Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly’
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Today is Earth Day!
Did you know that it takes 500 years for one disposable diaper to decompose in our landfills? By using cloth diapers, you can make a significant impact on our environment.
We love that FuzziBunz Modern Cloth Diapers are not only easy-to-use and oh-so-adorable, but they’re also very earth-friendly! You can find out more about the environmental impact of cloth diapers by clicking here.
Many FuzziBunz users are earth-conscious in other ways, too. We asked our fans how else they try to make their home and families more earth-friendly, and here’s what they said:
- Low usage of harsh chemicals
- Eat less meat
- Shop locally
- Play outside
- Don’t use paper towels
- Re-use grocery store bags
- Use cloth wipes
- Use a menstrual cup
- Use cloth nursing pads
- Keep their own chickens for fresh eggs
- Keep rabbits to breed for meat
- Organic food and herb garden
- Up-cycle old furniture
- Paper-free household
- Plant trees
- Keep lights off during day
- Line dry as much as possible
- “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.”
- Create their own cleaning supplies with natural ingredients
- Use vinegar and lemon juice for cleaning
- LED and low energy light bulbs
- Appliances serviced regularly
- Cloth menstrual pads
- Cluster errands together to save gas
- Use baking soda for cleaning
- Don’t buy as many cheap plastic toys
- Mending items, especially clothes so they last longer
- One car or no car at all
- Cook at home as much as possible
- Cloth grocery bags
- Bring their own glass tupperware for restaurant leftovers
- Unplug everything when not in use
- Create their own baby wipe solution
- Walk or bike to work when possible
Being earth-friendly is easy and whether you do all of these things or only a few, every bit helps! Visit us on Facebook and mention us on Twitter (@FuzziBunz) to let us know how you’re celebrating Earth Day today!
Don’t forget! Shop.FuzziBunz.com is offering a %15 percent discount with the code EARTHDAY15 – it ends tonight at 11:59 PM CST. You can also check with your favorite retailer to find out if they’re having an Earth Day sale, too.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Having a large family, I’m used to people asking me “How do you do it?” Not only how I physically care for all of them, but also how I afford the needs of five young children. These are some of the things I’ve found most helpful for keeping raising children affordable while still living comfortably.
- Many of the things you can do that are good for the environment are also good for your wallet.
- Use cloth diapers, wipes, training pants, and menstrual products.
- Use natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda instead of expensive pre-made cleaners with potentially dangerous chemicals.
Get by with less.
- Many of the things you thought you “just had to have” will end up collecting dust, taking up precious room in your home and wasting money. if you already have items collecting dust, consign them and use the credit to buy things you will actually use. In the beginning, all babies need is a safe place to sleep, diapers, and a modest layette. I’ve bought plenty of adorable baby clothes only to find them unworn months later.
- Buy clothing, toys, and other supplies used or borrow from friends and family.
- Some items like swings and bouncers have a very limited span of use and your friends would be happy to loan them to you or sell them at a steep discount over buying new. Other sources for quality used items are Multiples club consignment sales (we tend to have LOTS of baby clothes and gear, church swaps, and community garage sales.)
When you do buy new – buy quality items.
- Quality items hold up up better to repeated use and washing and sell well once you are done with them.
- Use coupons, have grandma buy things with her senior discount, and search through the clearance section to get the best prices possible.
- Take advantage of Kids Eat Free, Sibling, and Employer discounts on attractions, shopping, and services.
- If you don’t see a discount explicitly mentioned on their website or in their establishment, it never hurts to ask if they offer a discount for employees of XYZ or if a second child in the same family can receive discounted tickets to attractions or for childcare services.
Choose less expensive outings.
- At a young age, children are just excited by a trip to a new park, mall, or friend’s home as they are going to costly places like Disney. Even as they grow, compare the offerings of different attractions in your area. One may be significantly less expensive but still offer the amenities that are most important to you. Consider year-long memberships if it’s somewhere you’ll go more than a few times a year.
Sarah Scales is a mom of five including two sets of twins in cloth diapers! When she isn’t blogging for FuzziBunz you can catch her at Upper Middle Mom.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Once you’ve settled into a routine, using cloth diapers is pretty no-brainer. Wash. Rinse. Rinse. Dry. Use. Repeat.
