Reusable Produce Bags : Alternative to Single-Use Plastics.

Reusable produce bags are awesome! I was very happy when I learned about it while I was blog hopping two weeks ago! I immediately googled and instagramed it and after seeing different beautiful photos, I said to myself: I need to have some reusable produce bags NOW!

Reusable produce bags.
My own reusable bags.

What Are Reusable Produce Bags?

Reusable produce bags are similar to single-use plastics in appearance but they are just – reusable! 🙂 I always look forward to our grocery trips because I love looking, exploring the different aisles and reading labels. But keeping/storing the things we buy makes me sad as well because it makes me realize how we are generating a lot of plastic waste! Almost everything in the store is packed in plastic! Thus, my happiness when I found out about the bags, it’s the perfect substitute for single-use plastics. Zero-waste movement is one of the things I stumbled upon as I started reading/researching about natural living on the 2nd/3rd month of my pregnancy (you can read more about it here), thus the inspiration to lessen our plastic waste.

I immediately ordered a set of 9 from Amazon and took them for the first time to the grocery two days ago. I chose the ones from earthwise and  I love them so much! Instead of taking  single-use plastics to put the fruits and veggies, I use the reusable produce bags instead. But only few items in the grocery are unpackaged, so it’s really very difficult to get rid of plastic waste. That’s why i like the idea of bulk buying in a bulk store (but that will be another post). Yesterday, the bana and I went to the grocery and we were not able to use them because everything that we need to buy were packed in plastic! How sad.

Reusable produce bags are made of different materials. Some are cotton, others are polyesters, etc. The ones I got are made of polyester, definitely not an eco-friendly material, but atleast I’m going to use them for many, many years (hopefully they’re strong enough to last a lifetime). According to Green Living many companies now are finding ways to create polyester out of recycled plastic materials.

Make Your Own Reusable Produce Bags

I saw some instagram photos of DIY reusable produce bags that are made out of old curtains. I instantly remember the curtains we had when we were still kids. The kind that has small holes with flower and leaf designs. If you have some old curtains lying around, then you can use it to make your own reusable produce bags. You can also use old bedsheets if you like.

Do you already have reusable produe bags? Please feel free to share your tips in reducing plastic waste.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which enable me to share the products I am using. I will receive a small commission once you purchase through the links, but you won’t be charge an extra cost for them.

 

Baking Soda : the husband’s favorite natural ingredient.

I started googling about baking soda when my ex-boyfriend (now my dearest husband) told me that he uses baking soda as a toothpaste and as a laundry soap. I didn’t believe him at all! You can read more about it in the About page.:)

baking soda

I think we were on a date when he told me about it. So when I arrived in the apartment, I immediately googled the white powder that the only use I know is for baking and boom! was I flooded with articles of the many uses of baking soda . It is bicarbonato sodico here in Spain.

Baking Soda Love

My love for baking soda started a month or so after my bana(then boyfriend) and I became boyfriend-girlfriend. Indeed, life is full of surprises! Who would have thought that falling inlove with the bana will also pave the way of falling inlove with it!

After reading tons of articles about its beneficial uses, I was convinced so I instantly bought one to try. I first used it to brush my teeth after brushing with my regular toothpaste and it felt good. It gave me a feeling of having very clean teeth. I even bought 3 small containers to bring to the Philippines during our wedding (yes, the bana flew to the other side of the world just to marry me:) ), to make sure that the bana can have his daily dose of baking soda. My Mother used the rest of the baking soda we brought home and she loved it, too.

