Green Day.

So, in light of the fact that my entire family happens to be wearing green today (no, it wasn't on purpose...but yes, we all do have some Irish in us, so maybe it was our Irish-ness that did it!) I thought I'd do a little pitch for green living today. (I promise to post a Tot-Talk later, I left my sticky note somewhere and cannot find it--but I will post it tonight at the latest.)

We can all do a bit more to be eco-friendly. Everyone has their own ways--I know a lot of my friends recycle their plastics, paper, and cardboard (and some do a whole lot more!). But living green is essentially a matter of choices. Everyone makes different choices--some choose to eat totally organic, others choose to use cloth diapers and wipes, etc. So here's some of the things we do--see if any on this list appeal to you!

1. We cloth diaper, most of the time. I initially tried cloth-diapering with Caleb. I say tried because we ended up only cloth diapering him at night because we knew he wouldn't go "#2" at that time and we were very aversive to dealing with #2 and cloth diapers. We have a front-loading washer and just couldn't figure out a way to make it work without a lot of extra effort and mess. Then along came Noah. I recommitted to cloth diapering and found that some new (I think they were new) products had come out to make it easier. One is biodegradable liners--these thin pieces of whatever that you line the diaper with--it biodegrades in 8 days, so it claims, and so when #2 happens you just toss it and the liner into the toilet, and your cloth diaper isn't a mess. Works most of the time, I'll say. That and the wet bag are the only two ways I could get Mark to agree to cloth diaper outside the house.

So pretty much the only time we use disposables are at night (Noah is a heavy wetter and no matter HOW much I stuff the cloth diapers, I cannot avoid leaks--yes, I've tried hemp, double and triple stuffing). We have to use overnights even, but that is the only time we use disposables except for the occasional event where none of the cloth diapers are clean. Even at child care, we use cloth. Noah's teacher was willing to try cloth, and when she saw that our diapers didn't use pins, she was overjoyed! For anyone out there who fears that cloth diapering means folding and pinning--welcome to the 21st century of cloth diapering--these aren't your mama's cloth diapers!

2. We recycle. I'll admit, we could do better. We have yet to start recycling cans--we just don't have the space right now to store them. But we recycle plastics, glass, paper, cardboard, and plastic bags. So that helps.

3. We just started using Prairieland Dairy Milk. If you aren't from our area, you'll need to find your own version of this. But around here, Prairieland Dairy Milk is produced only 50 miles away, AND it's antibiotic and hormone free. Tastes great and available at local supermarkets (Super Saver and Russ's). It's even cheaper than the true organic milks (we were paying 6 bucks a gallon for Horizon, PD is only 3 bucks a gallon). A tip for those who want to go green--shop local. I'll admit that I could do better with buying local and organic groceries. I plan to start going to the Farmer's market (cause we need to eat more veggies at our house too).

4. I am trying organic gardening, meaning I'm not using any chemicals or pesticides to help with pest control, nor did I use any chemical fertilizers. I just bought some good ol' pulverized black dirt (way too much, as it turns out, so now I have a flower garden out front too!) and planted my seeds. I water them lots and I am trying very hard to watch out for common pests. I plan to rotate my crop to prevent pests too (if you plant different crops each year--from different veggie families--that reduces the chance that certain pests will find a "home" in your garden). If anyone has any tips for organic gardening, I am all ears (no we didn't plan corn this year).

So we've got some additional things that we could do to improve our "greenness". But I just thought sharing what we do might give you all ideas of how you could be greener. :-) Go green!

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