Posts tagged ‘green living’

April 18, 2011

Blooming Baby: Lifefactory

I stumbled across these gorgeous eco-friendly bottles. Not only are they green but they’re also gorgeous!! They are glass bottles with a silicone sleeve which comes in a number of colours. We all worry about the chemicals that are leaking from our baby’s plastic bottle into their milk or juice but this takes that worry away completely. The glass is free from chemicals and they’re super easy to clean as you can just throw them in the dishwasher. The silicone sleeve helps prevent breakage, looks stunning and provides good grip for either you or your baby to hold.

 9oz Baby Bottle

There are beverage bottles available too, however, they don’t have the “thermal shock” protection that the baby bottles do. The thermal shock resistance means that the baby bottle can go from freezer to fridge to hot water if you wish to store breast milk in the bottle for later use!!  The price isn’t too dissimilar from a regular baby bottle and in the UK they retail for about £9 for the 9oz size. They also come in a 4oz and 9oz size and can be converted from a baby bottle to a sippy cup style top by just buying the caps separately. The baby teats come in a range of flow rates so it’s just a case of buying the next stage of teat for your little bundle or even just buying new teats for a 2nd child rather than having to buy a whole new set of bottles!! They can also be converted to a snack holder using a lid.

Although Lifefactory are an American company the bottles are available from a couple of online stores in the UK too, like Colourful Baby World and Earthbaby although the accessories are more limited and I haven’t seen the adult beverage bottles available here. That being said even if you were looking for a baby gift that was a little bit different I’m sure they would be well received by most parents!

April 15, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011

You may or may not have noticed my passion for gorgeous Fluffy Bums, my ever-growing stash of cloth nappies doesn’t seem to end! I stumbled across a link for The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011 and of course my interest was immediately peaked. I hadn’t heard of this, what was it?


Artwork Courtesy of Christine O’Brien

According to their website it started as Judy Aagard’s [of TinyTots] dream to host an event for families to celebrate Earth Day and turned into a Guinness World Record attempt at the most cloth nappies [or diapers!] simultaneously changed! No matter where you are in the world you can take part on April 23rd, 2011 at 9AM PDT [that’s 16:00 for UK peeps!]  just by looking for a location near you to head over to [you may need to pre-register!]. There are certain requirements as per Guinness World Record rules so make sure you check those out too. Unfortunately there isn’t time to sign up to host a location but they are planning on running the event next year so if you’re unable to take part this year don’t be disheartened!

If you need more information you can head over to their website, or one of their Facebook groups, to find out more!

April 12, 2011

Penny Pinchers: ThredUP

It’s days like today that I am eternally envious of my US neighbours. Sometimes it really does feel like being in the UK we get the short end of the stick, although in saying that I’m sure there are plenty of examples proving the same for them!! While browsing some penny pinching sites online I came across this one, ThredUP, which deals in 2nd hand kids clothing but which is NOT available in the UK… I’m most upset!! It looks so easy and convenient.

Gift boxes

Just waiting to be opened! Photo by For Goodness Cake

You pick a box, you can search by gender and age or even add specific brands, and pay $5 + shipping for your box of gently used clothes. The sellers tend to list the types of clothes and even the season they are suitable for or whether they’re mostly tops or a mix. You put together a box of your kids clothes or toys that you no longer use or if they’ve outgrown them and send it on when someone wants your box. How easy is that!! I know I would be horrendously excited waiting for a box of unknowns to be able to go through them and admire each piece! It’s great if you’re trying to save some money or would rather recycle than buy new. There seems to be a real variety in the items listed too… now if only we had a similar service in the UK…

April 11, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder Review

“Trial 1” went very well!! In fact since my post I’ve notched up 5 loads of washing, partly due to the excitement and testing of the home-made washing powder. It’s removed stains from a white hoodie stained with coffee and poo stained nappies and leaves everything smelling of… well… nothing! Everything just smells of clean, if you can call that a smell?! I just wish mine looked as good as this:

2113 Washing Washing by Andy Linden

Now I’m wondering if I should attempt some sort of pre-wash stain remover using the borax substitute as most of Mr BP’s jeans are destroyed from being at the horse yard he was volunteering at. I mean the minor stains weren’t really an issue at all but he wears the same jeans for a week and the dirt just gets ground in. The only stain left on the jeans I washed today is a large stain on the knee, looks like he was kneeling in something… I just don’t want to know what it was!

Having a huge tub of washing powder also encouraged me to make space for it so I took 10 minutes to clear the shelves under the sink – including the old used cloths, gross!!

All in all I feel as though I’ve been very productive!

April 10, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder

I think using cloth nappies makes you think, not only about the amount washing detergent costs but, about the amount of chemicals you’re washing down the drain into the system AND putting next to your precious little’s bum! It made me look at my laundry pile in a whole different light and I started to think about eco-friendly ways to look after both my washing and my family. I found hundreds of washing powder recipe’s online and many other people who have obviously already “been there and done that”. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my quest and I immediately set to work to find the ingredients I needed for some. I used a recipe I found on Mother Earth News and have “trial 1” current running in my washing machine as I type this so I will update on how it all goes!!

I haven’t added the essential oils as being pregnant lavender can have an adverse effect but I’ll maybe add some orange essential oil if I want fragrance. As borax can be damaging to aquatic life I opted for borax substitute and used pure grated soap. I only made 75% yield of the recipe but you could cut it down as much as you needed/wanted:

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups washing soda
12 cups borax
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Combine washing soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.

Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-home-living/make-your-own-lavender-laundry-detergent-for-pennies.aspx#ixzz1J9iG54Ns

Pure Grated Soap Flakes

I sat last night grating soap which sounds like a bit of an arduous task but no matter where I looked I couldn’t find soap flakes and buying them online meant waiting longer for something when I could grate my own!! It was surprisingly easy and therapeutic and I felt good knowing I had done the labour myself. I then set to work measuring all the ingredients and mixing them together, having only bought about half of the borax substitute that I needed I had to wait until today to finish it but I now have a nice big yield sitting in a box.

My Home-made Washing Powder

There are hundreds of recipes online for all sorts of eco-friendly, green cleaning products. My next stop will be white vinegar!!

February 28, 2011

Fluffy Bums

I decided that before Noodle arrives that I wanted to delve into the deep, dark world of Fluffy Bums!! Cloth nappies make us think of way back when we were kids and had those awful, shapeless terry nappies held together with a HUGE safety pin. Nowadays the world of cloth is oh so different. There are many different “systems” so you’re bound to find one that suits you and you’re helping the environment at the same time so you can feel good about yourself! Okay so the terry nappies still exist but they have been updated [although if you want to, you can still get the old style squares!] you can have pre-folded ones or, even easier, fitted ones. The fitted nappies look just like a regular disposable nappy except that it’s normally cotton, terry, bamboo or some other nice absorbent material. You then put a wrap, what would have been the dreaded “plastic pants” back in the day, over the top to waterproof it. Still sounds like a lot of work huh?

If that’s too much, and you have a little more money to spend, an all-in-one or pocket nappy might suit you better. Especially when you bear in mind that even though they’re more expensive than a terry nappy, they are still going to be cheaper in the long run than disposables!!

Rather than me go on and on about something I don’t really know enough about I’d rather make sure you get the BEST information. I found it at The Nappy Line. You’ll get a wealth of information and help as well as being linked a shop to purchase said nappies.

Now I bought my nappies 2nd hand, there are so many people swapping or selling nappies that either didn’t work for them or that their children have outgrown. If this is more up your street and you want to save a few pennies while trying different nappy systems then hit up Cloth Nappy Tree and look in the classifieds section. Not only do they have hundreds of different sizes and styles you’ll also find very helpful members who can point you in the right direction if you’re not sure about something.

I bought a Tot Bots pocket nappy and a Wee Notions all-in-two nappy [and a bunch more which haven’t arrived as I’m posting this!] and tried them out last night and this morning. I even have the great joy of getting a poo nappy which was actually easier to deal with than the disposable nappy as it seemed to smell less!!

Here is my beautiful Pandabear wearing her Wee Notions Taupe Elephants nappy

Hope you enjoyed this short introduction to cloth nappies!! You can look forward to more Fluffy Bums pictures in the near future!!