Uses of Baking Soda  in Our Home

Baking soda is a constant staple in our kitchen. We ran out of onions and garlics at times, but we always make sure that we’ll never run out of baking soda.  We are still exploring and learning on how to use it more, but as of this writing, here’s how we use baking soda in our home:

  1. baking – this is the only use I know of this amazing white powder before I met the bana. My employer before ordered a lot online coz she mistaken it for another household item.
  2. cleaning – I use it to clean the toilet following the recipe in the book Clean House, Clean Planet.
  3. degreasing – this is one of the uses mentioned in one of the articles that I read, so I tried it one day on the pan that we used in grilling meat. And true enough, it worked! I use it to clean greasy pans since then.
  4. soap – the bana use it as a soap until now . The bana still use our normal bath soap once in a while (yes, we still have our normal bath soap because i am not yet into baking soda as soap). But we always have a container of baking soda in our shower because the bana always reaches for it especially when he feels so dirty after working with the bees.
  5. toothpaste – though we have our regular toothpaste, but the bana uses it once in a while. I must be a bad influence of sort because when the bana was still single, he uses baking soda as a toothpaste all the time. Then we got married and I bought him a normal toothpaste. I should find a diy toothpaste with baking soda to make soon and start using once our regular toothpaste is finish.
  6. deodorant – yes, you read it right! We use baking soda on our deodorant, well, on the deodorant of the bana. I still have my store-bought deodorant, so I made one for the bana after his ran out. I followed the recipe from Mommypotamus and made it last July 2017 and the bana liked it very much. It really works!
  7. odor absorber – I put some inside the refrigerator if it smells bad.

Feel free to share how you use it in your home.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which enable me to share the products I am using. I will receive a small commission once you purchase through the links, but you won’t be charge an extra cost for them.

Our Practical And Inexpensive Cloth Diaper Stash

After so many readings and video watching, I finally decided on what cloth diaper system to choose and finally completed our cloth diaper stash, too. Everything is already pre-washed and ready for use. Thank you to all the experienced moms who shared their expertise on cloth diapering with their blog articles and youtube videos. Just in case you missed my first post on why we decided to cloth diaper, you can read it here.

Different Kinds of Cloth Diapers

There are about 9 different types of cloth diapers: All in Ones (AIO), All in Twos (AI2), prefolds, flats, diaper covers, hybrids, pockets, fitteds and contour diapers, but I’m not going to talk about them one by one here. Instead, I will share with you the links of the articles and videos by experienced moms that have served as my guide in understanding more about the modern cloth diapers and in deciding which system to choose, with all the photos/videos for easier visualization.

Cloth Diapering 101: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started by Genevieve (The Mama Natural) is one of the very first articles that I’ve read about Cloth Diapering. She is also the author of one of the pregnancy books that I have: The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth.

Another article that helped me is Cloth Diapers: How To Get Started by Katie, The Wellness Mama. I have also watched a lot of youtube videos about cloth diapering and the one that I liked and watched a lot is the video Our Simple & Affordable Cloth Diaper Stash by Eat Pray Crunch. It is the very video that helped me decide to go with flats and the diaper cover system.

Our Practical & Inexpensive Cloth Diaper Stash

Among the many kinds of cloth diapers, I chose (the bana is completely clueless about the different kinds) to go with flats and the diaper cover system (I was totally convinced after watching the video Our Simple & Affordable Cloth Diaper Stash). A flat is just a square piece of cloth made of cotton, the “lampin” that we commonly use in the Philippines, while a diaper cover is the waterproof part that you put after the “lampin” to avoid leakage. The cover is usually made of PUL ((polyurethane laminate)and it is breathable, tight-knit polyester and laminated which makes it waterproof. Some covers are also made of wool and fleece.

I like the idea of using flats or “lampin” very much because I want to experience the same method that my Mama, Lolas, and Tiyas used in the Philippines. And it also gives me a feeling of excitement because I haven’t had the experience of changing and washing lampins during my childhood or teenage life coz I only have 2 younger siblings and we only had 1 year and 2 years interval, so I didn’t have the chance of taking care of them while they were younger. For sure, this flats and diaper cover system are more time-consuming than the other choices, but a lot of mothers all over the globe like the system, too, because they find it more convenient than the others, more economical and so fast-drying. I’m going to experience for myself so soon and there’s no turning back coz I already bought and completed our cloth diaper stash.:) I’m going to mention each item of our complete practical and inexpensive cloth diaper stash and put the links on where I bought them, just in case you want to try some of the items, too.

