Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Benefits of Cloth Diapers and "A Giveaway"


I was forced into cloth diapering. I had no idea how easy and cost effective it was going to be. My seventh baby had a chronic rash for the first 9 months of his life. He had oozing, bleeding sores. We tried everything. Even steroid cream and that was really pushing it for me. Nothing worked except letting him go naked. We decided to switch to cloth diapers and his rash was gone within 3 to 4 days. I realized that it was a lot easier then I thought and if I used them on my other little guy in diapers and my little girl who still needed pull ups over night I would save $60.00 a month. My original supply was $150.00 so they paid for themselves within 3 months of using them. We discovered, had we used cloth diapers for all 7 of our children, we would have saved approximately $6,000.00 so far. Calculating the cost of generic brand diapers, I figured the savings is approximately $780.00 per child using cloth diapers and wipes if they potty train by 2 1/2. This was enough to convince me to use cloth diapers forever.

A friend of mine asked me to help give a class on the benefits of cloth diapering. I was excited to share how cost effective they were. I had know idea what else I would learn that day.


I've heard a saying "What you don't know won't hurt you". This was not the case for my little guy. Disposable diapers contain:

Dioxin: An extremely toxic by-product of the paper bleaching process. It is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It has caused genetic defects in lab animals and is banned in most countries but not the U.S.

Tributyl-tin (TBT): A highly toxic pollutant that absorbs through the skin and even minute ammounts caused hormonal imbalances in humans and animals. It can also cause infertility.

Sodium Polyacrylate: A super absorbent polymer (SAP). It's the gel like substance that comes out when the diaper is too wet. It can cause allergic reactions, irritation, bleeding of the perineum or scrotal tissues, fever, vomiting, staph infection, and in 1985 was banned from being used in tampons because of it's link to Toxic Shock Syndrome. When injected into rats it caused internal hemorrhaging, cardiovascular failure and death.

Phyto estrogens: Just what it says "Estrogen". My baby boy's especially don't need any of this or God would have given it to them. The diaper area absorbs these chemicals very easily.

The emissions from ONE disposable diaper were high enough to produce asthma-like symptoms in rats.


I am not an environmentalist. I'm just a frugal mom who loves to stay home with my children and help my hard working husband. However, some of these facts were very interesting to me.

Over 300 lbs. of wood, 50 lbs of petroleum feed stocks and 20 lbs of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby for one year.

Supposedly, a family can attribute 50% of their waste to disposable diapers. You could save money on your garbage bill!

10,000 tons of disposables are tossed into landfills each ear. That's 27.4 billion per year.


Had I known what I know now, I would have switched to cloth diapers a long time ago. I've tried a few different kinds and have found what I think is the easiest to clean, the cheapest to buy, especially in the long run, and the cutest on. They are All In One Pocket Diapers. When I first looked at these they were very expensive. The name brands can run around $20-$30 a diaper. I've found them for a fraction of that and am giving 3 away (Courtesy of GoGreenPocketDiapers) to anyone who is willing to try cloth diapering.

This business was started by a mom just like us and her customer service is the best I've ever seen. Her diapers are cute and cheap. They have all snaps, no velcro to wear out. They are adjustable from newborn all the way up to toddlers. One stash of these will last you for many children, just a one time cost!

To enter, you have to be willing to try Cloth Diapering and not doing it already. Just leave a comment on this link or the facebook link and I will enter your name in a drawing. I will draw names in one week. Next Tuesday, November 2. (Wow, November already!!)

(Just a side note. A lot of these chemicals are in your menstrual pads too. I don't know about you but I don't need any extra hormones. Especially after I have a baby. I'm going to make some cloth pads and will be posting soon!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Keeping Things Functioning Around Here-Part 3

Organizing our Clutter

I haven't posted lately because my card reader broke! I know "No pictures" doesn't make a post very exciting but I figured I'd keep it going anyway.

The words in my title do not go together because the words "Organize" and "Clutter" DO NOT go together. When I begin to organize a space in my home or help someone else organize their home, the first thing I do is get three boxes out. I mark them "Throw away", "Put away" and "Donate". The "Put away" box is for items that do not belong in that room. If we leave the room every time we have something to put away it takes longer, and we get distracted so, when the box is full, I go put the things away in each room they belong in. If we do not have a place for donations we tend to not donate them and we shove them somewhere in our space. I tell my kids all the time, "If it doesn't have a place, then it doesn't belong in our space". I read in a magazine today that the average American only uses about 20% of what they have! We are spoiled. So, if you haven't used it in 6 months to a year, it is cluttering up your home and making MORE work for you. Work=Time, and I don't know about you but time is not something I can spare. I also read today that each family member should only be spending about 30 min. per day on housework. If this is true, then spending more time either means we have TOO much stuff, or the other members of our family are not doing their share which brings me to my next tip.

The Chore Box:
Another thing my children constantly hear me say is "Don't put it down, put it away". So, if I find it out, it goes in the chore box. On Fridays, we dump it out and you owe me a chore for each item in there. If your items exceed 5, you don't participate in "Kid night". A movie and dessert that night. This is after my children have decluttered their stuff because I realized one day they had way more then they could appreciate. Now that they have eliminated the things they don't use, they care for the things that their Daddy works very hard to provide.

We've found that when we dread putting our clothes away it's because our drawers are too full. A great tip for decluttering drawers, and this especially applies to junk drawers, is pour everything into a box. If you use it, then put it away in the drawer. After a month or so, get rid of the rest. In your closet, turn all of your hangers with the hooks facing you. After wearing and washing an item, hang it back up with the hook facing in. Everything left on hangers facing you needs to go. (This works great for the people in your family that have a hard time letting go of un-used items.)

My house is divided into 4 zones.
Zone 1-Kitchen and office (Because the office is just off the kitchen)
Zone 2-Dining room and craft area
Zone 3-Bedrooms and bathrooms
Zone 4-Living room and entryway

I spend one week a month in each zone. First decluttering a little bit at a time. The best method I've read is this. Ask yourself 3 questions.

1. What already goes on in this area? It's easier to make a place for your husband to dump his stuff where he already does then to try and nag him into dumping it somewhere else. If the shoes are left at the door, don't expect a pretty shoe basket in a bedroom closet to become their new home. If your family plays games in the living room, store them in the living room.
2. What supplies are needed for this activity? Once you've decided what goes on in the zone, throw away trash or items you are unable to donate, donate things that are not being used, or put away what does not belong. Categorize the rest into piles. Maybe by size or type. An example would be toys. Don't make it too complicated for the kids. I have blocks, mega legos, and a wooden train set all in one tub because they were always doing these things together. They would end up pulling out the blocks to make the train set bigger, etc. This is a very easy clean up for toddlers and preschoolers and they are learning to do their share!
3. What type/size container do I need? We tend to get this one backwards. Don't buy them first because they could end up too big or too small and you don't want them creating future clutter problems. The goal is to de-clutter and stay that way so you have more time for more important things like playing with your kids. So, look at the piles of everything you are keeping and then decide what will hold them neatly. I prefer containers you can't see through. You can find neat ways to label them when you're done.

Like I said earlier, I was not born organized. I don't think anyone is. It can be learned and I'm still learning everyday. Whenever I go to an appointment I search for the magazines with organizing tips. Woman's Day, Better Homes and Gardens, etc. I take notes in my planner when I read something good. My kids always search the free magazine rack at the library for me too! Some other great resources are Flylady and HannahKeeley. I would love to hear how you stay organized and contain your clutter.