In that challenging period before I figured out not to over-think things, mistakes were made. My No. 1 mistake? Trusting that the other people changing my baby’s diaper would know everything I do. Will someone else be changing your baby in cloth diapers? Be especially cautious. It’s one thing when mom is the rookie. We still read, research, and, well, over-think. Dads, grandmas, and nursery workers might do things, however, that we never even dreamed they would.
Putting On the Diaper
- The best thing you can do if you’re about to leave your baby and your cloth stash in the hands of someone else is have the diapers pre-stuffed and ready to put on. If you don’t it’s quite possible you’ll come home at some point to a baby wearing a diaper with no insert. Even when the diaper is completely assembled, you still might find a rookie is apt to put the diaper on backwards. Something about the snaps throws them off, I think. A FuzziBunz diaper might be more fool-proof than others. I’ve had people put other diaper brands on inside out, too.
What Else They’ll Put On
- There’s something about a day care provider and butt cream. They just love the stuff. There must be some comfort for them in slathering it on generously. But beware: most widely available diaper creams can wreak havoc on your cloth diapers. This happened to me soon after my day care agreed to use cloth for my first son. I’d left his tube of zinc oxide cream with them even after he started wearing cloth. I knew it wasn’t “cloth approved” but didn’t think about them wanting to use it since he was usually pretty clear down there, but boy did they use it. That day’s diapers, though they still function, to this day have some staining left from that incident. Keep the stuff away from your diapers at all costs.
- It’s best that anyone who’s going to wash your cloth diapers gets a full explanation of the proper way to do it. A simple laundry mistake can take lots of re-washing to undo. After the rash cream got used with a few of my cloth diapers, I made the mistake of thinking outside the box for ways to wash it out. I ended up trying a degreaser cream from Lowe’s. I have to rinse my diapers countless times to get the orange smell out. My advice? When you’re a rookie, don’t add anything weird to your diaper laundry. It seems simple enough, but it’s important. Also, think carefully about where you wash. I once did laundry at a campground laundromat and ended up with immediate repelling issues.
You’ve done the research and read all the directions (along with a few hundred blog entries!), but make sure anyone else changing your baby gets all the little details, too. You’ll make things easier on your baby that way – and your diapers!
Jessica Wiant is now a stay-at-home mom of two who was once a working mom with a (cloth diapered!) son in daycare.
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Six months after our daughter was born, we started her on solid foods. We waiting until then for various reasons, but seeing as she was doing fine on breast milk, we didn’t see a reason to hurry. Really, though, those six months flew by and I couldn’t believe that we were starting solids already! Where to begin?
A few months before this, I was introduced to the concept of baby-led weaning (or baby-led solids), and I was hooked.
So what is baby-led weaning? The concept is simple: Let babies feed themselves. Now before your mind is filled with images of babies choking, let me make you feel more at ease it’s actually quite safe. The idea is you give them foods they can hold and gnaw on, of all different textures and tastes, to expand their palate and teach the baby how to eat by itself. Contrary to popular opinion, babies do not need to start on pureed foods because they are quite capable of handling foods without being spoon-fed.
How did we begin? Around six months, we started giving our daughter soft foods to eat. The first two foods we gave her were avocado and sweet potatoes. The avocado was easy because it’s already soft, we just cut it lengthwise so she could pick it up easily and stuff one end in her mouth. We cut the sweet potatoes into long fries, again, so she could pick it up easily, and then we baked them until they were soft.
From there, the whole world of food exploded before us. Now, we didn’t have to make a separate meal for her. One of us wasn’t trying to feed the baby pureed food while the other stuffed dinner into their mouth, ready to take over when they were done. No, our daughter ate what we were eating, with some exceptions (wrong size, too spicy, etc.). She is thirteen months old now and will eat almost anything, and feed herself at each meal. It’s amazing!
