Quality of Life 1: Calling All Tree-Huggers!

I would love to say that my family takes care of the environment, that we are friendly to Mother Earth, but I know the mess I seem to clean in the bathroom every day has to be toxic.  When it comes to the dilemma of whether or not I allow my son to wash his hands on his own and risk him wasting water or doing it with him, I risk wasting water.  On pizza night, I use paper plates, and every day we use a billion paper towels cleaning up messes.  I know we have a long way to go in the quest to be a ‘green’ family, but we are making strides.

One such effort has been the conversion from disposable to cloth diapers.  I NEVER thought I would be the mom to use cloth diapers, but here I am.  A couple of years ago, I heard a radio personality say that any mother who says she cares about the environment but uses disposable diapers is a hyprocrite.  He wasn’t making a plug for being green but instead trying to point out that his assistant who cares for environmental causes has no credibility because she didn’t use cloth diapers.  I thought he was a jerk, came up with a thousand reasons for why every mother should use disposable diapers, and drove on my merry way.

But the seed was planted.

A few months after my first daughter was born, I thought to myself that I wanted to research this cloth diaper thing.  I felt convicted that as a Christian I wasn’t doing more for the environment. I made it on the internet one day and was surprised at the world of cloth diapers.  No pins, nothing too strange–even someone like me could do this!   But I didn’t.  Cloth-diapering requires an initial investment that we couldn’t make at the time, and life was too busy with a bouncing boy not quite two and a baby just a few months old to take on something new.  The thought never left me, though.

When I was pregnant with Chloe, I told my husband we were going to do it–no more excuses!  I don’t think Matt was too keen on the idea at first, but I went for it, anyway.  I did some research and decided to use bumGenius 3.0, a one-size diaper.  The product received a lot of great reviews, and they are so cute!  Look at these beautiful colors!

DSC_5359

My sister went in 50/50 with me as her baby shower gift to get me started with 12 diapers, and I am forever grateful to her for her contribution.  While the initial investment was tough up front, we are saving a ton of money.  Any parent knows how quickly a little one goes through diapers, and I am so thankful that diapers aren’t a part of our budget, anymore.

I have to admit, I was very nervous about the increase in laundry considering I never seem to have enough time as it is.  Yes, I was having a difficult time at first but because I did not have enough diapers.  The plan was to purchase the initial 12 with my sister and then get some more a few months later.  Well, we had some unforeseen circumstances arise, and we never made that additional purchase.  If you are considering using cloth diapers, I would recommend buying at least 16.

However, the actual washing of the diapers and keeping them clean is a piece of cake.  I keep my diaper basket right in the laundry room, so when it’s full, I dump the diapers in the washer.  I don’t have to sort or run upstairs, so washing the diapers is the easiest part of my laundry duty!

My husband and I decided I could get more diapers this month, and as luck would have it, my friend invited me to a diaper consultation at her home.  Mommy Secrets came to her home and gave fabulous tips on entering the world of cloth diapers and babywearing. I purchased four more medium-sized diapers that they carried  from the brand Happy Heiny’s.  The brand uses the word ‘heiny,’ so I was sold.

DSC_5364

I never would have thought that I could love cloth-diapering Chloe, but I do.  The diapers are so soft to her skin, she rarely gets diaper rash, and when she has a diaper explosion (the only way I know to describe it!), she never leaks up out of the diaper because of the snug elastic.  No more ruined baby outfits!!! And of course, I’m helping the environment.

I wrote this blog post not as a way of endorsing any product but to help other moms out there who might not know anything about cloth diapers.  When I was pregnant with my first two kids, I didn’t have the knowledge I needed and figured this was one area of my life where I didn’t care about being green. However, if I could do over my first three years of being a mom, I would have bought cloth diapers when I was pregnant with Caleb.  I would encourage any expectant mother, mom who currently has a kid in diapers and might have another baby, or even a mom who has at least another year of a kid in diapers to consider cloth.

What are you doing to help the environment that other women could do? Let’s all share our tips in the comment section and improve our quality of life!

About Quality of Life

13 thoughts on “Quality of Life 1: Calling All Tree-Huggers!

  1. Ummm, since I do not have any more babies (only 4 gorgeous Grandbabies) I don’t do diapers. BUT, my contributions are:
    reusing “clean” paper towels, washing baggies, using one brown bag per wk for lunch, washing/reusing disposable cutlery, recycling just about everything; and this year, we grew peppers, tomatoes, and
    eggplant and a few herbs, quite successfully. Dad and I have been
    doing green b/4 it became a cause. Love, Mom 🙂

    Like

  2. I am trying to grow more of my own produce and participate in more local agriculture. We also recycle through our trash company, but I want to focus more attention on going 'green' with out food choices. I want to cut out the chemicals and dyes and get back to food in it's natural state. Does that count?

    Love the blog series – btw!

    Like

    1. Yes, it counts, and thanks for sharing! We, too, are trying to be more 'natural' with our food and even toiletry purchases. I don't know if it's in my mind or not, but I feel a lot healthier since shopping this way. Thanks for the love!

      Like

  3. That's so awesome that you cloth diaper! We started this year too! Eric isn't too fond of it, so I just do it when he isn't home. The boys have less diaper rashes, and I really think it helps with the whole potty training thing because they can feel when they are wet. Do you know of good cloth pullups???
    As for other ways of being green- we use cloth napkins. Some are real cloth napkins, others are wash cloths… I'm thinking of getting a bunch of cloth hankies next.. but that would be a huge one with as much as we go through tissue.
    I also make all my own cleaning supplies- including laundry soap! And it saves soooo much money! Here's a link to some recipes if you are interested: http://ylimafhtimseht.blogspot.com/2009/09/homema

    Like

      1. Ooh, also I bought a small drying rack a while ago and I use that for the kids clothes, cloth diapers, etc. With winter coming, I've put the rack over our vent (they're on the ground) so it helps dry them faster.
        Just have to remember the liquid fabric softner when I do those loads so the clothes aren't too hard and scratchy! 🙂

        Like

  4. We don't use any harsh chemicals to clean anything in our home. I make our an all purpose cleaning spray, and then other than that, we use baking soda, Borax, and Vinegar as the major cleaners. I read the book Gorgeously Green a few summers ago and decided to try cleaning the "old fashioned" way. I really love how these common things work to clean. I've thought about writing a blog post about all the uses I've found for baking soda…I just might do that…thanks for the tips about cloth diapering…I've thought about it and I think if I stayed home, I'd probably do it…maybe I'll get to one day ! 🙂

    Like

  5. Thanks so much for this! I used cloth diapers for the first 3-4 months with my son, but then switched to disposables (Huggies and 7th Generations). I've been wanting to switch back, but have been clueless as to what to use, but now I know I'm going to get some BumGenius! Yay! I want to be greener, too!

    I've also greened all our cleaning products. Makes me feel good, actually. 🙂

    Like

    1. I hope you love them! Mommy Secrets didn't carry bumGenius3.0 b/c they didn't feel they held up as well as Happy Heiny's for a long-term investment, and I can't comment on that, yet, but they are great as far as not leaking–just make sure you follow the washing/drying instructions. I'm interested to see how my Happy Heiny's compare.

      Like

  6. Hi Jen – it's me Craig C. from your AF days. I was checking out your blog and to be frank, I didn't know they had cloth pull-ups. I'll tell my wife, LaKena, about them. As far as being "green" we returned to being veggies and are trying more ways to honor God's creation. Email me!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s