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National Costume Swap Day: 10/9/10

Halloween Costume SwapHalloween is my favorite holiday.  Last year I wrote a list of tips for how to keep your Halloween eco-friendly.   This year, there's something else you can do.    

Saturday, October 9 is National Costume Swap Day.  According to their website, "swapping half the costumes kids wear at Halloween would reduce landfill waste by 6250, equal to the weight of 2500 mid-size cars."   GROSS!

Instead, attend a swap and find a cute costume for your little one while giving someone else the opportunity to reuse one you previously bought.  

You can find a swap on their website, but right now there aren't very many.  Start your own!  You can register a swap here.  This post might seem premature (even though my local Stop & Stop had Halloween candy out last week!) but if you want to start your own swap, do so soon so people can start making their plans!  ... read more

Pure Play Kids Toy Giveaway!

You've read all about Pure Play Kids and all of the awesome toys they sell.  Now, here's your chance to win one of their toys!


In order to enter, you must sign up to be on a Pure Play Kids mailing list.  To do so, fill out the following questions and email to [email protected].... read more

Cloth Diaper Myths

Myth #1: Cloth diapering is an all or nothing deal.
Reality: Not at all. Cloth diapering part-time makes sense for many people. Even if you replace just one disposable diaper every day with a cloth one, that is 365 LESS DIAPERS in the landfill. That is a huge difference. There are also hybrid diapers, which are cloth on the outside and use disposable liners. (Read here for more info on the types of cloth diapers)

Myth #2: Cloth diapering is expensive.
Reality: Disposable diapers are expensive! There is the initial overhead of buying cloth diapers, but since you can reuse them over and over again, you won’t have to spend money again on diapers in a while. Particularly if you use one-size diapers, meaning you can adjust the size to grow along with your baby. They can last for years! Check this chart out about the money savings associated with using cloth diapers. ... read more

Make a Solar-Powered Oven

I actually learned about this craft from an episode of "Curious George!"  :-)  George and The Man in the Yellow Hat made a lasagna this way during a blackout.  I thought it was a neat way to reuse a box, cook using just the energy from the sun, and do a neat little craft project.  How keen and green can ya get?!

All you need is a box (a pizza box is perfect, because you can't recycle those!), foil, plastic wrap, newspaper, and a knife.... read more

Storing and Washing Cloth Diapers

I think that when people decide not to cloth diaper, a lot of it has to do with the "ick" factor.  I can understand that....but really, it's not as bad as you think.

We store our dirty diapers in plastic tubs with lids.  (i.e., medium-size Rubbermaid tubs)  You can also sprinkle some baking soda in there to help control any stink issues, but we find that just securing the lids on the tubs is effective enough.  

Some people store their dirty diapers in "wet pails."  This just multiplies the ick factor to me.  Wet pails are pails filled with water and usually baking soda, and you let the diapers soak.   I kind of think this method is disgusting (stagnant water with poop and pee in it?  No thanks!) and a little unsafe to have a pail filled with water when you have little kids around.  So I advise storing them dry.

When your baby is mostly just taking breastmilk or formula, you can just throw the entire diaper into the washer, poop and all.  Once they get a little older, you can just shake any solid poop into the toilet.  Some dunk the entire diaper into the toilet and swish it around, or some people buy a diaper sprayer.  

And comes the washing part:... read more

Homemade Baby Food: Getting Started

If you're thinking about making homemade baby food for your little one, it's so easy and cheap cheap cheap.   Here's what you need to do to get started:

- Have your baby try different types of food.  I didn't want to make a huge batch of squash, only to find out that my baby hates squash.  Before making our own baby food, I bought a few jars of different types to get a feel for what my baby likes.    For store-bought baby food, I like Earth's Best the most.  I also like that they come in glass jars, which you can reuse for your own homemade baby food.  Wild Harvest and Beech Nut also still come in glass jars; Gerber Organic comes in plastic containers.


... read more

Different Kinds of Cloth Diapers

Do you want to start cloth diapering, but you're finding yourself overwhelmed by all the choices?  There are many different types of cloth diapers these days...and they're not your grandmother's cloth diapers with a big ol' safety pin!  There are lots of choices, and some are almost as easy as disposables!

First off, there is my personal favorite:  One-size pocket diapers.  I love, love, love BumGenius 3.0.   Pocket diapers are made with two layers sewn together to form a pocket.  You stick an absorbent insert into the pocket and viola!  That's your diaper.  They're really easy, and with the velcro on the BumGenius, they are just like putting on a disposable diaper.   The best part about the one-size diapers is that they're adjustable, so they can fit a newborn up until they're potty trained.  You can get years of use out of each diaper, which is great because these diapers are a bit more expensive than some other options.  In cloth diapering communities you'll see people abbreviating "one-size" to "OS."

That's my baby Isaac pictured above in a one-size pocket diaper.   Those aren't the BumGenius, however.  The one he's wearing has snaps instead of velcro, which in my opinion, causes them to leak a little because they can't get quite as snug.  I do know some people who like snap diapers, but these tend to be my back-ups.

... read more

"Cool It" by Raffi!

Who doesn't adore beloved children's performer RAFFI?  We recently introduced Raffi to our 5-month old, who loves it as much as I did as a kid.


I recently learned that Raffi is an advocate for the environment.  In 2007, Raffi wrote and produced a song about climate change called "Cool It."  Check out the video below!... read more

Nitrates and Homemade Baby Food: How to avoid nitrate poisoning

Homemade baby food is a great way to go green, but you may have heard about the risks of nitrates with homemade baby food.

Beets, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage are all high in nitrates. 

"Blue Baby Syndrome" can be caused by nitrate poisoning.  However, it's extremely rare and usually caused by contaminated well water, NOT homemade baby food.   It's also treatable, but PLAY IT SAFE!  Here are some tips to avoid nitrate poisoning from homemade babyfood: ... read more

Ode to bumGenius 3.0 Cloth Diapers

I just wanted to write a post proclaiming my adoration for bumGenius 3.0 cloth diapers.  They're not only the best cloth diapers I've tried so far, they're the best diapers period.  They simply don't leak!  The best part of them is that they are adjustable and fit babies of all shapes and sizes, from younger babies to toddlers up to 32 pounds!   

isaac in bumgenius diapers.  

That's my Isaac showing off his bumGenius.  ... read more