Saturday, March 8, 2008

Impact

One of my favorite things about reading blogs I like is also reading the blogs those bloggers like to read. Make sense? Somewhere, I can't remember where, I stumbled upon this: 101 things in 1,001 days.

Now I suck at New Year's resolutions. I stopped making them because I never end up keeping them. This project gives you almost three years to complete your 101 things which means you can set bigger goals for yourself. I liked the idea of it right off, so I made my own list. Actually I'm in the process of making my list. I've got 62 of 101 things laid out. Some of them will be easy to knock off like printing photos to update the boys' baby books (I'm an entire year behind on Braeden's book!) or use fresh herbs more in my cooking (I used parsley last week!). And some are supposed to be a real stretch for you...one that comes to mind is to teach Braeden to swim.

Another "thing" I added that will be a stretch for me (for us, really) is to find at least five ways to become more environmentally-friendly. First, I contacted our garbage service to be sure we're recycling all the materials we can. Then I bought a tumbler from Starbucks so I wouldn't need to keep throwing away their cups, lids, and sleeves every time I get a mocha. Longer range, Mat and I are committed to decreasing our water consumption by 10% (to that end, I'm researching rain water collection).

My friend Emily has made the switch to cloth diapers. Near the end of this post she talks about her experience with the diapers. I'm really very proud of her for making the switch. I don't think anyone will with the point that they're better for your baby. I'm not sure if they're that much better for the environment though. I like that by using cloth you're no longer contributing 3,500 to 4,000 diapers to our landfills but there's a trade-off here. From what I've read, to wash the diapers you start with a cold rinse, then wash in hot water and rinse in cold before capping it off with one more cold rinse. If your diapers are still stained, wash them again. And of course, you're just washing the diapers by themselves. And that's a lot of water. Plus heating the water. Mat made another couple points to me (something about manufacturing cotton being a really dirty process) but the bottom line is that I do believe cloth diapering is better for the environment than disposables. But I don't believe it's the only road to take (or that I can't find other ways to be environmentally conscious). I'm also convinced (because he told me flat-out) that Mat would never, NEVER go for it.

For me, I'm more swayed to look for alternatives by the sheer volume of material we're contributing to the landfill by having two kids in disposable diapers. I don't want Braeden and Gage (and their children) to have to live, play, and work on top of trash. I hate the idea that we'll just keep digging up our planet to throw away our trash. This is just too weird, too sad, and too depressing a reality for me.

With all this in mind, and I'm sure you're wondering when I'll be getting to my point, I came across some middle ground. gDiapers are like a combination of cloth diapering and disposables. There's the outer diaper (that stays clean and dry) and then there's an inner, flushable layer. So, nothing to fill up your diaper pail. No human waste going into the landfill. No worry about your baby's sensitive skin coming into contact with a chemical-laden diaper. Nice, right? There's an initial investment to purchase the outer covers, but after that the flushable inserts cost a few cents more per insert than our Pampers. Mat was smart enough to point out that we spend a great deal of money on refill bags for our diaper dekor which should negate the extra $6 we'll spend buying 150 flushable inserts.

I'll be completely honest and admit I like the look of them too. :) For now, I ordered the starter kit (two of the pants, four snap-in liners, and 10 flushable inserts). If we like them and have success with them, we'll make the switch.

Stay tuned for pictures and my review. And in the meantime, I encourage you to think of ways you can go green. Here's some inspiration:

http://lighterfootstep.com/ten-first-steps-toward-lighter-living.html

http://lifestyle.msn.com/green/greenarticlegh.aspx?cp-documentid=656438

http://www.ajc.com/living/content/living/food/stories/2008/01/02/green_0103.html

Oh, and if you decide to play along with me and create your own list of 101 things please share some of yours with me. I might need some inspiration to finish off my list! Actually, just posting that I'm doing this means I can cross one thing off my list. So, thanks!

2 comments:

Emily said...

oh, i'd be totally lying if i said I didn't ALSO want to CD because of how cute they are... :)

I'm glad you are trying out the GDiapers. If you decide you don't like the flushable liner, you can always make some liners that you can use with them. That's apretty economical way to go...

Welcome to the CD side.. It's FUN. I'm getting a little obsessed and LOVE talking about them!! I wish our tax return would come so I could buy 6 more!

Me-ma said...

I am proud to say that I use my 3 purchased Stop and Shop grocery totes when I go grocery shopping ....if I can remember to get them out of the back of the car before entering the store. One time when it was very cold and yucky in the parking lot, and I realized I forgot to bring them in with me and I already was 1/2 way through the store, P-pa graciously went back out to the car and brought the totes in so we could pack in them. So I think he and I should score points on the eco list! Not as good as your efforts, but it's a start! And good luck with those cute gDiapers!