Sunday, March 17, 2013

Eco living list

The longer I live the more guilty I feel about consuming consuming consuming. Here, for my own reference really, is a list of things I am currently doing to help conserve both money and the environment apart from the normal recycling and turning off lights obviousness.

I am trying extra hard lately to make more eco friendly things a part of my life so please help me make this list longer:

The big one for me since having a baby is washable nappies. Since Mostyn was 18 days old I have been using washables and I am evangelical about them. I have collected a full stash now of mainly BumGenius v4s and a few Fuzzibunz for when I have run out of BG's and I have found them so easy to use. They are in just the same condition as they were when I bought them (he's now 18 months), and I am hoping to use them until potty training, and for any more potential kids. If we go away and I have to use disposables, I buy the eco nature baby care ones. I think the only disposable nappy I've ever used that wasn't environmentally friendly in some way was ironically, the free newborn one I got in my Bounty pack and used in the hospital after Mostyn was born.

I use Ecover and Method cleaning products, washing up liquid and handwash. I do use limited bleach as I have found the Ecover bleach not so good, and I use non-bio powder for washing my nappies as apparently you are not supposed to use Ecover for that (can't remember where I read that).

When we moved into the house we tried to buy as eco-as possible fridge, freezer and washing machine. I am trying to keep the freezer full of food so as not to waste electricity.

Limiting consumption of food & general groceries:

I don't buy kitchen roll anymore - you just get used to not having it and using a sponge. It saves on both waste and money.

I buy the huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner and wash my hair half as much as I used to.

I have never bought ready made baby meals, Moss eats what we eat.

I try really hard to use up everything in my fridge and if I have to throw stuff out I feel awful. It was a recent revelation to me that instead of throwing away salad leaves you can just put them in pasta sauces, blitz and eat.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have joined a fruit and veg co-op initiative. They aim to provide fruit and veg that is all grown within 50 miles of here, it's seasonal and very cheap. I have also joined a wholesale food co op for dry goods but I've yet to use that. We're also eating far less meat, and what meat we do buy is free range.

Buying new stuff:

I have just found out today whilst walking through town (right after buying sleep suits from Tesco :[ ) that there is a second hand children's clothes and toy shop in Chepstow! I'll definitely be buying clothes from there from now on.

If I need any home ware items (for example I need a pot to keep kitchen utensils in) I am keeping an eye out for something in the second hand/antique/junk shop instead of just buying something new.

Growing my own

I do not have a good track record of growing things to eat but I am going to give it my best shot when it gets warmer now we have a garden. This year I'll try runner beans, strawberries and maybe tomatoes if I can get them past the slugs. The previous owners left us with a selection of herbs so there is abundant sage, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.
Is there anything else I can do?  I know there are practically unlimited ways to save money and reduce consumption, but if you have any tips I haven't thought of please share what you do! One of mine is to put washing up liquid on the sponge instead of in the water when you wash up. Since I started doing this my washing up liquid bottles last forever and washing up is a lot easier. It sounds stupid on its own but if I could make 100 more tiny things like that a habitual part of my life, I'm sure it could make a big difference.


  1. I haven't got any other eco living ideas to share (will think though, and come back if I do!) but can I pick your brain about washable nappies please? We have used washables since my girl was about 2 months old (as she didn't fit in them until then) but she's teething a lot at the moment and is getting bad nappy rash which the washables just make worse. So we end up using disposables which I hate. Any ideas on how to make washables rash-friendly?

    1. Are you using liners? I get rashes too despite how everyone says babies don't get them in reusables! Especially while teething. If Moss gets a rash I just use Sudocream and put a liner in the nappy to protect it, as you aren't supposed to get cream on the nappy. It clears up after that. I either use Bambino Mio Bio disposable liners that come in the roll or Little Lamb fleece liners which are washable. I have been meaning to get some cream that is reusable nappy friendly, it does exist because my friend has some but I can't remember what the name of it is! I'll do some investigating.

      Also if the nappies have the mythical 'build up' of washing powder that affects absorbancy that might be contributing to the rash. When Moss gets a rash I usually put a load of clean nappies into the washing machine one extra time at 60 without adding any powder to make sure they are extra clean, this seems to do the trick too. Hope this was helpful, I admit I am making it all up as I go along so if anyone has any more info please say!

      Bio liners:{keyword}

      Fleece liners:

    2. Fab, thank you! Sorry it's taken me so long to remember to pop back to see if you'd replied! We do use liners - we have fleece ones and the flushable ones too.
      I'm thinking I might do a hot wash without washing powder and see if that helps. Fingers crossed!
      Thank you for all the info and the links x

  2. love these initiatives! i think spring rolling around always makes me want to clean out and reorganize..start fresh with better/cleaner habits. good luck to you :)

  3. Good list! There's sooo much more I could be doing. I've just started using these things: which seem to work well, although don't know if they work on nappies etc.

    Speaking of nappies, I was going to pick your brain on reusables too - maybe you should write a blog post/become a reusable nappy consultant! I want to use them but am having trouble getting my head round it all. Maybe I'll email you if you don't mind!

    1. I totally forgot to mention the nappies last Thurs! I remember it took me ages to get to grips with it too when I first started researching it - there are soooo many hundreds of different types and all the forums this complex jargon/abbreviation filled language that just seems impenetrable! However I have now tried a few out and can share what I have learned from trial and error, Email me!

      Thanks for the eco balls link too, I may invest... after I finish my giant box of washing powder!

  4. I always get the eco-guilt, it's horrible! I never felt guilty before I started trying, I guess because you always feel you can do better.

    Have you tried e-cloths? They're really good for cleaning and mine has lasted for years.

    I also recommend hankies instead of tissues - my nose wasn't at all cracked or sore during this cold despite constant blowing until I ran out of hankies & reverted to tissue. Making them out of old cotton t-shirts is nicest - they're so soft.

    I'm sure there's a million other things but I can't think of more right now.

    I'm going to try your washing up suggestion - I have to use ecover zero because my hands crack otherwise & I hate that it's more expensive!

    1. I guess the guilt is a good thing really - it just spurs you on even more. My guilt has increased 100x over the last few months... the hankies are a great idea - we get through so many tissues - I hadn't even thought of using hankies! So stupid, everyone used to use them and now they are just not part of our 'throwaway culture' anymore.

      Also going to get some E-cloths xx


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