Monday, August 2, 2010


When I was younger I never related much to environmental causes. I didn't see the sense in going out of my way to buy natural products or organic foods. I didn't think one person could make much of a difference. The only thing I really did do was recycle, in Eugene Oregon just about everyone does. It's actually weird not to recycle here.

Now it's much more convenient to buy natural products from cleaning to cosmetics. Organic produce is in almost every grocery store and Farmer's Markets and other local meat + produce merchants are easier to find.

Information about what pesticides + chemicals do to your system and what products contain them is more prevalent as well. We now know more about how these things do more harm than good. Unfortunately, harmful chemicals are used more than they were. My grandma made the observation the other day that foods in the grocery store are more widely imported from other countries than when she was raising kids.

However, for me, starting to live a little bit more healthfully + naturally wasn't inspired by availability, popularity, or even ease of use {although those things help!} but by wanting what's best for my son. Informing myself by doing research online and talking with other parents has really inspired me to take the extra step. This is why I chose to breastfeed, make Malakai's baby food, buy organic, use natural cleaning products.

I had a conversation with my cousin over email not too long ago {she's expecting her 1st baby in February} and she made a funny statement about becoming a "hippie mom". The choices we are making to lead more natural lives surely would have landed us in that category 10, even 5 years ago, but now it's becoming part of popular culture.

More people are choosing to save some money, live healthier, and feel better. Companies are using the trend to sell their products by using hot button words like green, natural, organic + eco-friendly. While this is a great trend to be taking place, consumers still need to be mindful of what they are purchasing. For example, with foods, things can be labeled as "Certified" or even "USDA Organic" but still contain traces of hormones, antibiotics, + pesticides. Had I not done my research + had the necessary conversations with others who had done theirs, I would have just assumed that if it said "USDA Organic" that it would be free + clear of anything unnatural.

In my effort to change things for my son, I've also started to introduce more organic products for myself + my husband. We started using vinegar, baking soda + even vodka as natural ways to keep our home clean. More recently we've been using Seventh Generation products. In my quest to use better products in our home, I've found that natural ones don't always work better. I've also discovered that in some instances I'd rather just use the cheap generic system because the benefit can outweigh the risk.

Recently I've wanted to try cloth diapering. I'm still working on getting Ben on board. After advice from readers + some twitter friends, the only thing that got him to say "yes" is if we got some products for free. Needless to say I have been entering giveaways like crazy! The more I read up on all it takes to cloth diaper {the initial expense of purchasing enough diapers, inserts, etc., plus laundering, special detergents, a diaper sprayer, wet bags, + more} I'm not sure if it will save us money, even in the long run. We buy Up + Up diapers for the daytime and use Amazon's subscribe + save to get a discount on pampers for overnight. This only puts us at spending about $350/ year on disposable diapers. If we switched to cloth I'd want to try a couple different kinds, plus the expense of a whole set once we chose our favorite would easily be $400 alone {I'm basing this off of an assumption that we'd go with some nicer AIO's} and that's not including all the extras I mentioned! I also know that babies are prone to a diaper rash at the onset and I don't know if I want to put my son through that discomfort.

So, while we're moving towards "greener" living, I just don't know if cloth diapering is going to be in our near future. However, I can totally be convinced otherwise if you give me some counterpoints {or some free diapers!}.


  1. Great post - I certainly have made some positive changes for my son's life too. I don't know that I could do cloth diapering - but I'm certainly trying to do everything I can to make a difference!

  2. I've gone through the same life altering GREENer experience since having my son. We've been doing cloth diapering since the beginning. My husband was totally on board from day one - we are saving a ton of money PLUS not filling up the landfill with diapers that will be there 500 years from now and it's the BEST thing we've ever done! You can do a trial of cloth diapers - Jillian's Drawers has one to figure out what might work best for you. For us, we've only got about 17 diapers, almost all bum genius one size pocket diapers....and almost half of them we purchased gently used so you save some money that way. I've never heard anything about diaper rashes from cloth, it's actually the opposite, you get MUCH fewer rashes when you use cloth. I definitely encourage you to try it out!

  3. thanks for the congrats!

    i loved this post--we too, try to be more green.
    we are cloth diaper-ers as well. it's been good for us, in the long run. we didn't buy many of those things that you listed (sprayer, special detergents, etc.). and we full time cloth diapered milo on about 9 diapers. it can be done, without spending tons of money!

  4. I think what you are doing is great! One step at a time makes a difference! We are the same way in our household, natural cleaning products, detergents, food for Bailey, and we also cloth diaper...When I started I just did one step at a time. I am still working on being more green and healthy for Bailey and us :)

  5. I think what you are doing is great! One step at a time makes a difference! We are the same way in our household, natural cleaning products, detergents, food for Bailey, and we also cloth diaper...When I started I just did one step at a time. I am still working on being more green and healthy for Bailey and us :)

  6. I just found your blog and I can relate to a lot of what you said! I started cloth diapering when my daughter was 2 weeks old and I love it. I realy don't find that it takes that much time or effort and it saves a lot of money. I wash the diapers once or twice a week depending on how quickly we go through them and then line dry then when I can to save on electricity. I did the math on how much I would spend with two children in diapers and I was amaed at howmuch I would spend even if I always bought diapers on sale! I am planning on using cloth wipes soon as well.
    I also have been trying to move towards more natural foods and more organic products when I can. It isn't easy on a small income, but we have made some small changes and I hope to make more soon.

  7. Love, love, love this post! I use gDiapers and love them too! I have bought most of my on e-bay or at mom2mom sales. I have also found a few yahoo groups/facebook pages for gDiaper users where you can buy/sell/trade/chat. I'm sure you could find the same for what ever brand you go with....GOOD LUCK!!


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