Category Archives: Conservation

A Step Beyond Cloth Diapers

Over the past few weeks I have been doing a little rundown on what modern cloth diapering really looks like, and a few comments have been made with curiosity about how early my son potty trained. If you don’t recall from earlier posts, by 16 months he learned to pretty much exclusively go poo on the potty and by just over two-years-old he was fully potty trained (aside from nights).

Now, I must admit, these early results were prompted not only by our cloth diapering (which I do believe helped tremendously) but also by our elimination communication efforts.

So, what exactly is elimination communication (EC), you ask?

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Around The Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

Here are some of our favorite posts from around the greenosphere this week, to help start your weekend a bit greener.

Monday Inhabitat announced that MIO will be releasing a new green outdoor line for Target, set to be available in stores April 12th. The product assortment includes eight outdoor items made from recycled and renewable materials including a watering can, trowel, cultivator, weeder, mini herb garden, solar lights, hammock and composter ranging in price from $7.99 – $99.99.

Tuesday Dot Earth ran an informative article on climate change and its immediate and long term effects on polar bears.

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Um, But What About The Poo?

(This is article #3 in MacKenzie’s series What’s Up with Cloth Diapering? Read article 1 and article 2.)

So, after the last couple of posts on cloth diapering, you are probably wondering how you clean the sure to be nasty cloth, right? Do you have to dunk them in the toilet? Are they REALLY sanitary? Are they all stained? Do they stink? What do you do with them when you aren’t at home?

Well, I will tell you!

First of all, washing cloth diapers isn’t nearly as laborious or burdensome as everyone seems to think it is. Honestly, I spend as much time washing diapers as I did emptying the darn Diaper Genie!

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The Science Behind Saving Gas

gas pump

There has been lots of talk in the past and even recently about how to increase your fuel efficiency. This talk is usually associated with gas mileage, but in places like where I live, that also includes power. Our power comes from a petrol generating plant. Gross, I know.

While saving gas is very important, where, exactly, does all of the information floating out there in cyber-space come from? Is it reliable?

The most quoted numbers are actually from a company subcontracted by the US Government to do these studies. The researchers are known as Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc. and helped compile most of the information on

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Get Thrifty, Go Green (And Save Green)

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I LOVE to shop at thrift stores, but it wasn’t always this way.

When I was a middle-schooler, I absolutely hated it. I felt like it was embarrassing, something only poor people should do. If someone complimented a thrift store item I was wearing (which did not happen often, due to my complete non-thrift-store-related lack of stylishness) and asked where I got it, I would fib and say I didn’t remember. By high school, however, I had fully realized the awesomeness that is thrift shopping, and would gladly tell anyone who asked where I shopped.

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What’s Up with Cloth Diapers?

I recently received an e-mail from a fellow mama who was inquisitive about cloth diapers.

Her questions were simple and straight forward. “I see that they now have snaps, but can you tell me how it works?” “I cannot imagine cleaning a cloth diaper and I’m curious why would you do it when you could throw them away. More specifically, how do you clean those things?”

I appreciate her questions; most people don’t even bother to ask before they just assume that I must be crazy or a glutton for punishment!

Quite honestly, I completely understand that mind set though. I used to think the same way!

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The Missing Link

Reduce, reuse and recycle. We all understand the importance of the three “R’s” of being environmentally responsible. I believe there is another part of the circle that is often overlooked, and I think it is the most important part.

I am referring to supporting the market for your carefully recycled cast-offs.

When you buy something, look for items made from a high percentage of post-consumer recycled materials. It doesn’t matter how many plastic bottles, newspapers, cardboard boxes and tin cans we throw in the recycle bin. If there is no market for these materials, the recycling industry will disappear.

In west Texas, for example, it is very difficult to recycle glass.

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“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink”

Post title from The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Water is really, really important stuff. It’s that clear liquid that quenches your thirst, cleans your body (and clothes and kitchens and loved ones too!) and accounts for about 55-70% of your body weight. Clean water is essential to life, and if you don’t agree, just ask anyone who doesn’t have access to it.

So, if you’re anything like I was, you realize that there’s a problem, but you’re not really sure what you can do. You use water all the time, and everything that you use seems to be cleaned or manufactured with water–but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to know where to start to make a difference.

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Dry Your Clothes Green

After a reading a few comments on my post called Saving Green by Going Green, I thought that the topic of clothes drying could use a little more attention. So, this week I am going to focus in on a few different issues about living green and drying our clothes that I believe everyone can benefit from.

First of all, it was brought to my attention that the dryer balls I referred to in my original post were, indeed, made of PVC, which is obviously not a green material. With that said, I was assured by distributors of these balls that they are made with safe practices, but let’s face it, any way we can avoid PVC (especially heating it) is probably a good idea.

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Do You Know Where Your Fish Comes From?

The reef here in the VISurprisingly, many of us don’t.

The tuna you had on the salad last night may have been from waters off the coast of India. Your farmed raised tilapia may have been raised on a farm in Indonesia. At the end of the day, what safe fish options do we actually have?

I know there are many of you that do not eat any kind flesh, including fish, but many of us enjoy the bounty of the seas.

So what is a greeny to do?

There are quite a few things we can easily do, the most obvious of which is reading labels.

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