Catching Up

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged–most of our girl’s life, in fact. That life has been eventful for all of us, which is why blogging is one of many things that have fallen by the wayside.

Unfortunately a lot of our green habits have fallen by the wayside as well. We still have grand plans for solar, but no time line. So what have we been able to maintain?

We have low-water major appliances, and low-flow (but high aerating) faucets.
We use Seventh Generation Free and Clear laundry detergent.
Our main cleaning products are Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation, and Honest Company, with a little bit of Method Home.
I still shop at our local farmers’ market, although often the only thing I buy is eggs. (Berries are in season, though, so I’ll be getting some of those tomorrow as well.)

Sadly, neither of us commutes by bus anymore. Our schedules have required some drastic changes over the past couple of years, which means that we’re driving to work–and even more than that, we’re driving separately. Hopefully we’ll be able to change that to some degree once this school year starts–but we won’t know for sure until we’re there.

So what would I like to change? Transportation isn’t going to change in the immediate future, but one thing we could do is buy less. I think my two main green goals for the rest of the year are to buy less, and to cut down on food waste. We’re doing better there than we used to, but we can pay more attention and shop more consciously.

Let’s see what happens.

Pike Place Farmers Market Express, July 16

Photo by Seattle City Council. Public Domain.

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Oh, No, omop!

I’ve long been a fan of Method cleaning products. Some work better than others, but one standout is the omop. Washable, reusable pads attach to the mop head, so that you’re not throwing out paper pads every time you clean the floor. But you’re also not dealing with a disgusting mop head that’s hard to clean.

Although you can buy Method’s floor cleaning solutions–and I do buy the one for wood floors–I prefer to make my own all-purpose cleaner (hot water, glycerin soap, washing soda, spray bottle). It works well, and it’s unbelievably cheap.

The only downside to the omop is the handle. When we moved into the house, I bought my first omop. “First” is an important word here. About a year later, the little plastic pieces that kept the head attached to the pole broke off. Not wanting to start with a whole new system (I have quite a few of the pads already), I e-mailed Method. They said that they had redesigned the mop, and would send me a voucher good at Lowe’s. Right about the time I started to wonder when that voucher was going to show up, I got a package. Method didn’t send me a voucher–they sent me a new omop!

Fast forward to this morning, when the handle snapped off in my hand, while I was mopping the floor. And this time it’s less than a year–more like nine months. I’ve e-mailed Method again to see if they have a new design (the plastic does not seem to be durable, in my opinion).

In the meantime, I feel like the janitor at the beginning of The Right Stuff, who had to sacrifice part of his broom handle to help Chuck Yeager fly the Bell X-1 with broken ribs. Except that the handle of my omop isn’t going to fill such a compelling need. I’m not even sure if it can be recycled.

Keep Your Cool

Since today it hit 102 in the shade at our place, it seemed like a good time to revisit this green LA girl post about staying cool (or at least less hot) without air conditioning. (Full disclosure: we’ve run ours like crazy since we got home–it really is 102 in the shade–but we’re taking steps toward mitigating both the need for and the cost of our a/c.)

In the meantime, it’s a great day for washing and drying pillows.

Diaper Round-up

So we all know about the disposable diapers sold by Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs. Enough said. Or not. In the interests of thoroughness (and dryness), we have tried all of them. The Pampers Sensitives seem to be the winners of this bunch; they’re softer and have a stripe indicating when the diaper is wet. On the other hand, the baby tells us when she’s wet by screaming, so we really have an automatic sensor of our own here. Pampers in general are the most absorbent of the lot; unfortunately they are alleged to have caused rashes and chemical burns on some babies.

Hopefully those babies will be fine, and whatever the cause of their injuries is will be fixed. Even if these incidents are unrelated to Pampers, though, the fact remains that the mainstream brands are chock full of chemicals.

I’ve already reviewed gDiapers, which we continue to use. In addition to the problems we’ve had with dirty diapers (a gDiaper would never have stood up to this morning’s episode, but then neither did the diaper she was in), the gDiaper covers seem to chafe her. We’re going to try fastening them a bit more loosely to see how that works.

Seventh Generation diapers were a bust. They fit well, but didn’t seem to absorb much. We had to change them all the time. Mind you, I’m not advocating letting a baby sit around in her own pee for long periods of time, but when you have a newborn you change a lot of diapers. Too many, when it came to Seventh Generation. I did like that they even looked unbleached, though.

Now we’re trying Whole Foods 365 disposables*. These seem enormous; the labeling says that they’re for babies weighing between 6 and 15 pounds, but I think a 6-lb. baby would appear to be sitting in a boat in one of these. However, they are soft and absorbent, and made without chlorine.

If the resource you really want to save is money, though, buy Kirkland diapers at Costco.

*Update: I can’t find these on the Whole Foods website, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in stores recently.

Stork Delivery

The baby has arrived! She is now 12 days old and possessed of a healthy set of lungs.

Also, Seventh Generation diapers fit her pretty well. Unfortunately, they aren’t terribly absorbent. That means we go through a lot of them, and I’m not sure how green that can be. (I know, I know, cloth diapers–but we’re already doing so much laundry! And by “we,” I mean John.)