Vintage Green

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we’re writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

What sorts of “green” things did you do as a kid (even if you didn’t know at the time they were eco-friendly) that you now do with your own kids? Alternatively, what “green” practices do your kids find normal (because they’ve grown up with them) that you did not do as a child?
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Let’s see, this is an area in our life that could use more work.
When I was growing up we recycled our paper, plastics, and our pop cans. We had separate bins for each one. We lived in Ohio then, and you could get 5cents I think it was per can.
We also kept every single newspaper and plastic bag that came into the house. The newspaper would be used for a number of things. Book covers, packing, potty paper for our rabbits.

We cloth diaper, and I was cloth diapered when I was a baby. I love my cloth diapers. They are so cute, and have saved us money in the past. I know I keep saying it, but I’m really looking forward to using cloth diapers again.
I love Diaper Swappers I got most of my diapers from there. Some new, some used. It’s an awesome community to buy/sell/trade your cloth diapers.
I still reuse plastic bags. They get used for storage, trash, lunch, wet clothes from the beach, or the pool.
We keep newspapers, too. They get used to wipe down our glass dining room table. The girls like to use them for making a collage. We also use it for packing.

I’m not very good at recycling our plastics. I keep saying I’m going to do it, then we never do. Maybe if I make a sign above our trash can that says Please Recycle! I’ll start to do better.

One thing I love about the house we live in now, all the natural sunlight. There are windows everywhere! No need for lights until it gets dark.
My parents used to always remind us to cut off the lights before we left a room when we were growing up. I think it was more about saving money on the electric bill though.
Winters in Ohio were so cold, and seemed to get worse every year. My dad started putting up plastic over the windows to help hold the heat in. That way we didn’t have to turn the heat up so high during the winter. He also built a fireplace in the living room, and that helped as well.

When we lived in Minnesota we called it the frozen tundra. The townhouse we were renting at the time had no window border on the living room window, and the back patio door would actually frost up. You could trace the frost with your finger. That place got cold quick. I suggested to my hubby that we put plastic up over the windows to save on heat, and keep us a little warmer. Now that we are in Virginia I don’t think we will need to use that practice, but it’s nice to know it’s there if we need it.

I would love to learn more about making our own cleaning products. I’m tired of spending money on them, plus the chemicals aren’t good for us, and it adds more plastic into the environment.

I wish I were greener, and maybe I will be as time goes on.



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Code Name: Mama and Hobo MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.
(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)

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20 thoughts on “Vintage Green

  1. we do a lot of usual green practices…recycling, cloth diapering, composting. I started making our cleaners using vinegar, tea tree oil and castille soap and Borax. then I learned that the largest household waste was energy and that computers suck more electric power than anything else. I now remind myself to turn off the computer at night.

  2. I've heard that making your own cleaning solutions is super easy but I haven't dabbled into it yet. I know that if you don't like the smell of white vinegar (it's in most of the make-your-own cleaners) they suggest to add a drop or two of essential oils and it completely covers the smell. Seems like something worth looking in to since as much as I love Seventh Generation I won't be pony-ing up the big bucks for their cleaning stuffins.& you're the second person I've seen recommend Diaper Swappers! I might have to check that out.

  3. I think what is most important is that every year you do a little bit more and it sounds like you're doing just that. Keep looking around you and see what you might be able to do better. I'm always surprised that something that sounds like it is going to be difficult actually turns out to be easy and time-saving and makes me feel good doing it. Mild dish soap and water works great on almost everything. I am also a huge fan of baking soda and water for anything that smells. The baking soda seems to just absorb it right up. I am also a huge fan of natural light and don't put lights on in the house during the day at all if I can help it. My husband thinks we live like bats, but it just seems unnecessary to have lights on for no reason.I need to remember to shut down my laptop at night as well. I often do but not every night. So many useful tips have come up here in the comments.Your posts are always so honest and genuine. I love reading your blog.

