I’m just a child of nature

I think I’ve realized that, as I’ve contemplated this blog, I may have to hop onto the bandwagon and make this a “green” blog. Not because I’m trying to be trendy (like I said before) but because it has become so much a part of my life now that it’s what I want to talk about. Also, why blog if it can’t be used for the greater good? I figure I can at least provide some awareness to people who are close to me. And let’s face it, if a girl born and raised in rural Central Pennsylvania, in a town known for its Wal-Mart mecca and a yearly monster truck rally, can increasingly go green, then who can’t? This week I have become interested in two things: natural (not organic or whateverchemicalisbadforyou-free, but actual natural substances found in the environment) cleaning, for both people and home, and cloth diapers.

 ChickachickaWHAT? Cloth diapers?! I know what the majority of you are thinking, and no, I am not pregnant, and not even close to being so. However, ever since I was engaged, I have spent a lot of time on the discussion boards on theknot.com and its sister site, thenest.com. Now that the wedding is over, I have found myself increasingly on the nest, and have found some great green ideas and environmentally friendly posters on a green board. Unfortunately, this green board, and the only one on the nest, is technically considered a “baby” board, so a lot of the posters on there have babies/children, and almost every single one of them cloth diapers their kids. So, while I have been getting some great ideas about using white vinegar as a disinfectant and floor cleaner (making me regret that Swiffer wetjet I just bought a few weeks ago, even though it smells wonderful), and how to compost (considering this for next summer, as well as maybe a tiny garden?), I have also read many, many posts on cloth diapering. And, I must admit, I have become intrigued. When I was a senior in high school, my chorus teacher had a baby, and informed us that she was using cloth diapers (I forgot why she told us). Anyway, I thought she was nuts, but now that I have read up on it a bit, I’m kind of catching her drift. Let me tell you, first of all, cloth diapers no longer have to be those fabric squares that we use to clean our eyeglasses and burp our babies. A lot of them look like disposable diapers, complete with velcro tabs. And apparently cleaning them is not the big of a deal either.  I mean, yeah, it’s a little gross, but let’s face it, diaper-changing in general is gross.  Plus, there are many reasons for cloth diapering your kids – you save tons of money (in my reading some estimates were in the thousands of dollars), your kids are not exposed to funky chemicals near their “dainty” parts, they look cute (and I’ve seen pictures. They do), and finally, all those crappy diapers aren’t going to landfills. And if you think about how many diapers a baby goes through, times all the babies that are in diapers now plus all the babies that have EVER used disposable diapers (I read a statistic online that says that all plastic ever made is still on the planet, and another statistic that says it takes 500 years for a plastic diaper to break down in landfills), and . . . ok . . . that’s a LOT of diapers. And am I willing to contribute that much junk towards landfills? I really don’t think so.

The other thing I have become interested in is natural cleaners. I’ve been reading some other green blogs, and one talked about how they make their own shampoo and bath products; use vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and other natural products to clean their home; and avoid any type of cleaner or beauty product that has any kind of warning or caution on the bottle (including commercial “organic” or “natural” cleaners). Those who do this swear their houses are cleaner, their hair is in better shape, their skin is softer, etc, and so I have become rather intrigued. Right now I’m using some natural products to clean, mainly vinegar (I just bought a huge bottle of it at the grocery store yesterday for less than a buck and a half), but I also use a lot of commercial natural cleaners (citrus magic, which, according to the label, doesn’t look too bad) and some non-natural cleaners (my swiffer wet jet, Lysol, Febreze). I am considering switching to all natural cleaning products once the ones I have wear out, but I’m a little nervous for a few reasons, the main one being natural cleaners’ disinfectant properties. While many who clean green swear that vinegar works just as well as commercial products in disinfecting surfaces, I have also read studies that show that it really doesn’t. And with a puppy around who is still going through the house-breaking stage (unfortunately), I don’t know if I am willing to risk the presence of germs and bacteria for green. The same goes for my raw-meat cutting boards and the toilet. I mean, okay, I’m trying to cut out chemical cleaners that can potentially harm our health, but for what benefit? To get sick from e.coli and salmonella and all that other fun stuff? I don’t know about that.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now. We’ll see how this journey plays out, I guess. Next up: less paper towels and eating seasonally.

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