You can get started on baby-led weaning at any point, even if your child is eleven months old and has been eating pureed foods for the whole time. Start slow: soft foods, like I mentioned before. Offer easy grasp fruits like strawberries, apple slices, and bananas. You can shred chicken, tear up lunchmeat, or cut up a hard-boiled egg for your baby, too. The foods you should avoid are any that they are allergic to, or food they can’t chew easily like nuts or things with large seeds. Other than that, follow your instinct and have fun! Remember, food before one is just for fun.
As for choking, my daughter never choked, not once. She did gag once or twice, and you will need to learn the difference between the two. Every parent should take an infant CPR and first aid course, anyway.
I’m glad we decided to do baby-led weaning. Our daughter is a great eater and we never had to worry about what to feed her, at home or while out. You should look into it, too!
Chantal Shelstad, a self-proclaimed “crunchy” stay-at-home mom who lives in Alabama with her daughter, Penny and her husband, a pilot in the Army. Chantal is more than happy to own up to the fact that cloth diapering parents have to face plenty of difficulties, transitions, stigmas (and yes, plenty of poop!) …but it is still worth it in the end.
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
Being a working mom of two, it is necessary my boys go to daycare. I work a split shift from home for a large company, so I am able to be home with them from 12:30 until they go to bed around 7:30 pm. After they’re asleep, I finish my shift. Because of this, I only need 13 hours a week for daycare, which is great. I have a lot of time with my boys and still get to work full-time. However, I didn’t want to give up my cloth diapers because my boys were in daycare.
I did a lot of research on health codes and asked a lot of advice from my cloth diaper community. I wanted to be sure I had all my information ready. At the time we decided to start, I had two in diapers and the boys were going through at least three diapers a session at daycare – if not more. I knew it was going to be a lot more “wallet-friendly” to have the boys in cloth during their daycare time as well as at home. The cost of daycare for two boys is expensive enough! Our daycare was very accepting of our choice, which made the process a lot easier for us. I am pretty sure we were the first family at our daycare to try this out.
It was determined that (in the state of Connecticut, at least) the soiled diapers needed to be placed in a sealed container, which was to be taken home each night and cleaned for use the next day. For this, we used a shoebox-sized plastic bin from the storage container section of our local “super-store”. This size bin nicely held three cloth diapers, which was typically perfect. We did keep a few disposable diapers on hand at the daycare in case there were a few extra “stinky” ones which required more than three diapers in one day.
My biggest concern was the use of diaper cream. Prior to cloth, diaper cream was applied regularly at daycare, providing we had given permission. Obviously, diaper cream is not to be used with cloth diapers, but I came up with a solution. I only asked that that it be used if he had some redness. Cole especially has really sensitive skin, so we do periodically coat him with a little cream on occasion to keep any skin irritation away. I purchased flushable liners to be used at daycare and bought a cloth diaper-friendly cream just in case some accidentally got on the diapers. The flushable liners also helped with the poop diapers, too, since it make it easier to dump in the toilet.
I came in and demonstrated the diapers, which I pre-stuffed for the staff every day. This way, they were able to ask me questions and be comfortable with using them. I think some of the staff was pretty surprised as to how easy they were. Over the last two years or so, cloth diapering at daycare has gone smoothly.
- Cole on his birthday.
On January 5th of this year, Cole turned three years old. A few days after his birthday, he actually transitioned out of daycare and the early intervention program (an at home program for kids with delays or special needs) and into the public school system. He now attends a 3-5 year old program through our local kindergarten that is for children with special needs and “typical” peers. At first, I was afraid we would have to go to disposable diapers. I actually was a little nervous to bring it up with all of the formal meetings. When we starting visiting the classroom, I decided to give it a go and ask. What was the worst that could happen? They say no? So I asked. At first, they said we would have to buy disposables for school, but after I showed them the diapers and how similar they are to a disposable diaper, they agreed to give it a go! And so far, it seems to also be going well!
I know some people decide not to cloth diaper because they send their kids to daycare. I can tell you that with the right center, and the right research, you can successfully cloth diaper and have child care!
Jenn Kubicza is a mom of two little boys, one of whom has a neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman’s Syndrome and will require extended diapering.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
I chose cloth diapers because they were better for my baby, the environment, and my budget. I chose to use cloth pads and a menstrual cup for myself for the same reasons.
