Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spring greening...part 1

The snow is melting, finally, and the trees are beginning to form those first tentative buds.  The past week has been sunny, dry, and relatively warm, in the mid-40s.  It's time to start cleaning and greening.

I aspire to crunch, but being a modern girl and a city dweller, it doesn't come naturally to me.  I harbor a secret love for the smell of Clorox, the squeak of a Windex-covered paper towel, and the convenience of those little wipes in a plastic can.  What woman doesn't love a freshly sanatized house, and what parent doesn't understand the attraction of swipe-and-toss cleaning supplies?  But in my heart of hearts I believe that we all should lessen our impact on the world.  I also cringe at the thought of N crawling on freshly bleached floors.

Right now T and I are not doing so well with the whole "green" thing.  Yes, we breastfeed, cloth diaper, and I use family cloth in my bathroom.  But we use mainstream soaps and cleaning products for the most part, and we probably go through a roll of paper towels every day, thanks in no small part to N.  So, my main project for this spring is to switch to natural shampoo, soap, and house cleaning supplies.  I'd like to get as close to eliminating our paper towel use as possible, and I'd like to fnd new homes for all of our old junk rather than just tossing it.

First on the agenda:  paper towels.  The best way I can think to replace them is to buy cleaning rages, and keep them in a box on my kitchen counter.  I could buy fabric and hem it, but I don't own a sewing machine (and would have nowhere to put one if I did).  Maybe cheap wash cloths from Target would do?  Something like this would be nice, but I balk at the idea of paying $5 for a single sheet.  Back in the day, my mother kept a stack of old Gerber flat diapers for miscallaneous cleaning tasks.  Maybe that's an idea wirth looking into.

Next up: natural cleaning.  Now, I know some people swear by Seventh Generation goods.  I'm sure they're perfect for some, but not for us.  They're awfully expensive, and I haven't found that they work extremely well.  I want to do right by Mother Earth, but I also want to do right by N, and having a dirty house isn't an option.  I like Method products, but I'm not sure they're really all that natural.  Maybe now is the time to experiment with baking soda and vinegar.  The same goes for replacing shampoo and soap (baking soda), those lovely little wipes (tea tree oil and vinegar), and Tilex (baking soda and a little backbreaking labor).

In the pursuit of green, I'm hoping I will also find my floor and furniture.  De-cluttering is tough when you have a little one around, but it badly needs doing in the Earthy house.  I tend to forget to fold the laundry, thinking that time with N is more important than an unwrinkled shirt.  While this is true, there's also a line, and we're toeing it.  It's time to step back.

Check back soon, dear readers, for Spring Greening part 2.

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