Monday, February 11, 2013

Saving the Big $$$ and Earth All at the Same Time

I should start this post by mentioning that I am not the most eco-friendly mom on the block. I drive everywhere, run my A/C at unGodly temperatures, and have become horrible at recycling since we've been in DR. Truth be told I'm not sure if they even recycle here?

Meeks and I just started using reusable diapers and are still in the trial and error phase - more error than trial. Before Rafa was born we had talked about using reusable diapers but knew that the beginning stages of babyhood would not be the right time for us to put a system like that in place.

Fast forward to now. With Little B well on his way, the talk of putting this system into place was more urgent. Yes we care about our environment and love the idea that the reusable diapers are less harsh on Rafa's bottom but our main reason for switching from Pampers to bumGenius is $$$.

In the long run, reusable diapers just cost less and like my mom said, "Oh. These aren't the cloth diapers de la epoca de la nana." (aka: from back in the day)

Here is a simple math problem: 
Couple Wow spends 1500 pesos on a box of diapers in the Dominican Republic. That's roughly $35 (U.S.). A size 5 diaper box holds about 135 diapers. Couple Wow bought 15 reusable diapers - USED. They look and - most importantly- smell new and were less than half the cost at $150. How many boxes of diapers would Couple Wow buy to equal the cost of what they spent on the reusables?
4 boxes (more or less)

And by the 5th box of diapers Couple Wow will have made their $$$ back.

I could, with total certainty say, that we have purchased waaaaaaaaaaay more than 4 boxes of diapers in this kid's lifetime. Even if we had bought the reusables brand new, with the most expensive bumGenius diaper costing $25 for one, we still would be saving $$$ by now with the amount of disposable diapers we have used in the last 16 months.

But let's go back to my point. I am not the most eco-friendly mom on the block and our choice of switching was $$$ related.

With that in mind, I've started to think of what other ways we could save here and there. The easiest and smallest way we came up with recently was to make our own face towels.

Everyday, after every one of Rafa's meals, I walk over to the paper towels, rip off a whole sheet, dampen it, and clean her hands and face. It's not that big of a deal.

3 paper towels a day
21 paper towels a week
84 paper towels a month
1095 paper towels or 19 rolls a year

And those are just the paper towels I use on Rafa's hands and face.

Since Meeks and I have also been organizing our home for the arrival of Little B we have been looking at what clothes will become the "I can't bear to get rid this so I need to make these clothes into a quilt" pile and which clothes will become the given away or donated pile. While we were looking through the tremendous amount of clothes we had we discovered the tremendous amount of little receiving type blankets we had too. We had about 20. 

Another simple math problem:
4 of which were big enough to use as a swaddle when Rafa was ├╝ber tiny.
4 of which I used to place over the changing pad to catch minor drips and avoid having to wash the changing pad cover every other day.  
How many does that leave that we never used?

So we decided to put these to use. Eventually, we will cut these blankets up to smaller pieces of fabric and try to use them as reusable wipes. (I did say eventually and this eventually is a long way down the road.) Then we decided to use some now as Eco-Friendly Face Wipes which is a much easier way to get use out of them and spend less $$$ on paper towels and do something nice for Mother Earth.

It was soooooo easy.

Step 1: I borrowed a pair of pinking shears from a friend (no cost). I hadn't heard of "pinking shears" either but another good friend told me they are scissors that are zig zag toothed used for clothing. They help to prevent fabric from fraying in the wash. 

Step 2: I took one of my extra receiving blankets and spread it out on a table ( cost). 

Step 3: After folding it in half to see the crease, I cut the fabric down the middle.

This is what the cloth will look like close up using the pinking shears:

Steps 4-10: I continued to fold and cut the fabric down the middle.

Step 11: I folded and cut until I ended up with 16 square fabric sheets. You could keep yours bigger if you like them paper towel sized but I feel it's easier for me to maneuver cleaning Rafa's face when they're smaller. 

This morning when we were done with breakfast, I grabbed a towel, dampened it, and cleaned her hands and face. And when I was done, I rinsed it in the faucet and hung it to dry. 

I gotta say it felt pretty good being the most eco-friendly mom on the block for a minute. 

And what I learned is that it's not about doing something that is not going to fit into your life. Like a New Year's Resolution, if you make it something unrealistic, you're less likely to stick to it, but if you start small and weave things in to your everyday life they'll most likely become a part of what you do.

Question of the Day?:
What things have you incorporated into your life that were easy and small but made a big impact? 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pull up a seat and leave your comments on the bar.