Save Water, Energy, and Money Washing Diapers with a Front-loading Washing Machine

Our old clunker of a washing machine came with our house.  A typical top-loader from the 1970s or ‘80s, it probably used about forty gallons of water per load.  Another downside of this appliance is that it did not even get the clothes clean.  Dark clothes (i.e., all my clothes) came out with streaks of lint, clumps of detergent, and the dirt and grime they had before “washing” them.

A positive pregnancy test motivated me to replace my washing machine.  I wanted to try cloth diapers and figured pre-baby was the ideal time to switch.  I knew a good front loader used just ten gallons of water per load, but I was disappointed that they cost so much more than top-loaders.  The cheapest one I saw advertised was $800.  Knowing I could save hundreds of gallons of water, not to mention all the energy used to heat the water, I convinced myself it would be worth it.

Sugar-free, Whole-grain Cereal for Babies: A Natural Alternative to Cheerios

Ever since Audrey started on solid foods at six months, she’s loved oatmeal. We spoon-fed oatmeal to her for months, and now she asks for her “oats” and feeds herself. I was happy to find a cheaper, more nutritious alternative to the typical rice cereal, which many parents are now avoiding as a first food. (Read an article about how to choose baby and kid cereals here. Learn more about the oat porridge I made Audrey in the early months here.)

I had a harder time finding a dry cereal that Audrey could enjoy as finger food. Cheerios, a common baby finger food, contain both wheat and sugar–two ingredients doctors say to avoid during baby’s first year. Plus, they’re not organic. My neighborhood stores offered plenty of organic Cheerio-like cereals, but almost all of them also contained wheat and sugar (sometimes disguised as organic cane syrup). Kamut puffs are delicious!