Small Changes: June 2012

by Rachael on June 5, 2012

Cortelyou Greenmarket

June! Time for locally grown color and flavor!

Looking Back

For the past two months, I’ve kept to my resolution to head to Monk’s Trunk first whenever the kiddos need something that isn’t already in their wardrobes. We did end up buying a few things new for my stepbrother’s wedding at the beginning of May; other things, such as another pair of pajamas for the Critter, we’re willing to wait for. My shopping skills are limited, but I could get the hang of thrifting. The keys to doing it well, it seems, are simply to know what the boys need and to swing into the consignment shop regularly to see what’s new there.

I’ve also been thinking about how I might turn to thrifting to keep my own wardrobe fresh. This guest post by Rita from This (Sorta) Old Life at SortaCrunchy offers some great tips for a beginner like me.

Looking Ahead

In May, Amber at Strocel.com gave up paper towels. She points out that “in the U.S., 2% of landfill mass is taken up by paper towels. Plus there’s the carbon footprint of harvesting trees and turning them into paper towels, wrapping them in plastic, and delivering them to you.” Additionally, she writes, “When something biodegrades in a landfill, it does it in an environment where there is no oxygen present, which means that instead of producing carbon dioxide, it produces methane. Methane is actually a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.” OK, I’m sold.

Except that we’re not giving up paper towels altogether — yet. First, we’re making the switch to cloth napkins. We don’t actually use paper napkins, but we do use paper towels at the table when it seems that the meal might get messy — which, with two kiddos, happens more and more often. I was shocked to see how much a package of recycled paper napkins costs; instead, I’ll be using the money to invest in cloth.

This post at Simple Homemade (via Amber from Strocel.com) provides a great step-by-step guide to transitioning from disposables to cloth in the home.

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What tips do you have to share about thrifting, transitioning from disposables to cloth, or any other changes you’ve recently made for sustainable living?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Genevra June 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

You’ve inspired me to switch to cloth napkins!!! That will be my Action Monday item #2. 😉 You’ve also encouraged me to do a better job finding 2nd-hand clothes for the bunny. I’ve done that more for my own wardrobe than for hers, which is pretty silly. Thanks for the inspiration. xoxoxo

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MyGreenMouth June 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM

This is a great post with great information (2% of landfill mass! oy!).

I am totally down with cloth napkins. Actually, I found cloth dish towels at IKEA that are very cheap, and we regularly use them as napkins. (They’re very large. 🙂 They make me feel like I’m in a French bistro for some reason. I’ve found, also, that they’ve lasted for a while: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10100909/)

We still use some paper towels. Mainly to clean up the occasional biological messes from the aging dog. And while I try to tell restaurants and bakeries NOT to give us paper napkins, I forget. Or the paper napkins are already there in the take-out bag. So I save all of those to use later.

Anyways, LOVE your small changes! You set a lovely example.
xo

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