Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Attempts at Eco-tude

In terms of being environmentally sound, we've been a pretty so-so household. I mean, we recycle bottles and cans, and sometimes paper (when the little dude doesn't get into the bin and scatter it willy-nilly). We take a lot of stuff to Goodwill. However, there is a lot more we could do.

For example, we use a lot of paper towels to wipe Q's hands, the kitchen table, his hands, his dinner tray, and his hands again. I've wanted to switch over to using some kind of kitchen cloth that we could re-use, but there was the question of where to put the damp, dirty wipes so they wouldn't rot while waiting to be washed.

Moving has spurred us to action. First of all, we have a laundry room right next to the kitchen, where we've designated a miniature bucket for kitchen cloths. I hang the material on the side of the bucket until it dries, and then toss it inside. Being really low on paper towels when we arrived in the house helped form the habit, and now we're saving a good batch of paper every day.

A second area of improvement is general trash. Our garbage can is literally half the size of the one we had at the old house. We can call the city garbage collection company to have them bring a larger container (and pay more for it), but we're going to try to limit our trash to fit in the new, smaller container. The first week, we didn't make it, since we had a lot of moving debris, but we had to take the trash to the curb at the old house anyway, so we just brought the extra bag over there with us.

We're going to experiment for a month and see if this works. It may be tough in the spring with the new member of the household and more houseguests, but I purchased two "extra bag" allowance stickers from the city, a sort of security blanket at $6.25 each, to tide us over in case of an extra-trash emergency.

We're helped by the fact that the city accepts a whole lot of stuff in one enormous recycling bin, so we can recycle all kinds of stuff that we couldn't easily do before. We just need to be a bit more careful in sorting, and I think we can make it.

In the spirit of not creating more trash, does anyone have any ideas for what I should do with our old Avent bottles, now that we've learned that they're not BPA-free? I hate to just throw them out, but I'd feel worse giving donating them to some less fortunate family and exposing their child to the chemicals. There's no plastic recycling number on them. Maybe some kind of craft project?

P.S. The "cherry blossom" phone decal design has won by a landslide. I'll let you know how it looks after it arrives! And yes, it's supposed to be fully removable, so that one can change one's style repeatedly, requiring more orders to the vendor.


Jenni said...

Do you garden or know someone who does? Bottles are great for mixing fertilizers and assorted plant foods because they have measurements right along the side.

I've heard of scrapbookers reusing the nipples for rubber stamping, but I have no idea how.

Mayberry said...

You could make rattles out of a few of them -- put dried beans or rice inside and seal with superglue or strong tape. Then again, baby might mouth the outside.

Here are a few links for crafties: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1166


Damselfly said...

An Avent craft project ... how about a wreath with pink and blue ribbons and stuff? ;)

kittenpie said...

Well, you can use them to take dry snacks along with you if they have caps.

Or, also if they have caps, you can use them to make snowglobes!

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Karianna said...

When we moved I was delighted that they have a composting service: we just dump our food scraps in with our yard waste! True, it took some time to figure out how best to manage the little bucket so that our kitchen didn't stink, but it has cut down on our waste considerably.

appleseed said...

I totally agree with how awesome composting food waste is! I use a big container from the dollar store and stick it in the freezer for a few hours before I empty it. it cuts down the smell by a lot!
This might be a bit bizarre, but if you cut the tips off of the nipples of the bottles and put them back in upside down they make great *Low-spill* containers for kids' paint. Just make sure you cut the hole large enough to get a brush in.

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buckeye girl in spain said...

There could be a whole ton of cute arts and crafts projects you could do with bottles, especially ones you could do with Q. The adding of beans or rice to make a musical instrument did come to my mind right away as well but you could also paint them or glue on colored paper or foam pieces to turn them into little toy people, you could incorporate them into a cute baby shower decoration or gift basket, layered sand art...Those are all pretty random and not all that functional but it's like 2am right now and I've been reading textbooks for 4 hours so it's the best I've got hahaha I've really liked using this website to help me plan crafts for my job so maybe something will inspire you there. I know they do cute animals using liter bottles, maybe it'd work with baby bottles instead. http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/tool/craftfinder_tlp/