I’ve always been a bigger fan of “Reusing” than “Reducing” and “Recycling”. I’m not the only thriftstore bargin hunter and garage-salers at The Green Baby Guide, so I combed through the archives for the best posts on used baby gear.
It never occurred to me to create my own diapers–partially due to the fact that I have a complete lack of sewing skills and also because it seemed so complicated. Imagine my surprise when my friend Kara casually handed me a bag of home-sewn hemp diapers saying only, “I made this for you since I had some extra time and fabric.” I had to know how it was possible to whip out a batch of diapers in just a few hours so interviewed Kara to get the nitty-gritty details.
GBG: Where did you get the idea/inspiration to make your own cloth diapers?
We haven’t picked out colors, or bedding, or painted a fairy mural on the wall. In fact, our second child has no claim to any wall–or even a room for that matter.
Why have we allowed this to happen? After all, with our first we decorated with homemade curtains, a rocking chair and a new dresser. What we quickly found, however, is that our son was rarely in his room. He co-slept for the first five months and during the day spent most of his time lounging in the living room with us. He wouldn’t nap in his crib so we wore him in a sling for snoozing or plopped him down on his baby blanket.
We’ve had a great time hosting Thrifty Green Thursday for almost a whole year. Thanks to everyone who has participated, inspiring us with eco-friendly tips and advice. Because I just gave birth on Monday, I’ve decided to put our Thrifty Green blog carnival on summer vacation. While we’re gone, we hope we can sort out our issues with Mr. Linky. Have a wonderful summer break, and please return on September 3rd, when Thrifty Green Thursday will resume.
We have Mr. Linky up today (if it’s working correctly!) if you want to link to your Thrifty Green posts one last week before summer break. Read here for instructions.
If you haven’t joined the grassroots home garden movement, it’s nice to know you still can–and without spending a load of cash.
Imagine creating a kitchen garden that yields heaps of produce all summer long—for free! Thanks to our recent family budget cutbacks and some wise neighbors, we’ve suddenly found that free gardening is quite possible. Here are the latest tips we’ve discovered:
- Find free wood, recycle what you have, or just dump dirt: When our friends replaced their cedar fencing, they saved the old boards and used them to build raised beds. Since the boards were just one inch thick, they cross braced them so that the wood wouldn’t bulge. On Craigslist or through your friends you can usually find people who are looking to unload wood. If you can’t find wood, just dump dirt on cardboard in your yard and make a bed without the border. It will work fine and still grow some lovely veggies.
Skip this post if you live in Canada, Denmark, Australia, France, or any one of 163 countries worldwide with paid maternity leave. We’ll try not to think about the fact that in those nations mothers and fathers get months and sometimes even years of paid time to raise their children. Here in the U.S., it’s tricky to be able to maneuver our maternity leave, but there are always ways to creatively find more time to spend with your baby.
Why try to take as much time as possible? It’s not only critical to your sanity, but it often ends up being far more eco-friendly as well. My husband and I found that when we were both working we ended up using more jarred baby food, eating take-out more often, and generally spending more money on convenience items just to survive. Staying home means you’ll have the time to experiment with washing and drying cloth diapers. Plus you’ll end up buying less and just enjoying this phase of baby’s life.
It was heart-wrenching to go back to my career after my baby arrived, but luckily I had worked out a solution that gave me as much time off as possible over the course of his first year. It required some creative thinking, some begging, and some negotiation, but it was worth it!
As you may have read in my last post, I found that the time I spent at home increased the quality of our lives and the quality of the environment. We were able to prepare homemade meals, hang cloth diapers out to dry, and generally spend less money.
So how do you ask your supervisor for the best solution for your family? Here are a few tips that worked for me.
A Simple, Eco-Friendly Solution for Stinky Diapers: Use Hydrogen Peroxide in Place of Chlorine Bleach
Have you ever pulled supposedly clean diapers out of the washer only to find that they’re nearly as stinky as when they went in? What’s the problem? It could be a variety of factors including the iron content in your water, the laundry soap you’re using, or synthetic fabrics.
For the wash: Add a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide to each washload or a bit more for very full or dirty loads.