Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Conveniently crunchy

I wouldn't say we live a terribly natural lifestyle at the McKeown home. My kids love snacks and cookies of all shapes and sizes (and so do I) and we don't eat all organic or local. However, we have made some changes over the years that I think have made a difference in how we operate. I'll just talk about a couple today. I used cloth diapers with Lucy and Julianne. Lucy... almost the whole time she was in diapers and Julianne, throughout most of her first year (except when we had a sitter or were at church). I love cloth diapers. There's just something about a cute little cloth diapered hiney. They are so sweet!!! They are very economical and they aren't nearly the nightmare to wash as most people think. I normally washed diapers every other day (what's one more load of laundry when you're already doing several loads a day?). They just go in the normal washer and then I dried some in the dryer and hung some out to dry. Then I normally didn't even fold mine. I just stacked the liners and the covers in the drawer and they were ready for another day.
******* If you have a weak stomach or think this is disgusting, skip this section*******
While the little still had breastfed poo, I just threw the whole thing in the washing machine... when they started on solid food and had more solid poop, the poop was sent into the potty and the diaper was sent into the wash. I had a washable liner (think dirty clothes bag) in a trash can... so I just threw the whole thing in the washer (no reaching in and grabbing dirty diapers or anything). So... it's not that gross. It's not for everyone, but it worked for us. I also used reusable wipes... they were just wash clothes with a water spray... the whole thing went into the diaper pail for washing. Julianne didn't love the velcro at the top of the cloth diapers, so we stopped using them before I would like. If you are looking for a cloth diaper to try out, I would recommend the FLIP diapers. They fit great, are trim and are super easy to use... no stuffing liners inside a cover... and you use the cover over and over. I only went through one cover a day.
*****Okay, weak stomach folks, welcome back******
We also don't use paper towels... well, rarely. I own a few paper towels. Only because I have a dad. He likes paper towels. Correction : he LOVES paper towels. So, I keep some for when he comes to visit. We also use them when there's something to cover in the microwave (I don't like a cloth napkin that is covered in spaghetti sauce). So, what do we use!? Cloth napkins (as stated above) and rags. I clean everything with rags... no paper towels. And we use cloth napkins every time we eat. Then they just go in the wash with our towels. I was towels about every other day, so that works great for napkins and rags, too. I found the transition really easy actually. It started out being for environmental reasons... why are we using so much stuff and throwing it away!? And now I'm just too stubborn to pay a ton of money for when I could use something I already have. We use about 1 roll of paper towels every 6 months now. That's a far cry for the case I bought nearly once a month before. If you are interested in making this transition, just try putting the paper towels under the sink for a week. You'll be surprised how many times you reach for them. I challenge you to try to use things you already have. I'm not a tree-hugger or anything, but I do think God has called us to be good stewards of what we've been given and it doesn't make sense to me to spend money on things we throw away when we could use things we already have. Paper towels may not be the way your family "goes green" or saves money, but I urge you to take a look at your excess... and see how you can change it.
Just a few other things I do to save money/not use nastiness:
I use olive oil to remove my eye makeup, I tried washing my hair with baking soda/apple cider vinegar, but Jason said I smelled like a salad. I make my own detergent for our clothes, I clean most things in the house with vinegar and baking soda....
That's all for now. What do you do to save money/go green?

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