Monday, May 30, 2011

Lavender Dryer Sachets

An alternative, natural solution to fresh clothes out of the dryer, lavender dryer sachets. Instead of using dryer sheets with synthetic perfumes and dyes that are often reactive to allergies and skin sensitives, create a very easy all natural solution.
istock photo

* Use muslin sachet bags (found in many craft stores) or make your own "tea bag" using muslin. Sewing a square approximately 3 to 4 inches.
* Fill with dried lavender petals with 2-3 drops lavender essential oil

- Your laundry will come out of the dryer soft with a very subtle lavender scent.
- It will last about 5-7 loads

If it is a sachet bag, just refill with some fresh dried lavender. If you made a tea bag, you can reuse it by adding 1-2 drops of essential oil and putting in your closet or dresser drawer.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Ease of Cloth Wipes

When Little A was born we started with disposable diapers. After watching the money go into the trash eight to ten times a day and knowing that it was going to just sit in a landfill to never fully degrade for the next 500 years, we decided that it was time to transition to cloth diapers.
Transitioning to cloth diapers, we started with hybrid diapers (cloth cover with a biodegradable interior) then to fully cloth by the time Little A was six months old. During this, disposable wipes were still used, many often ending in the wash with the cloth diapers because they got caught in the diaper pail with the soiled diapers, how annoying. Finally, I decided to create my own reusable wipes and wipes solution. Since the transition, it has made an improvement on Little A’s irritations that was resolved to be a sensitivity from the disposable wipes (even the sensitive/fragrance free wipes). No more diaper rashes!

To make the wipes:
I cut some flannel fabric I had available and old receiving blankets into 6 1/2” x 6 1/2” squares. For the flannel fabric, I made them double layered. For the old receiving blankets I made them single layered.
For the double layers - take two pieces of the cut fabric and place the “wrong” sides of the fabric together. Sew along the edges using a zig zag stitch.
For the single layers - Sew along the edges using a zig zag stitch.
Viola, a stack of wipes transpired.

Wipes solution:
There are many different solutions available. Here are few recipes, starting with the one that I use.

Castile Solution:
1 tbsp Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap
1 tbsp. jojoba oil
1 drop lavender oil
1 1/2 cup water
Note: I purchased the soap and oils at a local health food store. They can also be found online

Simple Solution:
1/2 cup baby oil
1/2 cup baby wash
2 cups water
Note: This simple solution can be adapted by changing the type of soap or oil. Other oils that can be used are avocado oil, almond oil, apricot oil, etc.

1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp calendula oil
few drops lavender oil
few drops tea tree oil
1/4 cup 100% aloe vera gel
1 cup water
Note: Omit vinegar if baby has a raw rash. 
Essential oils - A little bit goes a long way

1-2 drops tea tree oil
1-2 drops lavender oil
1 cup water
Note: This recipe relies on the essential oils to clean versus soap.

Storage Options
1. Soak the wipes in the solution then place them in a wipes warmer

2. Store wipes in a container (either plastic wipes container or a basket) and put the solution in a spritzer bottle. During diaper changes, spritz the wipe with the desired amount of solution.

Throw in diaper pail with the cloth diapers and wash together.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reducing plastic at the grocery store

Something that bothers me is the amount of plastic waste that is created. One place where we have made adaptations for reducing our plastic waste is at the grocery store. It is amazing if you look in a grocery cart to see all the produce, meats, dairy, and pantry products that are packaged with plastic. Here are changes I have made to reduce.

At the deli: Instead of getting deli meats in plastic bags, I ask the employee to package it in brown paper. At first the woman was taken aback by this request, but they have been more than willing to accommodate this request.

In the produce: I have bought mesh bags that I put my produce in, rather than using the plastic bags stationed around the produce section. There are a variety of options available, but to review the ones that I bought.
From Amazon (dot)com, I purchased the Flip and Tumble 5-Pack Reusable Produce Bags. These bags are a great size and are easy to throw in with our reusable shopping bag or even my purse. The color coded tabs are helpful at identifying what types of produce is put in them. I organize them to put my organic fruits and vegetables in certain ones and the non-organic in others. When soiled, they are easy to throw in the wash. It is recommended to wash it on the delicate cycle.

Image from

For groceries: I try to focus on buying things in bulk. This helps reduce waste as well as usually is more economical in price comparison. When there are limited options and plastic is it, such as yogurt and milk, we put them in for recycling.

At the check out: I use reusable shopping bags for all of my shopping trips. After unloading the groceries, I put them back in the car beside the car seat, so that I am less likely to forget them. Though after a while, it becomes a habit and it is very rare that I forget them. When I do, if I have the option for paper bags, I request them. If not, the bags are recycled.

I am always seeking out alternatives are reducing waste. I would love to hear your ideas that you use to help reduce waste. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An introduction to green life changes!

An Introduction to Green Life Changes with the Fun to Develop in Later Posts.

Until becoming a mom, I did not have any identified direction of who I was and the impact I made on the world around me, economically and carbon footprint speaking. As I have researched healthier options for my family, I have identified a continuing goal of life changes that I have introduced and apply with my family.

My goal of this blog is to share my passion of learning and living a simple and more green conscious lifestyle AND share all the hours of experimentation and research that I have done, in a simplified manner.

I cannot wait to share more with you!