happy earth day: a guest post

by Barb on April 22, 2011

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Today’s post in honor of Earth Day comes from a long-time Delaware County resident and long-time reader of my blog, Coleen. She’s taught and inspired me as much as I’ve done so for us. We also have lots of fun comparing notes on her grandson and my youngest son who are about the same age. Take it away, Coleen!

In honor of Earth Week I thought I’d share some of the things we do that are earth friendly and frugal:

Use cloth napkins. I made ours from old table clothes, but you can find them at thrift stores and yard sales.

Use 100% made from recycled material toilet paper.

Use cloth wipes for my grandson.  I made them out of flannel squares.

Use kitchen towels or rags in place of paper towels.

Reuse plastic baggies, except those used for meat or cheese.

Use cloth bags when shopping.

When we get to the bottom of liquid dish soap, shampoo or laundry soap, we add some water to get the last little bit out.

Use a plastic cup in the bathroom instead of paper cups.

We don’t have a dishwasher, so we only wash dishes once a day.  In the summer we use the rinse water to water the garden.

We hang all of our laundry, outside or in the basement.

We mold our soap slivers to the new bar so we don’t waste any of it.

We shop at thrift stores, salvage grocery stores and yard sales.

Well these are a few of the things we do, what about you?

Frugal Friday at Life as Mom
Thrifty Thursday at Coupon Teacher

Meet Barb

Barb Hoyer has written 3830 posts.

After working in the fundraising world for over ten years, Barb is an avid runner, writer, photographer, parent volunteer, and lover of dictionaries and thesauruses. Wife to an engineer and mom to 5 kids, Barb lives in the suburbs of Philly. Her idea of relaxation is an afternoon on the couch with a stack of books.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} April 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

Wow, you are WAY ahead of us! I’d like to switch to paper napkins and recycled TP. Thanks for all the great ideas.

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babhoyersh April 22, 2011 at 9:20 am

Too funny! You’re so ahead on the food. There is so much to change that it does take awhile to make the changes, I think.

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Melinda-LookWhatMomFound...and Dad too! April 22, 2011 at 8:50 am

we do use rags about 90% of the time instead of papertowels and use plastic cups in the bathroom. I’ve tried recycled napkins and toilet paper, i do not like the quality. When my youngest was a baby, we cloth diapered, that is by far my most favorite green step ever.

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babhoyersh April 22, 2011 at 9:19 am

Just like Coleen, we stick to cloth napkins. I have about 20 white ones which means they go with everything. I even stick the cloth napkins in the kids’ lunch boxes, and haven’t lost any that way. I also put in real silverware, and haven’t lost any.

I haven’t done the recycled toilet paper consistently. There’s a company that starts with M (I’m drawing a blank on the name) that has recycled toilet paper. I’ve seen it at our local grocery outlet. Just another area for me to work on!

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Alissa April 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

Marcal! I haven’t actually tried it yet… we’re so very particular about our toilet paper around here. But we do use cloth napkins, so we’re headed in the right direction. :) Next up for us is ditching paper towels in favor of dish towels. We do some of that, but not consistently enough. But we’re on our last roll of paper towels now, so I think that’s reason enough to just switch.

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Alissa April 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

This is such a great list! We cloth diaper our kids as well (and are so thankful that it’s so much easier than everyone thinks it is), but haven’t made the leap to cloth wipes. I’m not really sure why not. My daughter has extremely sensitive skin and is actually less bothered by cloth diapers than the disposables, so I can only assume it would be the same for wipes. Do you have a good, sensitive formula for wetting the cloth wipes (or do you just use water)?

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babhoyersh April 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

I use cloth diapers, too, plus the cloth wipes. I find them incredibly easy to use. I wash them with the diapers, and keep a spray bottle filled with tap water by the changing table. Not to sound gross, but being able to spray extra water is so handy when I’m dealing with those really gross poops that get stuck on the skin. Yuck!

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Alissa April 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

OK, I’m sold. We’re starting cloth wipes next week. :) Seriously, though, I think my daughter’s little bottom will be so happy with just tap water. And the spray bottle is a great idea!

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Meryl April 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Barb/Alissa- I am new to the site, Hello! I was just reading around and don’t know if you have this already broken down somewhere but I was hoping I could share one mom’s experience with cloth diaps- she bought them used and has strong arguments in favor of doing this.

I am fascinated by all of this- I hope it is ok to link her info here!

http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/2011/01/it%E2%80%99s-time-for-a-change%E2%80%A6-considering-cloth-diapers/

and

http://www.thecentsableshoppin.com/2011/04/how-i-saved-money-making-my-own-cloth-wipes/

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babhoyersh April 23, 2011 at 8:50 am

I’m on the tail end of using cloth diapers since my youngest is about to turn 3. I’d be happy to share my experience which spans about 7 years.

Carole Denise April 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

I think this is such a conscientious list. There are several on this list that we do but not with a 100% conviction; there are other items on the list list that make me realize I can do much more….Great Earth Day post…
Carole Denise recently posted..CDs Entertainment Corner – Tangled

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Nichole April 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

This is a fabulous list and a great reminder to me that I’ve been slacking on some my green efforts lately. For instance, while I did start a compost pile and am attempting to grow some of our own veggies this year we have pretty much reverted to using paper towels somewhere along.
Nichole recently posted..WordWorld DVD &amp iTunes App GIVEAWAY

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Debbie J. April 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Good Earth Day ideas Coleen! You have motivated me to do better in my own home. I do some of these things some times, but could do more. Thanks! :o)

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