Monday, July 07, 2008

Going green... a challenge to all!

Joe and I have aspired to be green-living individuals since the beginning of "us." However, there are admittedly WAY too many things we do that are NOT green. We try to do what we can, but we often feel ourselves falling short. I'm happy to admit though, that we have taken two big steps to being a bit more friendly to good ole' Mother Earth.

First, diapers. We have been using G diapers since the early days of having the kids home. We've had our G's here since before we even brought E&O home, but they were a bit big until the wee-bots put on a couple of pounds. So, once the G's fit, we've used them consistently. What's super cool about the G diapers is that it's a great hybrid between a disposable and cloth diaper. No plastic or other nasty chemicals & components. Just good stuff that's kind to the behind. The flushable liners are FLUSHED down the toilet or they can be composted... nothing for the landfills! However, we still felt like we should do more. The G's flushables still use a good bit of water with every flush and are made from trees and such... so still sucking up natural resources.

The next step for us... CLOTH. Yep. I said it. CLOTH diapers. I'm stealing the idea from a good bloggy friend, Tara. She also used G diapers on her adorable little hunk of a man, Malak. However, this genius of a tree-huggin' girl (LOVE it Tara!) made cloth inserts for her G's. They are soooo cool and have apparently been no big deal. She does a diaper load of laundry about every other day (using MUCH less water than flushing that many inserts), and that's it. Oh, and no leaks so far! Sounds good to me, so we're taking the plunge. In true form, I'm sticking with what works. I've gotten the master plans from Tara and I'm copying her cloth inserts. I can't tell you what a tough time I had finding the hemp online (due to the earthquakes in China causing issues with supply), but it's finally on it's way, along with microfleece, microfiber, and a couple other handy items to get us going. Get ready folks, I've got another project to get busy with! My poor, neglected sewing machine was put up in mid-March as I wrapped up baby projects (ok... ran out of time to finish many), and it's been calling to me ever since.

Our other step in "the right direction" relates to Joe's wheels. Joe started with a new company in an incredible position a couple of weeks ago and was left carless since he used a company truck with his previous employer. After LOTS of discussion and weighing pros/cons, we took the plunge and got Joe a diesel. Why, you might ask?! Great question! We're going to use BIOdiesel in it! Joe's new-to-him Touareg TDI will be run with biodiesel. This has been a dream of ours for a long time and we're FINALLY going to be able to act on it. Not only is biodiesel free from nasty pollutants (the exhaust smells like french fries!), it's also MUCH cheaper than regular fuel. It's not "hassle-free" and there is equipment, supplies and GREASE (think the nasty crud they get rid of after making your french fries) needed to make it, but the results will be totally worth it.

As for other green things we do on a daily basis - run our A/C as little as possible, turn off lights when we're not in the room or they aren't needed, keep the windows covered to keep the sun/heat out on hot days to further reduce our need for the A/C, low-flow shower heads, toilets that use less water, we do NOT buy bottled water (think of all the bottles people go through- hear me peeps - Nalgene. If you don't know about them, Google them. Great bottles loved by MANY), recycle anything we can, and minimize trash (avoid using paper towels - use reusable rags instead for clean ups). I'm sure we could do much better in each area I've listed but we really do try.

So, there you have it. Our newest two green moves. How green are you? I'd love to hear what others of you are doing to reduce your carbon footprint and give back to the world around us! If you have any tips/tricks on being green that you'd like to share, please do!


wmw said...

I have to say I love using cloth diapers and it's not a big deal to take care of them. I love them so much I practically wrote a book on my blog (part 4 here):

I would sure love a non-gasoline car! Hopefully next time we buy, whenever that may be.

Wendy in Oregon

Holly said...

Ok, now you're really my hero Jesi. I'm still hovering over the idea of cloth diapers. I'm stuck on the idea of throwing poo into my new washing machine (yes, it's high-efficiency!). I need more details on how poo is disposed of!
Do the diapers make your house stink? Do they make your washing machine smell like poo? I need details! :)

Oh, and how many liners are you making? I have so many questions for you!

Eric & Tara said...

LOVING IT. :) We are kindred spirits in our quest for greeniness!
A few other little things I do are: I always use the cloth wipes for runny noses, messy hands and keep one or two in the diaper bag for messes. I love them and it is better than buying packs of tissue for Mal's runny noses ect. and of course they just get tossed in the wash with everything else.
I also just got a rain barrel! It is a 55 gallon barrel that I hooked up to the gutter and it collects rain for me to water my yard and garden. For our house (which is around 1300 sq ft, it only takes 2 inches of rain to fill the giant barrel- love it!

Orange Girl said...

Well, I am pseudo-green (maybe a nice shade of mint??). Being a Seattle gal, I recycle compulsively and carry a Camelbak water bottle at all times. I claim that cloth diapers aren't for me because I have to go outside and down to the basement for the washer so laundry is fairly inconsistent. (sad excuse, I know)
I'm so glad the little ones are doing well. Just watched all the newest videos and I can't believe how much bigger and active they are than when I saw them at Toukoul way back in February. They are beyond adorable!!

Katie & Isa

Katie said...

The easiest thing I do is use compostable trash bags made from corn (Bio Bag). Another thing I do is belong to a farm share. A local organic farm grows lots of fruits and veggies and delivers a bundle to a central location every Thursday; I support local/organic agriculture (saving oil and fertilizer) and never have to buy produce at the store anymore! Another easy one is using re-usable grocery bags (I use baggu). And of course, working at a bike company, I ride my bike to and from work every day. My fiance and I share one car and we never even drive it! Oh and speaking of fiance...we got our engagement ring at Brilliant Earth, a socially responsible jewelry store that sources diamonds from Canada and gemstones from mines in Australia and Malawi that support the local economy and don't harm the earth. Good luck with all your greenness...sounds like you guys are doing great!

~Laura~ said...

Hey there! Awesome meeting you at the BU. I'm also a cloth diapering mama. I don't use G's much anymore but I did when I was getting started. I'm full cloth now. I do fitted diapers with wool interlock covers. You can check out my blog a few posts back I did a whole post just on cloth diapering. :)