  4. I love newspapers for cleaning glass – it works better than anything!I use vinegar or lemon juice, baking soda, borax, essential oils and soap nuts for just about everything. It is even super, super fun to make your own proper soap with lye and oils. I don't antibacterialise because I want to keep friendly bacteria around so natural cleaners are my favourite thing; easy, ecomonical and gentle.wonderful blog!!

  5. I grew up in Ohio and I'm living there now – and yes the winters get worse and worse! lol.This whole carnival will give us new goals for going green(er)!

  6. @kitchenwitch – We always had a light on in our old place. It was so dark and closed in. The windows didn't let much light in. We are facing the other way here, so we have plenty of light most of the time.@lactatinggirl – Thanks! I just added you to my reader earlier today.@SaRaw – Looks like Vinegar is the #1 natural cleaner. I think I'll give it a try, along with some essential oils.

  7. Girl! VINEGAR! I use it for e v e r y t h i n g! It is awesome. Sounds like you're doing a great job being green – I'm just starting to recycle, whoops! Great post. 🙂

  8. I love finding green ways to clean too! I didn't even know until a few months ago that I could clean almost anything with baking soda and vinegar. Also, congrats on the little one in your tummy! I like your blog. I'm so adding you to my Google Reader. 😀

  9. Dionna – Sadly, I am not sure where the recycling goes here. We've been here a year and I have not found out.There are some plastic containers we can keep. The girls like to collect different rocks, I can use some for buttons, and we can recycle the rest.Sorry for all of my comments in a row everyone!

  10. Hobo Mama – I have found that Dawn dish soap is a really good cleaner. I use it in the kitchen all the time. I didn't think about using it for the bathroom. Probably because that room grosses me out, and I feel it needs tough love 🙂

  11. Good blog!I use newspaper to clean glass with too 🙂 I'm trying not to use our lights, but that is hard! I feel like I follow my children around the house in a constant loop- turning off lights in empty rooms. LOL<3

  12. I love the way essential oils smell. They have so many lovely fragrances. Thanks for that tip!Warning: Diaperswappers can be addictive. I really do love that website. That's where most of my cloth diaper stash came from.

  13. I've heard that making your own cleaning solutions is super easy but I haven't dabbled into it yet. I know that if you don't like the smell of white vinegar (it's in most of the make-your-own cleaners) they suggest to add a drop or two of essential oils and it completely covers the smell. Seems like something worth looking in to since as much as I love Seventh Generation I won't be pony-ing up the big bucks for their cleaning stuffins.& you're the second person I've seen recommend Diaper Swappers! I might have to check that out.

  14. we do a lot of usual green practices…recycling, cloth diapering, composting. I started making our cleaners using vinegar, tea tree oil and castille soap and Borax. then I learned that the largest household waste was energy and that computers suck more electric power than anything else. I now remind myself to turn off the computer at night.

  15. Do you have to drop your plastics off at a different location from your glass/paper/etc.? We drop our recycling off all at one place, so I just have several small trash cans in a little niche in my kitchen – one for each recycling product. One incentive to do plastic might be – imagine how much LESS trash you'll put out at the curb by recycling plastic. Could you and a neighbor consolidate trash service? You'll save money & help the environment! ~Dionna @ Code Name: Mamahttp://codenamemama.com

  16. It's great that you've got so many practical steps in mind! I was going to recommend vinegar and water in a spray bottle, but that won't work if you don't like the smell. 🙂 I use about 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water, so it's very diluted. As NavelgazingBajan said, you can also use baking soda for a cheap scrub. Honestly, if you don't have something really horribly baked on or stained, just plain old dish soap and water with a sponge works wonders to clean surfaces. I alternate between that and my vinegar spray for both kitchen and bathroom, even the toilet — just squirt some dish soap on the scrubbing brush and go to it!

  17. I am also terrible at recycling! I did start using greener cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar. I haven't been able to fully convince my husband about them though. He's enamored with Pinesol. Me, I can't stand the smell.

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