Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Green Mean Eco Machine

Eco Parenting Saves Money!

To be greener effectively  requires a global shift in consciousness to want change. For me, being greener requires me to put myself out, to cause discomfort and sometimes offend.

We've just had a birthday celebration in our house - and I asked for no gifts - unless they were second hand, wooden or an acre or half of rainforest! (Cool Earth www)

Yes it offended but people have to make waves to make change. I didn't make party bags and plastic wasteful tat, I never do. For my son's birthday I made gingerbread men for his friends to decorate. You might say my children are deprived, but ask any child as a conscious adult what they really mind and their response will be "why didn't you do anything to save the world? Where is the rainforest? Why is there so much pollution and waste? Why are so many people starving when others are so rich?"

My children don't go without, I buy clothes from local sellers on EBay, car boots or local dress agencies. I take care of the clothes, soaking stains for 2-3 days so they can be used again.

Their rooms I decorated somewhat economically. My girls I got wallpaper samples and cut out motifs and pasted them up. Curtains, wardrobe, chest of drawers and toys are second hand, most books too. Although not really that Eco-friendly, I painted one wall cornflower blue with some leftover paint, and in the past I've used oddments of paint and even mixed with a bit of white to use up. I got a bookcase free from Freecycle - bit shabby - and covered one side with some wrapping paper rather than glossing it.

In my boy's room I used bits from car boots. Ebay, gift furniture and did things up by pasting paper on the front of the boxes. My kind mother made curtains too! I also cut out some of the wallpaper to make a feature on the wall - more decoupage?

I use seconds nappies I got from a local supplier. I soak soiled ones in a bucket from a butcher and wet ones go in a bin. I have three airers, two second hand, to dry. To go further than fabric nappies, some don't use at all! Their babies are nappy-less because they're so in tune. Having twins and a 4 year old I try to devote any spare minute to, I'm not ready for that as yet.

I try to buy local when I can and if I go to a supermarket I try to use my own bags, buy unpackaged and I even try to return any unrequited packaging to them in the hope they'll take the hint.  I buy mostly raw unpackaged food and eat more raw than most.

I'm also growing some of our own fruit and vegetables in a makeshift allotment. As the children get older I hope my experience and success grows.

I walk as much as I can, try to use public transport on long journeys (don't get me started on the extortion that is the British public transport system... I lived in Oz and travelled. I know others are better AND far cheaper).

I love books! Library's reduce waste too and are great fun but again I also buy second hand. I recently discovered that your local library can buy requested books for a fee of 1 pound! Bargain! Okay so I cannot keep it but I can borrow it a few times (requested Parenting for a Peaceful World, and Parenting for Social Change - will write a review when read and digested).

Wardrobes - I tend to buy good quality classic clothes and second hand.

I hope I inspired you and if you can inspire me, leave a comment!

Love me x


  1. Oh sounds good. You are further in your greening then I am but here's what we do:

    - boil the kettle only for as much water as you need
    - if you do pasta or potatoes pre-boil the water, takes less time
    - we don't have TV. We watch anything on demand or DVDs. cuts out unnecessary TV-on time and keeps us sane too (no adverts, no crap we don't want to see)
    - use soap nuts for washing, washing dishes etc
    - use Tea Tree Oil or Lavender or others in the softener compartment
    - instead of buying bottled water, buy a bottle and refill. BPA free of course. ;)
    - I buy books cheap from the charity shops in town or Oxfam
    - We use cloth wipes, cloth nappies and cloth toilet wipes (well, I do)

    There might be more but that's it for now :)


  2. Thanks for the tops - I love the idea of lavender as a softener, I love the scent of it. That's a must try!