Sometimes breaking our reliance on single-use products can be difficult. Here is one easy way to start! For years, we have been using our own tissues at home rather than buying a box after box of paper tissues from the store. Cloth tissues are easy to make and care for. To make your own cloth tissues, you simply need a piece of flannel cloth. I like to use ripped sheets, but if I don’t have any I will run to a thrift store and look for a flannel sheet to buy. If you want to start small, a pillowcase will make quite a few!
Cut your flannel sheet into squares. I like mine to be about 8 inches square but have them in many different sizes because I didn’t want any leftover fabric. After cutting, you’re done if you want! Fold your tissues and store in a container around the house. You can also choose to bind the edges by surging or folding over and sewing. I don’t do that anymore; it takes more time and my kids prefer quantity over quality when they’ve got colds. Eventually the flannel unravels, but that’s generally about the time they’re getting stained or holey and they end up in the compost pile. To care for your tissues; simply throw into the wash with your other laundry!
While camping is an excellent green vacation, bringing small children along means you have to plan accordingly. The younger ones may not be as gung-ho about hiking, particularly since their short legs have to take more steps. They may not be able to climb craggy trails as well either and whitewater rafting is usually out. On our last camping trip, we visited the playground at Patapsco Valley State Park to entertain the kids. I’d heard how much fun the 2 acre recycled tire play area was but I had never had a chance to actually visit.
As a self-proclaimed “green mom,” I knew I couldn’t let my daughter Ari start Kindergarten with a lunch packed in disposable containers. I set out to look for a lunch system that was safe and healthy for her and eco-friendly. I was really impressed with the Lunchopolis system when I saw it. Consisting of a 15 oz drink bottle and 4 containers (one large one medium, and two small containers), it fits perfectly into the insulated lunch box.
As my girls and I were at the library today for a class, a friend of mine mentioned they were having a yard sale tomorrow. They invited us to stop by, and we agreed – anyone who knows me will tell you I can’t pass up a yard sale! I mentioned it to Chuck when I got home, and he thought we should join them!
Yard Sales are Green!
Yard sales are not only a great way to pass along usable stuff, they also can make you money. For a little investment you can make a great return (for us, it was $1.89 for some stickers, because we are out of any sort of scrap paper). So far, we’ve put together about six paper bags of toys, clothes, shoes, computer stuff and other odds n’ ends.
UPDATE: Our yard sale was a success! We managed to make about $75, get rid of some extraneous items, and enjoy time with friends and meet some new neighbors. What more could you ask for?
All of it could have sold! We did have a lot left over so there will be more yard sales in our future. Hopefully we can find others to join in because most successful yard sales have a large variety of items to sell. This time we didn’t have a lot of selection.
Gills Onions, an onion processor located in Oxnard, California, has a green power system that is expected to produce 35 to 40 percent of the company’s electricity needs. This system will use the waste from the onions they produce to make onion juice which is high in sugars and a favorite of bacteria. The bacteria in turn emit methane gas, which runs the generators. The company also plans to meet their goal of zero-waste by 2011.