Category Archives: green living

It’s the Absolute Ultimate!! #2

Gidget’s Ultimate Cloth Diapering Tips

We’ve been using cloth/hybrid diapers part-time for a few months now (I wish we’d started sooner!). Cloth diapers are in fact what started my whole green/eco-friendly/non-toxic kick that I’m gradually incorporating into our daily life. I thought I’d put together a little summary for my interested readers.

  • We use cloth (Bum Genius) or hybrid diapers (gDiapers) as much as possible during the day when at home. We use disposables at night and when we go out, most of the time.
  • I love gDiapers best because they are easy (flushable insert) and less bulky than the cloth dipes. But due to the expense of the liners, I use them less frequently. What I do like to do though, is use 2 BumGenius diaper doublers (each pocket diaper always comes with one of these) or one homemade liner in them.
  • If the Chiquita only peed in a cloth diaper, I often toss the liner in the pail and then re-use the diaper with 2 doublers or 1 homemade liner. The BumGeniuses are excellent at wicking away moisture & odor so they can easily be used again! (I do usually use the reused ones for naps just in case they smell a teensy bit peeish).
  • I insist on using these awesome flushable liners in all cloth diapers (Chiquita is a very sporadic pooper- you never know when she’ll strike) for easier clean-up. I order them from diapers.com who has free shipping if you spend $49. Refer me on your first order for a discount! My referral code is: NIBE4523.
  • I dream of getting one of these (or making one) in the near future for those times when a messy poop goes off the flushable liner.
  • In our bathroom upstairs, we keep a simple rubbermaid trash can from Home Depot with a washable Swaddlebees waterproof liner bag (I have 2 of these to switch out).
  • I do laundry about 2-3 times a week. Here’s my method: 1. dump in all diapers & liner bag; 2. short, cold rinse cycle with a scoop of Borax; 3. Hot/cold cycle: hot wash with Dreft + scoop of baby Oxi Clean, then cold rinse; 4. hang dry in sun (for natural stain-lightening). Never use fabric softener on diapers. The plastic liners that go in the gDiapers I hand wash and hang dry, unless they get poopy, then I throw them in with the rest of the diaper load.
  • With poopy cloth/hybrid diapers I use these flushable wipes. I don’t use these with disposables because they’re just not that great. But it works good with cloth because then you don’t have to worry about baggin’ up poopy wipes to throw away.
  • That’s all I can think of! Please let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck cloth diapering! If you’re interested in buying anything I mentioned here, please click my Shop link above and support this blog through my aStore, or use my referral code on diapers.com. Thank you!! 🙂
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White House Garden Petition

Here’s a great blog post linking to a petition to our next president to plant an organic garden in part of the White House’s 18 acres of lawn, like has been done in the past. In a time where food prices are rising, this would be a great example for the rest of the country to attempt to grow food in our own yards.

Read the post on DigginFood (there’s a video you can watch about it),
and then click to sign the petition.

Yum, I can't wait to eat you!

Yum, I can't wait to eat you!

P.S. A few of my grape tomatoes are finally starting to redden!!

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“Green This!” Book Reviews

The two books in Deirdre Imus’ series, Green This, are both very informative.

Vol. 1: Greening Your Cleaning
I’m going to have to buy this one to keep on hand as a reference. She categorizes by room in the house and within each room gives specific tips, products, homemade recipes, etc for cleaning various surfaces. She also gives great background info on why it’s important to detoxify our cleaning routines.

Vol. 2: Growing up Green: Baby and Child Care
I didn’t read this one all the way through (library books are due back today and can’t be renewed this time around!) but I will definitely check it out again when I have another one on the way. What I did read was helpful in understanding how the environment affects our children (diseases & other medical conditions, like asthma & ADHD for example). One reference I found particularly cool was her list of websites for companies that sell natural (non PVC, pthalate, etc) toys.

I will be adding these to the Gidget Goes Home aStore if you’d like to get a copy!

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Homemade Cloth Diaper Liners

We use BumGenius one-size pocket cloth diapers and gDiaper hybrids during the day. In order to make the few we have last longer, I made a few extra liners out of 3 layers of microfiber towels cut to 6.5″ x 12′”. I just sewed a simple zig-zag around and then applied some Fray-Check to the edges because, man, does cut-up microfiber make a mess! Definitely keep a lint-roller handy when you make these! 🙂

Ready to be sewn together.

close-up for edge on finished liner

close-up of edge on finished liner

Stay tuned for more cloth diapering tips in this coming weekend’s edition of Gidget’s It’s The Absolute Ulitmate!

