MegaEarthy: The Great Greening, Part 2


As explained in Part 1, I’m trying to use all-natural products and ingredients to clean my home, my body, and my family. I began in the nursery with the introduction of cloth diapers and wipes, with my own homemade wipe solution. So far, so good on that front!

My go-to diaper detergent

The laundry detergent and chemical-free dryer balls that I use for the diapers, also are working well on my regular laundry. My only issue is with the softness (or lack thereof) of my bath towels. Without any chemical softeners, they come out stiff and scratchy. . . Moving on.

BATHROOM
After researching homemade shampoo and conditioner, I elected to purchase a ready-made version. Many brands use the word “natural,” but that just means it contains something natural, not that the entire product is natural, making shopping difficult. However, after a trip to the local health-food store, I came away with products that I, so far, really enjoy. I already use a face wash that I purchased at the same store, and I love that also.

An area I am having difficulty with is cosmetics.  I would love to try Bare Minerals or something like it, but they are just too expensive.  The owner of the health food store gave me a sample of Kiss My Face’s tinted moisturizer as a foundation alternative, and I had my doubts, but I actually really like it! She also gave me a natural lip gloss, and not only does it look great, it tastes great too (honey mint)!  I have temporarily settled for some mineral make-up from Physicians Formula, though they are not exactly all-natural.  It’s the closest I could get at Rite Aid.

So many uses!

I also have had trouble finding an all-natural body wash.  The ones I was able to find at the drug store that claimed to be natural, still contained sulfates.  I decided to stick some Dr. Bronner’s in an old foaming soap dispenser that I had, since it’s quite watery.  The foaming really helps and the peppermint version I use is quite refreshing! I actually really loved a wash I had been given from ecoTools, but apparently they no longer produce it.

Also, the natural deodorants I have found aren’t that great.  They remain sticky and cause chaffing.  I’m experimenting with using a thinner layer; we shall see.

SO FAR:

A few set-backs; make-up, fabric softening, and deodorant are presenting challenges.  Dr. Bronner’s is amazing and has many uses;  I will see about getting the mild, baby version for replacing baby wash.  I’m already underway with household cleaning, but will include that in my next post.  Mostly, Dr. Bronner’s, vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.  I will just say, my house smells amazing 🙂

To be continued. . .

Advertisements

MegaEarthy: The Great Greening, Part 1


I’m always interested in living more green.  These days, however, it takes a conscious decision and a bit of a commitment to really make it work.  It is easy to walk into the grocery store and pick up a bottle of laundry detergent, but even though my clothes may look cleaner, is it really the healthiest choice? They make “free and clear” alternatives, but those are usually still full of irritants and chemicals that are harmful to us.  The best option is to make our own alternative cleansers.  I’ve made attempts at this and do use some green cleaners, like Dr. Bronner’s, and also have made use of things like vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil to get things clean.  But, I do not feel my meager attempts are enough.

Green Cleaning Ingredients

Inspired by, yet another informative documentary, I have renewed my green resolve.  The film, Chemerical, follows a family which vowed to remove all the toxic chemicals – from cleaning supplies to make-up and shampoo – from their home.  I want to do this for my family!!  I have already made some steps in this direction, but I want to go all the way!  But, where to start?

The Nursery

May the Great Greening begin!

I’ll begin with the most vulnerable member of the family, the baby.  I began going green for baby a few months ago with replacing her disposable diapers with cloth diapers.  This was a move that surprised even me!  Another documentary, No Impact Man, inspired this decision (along with my crunchy friend, Anna!); one that I wish I had made sooner!  It requires a bit of a financial investment – one that you make up for quickly – and also a time commitment for laundry, but it’s worth it!  Such a simple way to go green!  I recently began making my own baby wipes and booty-cleaning solution, to replace the chemical-laden commercial wipes.  I’m a novice at the sewing machine, so it’s slow-going, but they are under way!

Next, for baby, I plan to look at replacing her shampoo, baby wash, and lotion.

The Laundry Room

Baby is also exposed to the same chemicals in laundry detergent as the rest of the family.  Now, this one seems trickier to me.  I do have a recipe for laundry wash, but am feeling pessimistic as to how the clothes will feel without softeners and anti-static preparations.  I will, however, keep an open mind and give it a try.  I am also wondering how well an alternative cleaner will work in my new high-efficiency machines; we shall see.  I am excited to find out!

To Be Continued . . .

Check back with MegaMomma Musings to see what other changes will be made, and how successful I’ve been in what I’ve done.  Please feel free to respond with tips or recipes to help me out!