Reusable menstrual products are an easy way to “green” up your period, save money, and reduce your exposure to chemicals. Cloth pads, like those FuzziBunz makes, are simple to use and wash. I have been very happy with my assortment of FuzziBunz pads. The panty liners are great for backup for cups/tampons, or very light days. Regular and Supers are of similar design but with more absorbency for heavier days.
FuzziBunz pads are very comfortable and slim-fitting, provide good protection, and I love knowing I have them in the house whenever I need them. I’m happy to leave behind the weird plastic-y noises, chemicals, and expense of disposable products. I wish I had been told about cloth pads sooner. I will never go back to disposables!
You can buy FuzziBunz Comfort Pads on FuzziBunz.com.
Sarah Scales is a mom of five including two sets of twins in cloth diapers! When she isn’t blogging for FuzziBunz you can catch her at Upper Middle Mom.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
We might not enjoy it, but we all do it. Yes, we’re talking about laundry. While everyone has to do wash at some point, cloth diapering parents probably do a little bit more laundry than the average person. Whether you have a strict laundry routine or you are still working on getting into a groove, getting those clothes clean every day can be a big job.
A few weeks ago, our Cloth Diapering Unwrapped blogger Sarah took a new laundry detergent option out for a spin. You might already be familiar with Eco Nuts, which are berries that grow in the Himalayas and naturally produce a soap that is eco-friendly and gentle on sensitive skin. Sarah said that not only to soap nuts clean her cloth diapers but “the great news is that soap nuts work incredibly well on regular laundry too. I’ve used them with my kids’ clothes and they come out buttery soft, fluffy and easy to fold. When I used them for the first time on my husband’s and my whites, he actually asked me if I’d changed detergents because he loved the way his undershirts felt.”
Because we want you to experience soap nuts too, our friends at Eco Nuts have offered to give one (1) lucky FuzziBunz blog reader a 100-load box of Eco Nuts soap nuts ($12 retail value). All you have to do to enter is follow the instructions below via Rafflecopter using Facebook or Twitter.
Good luck to all and happy laundry day!
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
I read last week that Earth Day is one of most important holidays on many school calendars. While Earth Day was Sunday, April 22, it is important to keep Earth Day in mind every day – not just once a year. At the very least, Earth Day is a good reminder for all of us to up our own personal commitment to the environment, revisit our everyday habits and look for ways to further “green” our lives. In short, this day should inspire action. In kids and adults alike.
Last year on this blog, I made a few Earth Day resolutions hoping that you, my fellow cloth diaperers, would join me. This year, I thought I would recap my resolutions and my progress in the past year. And I’m adding some new ones for the coming year, hoping you’ll do the same. I mean, we are already on the right track by using cloth diapers…from here it’s easy to add green practices to your everyday life.
To recap my 2011 resolutions:
- Compost. Done. Since August, we’ve been faithfully collecting our kitchen scraps in an old coffee canister under the sink and adding it to the composter along with dry leaves and yard waste, even through the winter. No useable compost yet, but we’re getting there and the rising temperature can only help. Grade: A
- Join a CSA. I’m on the right track. I’ve done the research, but haven’t signed up quite yet. Grade: C
- Eliminate paper napkins and reduce paper towels by half. The paper napkins are still in the cupboard. BUT, we’ve invested in several sets of cloth napkins that we use almost every day. I moved the paper towels under the sink where they are not as easy to grab and started dating the inside of the new tube when open it and it’s been taking us anywhere from 3-4 weeks to use an entire roll, which is a significant reduction. Grade: B+
- Run at least one errand on foot per week. This is a work in progress. I probably do this once every two weeks on average. Some weeks, I run three errands on foot and other weeks I drive everywhere. Grade: C
- Reduce trash-to-curb. Apparently we had been using the wrong size trash can for two years, so even with a smaller one, we are only filling it about half full. This week, we’ll be putting out two kitchen-sized bags of trash. Not bad for a family of four. Grade: B
Now, for the new Earth Day Resolutions. In addition to continuing to work on the above, my Earth Day Resolutions for 2012:
- Garden. We recently bought a large raised bed for the backyard and filled it with a mix of soil and compost (purchased, ours wasn’t ready yet). The goal is to grow a kid-friendly garden full of vegetables that are organic and ready to eat from our back yard like carrots, corn, peas, lettuce, tomatoes….and hopefully a couple of pumpkins!
