The early days of breastfeeding can be wrought with challenges, but some of us make it through the first phase only to face other issues further along. When work became really stressful for a couple of weeks, my milk supply suddenly plummeted. We quickly went through all the frozen milk I had pumped during my maternity leave and I found myself with barely enough ounces produced every single day. Luckily extra fluids, rest, and a daily dose of fenugreek (a natural herbal remedy for low milk supply) helped me get my output back on track. Have you faced milk supply issues? What caused them and how did you deal with it? Your comments will help mothers who are struggling with this issue today!
For the last four years I’ve been slurping my beverages from a well worn plastic bottle. Yes, it’s made from a “safer” plastic–but it still didn’t exactly feel safe. Still, I was loathe to toss it in the trash in the name of environmentalism. Luckily, it failed on its own and I was free embrace stainless steel. Still, I was convinced that the options were limited. After all I wanted a water bottle that:
My husband found just what I was looking for in the Nathan Stainless Steel Flip Straw Bottle. (Many models are currently on sale right now). I love this little bottle! In addition to meeting all my criteria, mine is green and marked with a “reduce, reuse, recycle” label. It also comes with a handy clip that can be fastened onto backpacks or bags when on the go.
What’s your favorite water bottle? Do you stick with glass, plastic or stainless steel? Thanks for sharing your tips with our readers!
My sister never buys toothpaste. Or shampoo. Or deodorant. Don’t worry—she doesn’t smell bad, but she is a wickedly talented couponer. She insists that if you play your cards right, you can get many of your household goods at absolutely no cost. Many shoppers refer to the coupon phenomenon as “the grocery game.”
Pulling it off can involve lots of time, newspapers, and trips to the store, but it may save you enough money to buy more organic produce or join a CSA. Is it a perfectly green solution? No. Another detractor is that several coupons are for highly processed food. Still, if you’re desperately searching for space in your budget and you can bike or walk to shopping, it may work for you.
Here are a few blogs devoted to the art of coupon clipping:
Frugal Living NW is based in Portland and has a wide variety of deals including coupon formulas for getting free goods at drug stores, grocery stores, and online. They’ll post all the coupon combinations for you so that you don’t need to do any complex problem solving before you arrive at the store. You’ll even get insider tips on occasional organic product specials.
I love that Organic Grocery Deals is a small online community that shares a vision for green living and finding the best prices on organic products. You can register for free and use the site to access online coupons and receive a regular newsletter. Readers are from across the country so you’ll find all sorts of offers through a variety of stores. (Also, check out our vintage post on Organic Deals, which also specializes in eco-friendly products.)
Fabulessly Frugal is loaded with tips about sales and coupons with careful formulas for getting the best prices The sales aren’t necessarily on organic food, but the stores she features such as Fred Meyer and Safeway do carry organic produce. You could load up on a few deals and use the saved money to buy healthy produce for homemade baby food or toddler snacks.
Have you found any sites that feature coupons for healthy products? Are you a scissor carrying coupon clipper? Is it worth the effort with a baby in tow? I have to admit that I haven’t yet been able to cut coupons and then have them with me while grocery shopping. It is a goal I shall aspire to in 2010!…
“I’m hungry!’ We all dread hearing those words while running errands or on an arduous road trip. If we don’t have food on hand, we’ll have to duck into a grocery store, or worse yet, have to find something healthy on a fast food menu to serve our toddlers.
So how do we stock our pantries with healthy food that travels well? If I had an unlimited budget I can think of loads of lovely organic snacks, but packaged food can be quite expensive and I hate tossing all those crinkly wrappers in the trash.
Our best discoveries for reasonable, healthy snacks include dried mangos and nuts bought in bulk. What works for your family? We’re going on a road trip tomorrow so I’ll be paying close attention to your tips!
My son is intelligent, funny, and has the bladder capacity of a small elephant. From his first few months on this planet we’ve been unable to layer enough cloth diapers on him to keep him from leaking at night. We tried doubling, using wool and fleece liners, and using pocket diapers with an extra liner.
The results were mixed—but all bad. He ended up with wet sheets, yeast infections, and lots less sleep. Finally, after several dozen attempts, we just surrendered to using disposable diapers at night.
Now with our second child, I was determined to try again with cloth at night. She doesn’t have the huge bladder of her brother, but even if she did, I think the new hemp liners we’ve been using might be able to handle it. They wick away the moisture, absorb quite a lot, and are a natural fabric that breathes nicely. We’ve never had any yeast issues while using the hemp liners and being wet hasn’t woken her up. (Oh, she’s up regularly! But it doesn’t seem to correlate to the dampness of her diaper.)
A friend actually made us our liners using a serger sewing machine and some thick hemp fabric–which seems to be the cheapest solution for talented seamstresses. If you’d like to order a few, check out hemp inserts from Thirsties, Willow Sprouts, or Green Acre Designs.
So, in review, our fabulous nighttime solution is a diaper cover, a prefold, and a hemp liner closest to baby’s bottom. We hope that yeast doesn’t become a problem once again but we’ll keep you posted if it reappears. Have you had issues with yeast or leakage at night?
It’s official. Our daughter has started solids and consequently has entered the “gross poops” stage of cloth diapering. We dunk and rinse in the toilet, but as much as we love cloth diapering, this phase isn’t exactly delightful.
Liners are available so that solid waste and the thin layer of paper can simply be dumped into the toilet and flushed away. Imse Vimse, Biosoft, Real Nappies, and Kushies all offer flushable liners. Have you used them and had good results?
Believe it or not, when your baby is just wet instead of poopy, the flushable liners can be laundered and reused which means that just one pack can last for quite awhile. Have you found flushable diaper liners to be worth the expense? Do they prevent toilet dunking?
FOOD, Inc. arrived at my house in its bright red Netflix enevelope and then sat on our phone table for two full weeks before we ever attempted to watch it.
Why? We knew the popular documentary would be providing us with disturbing facts and honest images of what really happens to our groceries before they reach our kitchen table. We imagined ourselves utterly disgusted sitting in a heap of depression at the end of the film.
In fact, our experience was just the opposite. FOOD, Inc. did illuminate tough truths, but offset them with stories of how organic food is making a mainstream comeback. Interviews with farmers who are longing to regain some autonomy and those who have struck out on their own offered hope and inspiration. The movie reminded us that we consumers are voting for products every time we place them in our grocery carts. Major corporations like Wal-Mart are taking notice of our shopping choices and the market is beginning to shift—however slightly—to meet our needs.
After the information about E. Coli and the security of our country’s beef supply, we as a family made the easy decision to skip beef unless it’s from grass-fed local cows. We’ve also researched our chicken sources more carefully to buy from local farmers and are working on incorporating more vegetables into our meals as we come to depend less and less on meat.
I could write endlessly on all that we learned in just two hours, but watching the movie is far more powerful than anything I could list in this post. If it’s sitting on your table in it’s red envelope, crack it open and prepare to be informed as well as inspired.
“Trim the budget!” tops my list of New Year’s Resolutions. How on earth am I going to pull it off when I’m averaging three hours of sleep and even the thought of cutting coupons makes me nauseous? Starting today, every Monday during the month of January the Green Baby Guide will feature a few favorite penny-pinching resources to kick me into gear.
One of my favorite blogs is Frugal Babe because of her focus on simplicity and living with less. She’s incredibly resourceful—dumpster diving for free lumber, doing hydroponic gardening in the crawlspace under her house, and using baking soda instead of toothpaste or shampoo. And she manages all this with a baby in tow! Her posts consistently deliver doses of down-home thrifty wisdom.
Can secondhand shopping can be utterly luxurious? Yes! Maybe it’s because I am addicted to the treasure hunt of buying used but I love The Thrifty Chicks. Its authors (Ms. Shopping Go Lightly, Ms. Gently Used, and Ms. Modern Mommie) encourage us to realize that thrift shopping isn’t about grungy gear but about finding high quality goods for much, much less.
With a little creativity and patience, living on the cheap can inspire artful play for childen. Frugal family fun has all sorts of ideas for winter entertainment including “painting the snow”–which involves filling a spray bottle full of water and food coloring and letting the new fallen layer become a palette for your budding artist. Or maybe you need to allow your children to enjoy “indoor ice skating” by using waxed paper and rubber bands to fashion ice skates for living room twirling.
Do you have any favorite frugal sites to share? Next week we’ll have more money saving blogs to choose from. Feel free to make suggestions!
Christmas Eve may not seem like the best time to kick-start a website, but that’s exactly when we launched the Green Baby Guide two years ago. We were up and running with our very first post about wrapping gifts without creating waste. I’m sure our two readers really appreciated the tips.
What has happened since Christmas Eve, 2007? We worked hard at finding new readers, we wrote almost 500 posts on living green with a new baby (among other things), and we finished our masterpiece, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide. Early in 2010, our book will finally hit the shelves!
So today we wish the Green Baby Guide a happy birthday, and we wish our readers a wonderful holiday season!
Searching for a somewhat bizarre gift for your eccentric uncle or this year’s white elephant gift exchange? The following four are somewhat functional but mostly just weird presents for your holiday list.
If someone you know is struggling to sell a house this holiday season, they may need Ecojoe—the Original Eco-Friendly St. Joseph Statue Home Selling Kit. Who the heck is St. Joseph? He’s the patron saint of real estate. For years he’s been buried in the yards of those hoping to find an interested buyer. Does anyone really need an eco-friendly, biodegradable statue of a saint? Probably not, but it is a fun gag gift that may bring stressed out homeowners a laugh.
The I Am Not a Paper Cup mug is wonderfully deceptive. Crafted from a ceramic mug and a silicone lid, it looks identical to a paper cup but is far eco-friendlier.
We’re sure you’ve been asking yourself, “How can I spoil my feline friend with eco-friendly products?” The Green Organic Eco Friendly Cat Bundle of Products is a helpful kitty gift basket that includes citrus magic litter box odor eliminator and bath wipes—among other essential cat grooming items!
Our favorite eco-friendly gift is the Elephant Poo Poo Paper Notebox. Yes, this thick, high quality note paper is made from elephant dung. Recycling the feces of large mammals has never been such fun!
Have you come across any fun eco-friendly products lately? We’d love to hear about your finds!