MegaMixed Messages


As parents, we all want to do what’s best for our babies. Many do what I do and look online and in books for the answers to parenting questions. It is a quick and convenient way to find advice but, many times, the advice is so widely varied, that we end up more confused than when we started. It’s funny to me that, as different as all the views are, people often swear by their words as the “right way.” We may lean toward the attitudes of our family and friends but, even those I’m close to have very different opinions than mine.

So how do we decipher the best-for-me answer?  Does it help to get MORE information? In trying to figure out how on earth to get my baby to sleep, I’ve read several books and have been to many websites. I often feel I have only really succeeded in feeling guilty for failing all the different methods I have tried to utilize.

Really, what I have done is armed myself with an arsenal of ammo for my bag of tricks. I tend to prefer to be consistent, but Sophia is completely unpredictable; sometimes it helps to be able to change things up, when the going gets tough. For example, Sophia “usually” takes a nice, long 2 hour nap around 9:30 in the morning. Afterward, she’ll take another nap of an hour or so in the early afternoon. If she skips or shortens her morning nap (like, only 20 minutes), then I might try to get some catch-up sleep for her by attempting to put her down every 1 1/2 – 2 hours that she’s awake – as advocated by some sleep-trainers.  If did this technique with her everyday – which I did for a while – she would take cat naps all day. When I did this, I felt tied down to the rocking chair ALL DAY. However, it helps on off days.

There are so many mixed messages out there, regarding parenting techniques. It may get confusing and frustrating to figure out what to do but, tempered with your personal experience and opinion, these can be a great tool. The key is to keep an open mind and to know yourself and your child well. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I know to gather my tools and use my own judgement, before buying into the first thing I read about or to rely on only one “expert’s” view.

MegaEarthy: 50 Shades of Green


Since I was young, I have been concerned for the environment. I even had a Greenpeace tote bag and T-shirt in Junior High. I probably felt that this meant I was “green.” Besides sorting the recycling for my mother, I’m quite sure I was not. But how much does one have to DO in order to say you’ve “gone green?” Are there different levels of greenness? When, exactly, can I say I’ve done my part and can stop feeling guilty for killing the planet?

So, how green am I, really? On the one hand, I keep my house toasty in the winter and as cool as possible in the summer. I let my car idle to warm up and while waiting to pick my kids up from school, sometimes with the air conditioning on. I buy products which are disposable, and are sold with far too much packaging. I could go on and on.

On the other hand, there are many things I do to try to be green. We recycle, and I recently put our bins where we can easily access them – they had been in a closet and I’m pretty sure I was the only one aware of their existence. I’m constantly turning off lights and TV’s (usually left on my on of my children . . . or husband). We buy local produce, when possible (which isn’t often, in our little town). I try to conserve water, whenever I can; I even purchased a high efficiency washer and dryer set. I still feel that all of these things do very little for the world; like I’m living at a low-level of greenness.

Our cutest cloth diaper, bumGenius in Lovelace ❤

A couple of months ago, I made a change that I feel ups my green level and actually makes a daily difference. I began to use cloth diapers on my baby. Now, I’m sure that I’ll be writing more about this in a later entry, but I’ll sum up for now. It makes me feel like I’m actually achieving something. After diapering my first two children in disposables, I’m proud that this child’s waste is no longer (she started in disposables) rolled up in indestructible, plastic packages, taking up space in a landfill for the next 1000 years. The amount of garbage we accumulate has gone way down, since making this change. Now, I’m still using disposable wipes (the hard-cord cloth mamas use cloth wipes!), so I’m still creating garbage in the nursery, but am feeling more green than ever! Babies tend to use 10-12 diapers a day, for the first 2-3 years of their lives. That’s a whole lot of nasty, if you ask me! It takes a small investment to start, but you save tons more, in the long run. It also takes a commitment to spend time washing and reassembling them, but it’s all worth it to make a difference in this way! However, I know that there is a lot more I can do, in my daily life, to do better.

We hold the health of the world, in our hands!

When it comes down to it, it’s the everyday decisions that matter. If you make a conscious effort to make “green” choices, then that’s the difference you make, today. I plan to ask myself, “how green can I be today?” upon waking, from now on, and to remind myself to make good choices throughout the day. There have to be at least 50 shades of green, in terms of how our daily decisions effect the health of the environment. I’m going to try, every day, to make my shade the greenest that I can.

What shade of green will YOU be today??