- Shop and eat local. I’m resolving to buy local whenever it makes sense both to support local businesses and reduce our carbon footprint. Frequent the hardware store in my town, farmers markets, my garden and local restaurants, especially those with a locavore attitude.
- Reduce wrapping paper waste. The amount of paper we threw away after Christmas was sickening. Multiply that by every house on our block and every block in the country. I do love a beautifully wrapped gift (probably more than the next gal), but I need to do better. I’ve started to recycle wrapping paper and bags, use old book pages or newspapers – or better yet a scarf or something cool – to wrap gifts. My friend has been making cute gift bags from scrap fabric for her gifts, they are beautiful and reusable!
- Adjust the temperature. Our standard indoor temperature is 69 in the winter and about 75 in the summer. I’m thinking we can go definitely dress warmer in the winter and get by with 68, possibly even increase to 76 in the summer (though my sweaty husband may disagree on that one!).
- Keep talking about cloth diapers. As my girl gets older and cloth diapering is just a part of daily life, I don’t talk about it quite as much as I once did (to anyone who would listen!). I’m making it a goal to continue to be a champion for cloth diapers and talk to the new and expectant moms I meet about the benefits of going green and using cloth!
So that’s it. Nothing drastic. Totally doable, right? Here’s to Earth Day 2012 and inspiring action in our own families and communities. What are your Earth Day resolutions? Join us on Facebook and tell us yours!
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday. Learn more about Sarah here.
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
Editor’s Note: In our initial post we linked to the incorrect soap nuts brand. Please note that the brand of soap nuts that Sarah used in her review was from EcoNuts. We apologize for any confusion! -FuzziBunz Editor.
When they arrived in the mail, I put them on the counter and went upstairs. When I came back, my husband is turning them around in his hand muttering, “what the…?”
He’s put up with many a new “eco-fad” that I’ve been crazy excited about for the moment, but I think he thought I went over the edge with this one. He was standing there holding my new soap nuts, wondering what the heck I was up to now.
Soap nuts come from a berry that grows on trees mainly in Asia. Yes, a berry that has cleaning properties and work much like detergents do to get clothes clean, but without the chemicals unnecessary foaming action. The dried berry shells contain saponins, a natural surfactant that advocates claim to be better for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Soap nuts have been used in other countries for eons and are now gaining popularity in North America and Europe. I love the fact that they are organic, biodegradable and compostable.
And yes, they even work for cloth diapers.
So, I tried them. Following the directions that came in the packaging, here’s what I did.
Put about four of the nuts (both whole nuts and a couple halves or pieces) into the included cloth bag.
Loaded the cloth bag right into the wash drum with my dirty (but already rinsed) diapers. For me and my HE machine, that act of putting the “detergent” right in with the diapers gave me a little pause, but I went with it.
Washed on a hot cycle with a cold rinse (no need to remove the bag for the rinse).
Removed the cloth bag containing the soap nuts and laid it out to dry while I dried my diapers.
Since the first use, I’ve washed the diapers with my soap nuts several more times (the same ones – you can reuse the same nuts up to ten times!). The diapers definitely come out clean, scent-free, soft and fluffy. Our newer inserts, in particular, came out noticeably fluffier.
I did notice a bit of a filmy feeling on the diapers that is hard to describe. I’ve been struggling with stink and hard water issues, so that could be something that is easily solved, but I’m trying not to add anything else to my list of issues. The instructions do recommend regular diaper stripping.
The great news is that soap nuts work incredibly well on regular laundry too. I’ve used them with my kids’ clothes and they come out buttery soft, fluffy and easy to fold. When I used them for the first time on my husband’s and my whites, he actually asked me if I’d changed detergents because he loved the way his undershirts felt.
Bottom line, I am still undecided on soap nuts. They are definitely not my go-to method for cleaning the diapers, but they do work and I do use them occasionally. My skeptical husband, on the other hand, is completely sold and wants me to use only soap nuts on his undershirts.
A far cry from his baffled “what the…?”
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday.