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Archive: Sustainability - MOMS.

Out With The Old, In With The New (& Used)

7:00 pm in Consumer Products, Sustainability by Mary Brune

ThredupI don’t know what it is, but I find the practice of purging to be incredibly satisfying (as in, the contents of closets or inboxes, or car glove compartments—stomach contents, on the other hand, not so much fun).

There’s always someone out there in need of something. That’s why I love services like Freecycle. Don’t think anyone wants that martini shaker with plastic pink flamingo on top? Think again! Post your available items and wait for the requests to pour in.

Another service iReuse, will come take your unwanted furnishings and either give them away to nonprofit organizations in need, or auction them for cash. There’s a fee for pickup, but it’s relatively cheap when you consider your time and physical energy costs in renting a truck and doing it yourself. Plus, I like the fact that nonprofits doing good work can furnish their offices for the cost of a little sweat and the use of wheels.

Have your kids outgrown their cool duds? If they are still in good shape, donate them to a local Goodwill, or try trading them in for something new at a clothing swap near you.You can also join thredUP, an online clothing swap that lets you exchange boxes of your kids’ outgrown clothing for new stuff that fits. Pay only shipping and handling fees.

If items are too beat to wear, you can still keep them out of the landfill by placing them in a USAgain drop box for recycling. USAgain collects unwanted textiles and resells them in the U.S. and abroad, effectively diverting millions of pounds of clothing from landfills. Locate a USAgain drop-box near you, or become a sponsor and earn money for your school or organization. Read the rest of this entry →

Trash Talk: Now That’s Just Garbage!

8:30 pm in Consumer Products, Sustainability by Mary Brune

Before my daughter had even turned two, she had developed an obsession around garbage. Once, when walking around the block, she stopped several times along the way to pick up trash, each time handing it to me with the instruction, “Mama, throw garbage.”

Now, I’m glad she’s learning to clean up the earth at a young age, but her insistence on throwing every piece of debris in the garbage reminded me of something Julia Butterfly Hill once said: when we throw something away, we need to stop and think about what away means.

Usually, away means it ends up in a landfill. And if the object being discarded contains harmful chemicals that break down over time, they could end up in the soil, water, or air, and eventually, in us.

In this post we’ll be taking a look at some cool products that let us go about our business and reduce the amount of garbage we send to landfills, and consequently, reduce the amount of toxins released into the environment.

Flushable diapers
Many parents opt for reusable cloth diapers as a way to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfills. Even if you’re a cloth diaper devotee, there are times when it’s just not practical to cart around a load of dirty diapers (poopy diaper + long ride + hot car=major stinky). For times like these, you might try gDiapers, a new kind of diaper that let’s you flush the mush where it belongs: down the toilet. And because the diapers are biodegradable, the wet diapers can also be added to the compost pile.

The system works much like a cloth diaper does, with a twist: there’s a flushable insert inside a washable fabric cover, called “little g” pants. When the diaper is soiled, you just tear away the side seam of the insert, drop it into the toilet, then flush!

Because of the water used to flush each dirty diaper, gDiapers probably aren’t the best choice for parents of newborns, whose diapering needs are more frequent and varied. Starter kits cost around $24.99. You can find gDiapers online from gDiapers.com, or at your local natural grocery store.

Compostable dinnerware
Memorial Day is just around the corner, and that means backyard barbeques, which also means paper plates, plastic utensils, & cups, in short, garbage. Here’s some food for thought when planning your backyard shin-dig
this season: now you can use your plate and eat it too. Well, sort of.

Bamboo plates by Bambu, let you serve your potato salad in style, then compost the plate right along with the food scraps. These attractive and sturdy plates will hold up under the weight of your corn-on-the cob and baked beans, and then break down in the compost pile within 4-6 months. You can then use the compost to fertilize your fall vegetable garden!

If you prefer the look and feel of paper plates, you can try compostable plates and cups made from 100% bagasse, an agricultural waste product left over from the manufacture of sugar. Available online from www.worldcentric.org. Prices vary by style and size, so see website for details.

And, finally, since you’re eating corn and potatoes anyway, you might was well eat with them, too. World Centric also offers cutlery made from corn and potato starch. $2.85 for a pack of 50.