17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mothers Can Save the Earth

I have been learning a lot of things recently about the health of our planet. This has caused me (along with my husband) to decide to make some changes in our daily habits. As the wives and mothers in our homes, we make the majority of the household decisions, and these choices can have an effect for good or bad on the earth.

Buy Organic
I will write later about the reasons I buy organic, but as far as the environment goes, traditional agriculture is responsible for 70% of the pollution in our rivers, streams and soil because of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) and erosion--according to the EPA. Organic farmers grow our food sustainably. For example: rotating crops nourishes the soil and replaces nutrients, and planting cover crops stops weeds, nutrient leaching and erosion.

Buy Durable Instead of Disposable
Americans average 1,900 pounds of waste annually per household. We are the world’s worst wasters, with just 5% of the world population we produce 50% of its solid waste. (The Ecology of Commerce-great book) Buy things that are recyclable or reusable instead of disposable. This will save you money and will cut down on the amount of waste in the landfills. For example, you should look into cloth diapers. Now don’t freak out! The world of cloth diapers is 21st century now, not the square folded cloth with diaper pins you are imagining. Check out www.fuzzibunz.com. These diapers are really awesome. They have a fleece lining that keeps the baby dry and doesn’t stain, an inner removable core that is super absorbent-Anwen didn’t leak all night after 9 or 10 hours, and a waterproof outer layer that doesn’t leak. They also have adjustable snaps so they can grow with the baby. They are a breeze to clean--just toss them in the washer and dryer, no soaking or scrubbing. Plus Anwen gets a lot of diaper rashes and because these are breathable, soft cloth and keep her skin dry, she doesn’t get rashes. Also there are no chemicals and weird absorbent crystal things right next to her sensitive areas.

Buy Local
Buying produce from your local area and other things from your region, eliminates a large amount off pollution from trucking, shipping and packaging. Plus it is fresher and healthier for you and you are supporting your local economy and small businesses.

I have more suggestions, but I’ll stop there. I don’t want to get too long winded, or you won’t read it. Heavenly Father made us stewards of this beautiful planet, which means we must protect and nurture it. Everything you have comes from the earth—your house, food, water, air, furniture, clothes, heat, electricity, anything you can think of. If we want to be able to continue to draw from it’s bounty, we need to do it in a sustainable way.


  • Thanks, Brandolyn. I really enjoyed your post. I had gotten away from my NW "roots" and stopped buying organic foods when the kids arrived because of the added cost. I'm going to reconsider though....sometimes you have to put your money towards things that are important.

    As far as buying locally...most places have farmers markets and they are so much fun to visit. I worked at one during grad school for a little extra cash and free vegetables and I loved it! I had never really considered ALL of the advantages of buying locally...like saving fuel, etc. Thanks for pointing those things out.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 1/31/2006 05:34:00 AM  

  • Brandolyn or Jen, have you ever crunched the numbers on this? I went to the site and saw that one diaper cost about 17 dollars. So multiply that by # of changes a day and # of sizes your baby will need the first 2 or 3 years and by the cost of washing....how does it compare to disposable?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/31/2006 05:59:00 AM  

  • Hmmm....I haven't done it specifically with that brand, but I know you usually come out ahead (money-wise) with cloth diapers. Although once you factor in the extra money you spend laundering them, it's fairly close. Not to mention the extra time.... My mom swore by cloth diapers, although the cost of disposable diapers has come down considerably in the last 10 years (I just read that today in some parents magazine while I was waiting for an appt).

    Other might have different facts....????
    posted by Blogger Jen at 1/31/2006 03:00:00 PM  

  • There is another movement in the baby world that is encouraging parents to try early potty training to help the environment. I am not an advocate and have not been brave enough to try it, but I did think it was interesting, cost effective, and know that in other countries that they potty train children much earlier. You can check out the website at http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/
    posted by Blogger Tri Mama at 1/31/2006 03:33:00 PM  

  • I am a total dork and I had the wrong website. Sorry. check out fuzzibunz.com instead. It has tons of information including a video clip about the diapers. Several cloth diaper websites have charts showing cost savings. They are usually around $2,000 saved by using cloth diapers and cloth wipes instead of disposable, but of course it depends on how often you change their diapers. Once you buy the cloth though you can use them on the next kids you have which saves you even more. I needed about 12 diapers for Anwen which with the inserts included for free comes to $167, plus I bought cloth wipes and a wet bag to hold the diapers in.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 1/31/2006 06:57:00 PM  

  • I don't want to save the earth. I want to destroy it and get this over with. So I can sit in the hot tub in heaven and read my books.

    Not stand at Wal-Mart all day listening to Big Brother and little kids crying.
    posted by Blogger annegb at 2/01/2006 06:48:00 AM  

  • How often do you wash diapers if you only have 12 of them? It seems like you must be constantly washing--hard if you are using the laundromat. And that it would be hard to travel with cloth diapers. Do you have to buy more than one size over the course of the baby's diaper needs?
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 2/01/2006 11:47:00 AM  

  • I admire people who can live with cloth diapers. I for one am lovin' disposables and will pay for those over washing and sanitizing over and over.

    But thank you for the post Brandolyn. It is well thought out and written and made me think.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 2/01/2006 12:02:00 PM  

  • Wow, thanks for this post! This is really cool.

    BTW I'm one of Carries nieces. I don't even have any kids yet (recently got engaged), but will definately try these out if or when I do have kids. I was really impressed with the items on the fuzzibunz.com site. Thanks, again!
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 2/02/2006 01:34:00 PM  

  • I wish I'd seen this thread when it was new.

    HERE is a calculator to find the cloth diaper cloth savings for your personal situation.

    we broke even after just 4 months of use. we bought a set when my firstborn was 4 months old and 15 pounds and they fit him on up to pottytraining. now his little sis is using them.
    Oh, and we have 4 days worth so I only wash diapers once or twice per week.
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 7/21/2006 01:10:00 PM  

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