Just for the girls: A green way to deal with that time of the month

February 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

So I held off on blogging about this, because it’s a more private topic. But lately I have been thinking that it’s too important not to write. I wish I had heard about these options so much sooner in life.

A couple of years ago, when I was thinking about cloth diapers as opposed to disposable, I began to wonder if there was a greener way to deal with that time of the month. I did a quick search on the internet and was amazed at what I saw. I found a reusable product called the diva cup. I read the reviews and decided I had to give it a try. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but with a little practice, it is quick. And it makes that time of the month WAY less gross. It’s comfortable and easy to clean. For bonus security, I like to pair the cup with a liner.

There are so many awesome tutorial sites that explain how you can make your own washable liners and pads. I followed this one, and made a bunch out of previously-loved flannel baby blankets.

After making those, I took one of my regular disposable pads and traced it to make my own pattern for some longer liners. I used some fun flannel on these. Custom! And I daresay, cute.


This is another green shape in my life – a win-win-win. For me, the cup is so much more comfortable and effective and the liners are breathable and soft. Also, these reusables are much cheaper than the standard disposable route. For the earth, I am no longer sending all that plastic and packaging to sit and not rot away in a landfill. Okay, I posted it. Spread the word.

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The Green Triangle

January 23, 2012 § 3 Comments

Hanging out during my workday break at m’s co-op preschool, I started chatting with one of the wonderful teachers. We talked a little about simple living, and she suggested a book to me called Living Simply With Children, written by Marie Sherlock. I can definitely relate to the ideas of this book.

One of the ideas that really struck me was in Chapter 14, when the author explains Ernest Callenbach’s Green Triangle theory.

“In Callenbach’s model, the points of the triangle are Health, Environment, and Money, and his hypothesis is that what benefits one of these three typically benefits the other two. A good example is riding your bicycle more. Good for your health (exercise), good for your pocketbook (savings on gas, parking, maintenance), and good for the earth (less pollution, less resource depletion). 

Those of us who embrace simple living believe that Callenbach’s Green Triangle can easily metamorphose into a square, a pentagon, even a hexagon and beyond.”  – p. 225

I LOVE this idea. A couple years ago I remember marveling at how God’s world order works. It seems that when we live as God wants us to, we please God, we are happier, and those around us are happier. A win-win-win. It seems so freeing – that we can look at ways to bless the earth, bless those around us, please God, and that it can end up leaving us happier/more fulfilled. I’m looking for these kinds of green shapes in my life. A few from recent times:

  • Making my kids some clothes out of our old worn out clothing – I love the creative process, the kids get “new” clothing, less trash is sent to the landfill, money is saved

I wore my white Gap long-sleeved t-shirt for years and years until it was out of shape and sad. I made this toddler shirt for m, and even kept the old label.

  • Starting a worm bin – the worms get food, our kitchen scraps are taken care of, little m likes observing the process, we get a wonderfully rich organic matter to add to our garden, we get better vegetables growing, two of our plastic bins have fresh new purpose

    Worms!! The bin was set up by J - it holds food scraps and torn newspaper.

  • Using cloth instead of disposable paper products – (cloth diapers, wipes, napkins, hankies, and even female sanitary products) – soft, durable, lint-free (I mean, who wants bits of tissue left anywhere?) and I’ve heard that cloth diapers can live a wonderful second life as cleaning rags

Our pile of hankies - 9"x11" rectangles of soft knit, cut from previously-loved t-shirts. When m has a runny nose she yells, "I need a HANKY!"

Okay, so some of the things listed sound totally disgusting. But once you get past some of that yuck, you can really do so  much. So freeing and fun!

Turned a corner!

January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

The O is now almost four months.  SWEET!  Some time ago, he turned a corner – started sleeping through the night more often, is generally happy to be awake and lying around, started taking these incredible naps.  PHEW!  So while we still have rough days, we have emerged from the fog and are finding our rhythm.

At times, (like this very moment), I have some space.  It has been great getting back into a bit of crafting.  Recently, I found this post on how to fuse plastic grocery bags together to make a waterproof material.  Here’s my first sewing project using the fused plastic:

I put diapering stuff in it and slip it into my backpack.  I love how people post tutorials to help others learn.  Let me know if you try any fused plastic projects.

Must…finish…projects!

September 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

It is now the beginning of September.  We are expecting our second kiddo at the end of September.  It’s shocking to me how quickly the time has gone.  I’m excited and nervous and all sorts of other emotions.

But anyway, one thing I’ve been doing is trying to finish various projects before the baby comes.  I’ve also made a list for J…poor guy.  My list is more fun stuff – sewing, knitting, drawing.

Recently I felt inspired to make a dress for m out of J’s old shirt.  I was very pleased with the result.

I also repurposed some comfortable worn out t-shirts into little newborn shirts for the new baby.

I forgot how tiny m was when she was born.  She’s so sturdy and wild now, it’s hard to remember what it was like when I held this 5 lb newborn in my arms.  Making the newborn shirts brought me back to that moment, and made me excited to meet my second little one.

Sewing like a crazy woman!

July 17, 2010 § 3 Comments

In a recent burst of addiction, I’ve been sewing up a storm.  I think part of it is realizing that in a couple of months, my free time will evaporate, as the m is going to have a little brother.  I used one of m’s other shirts + trial and error to get a baseball shirt pattern (three of the shirts below).  I also found a great tutorial to make the gray shirt with red cuffs, and another tutorial to make the blue pants (building a pattern off some of her existing pants).  I’m amazed by all the tutorials out there, and all the things that can be learned!  All projects have been out of old t-shirts, which make them soft and worn in.

Dabbling a bit off the grid…

July 16, 2010 § 1 Comment

I remarked to J the other day that this year we have started doing a few things off the grid here and there.  We ventured into breadmaking.  We planted a vegetable garden.  I started sewing clothes for m out of J’s old shirts.  We started meeting together in homes and coffeeshops as a church.  In my last post I lamented the ending of the City College Child Observation class that m and I went to daily.  The little m and I now have a regular schedule of meeting up with others in parks, at the library, etc.  Even without the class, a bunch of us will gather on Fridays in the same space, and bring our own toys to share.  I love it.  It’s definitely little things here and there, but life feels so different from what it was before.  I think the words for our family this past year have been sustainability and convergence.  I’ll try to post photos of some of our off the grid adventures soon.  🙂

Attempting to sew: toddler t-shirt

May 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

I was recently wowed by my friend Jane who made some clothes for her daughter.  It made me really want to try doing that for the little m.

So yesterday I borrowed a pattern from Jane, and promptly went into project mode cutting the pieces.  I did about 3 hours of sewing and ironing today.   Here’s one of J’s completely worn out t-shirts from his college days…now given a new shot at life as a shirt for little m.

Front:

Back:

The sewing is a bit sloppy, but I’ll work on that as I learn.

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