currently have some stained rags that I'd love to demote to general cleaning and replace with something prettier since they sit out on the kitchen counter.

    How is the flannel working for you? Is it absorbant?

  2. Love it! Your unpaper towels turned out great!!!!

  3. i have only used them today but seem absorbent so far--i cleaned up water from an overflowed rice bowl in the microwave with no problems :-)

    *i should have added that i STILL wouldn't have them done without the tools borrowed from miss kaleigh! her cutting board and serger were super helpful!!

  4. I love the fabric choice - they look great! ...I thought that serging looked familiar! What would we do without Kaleigh!?