Tuesday, March 8, 2011

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Taking it to the Extreme

I'm not one to be an "extremist", until my cloth diapering transformed me into a cloth diapering, laundering & now green living extremist!

It was a chain reaction. It all started by borrowing a few of my friends cloth diapers for a trial session.

Which turned into buying my own stash. That lead to me ruining my stash and giving up on cloth.

Then when expecting a new baby, buying a new stash! Which lead to researching my brains out and becoming the cloth diapering laundry queen! (Yes, I gave that title to myself!)

After getting my laundering & perfect diapering system down, I began to hang dry ALL of our laundry, not just diapers. Hey, it saves us money & saves energy!

Then, we got extreme! We hang dry our laundry now, we cloth diaper (& wipe!)...is there a reason why we were using our dishwasher?

YES! We went there! We now wash & dry our lovely dishes by hand, and enjoy it! We have three kids under three who love helping wash dishes (bubbles and water!).

Cleaning products? Vinegar! No need for us to waste money on harsh cleaning products, or even more money on natural cleaning products, when I can buy a nice large bottle of vinegar and clean my entire home!

Paper towels and tissue? Not in our home! Instead you will find a little basket with dish towels and hand towels.

Paper or plastic plates? Nope.

OK, no cups or cutlery? Nope!

Recently we began using candles instead of wasting our electric on lighting our home!

Just kidding.
Really.

Although...that would be pretty extreme.. :)

Plastic sandwich and snack bags? We use tupperware or they now have really cute reusable ones!

Oh, and now that I'm onto bags...reusable shopping bags! I use to make fun of my friend carrying them around, but now I'm the one doing it.

It started with a few cloth diapers, and turned into an extreme "reduce your carbon footprint or else!" kind of mother. My sister has even commented that we should just be Amish, I'll admit there are parts to it that are appealing!

By Shay P.

24 comments:

Janine said...

I really want to start doing family cloth but I've been lazy so far. Not for #2, but a container of cloth wipes just for when I pee. :) Soon I hope!

It really is a chain reaction. The downside is, once you start you notice every non-eco thing you do and feel GUILTY.

Anonymous said...

In some ways a dish washer is more energy effiecient then handwashing.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/built-in-dishwasher-vs-hand-washing-which-greener.php

Julie said...

LOL! Love it!! Not only is the carbon footprint reduced, but I bet you're saving tons of money!

We keep becoming more and more "extreme" and it's amazing how all the things I thought would make life more complicated and difficult have actually made it easier.

Really enjoyed this post!

Now, if I could only remember to bring along my reusable grocery bags!!!!

Rachel said...

Ditto the dishwasher. Read the book Green Barbarians, you're already doing a lot of the things in there, but it's a fascinating read.

Rosemarie said...

I don't think this is extreme at all! We are pretty much the same except for drying clothes (I have a clothes wire that we need install when the weather gets nicer). I'm glad to know I'm not alone !!

Anonymous said...

Handwashing dishes actually wastes more water (and the energy used to heat it) than the dishwasher does.

Kudos on everything else, though!

Jill said...

@ Julie, I take mine back out to the car and leave them there as soon as I'm done unloading instead of putting them away somewhere else. They just "go" in the car!!

caedmen said...

Running the dishwasher when it is a full load uses less water than hand washing dishes. Unless of course you enjoy that time as a family, then by all means wash away:)

FreeIndeed said...

Hmmm, I like the candle idea:) Not sure about giving up the dishwasher though. Maybe someday. Maybe.

Anonymous said...

i dont know why everyone says that by being green they are turning amish. because they have a horse and buggy? well amish people are just like us they use disposable diapers and disposable bags and the bottle feed (gasp!) I mean it is just like the rest of us. Some of us use cloth and some of us use sposies. its just a matter of preference.

Momma said...

Haha! Its funny how one thing leads to another! I was just saying earlier today that I am becoming, surprisingly, more "crunchy" everyday! LOL
For me, it started with wanting to homeschool, then home birth, breastfeeding, cloth diaper/wiping, hang drying, making food homemade (oh my!), essential oils for cleaning...

vivismama said...

O my gosh, this is totally me too! I love this post. Kinda made me laugh, but in "I'm there with ya" kind of way.
It's almost and addiction! I've eve make my own butter and yogurt now! LOL!

Brenda said...

The article hits close to home. After I decided to cloth diaper my upcomming little one, I've noticed I'm becomming more and more "green".

JulieM said...

I enjoyed your post! I find myself taking more steps toward that direction as well... now I just need to get the hubby on board.

Sara said...

I agree!!! We have made the switch to cloth and reusable too! Yes it all started with cloth diapers! We do use the dishwasher though it saves more enegy then hand washing and money in our pocket! I make what I can and buy from work at home mamas when I can't. It is great for us and helps out other families, what can be better then that!!!!!

Jamie said...

I love it! We keep getting more and more extreme as well. We are new to cloth diapering and I'm expecting number 2 in May. I'm building my stash and getting excited! We already do the Cloth napkins, wash clothes, reusable shopping bags, reusable sandwich and snack bags and even eco friendly shampoo/soap! My husband just smiles and nods because there's no stopping me now :) I'm even trying to get rid of the plastics in our life and replace with glass and stainless steel. when we buy clothes I buy as much organic as possible (as well as food!) Slowly but surely...

Anonymous said...

You mean "led".

Jill said...

We save a lot of money by just using dishtowels and reusable dishcloths to clean up spills instead of paper towels. I have a small basket in the laundry room just for 'used' towels until it's wash day. I keep the clean ones under the sink. I wish there was a viable 'kleenex' alternative I could talk my husband into. He blows 'through' regular kleenex most of the time.

Jenny O said...

We had a similar process take place once we started cloth diapering. You're exactly right about the mindset that "Well, I'm cloth diapering, I might as well only use cloth kitchen towels" etc etc. I honestly don't think we have any disposable products left in our house - once you start on this journey it gets harder and harder to justify paper towels or disposable sanitary pads or whatever. It's really not as extreme as it's made out to be sometimes.

Oh, and we've never owned a dishwasher. I grew up only handwashing so dishwashers have always seemed extravagant to me - good thing as I hate washing dishes and that would be hard to give up if I had grown up with one.

Anna said...

I'm working on some of those extremes. Does vinegar really work?

Wade and Michelle said...

I use vinegar for some household cleaning but do you wash your laundry in this?

Lara + Chris said...

I have a feeling some of these things are going to follow when we actually start CDing. Right now really the only thing I do is recycle. :blush:

thewrightlife said...

I'm with "Momma". I keep getting crunchier...nothing too extreme, CD's have made me so much more AWARE! I use cloth napkins, vinegar and baking soda for cleaning as much as possible, LOVE reusable shopping bags, and my gma has turned old towels into "wipes" for us. I haven't been brave enough to use them myself but I like the idea Janine had of just for pee...that should be easy. Simple things I never thought of...

Laura said...

LOL! Since we had moved to AZ in 2005 I line dried our laundry 95% of the time, and then we had our baby girl...we stared cloth diapering part time at 6 months and yes we line dried her diapers. Now we live in Eastern Washington state and I have a retractable line in our basement where cloth dries on the line as well as most of our laundry except when it is too piled up. When the weather is better - we have an outside line which will be filled to capacity. We use reusable grocery bags, recycle and a few other things. The dishwasher though is our friend. :-)