So we all already know how awesome cloth diapers are for the environment....not to mention our wallets and babies' bums, too. I probably don't need to sell you on those facts--I'd be preaching to the choir, as they say. The good news is that you don't need to stop there. There are lots of simple changes your families can make to be a little more Earth-friendly.
One switch that my family has made is with our napkins. Like most households, we bought bags of paper napkins every few weeks. I finally decided to eliminate them--what a waste! I bought a few cloth napkins and they are absolutely wonderful. Our meals even seem more refined now! The table looks nicer, and the napkins work just as well (if not better--you can get a lot more use out of a nice big cloth napkin than with the small paper ones). I just throw them in the wash with the rest of my kitchen towels and washcloths.
We have also begun switching to LED light bulbs. They are a bit more expensive than the mercury-containing CFLs, but worth it. I hate the idea of a broken light bulb causing a HAZMAT-esque scare in the house, and the LED bulbs are energy-saving without the risk. The bulbs we have are made of plastic, so a dropped lamp isn't going to send sharp pieces all over the place, which is an important point in a household with small children around. Another bonus: no "warming up" phase--they turn on brightly right from the start!
...and have you seen the videos of Bea Johnson and her family? They live a "zero-waste lifestyle" and they are so inspiring! I'm not so sure I could ever get to their level of commitment, but even a few lessons from them can make a difference. Heck, my house would probably be a LOT cleaner if we had less, that's for sure! I admit it--I looked into composting, but those red worms still creep me out too much.
What kinds of things does your family do to reduce, reuse, and recycle? Share your tips in the comments section below!
In the meantime, here are some more great items for your eco-friendly household. That's right, we don't just do diapers here at The Etsy Cloth Diaper Team! These shops are participating in Earth Day specials, too.
Aren't these bags waaaay cuter than the ubiquitous plastic bags we normally put our kids' snacks in? These would be great for car rides and lunch boxes. We just started using reusable bags at my house and I love them! Free Shipping on all orders from April 18th and going through the end of the month. Use Code: EARTH2011
If you haven't already made the switch to Mama-cloth, what's stopping you? They are so much more comfortable than the throwaway stuff you've been using, I promise! Besides, look at how pretty these liners are... Free Shipping on orders over $20 until April 30th, 2011. Use code: EARTHMAMA
I've stopped buying sponges (so sick of the stinkies and sponges that only lasted a couple weeks before falling apart) and now make my own dishcloths. These suckers scrub off anything, too, and without scratching or using harsh chemicals. Win a gift bag (handmade tote, crochet hooks, and free pattern) by entering at TheQuirkyCat's Blog.