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Farmer’s Market Finds

Yesterday after church we went to our town’s Farmer’s Market. We’ve been going for a while now, pretty regularly (it runs here from late spring-fall), and it’s always fun to pick up some local fare, and usually Chiquita will get to see a couple of doggies which makes her very happy.

Early on, I was disappointed by the lack of farmers. There were booths selling sausages (yummy ones!), Tupperware, dip packages, burritos, etc, but only one booth with produce for sale. This was a bit different from the abundant spreads you’ll find at a California Farmer’s Market, such as the ones we used to frequent in San Luis Obispo and Huntington Beach.

But here in Colorado, the farmers have finally come out as summer crops are now in full swing, and in Highlands Ranch, our market has now grown to have at least five farm booths, with quite a variety of produce.

Here’s a photo of the lovely assortment of goodies we got for only $8.75… all this! Such a good deal! We had a salad for dinner last night, and the locally-grown lettuce was decidedly tastier than the store-bought variety, as I expected! Not only does eating local taste better, but it’s better for the environment because your food is not using up precious gas to arrive to your local grocery store from afar. Plus it feels nice to support the farmer who is handing you your produce with a smile.

Yummy lettuce, onions, cucumbers, cantaloupe & peaches.

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SuperMarkets and Snacks

Here’s a nice little article/interview sent to me from #1 research assistant Sarah about supermarkets.
http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200611/supermarket.asp

I like this quote:
It’s clearly good to have fewer pesticides in the soil and water–not to mention in your body and your children’s bodies–which is why it’s good to buy organic. But organic junk food is still junk food.

I think she makes a good point here. We definitely need to read labels, even on organic foods, but I will say that I’m glad there are (organic) alternatives out there for snacks that are better than the name brand versions.

My main thing with these snack-type foods right now is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)*, which I’m trying to avoid. Here are a few yummy snacks that I buy for Gigi (and mommy & daddy too).

  • 365 Organic Quack’n Bites (a Gigi-friendly alternative to Gold Fish)
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (David’s new Favorite!)
  • TJ’s “This Blueberry Walks Into a Bar…” Cereal Bars
  • O Organics for Toddlers (Safeway) Organic Cereal Bars
  • Hansen’s Creamy Root Beer (not for Gigi, don’t worry!!)
  • TJ’s Joe’s Os or Cascadian Farms Os
Do you have any tasty (& healthier than name brand) snack recommendations to share?And while we are on the subject of grocery stores, let me again mention how much I desperately miss Trader Joe’s out here in Colorado! (Heck, we did drive 5 hours once to go to one!)

*Check Gidget Goes Green again soon for a post with more information on HFCS, and why I don’t like it.

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Book Review: This Organic Life

I just finished a book that may have changed the way I look at eating produce. The book, This Organic Life, 2001, (see link to right under “Good Reads”) is by Joan Dye Gussow, a woman who must be in her 80s now, and writes about her experiences growing all her own vegetables (and some fruit) in her suburban home in New York.I thoroughly enjoyed this book– Gussow’s writing style is easy to follow, honest, poignant & sometimes funny. Although I don’t plan to start growing all my own produce, I have always loved the idea of growing some (waiting on my 2 tomato plants & 1 jalapeno plant as we speak!). She gives great info on (organic) gardening techniques, and tasty recipes to use those ingredients you grow too.

But what I took most out of the book is the idea of eating locally (not a super new idea) and eating fruits & veggies in season (a very new idea to me). I honestly had never thought about this. Our American Consumerism stretches to even foods here as we (my generation) have grown up in the SUPERMarket era of being able to eat whatever, whenever, with very little restrictions due to something being “out of season.” This practice has negatively impacted our environment, local farmers, and even our own tastebuds! Unlike those dumb AM/PM minimart commercials, I think there can be “too much good stuff” (especially when it’s been bred to be not so good), because we become dulled to taste; we don’t savor things, knowing that we only have certain time of year to eat them.

Gussow’s greatest example of this is the tomato. Here’s an excerpt from her chapter called “Lessons from the Tomato:”
“The item accompanying iceberg lettuce in the standard winter salad is the sliced or sectioned orange golf ball deceptively called a tomato. Everyone over fifty knows that the tomato used to be a soft, juicy, sweet-sour fruit… Science has converted this succulent summer treat into a hard, orange, bland, starchy ball that can be sliced or sectioned and served “fresh” any time of year” (page 184).
Mmmm, sounds appetizing, doesn’t it? But seriously, we’ve all had tomatoes like that! And we’ve probably also had a delicious home-grown summertime tomato at least once! I for one, am looking forward to looking into trying to eat more locally and more seasonally!

Now go read this book! It’s awesome!

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