Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

What kind of Ecologist would I be if I didn't dedicate today's post to Earth Day!? My B.S. degree is in Wildlife Ecology, for pete's sake.

That's right, I'm a greener. A tree hugger. Granola. A hippy. Whatever stereotypical term you want to apply, I'll own up to it... I love the Earth. I love the environment. I "believe" in climate change. And no matter what your views are on "saving the Earth", I see nothing wrong with promoting a few super easy lifestyle changes that will help make us better stewards of this beautiful place we've been given to live.

So here we go.

5 super easy things YOU can do to help preserve our planet

1. Ditch the Plastic Part 1 - Reusable Shopping Bags

This is SO easy. And SO practical. And beneficial. And oh my gosh, why are you not using these?? They cost like $0.99 at any grocery store and are so much easier to use and they carry so much more than nasty plastic bags that pile up around your house and use millions of barrels of oil to produce.

In fact, according to, about 12 million barrels of oil are used nationally to produce 30 billion plastic bags in the United States. (reference:

So make the switch. Today.

2. Ditch the Plastic Part 2 - Reusable Water Bottle

There are all kinds of environmental benefits to using a reusable water bottle. Again, oil consumption to produce the bottle being one of them. It takes an equivalent of about a quarter of the bottle's capacity in oil to make that one bottle.

And, the chemicals that leech out of the plastic into your water can be harmful too.But another reason is how quickly plastic water bottles are filling up the world's landfills. According to, water bottles are the #1 type of drink bottle filling up landfills, where they will spend hundreds of years just sitting there. (reference:

3. Brighten Up Your Day With - Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

This one is seriously so easy. And so practical.If every American home replaced just one light with an Energy Star light, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, about $700 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of about 800,000 cars. Yikes.

AND, an Energy Star qualified fluorescent light bulb will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. (reference:

This is such a no-brainer people. Moving on.

4. Plan Out Your Day With a - Programmable Thermostat

I'm probably preaching to the choir on this one. Who doesn't have one of these now-a-days? But if you do, have you actually spent time programming it?

And did you know that properly using a programmable thermostat in your home is one of the easiest ways you can save energy, money, and help fight global warming?

The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills - nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. (reference:

Get out your manual, and go program!

5. Not Yo' Mamma's Cloth Diapers

So I haven't come out and said this on my blog yet. But we're going cloth. And I know this conjures up images of old cotton nappies, and ugly diaper pins... but trust me, we've come a LONG way since then.Today's cloth diapers look just like your average disposable.

The only difference is you wash them rather than toss them to be destined for an eternity in a landfill! They can be all-in-one, with no separate liners or covers... just soft cotton that is super sensitive to baby's bum.

And the benefits are endless. Money savings ($500 for baby's lifetime vs. $2,000 with disposable), no nasty chemicals in contact with baby's bum (there are chemicals and pthalates in disposable diapers that have been outlawed for use in feminine products!), and although early studies (funded by disposable diaper companies!) tried to show that the amount of water used to wash cloth were just as harmful to the environment as using disposables, recent independent studies show the environmental benefits are HUGE.

And don't even get me started on the cuteness factor. Here's a few shots of our cloth diaper stash so far:

And one of the coolest things about cloth diapers is once Baby N #2 comes around, we'll already have all the diapers she needs and diapering cost = $0!! Now that is being economical.

I'm sure not everyone is gonna jump on the cloth diapering band wagon today... but this is something I'M super excited about. Diaper rash is much less, leaks and blow outs are reportedly much less, COST is much less, and waste is... well... zero.

39 Week Update...

Due to technical difficulties... 39w update will be added tomorrow. Argh. Blogger.


  1. We are doing cloth diapers too!!

  2. Yay!! That's awesome!! Ok, I'm totally having technical difficulties. My head is about to explode!! Blogger isn't letting me finish my post... it's like putting all these weird spaces in and changing the font sizes all on its own.

    I have my 39w update all typed out and can't add it. This hormonal prego girl is about to CRY. Argh!!

  3. I try to do my part by recycling. Every little bit counts, right? I wanted to plant a tree today but our yard is still MIA and I didn't want to do something just to have it ripped out when we finish the yard. Aarrgghhhh. But I love the earth too and want to keep it beautiful! My brother and sis in law do cloth diapers and they use a service that comes once a week to clean them. Sounds great!
    I think that baby will be here next Thursday....get ready!!! :)

  4. Wow! You are so good. Me? Not so much. I'm kinda lazy when it comes to all this "good for the earth" stuff.

    Reusable shopping bags? By the time I've remembered to take my children, my wallet and my shopping list to the store, I'm all out of brain capacity to remember reusable shopping bags. Having kids leaches smarts from your brain. Just warning you. Maybe I could write "bags" at the top of my list so I would remember to take them with me. It's worth a shot.

    We are very good at reusable water bottles. I haven't bought bottled water in over 2 years. Yay us!

    Flourescent lights: Makayla is really sensitive to them and after an entire day at school, she can't handle them anymore. Weird, i know. Plus, I don't like how they aren't as bright. (Maybe I've just been buying the wrong kind?)

    Not sure how we would use a programmable thermostat in our apartment considering each room is controlled individually. Any help on that one?

    Cloth diapers. I think I might be willing to try them if I didn't have to pay for my laundry. Seriously! If I had to start budgeting more money to do coin-op laundry, I might scream!

    One thing I've heard about cloth diapers is babies who wear cloth diapers generally potty train at an earlier age. Don't know if that's true, but it's what I've heard.

    Hope blogger starts working for you soon. I always love your updates. :)

  5. Aimee, this is awesome! You mentioned some things that I had not thought about (i.e. the amount of oil used in making plastic bags). So, I'm gonna be making some changes.
    Do they use an insane amount of oil in the garbage bags that you buy, or are they made differently? I use all my plastic bags for garbage bags thinking I am doing the Earth well, but maybe I am way off.
    Good job at enjoying your last few days with Sam. This baby will really change your life and relationship. You can't have to much time alone with each other right now!

  6. It looks like you have several different types of diapers in the pictures. We are using the BumGenius one size diapers and I really like them. I had a friend highly suggest Fuzzybunz but fleece and Florida don't mix! The other kind I've heard good things about are Flipz. Let me know what kind you are using and what you like. We didn't use ours until baby's cord fell off and then had to wait until she was one month for her to weigh enough so they fit. They are a little more work (not like they used to be though) but so worth it!

  7. I love cloth diapering! Not only have they saved us money, but he doesn't get diaper rash hardly at all! :) A win in my book because it's one less thing to worry about :) Thanks for the post!


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