Monday, May 30, 2011

Save the Socks!

Adopt a clothesline!

Luke built this beautiful clothesline two years ago and it has served us well.  Though, now that we are a family of four, we go through many more clothes and some of us use a lot of cloth diapers.  To get the most out of air drying, Luke lengthened the clothesline to 25 feet between the posts and cemented them in place to reduce the slack. 

Hanging clothes out to dry may seem like an uncomplicated, easy, green transition to make.  Not so, here.  We both work full time and spend most of the sunshine-filled day away from our home which makes it ever more of a muddle.  We found ourselves constantly checking the weather and taking bets on whether or not it would rain while we were away for eight hours at a time.  Or rushing around during the already-busy evening time to get the clothes out before the sun went down and the morning dew got to them. 
"Annoyed" doesn’t even come close to describing how we felt after wasting those precious moments putting laundry out only to come home to a sopping wet mess and end up throwing it into the dryer after all.  Defeated.  Demoralized.  What was wrong with us?  How could we not accomplish even the simplest of tasks? 
Enter: the indoor clothesline.  Ta-dah!
Thank you to my parents for inspiring this easy fix.  I grew-up with one of these lovelies in our basement and remember constantly hanging laundry to dry.  $4 spent on supplies: one 7 foot stud sliced in half, 10 eye screws (for five lines to run from wall to wall), a few nails, some string and about an hour later we had this little number.

Dryer, be damned.  You’ll no longer consume our socks and cause us unmitigated guilt!  Hooray for the power of the air around us!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

gettin dirty

Backyard compost

We are so excited to have a big pile of nutrient-rich dirt!  I can grow a nice little garden and pot my flowers and Luke can fill in all the holes in our lawn (like most men, he derives immense pleasure from presiding over his green lawn - especially since we don't use chemicals to get us there.  It's all about hard work and getting dirty).  And of course, we'll cut down on the amount of trash we throw away each day. 

We built a three-sided 3x3 enclosure to somewhat contain the mess behind our garage.  We decided not to buy a plastic container because we couldn't figure out how the little bugs and worms could get in to work their magic.  According to my farmer friend (thank you, Rainbow) we must have 2 parts brown matter (dead leaves, twigs, paper, and other dry items) to one part green (food, grass clippings, etc.).  We are told that coffee grounds, egg shells, and fruit rinds are wonderful for the compost pile, but that proteins aren't - no meat, no dairy.  We will turn it with a pitchfork every few weeks or so.

We are in definitely in need of dead leaves and dry matter!  I'm off to cut-up some newspapers.  It's somewhat stinky thanks to the grass clippings, as our big girl can attest to...

But we are excited to watch the process unfold!  I love that we will make dirt from our vegetables, which will grow more vegetables which will provide more compost...Ah, the cycle of life. 

Do you have any tips for us as we begin composting?

things our baby likes to poop on


A change we made three years ago, but a change that we continue to love. 

our newest addition models bumgenius version 4.0

We can't help but sing the praises of cloth!

Why we LOVE cloth diapers:
- Cost savings!  We bought 16 bumgenius diapers before our first born arrived (actually, we got a lot of those diapers at baby showers) and a bunch of washcloths to serve as wipes.  Initial cost: about $300.  I think most people spend at least $10/week just on diapers, so by 7 months of age, we recouped the cost.
- No chemicals!  My baby's skin is precious.  And easily irritated. 
- No poop blow-outs!  I don't know if we're just idiots when it comes to using a disposable, but everytime we use one, we get a poop-up-the-back-all-the-way-to-the-hair-line mess.  Gross.  I do not exaggerate when I say this has never ever happened to us in cloth.  In the interest of full disclosure, we do have the occasional (once a week?) poop leak out the side of the diaper by baby's legs.  Far easier to clean than those messes up the back.  Ugh. 
- No waste!  I love NOT filling up our trash bin.  It's a pride thing.
- They're easier than we thought they'd be!  Truthfully.  I didn't even notice our water bill go up.  I also thought we'd be up to our elbows in bodily functions.  Ew.  But we just bought a diaper sprayer that hooks up to the toilet to spray solids into the bowl.  Problem solved. 
- Potty-train earlier?  Our big girl potty-trained at a very early age (18 months).  We like to think cloth helped her along.  Though she may just be awesome.

our happy boy - in cloth!

If you use disposables: Tell us what is the biggest turn-off to using cloth diapers.
If you use cloth: Tell us what you love!

why blog?

My intention is to share the excitement!  I listen to a song often called “Glorious”.  It is all about the simple pleasures in life and exclaiming at the beauty around us. 

My sister-in-law brought this song to mind when she talked about riding her bike more and driving less and the *JOY* that it gives her.  To simply BE in the fresh air, feel the sunshine and the wind through your hair, to slow down and look at what is around us…
Slowing down gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction.  Life IS good.  So very good.  Oh what a day! Listen to 'Glorious' now! 

So, why blog? 
Well, living green is something that we are passionate about, and something we want to share with our friends and family.  But I think passion and zeal can often be off-putting.  Rather than guilt our friends and family members into joining us, we want to cheer you on.  Join us!  Follow us as we get crazier and crazier…maybe you’ll find yourself slowing down too!