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Sunday, January 5, 2014

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Green Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we all aspire to something more for the coming year. Maybe you overindulged in the fog of overconsumption the last 6 weeks (or the entire year). If you’re looking to make some choices that are more kind to the planet AND your wallet, you’ve come to the right place! Consider the following ideas to get you started down a more sustainable path in 2014:

1. Cloth Diapers: Disposable diapers line the baby isles at every store; they also line landfills for hundreds of years. Diapering one child costs in the range of $1,500, depending on what disposables you buy Do your babe (and your wallet) a favor by considering cloth diapers. Flats and prefolds are the most frugal, but you can also still save money with pockets, all-in-ones, and everything in between. There are cute prints and accessories like diaper sprayers and liners to ease the fear of dealing with diaper cleaning!

2. Cloth Wipes: Cloth wipes are an easy addition to cloth diapering. While $2-3 a pack seems a small price to pay for disposable wipes, you likely pay hundreds of dollars over months and years of baby messes. If you aren’t interested in cloth diapers, you can still benefit from cloth wipes. Small spill on the counter? Runny nose? Child’s messy face after dinner? Using wipes to clean up small messes means less need to buy tissues or paper towels. This saves money and trees!

3. Mama Cloth: Let’s talk about ladies’ needs! Whether with children or without, ladies send plenty of trash to the landfill each year. Many also notice a difference in comfort with the use of cups or cloth during their menstrual cycles. Menstrual cups offer comfort and convenience comparable to tampons, and “mama cloth” offers discreet, chemical-free coverage comparable to disposable pads and liners.

4. Breastfeeding Accessories: No new mom wants to experience a wet shirt upon waking or that little wet spot on her shirt mid-day at work. Disposable nursing pads are single use and often bulky. Reusable nursing pads offer comfort and reassurance to nursing moms. With the goal of nursing for 6 months, a year, or more, consider purchasing reusable nursing pads for a frugal and dependable option to prevent milk leakage.

5. Reusable Bags: There is no end to the possible uses of reusable bags. Wet bags work well for everything from dirty diapers and mama cloth to swim and gym clothes. Once you consider the many ways you use small plastic bags, like lunches and snacks, reusable bags keep money in your bank and waste out of landfills. When you travel or need to pack up toiletries (toothbrush and lipstick after your lunch break anyone?), reusable bags are cute and long-lasting. Even organizing your purse or diaper bag can become simpler with a few small wet bags!

6. Laundry Accessories: Whether doing regular or diaper laundry, make your routine more efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly with dryer balls and drying racks. Dryer balls can reduce drying time while still providing the softness of dryer sheets (without the chemicals). If you can cut out or minimize use of the dryer, you not only save energy, but also the cost of that energy! While many cover their dining room table or line their counter with drying clothes, the right drying rack can tuck away and keep clothes out of the way until dry.

Happy 2014 to you all! May you go green and save some green along the way.

Bio: Lynette is currently a SAHM to two sons, age 22 months and 2 months. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly.

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