We are in need of a new washer and dryer, the plan is to get them in August. We need to get the front-loading washing machines because when we finish the small house, the washer/dryer needs to be stacked to save room.
However HE front loading washers are like this entirely different world, new rules for washing, especially when it comes to cloth diapers.
From how it may mess with the PUL of the fabric (how it lays/bunches up) and then there’s having to use extra rinse cycles or sanitary cycles to help prevent cloth diaper stink. There are some measurements to help prevent it, but seems to me that the extra “cycles” on the wash just waste the benefits of having an HE washer to begin with!
Is it sad that part of me wishes I could set the old top loading washer outside (which is noisy and vibrates like an earthquake) and just use it exclusively for diaper washing? I think Ray would kill me for that one.
I recently got in a debate (which if you know me, you know I HATE debates) on whether doing “some” things to try and move towards a greener life is pointless and hypocritical or not. The other persons stance was “Not possible, no matter what we do, it’ll never erase the damage we do, so why bother promoting the “green” idea.”
Well, if I put 1 solar panel on the roof of my house and fed it into the power grid, would it make a difference? No, not really.
If my entire community put 1 solar panel on the roofs of their houses and fed it into the power grid, would it make a difference? A little bit, not much, but a little.
If the entire Phoenix metropolitan area put 1 single solar panel on their house and fed it into the power grid, would it make a difference? Most definitely, huge difference.
I am nowhere near completely green, (in fact, I don’t think it’s possible, even the Amish have an impact and they’re extremely low taxing on the ecosystem), but that does not change the fact that when we can do little things, it’s still better not caring at all and choosing reckless abandon.
I have several friends who do or are moving to cloth diapers. The average baby goes through 5,000 diapers from birth to potty training. For each of us moving to cloth diapers, we are keeping 5,000 diapers out of the landfill EACH (and more if our cloth diapers make it through a second run on more than one child.) We are making a difference, easily, by just this one little thing.
(And sorry guys, even the bio-degradeable disposables honestly don’t break down in a landfill, they get no air-flow or erosion factors to break them down when they’re in those garbage bags.)
Yes, we go through more water in the washer, yes there’s an environmental cost in the manufacturing of the diapers, costs in shipping, etc. But those costs are already present in disposables, only factor by millions more since they’re one-time use.
Whether it’s collecting rain in rainbarrels, recycling, free/up-cycling, gardening and canning, etc. etc, etc, do little things that you can. You don’t have to go all the way green, we just need enough people making little changes and it does make a dent.
It is not hypocritical, it’s helpful.
No, I’m not talking about aliens or boogers…. I’m talking about little things that we can do around the house to help save energy.
Living in Arizona, we have some pretty major extremes in the summers, and it’s not possible to go without A/C. I sleep during the day since I work at night and we have pets, it’s just not possible. Our AC bills in the summer usually come pretty close to 400! OWWW
So a few things we’re working on before spring hits and the bills start going back up again.
Solar Film on the windows- Solar film allows light to come through but blocks heat from the sun. We have two big windows that cause the most heat input into our place, the bedroom window in the morning, and the kitchen window in the day/evening. (That one was the worst.) Previously, when we walked in front of the window in the kitchen in the summer, you could feel the heat just pouring in. Additionally, this window is the closest to the thermostat. Not Good! As soon as we put up the solar film, there was a HUGE difference! This is cheap, and fairly easy to install yourself, you just need the rolls, the adhesive spray and a squeegee!
Sun Screens- (DIY from Home Depot) Not your typical window screen that keeps the bugs out, this is a heavy duty material that can absorb up to 80% of the suns energy. Ray got these installed this last weekend. Sunscreen rolls were $20.00 a roll. Usually will need framing too, some of our windows needed it, but some we were able to pull the trim and put it on under it and put it back.
Between the two things, (Solar film and sun-screens), we should see a dramatic difference this summer.
Outlet Insulators- We discovered our outlets pour in a huge amount of cold in the winter, and heat in the summer, EEK!- Take a few minutes to go around and put your hands by the outlets and see if you feel any drafts- if you don’t, awesome, if you do, use the link. Quite useful, they have all shapes/sizes for outlets and light switches, and it’s like $3.00 for a 10 pack.
Air Filters- Stock up on a years supply of them and store them in the closet. Put a reminder once a month on your computer to change the thing out! It’s something we all forget about way too often!
Swamp Cooler- I love it, Ray hates it! I have an old swamp cooler that I cleaned up and got working (sorta, I still have a few kinks to work out on it.) – This is our backup- my AC unit is a little skitzy, likes to blow. Kinda hoping to use the swamp cooler (known as Swampy) March through June, and Sept/Oct/early november. Depends on how much Ray gripes about it. Swamp coolers use 80% LESS ENERGY than A/C units!
A swamp cooler runs on water and electricity, and works great above 85 degree temps with low humidity. Doesn’t work during monsoon season though out here (July/August)
Power Outlets- Vampire Power Suckers! Out of all the appliances we have in our house, we have a tendency to leave things plugged into walls, especially when they’re hard to reach. This costs the U.S. 3 BILLION a year alone in energy use! We PAY for that!
Leave your cell phone charger attached to the wall when you take your cell phone to work? You’re paying for it. Fast solution- Power Strips- Power strips, when turned off- do not draw power, and can be a quick flip switch for those out of reach outlets and have screw brackets on the back of them to mount them in a quick easy (and often concealable place) just within reach.
As we build our new place, a few things we will be implementing along with the above list are:
Ductless AC (since it’s a small place)
Solar powered Attic/Roof Fans, to suck heat out of the attic.
On Demand Water heater
Way better insulation, from walls to roof.