Friday, August 20, 2010

Recycling I didn't know about...

Somehow in the last year I became a lot more "green" than I ever thought I would be. Through the experience and advice of friends, we have been using cloth diapers for over three months now (which means we're now in the saving money phase of it, since it costs a little bit to start up). We started doing recycling through our garbage company over the winter, and I've been learning how easy it is to bring my own reusable bag into a store when I'm just picking up a few things. And with making my own baby food, I don't have dozens of little jars hanging around.

But I learned two new tricks this summer about things that I didn't know I could recycle. Baby swim diapers and kitchen sponges.

Swim diapers, which run anywhere from $8-$10 for a pack of only 12 diapers, can be reused. And it's actually pretty simple:
  1. Let your kid have fun in the pool. If it's only wet, then just slide the diaper off (instead of tearing off the sides).
  2. Throw it into your wash with the rest of your laundry/baby clothes.
  3. Instead of putting it into the dryer (it will get crunchy), just let it air dry by placing it over a canned good, bottle of something, etc...
  4. Reuse (which means you only have to buy one pack for probably most of the summer)
The second thing I've learned about reusing is kitchen sponges. They say you're only supposed to use it for a week, but who can keep up with that? Anyway, I can't stand it when my sponge gets all stinky and mildewy, and it's still pretty much brand new. But I always end up throwing it out because it's makes my hands stink. Well, if it gets stinky, just put it in the silverware tray in your dishwasher when you run a load of dishes, and it returns to being clean smelling. Of course once the sponge gets grungy, throw it out!

What other household tricks have you learned to stretch the dollar a little bit more?

1 comment:

  1. It's funny, I could have written this! I have gone so "green" in the past year, not because its trendy, but it's healthier for our family and I think as I a Christian I should try to be a good steward of the resources, including the earth, that God gave us. I have been doing cloth diapers (love them!), recycling everything possible, using a steam mop instead of chemicals, taking reusable bags to the store, etc. :) Today I steamed carrots, organic from our community-supported-agriculture share, to puree into baby food. I've been making a lot more food from scratch, etc. Anyway, I just wanted to say I really identify with this post you wrote. Here's a couple ways I save:
    with the sponges, I use them once for cleaning and then throw them in the wash along with my towels, first a quick cold rinse to get dirt out, then hot wash to sanitize.
    I also reuse ziploc bags and aluminum foil at least a couple times before throwing them away, unless I've used them for raw meat.
    What do you use for containers for your baby food? Somebody suggested to me that after I puree the food, to freeze it in ice-cube trays and then transfer to ziploc bags. This makes perfect portion sizes to thaw. Any thoughts?