Review: Ecos Laundry Detergent and Stain Remover

My normal laundry routine includes Tide Free And Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent and OxiClean Max Force Gel Stick. I’ve been happy with both, but I decided to try something new.  Baby Ecos Laundry Products are Plant-Based, pH balanced and formaldehyde and petrochemical free seemed a good place to start.

In my experience, cloth diapers hold in a lot more waste than disposable so I don’t have a lot of stains to deal with.  Since we use disposable when away from home, there was an explosion that stained a white onesie and I figured this was the perfect opportunity to see just how well Baby Ecos Disney Stain and Odor Remover worked.  I followed the instructions and sprayed the stain thoroughly and let it sit for five minutes. The stain lightened considerably during the first washing, but not completely. Instead of drying the item, I sprayed the stain again and let it sit for thirty minutes. It almost worked. But it seems to me a stain remover that is geared towards babies should work on an average baby stain.
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Simple, Green Summer Activities for Kids

Now that the crush of my work as a teacher is done for the summer, we suddenly have lots of unstructured playtime on our hands. My kids still enjoy imaginative play (they spent the morning yesterday pretending to be prairie dogs in a fort made of blankets), but it’s nice to get them out in the sunshine without having to buy a heap of materials or make elaborate plans. Following are some incredibly basic activities for semi-lazy parents like myself who want to enrich our children’s summers without a lot of effort.

Bug collecting. This requires one applesauce jar and nothing else. My children have spent hours overturning rocks in search of the most beautiful beetle. Of course, this requires a short education about “catch and release” as my son killed a centipede or two in the beginning in his efforts to adopt insect pets. Still, it keeps them busy and entertained for quite some time!
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Happy Being Green: Just How Sustainable is Sustainability?

Saving the environment takes time and energy that we don’t always have.  The more I write this blog and raise my kids, the more I’m convinced that sustainability has to include more than just the environment.  To be great parents and environmentalists, we have to sustain ourselves.

How?  By enjoying our thrifty green adventures.  By letting go of green guilt.  By embracing progress instead of perfection.

And by being happy!

Think about it, how many truly effective green moms are exhausted and bummed out all the time?  How many guilt-ridden women are motivated to keep tinkering with their lifestyles to make eco-friendly shifts?

So maybe, every once in a while, we need to take a hot bubble bath (regardless of the gallons of water it requires) or go for the nap instead of whipping up a batch of home baked bread from flour we milled ourselves.
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A Weekly Meeting With Yourself: A Sustainable Solution for Busy Moms

About a week ago, my sister suggested a radical idea that changed my life instantly.  It’s obvious, cheap, easy, and effective, but it had never once occurred to me.

While she was in the whirlwind of raising small children (and she has five of them!), she took time each week to escape to a cafe with her journal.  For one hour she considered the following questions:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • What can I change?
  • How will I make the changes?
  • When will I make the changes?

That’s it.  At first I thought it was rather silly to spend a precious hour of my busy life journaling about practical matters, but it was an instant success.  I considered what my goals were as a parent, as an environmentalist, and as a wife and considered small tweaks that could make a difference.  And I did all of this while sipping hot chocolate in a lovely cafe away from screams and laundry.
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Is Staying At Home Greener than Working?

If both parents have demanding careers and multiple children, how do they manage things like washing cloth diapers, composting, making healthy dinners and spending time with baby? There are also some single parents out there who are handling full-time schedules and parenting while keeping the planet in mind. How do they do it?  I am utterly in awe of people who can juggle so much without feeling overwhelmed. 

My husband and I both work thirty-some hours per week and yet we find the balance of a two career family rather precarious at times. Over the last few weeks illness and injury has made the daily challenge of laundry and homemade dinners seem ever greater.   I often long for take-out, or look lustfully at the frozen entrees in the grocery store,  knowing that those convenience items are designed for the hectic, dual income family.  Even though I’m often overwhelmed,  I don’t want to give into the urge to buy disposable, convenience items, saving time while potentially harming the planet.  At this point it seems we should be able to handle some extra time for green choices since we have just one child, we both work equally hard on domestic tasks, and neither of us are working full time.

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Green Mom Guilt

Motherhood has moved my capacity for guilt to a whole new level—and I was pretty advanced to begin with. The guilt-rants that occur in my brain are often totally illogical (due to sleep deprivation) but it’s amazing how powerful they can become.  Here is a sample of a sudden guilt gush: “Why didn’t I bring mittens to the park? Now he’ll probably get frostbite and never be able to pursue his dream of professional fiddling!”

 

O.K. It doesn’t always get that bad, but it is hard to feel as though the entire well-being of another tiny soul rests on my shoulders.   So when I throw the health of the planet into the mix, I can occasionally become overwhelmed.  As I’m wheeling my son through the grocery store (and sensing an impending fit) it’s tough to make quick decisions about green packaging, organic products, and price—all while singing Itsy Bitsy Spider and planning a diaper change in a public restroom.

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