Flats

I bought 20 pieces of flats or lampin. I ordered mine through amazon.es and I chose the ones from ZOLLNER because it’s made of 100% cotton and it’s Oeko-Tex certified. It’s big enough at 80x80cm and it comes in a package of 10 for 15.99€ instead of the normal 19.99€ and shipping is for free if you have an amazon prime.

Zollner flats, the main part of our practical & inexpensive cloth diaper stash
Flats or the traditional “lampin” in the Philippines. These are the 20 flats from Zollner.

Most mothers recommend 24 diapers (of any kind) and have a wash routine every other day. If you are planning to wash every 2 days or so, then you’ll need more than 24. A new born usually uses 10-12 diapers per day, infant uses 8-10, and an older baby or toddler uses 6-8 diapers each day. So I think 20 flats is good for us since I’m planning to wash every other day because some articles say that longer days of not washing soiled diapers might trigger the build-up of bacteria, so, better be on the safe side.

Diaper Covers

I bought 5 diaper covers to go with my 20 flats. Most mothers recommend having 4-8 covers for 24 flats since covers can still be reused 3 to 4 times in one day before finally throwing it to the diaper pail for washing or lesser than 3-4 times if it gets soiled by poo. If not, then you can just wipe it with a wet wipe or damp cloth, dry it and re-use it. I bought 4 of my diaper covers from www.apego.es and 1 diaper cover from www.crianzanatural.com.

Cloth Diaper Covers from Blueberry, another main component of our practical & inexpensive cloth diaper stash.
My 4 diaper covers from the american brand, Blueberry.
Cloth Diaper Fasteners

These are modern pins that you’re going to use to hold the flats in place and it’s commonly known as snappi in the cloth diapering world. I bought 2 from www.apego.es and because I forgot to leave a note that we are having a boy, so they sent me the items in random color: green and pink. 🙂

Snappis by Popolini, another important part of our practical & inexpensive cloth diaper stash.
Cloth Diaper Fasteners or Snappis by Popolini.
Absorbents

are an extra piece of cloth that you can also use to enhance the absorbency of cloth diapers especially during the night when your baby sleeps longer. They are also called boosters or soaker pads. I bought 3 pieces of absorbents from Crianza Natural. Each set comes in 2 sizes (one small when the newborn stage and one large when the baby is bigger, but you can use both at one time especially if you have a heavy wetter). I chose the one made of cotton and hemp because most mothers say that it’s more absorbent than cotton or microfiber.

Cloth Diaper Absorbents made of hemp and cotton, an integral part of our cloth diaper stash especially for night time.
Cloth Diaper Absorbents made of hemp and cotton.
Pocket Diapers

Though I decided to choose the flats and diaper covers as our main cloth diaper system, I also bought 5 pocket diapers from /www.thenappylady.co.uk. I was hesitant at first to make the order, but finally decided to give it a go since pocket diapers resemble disposable diapers and it’s so easy to use when on the go and when the grannies or other people who are hesitant yet to cloth diapers are around. I will just use them when we go outside for a medical appointment or some errands to make diaper changing a breeze.

Pocket diapers from Little Lambs, a part of our cloth diaper stash especially for on the go purposes.
Our Pocket Diapers from Little Lambs.

There are a lot of cheap cloth diapers available on eBay and other sites, but these are often made abroad and may not meet EU safety standards. That’s why I decided to go with Little Lambs because they are a well known and trusted UK brand, with a great reputation. These nappies are made in Turkey and conform to all EU regulations and have fabric Oeko Teks safety certification and it’s not expensive and it comes with 2 bamboo boosters for extra absorbency, which you can also use with your other cloth diapers.

The Total Cost of our Cloth Diaper Stash

The downside of cloth diapering is the upfront cost because you have to shell out the money at once to complete your cloth diaper stash. Unlike disposables that you can buy it weekly, so you won’t notice the total amount you’re actually spending on buying them. But once you’re done completing your cloth diaper stash, you don’t have to buy more and with proper care, you can still use your cloth diaper stash on your next baby or babies. Here’s the total cost of our cloth diaper stash:

20 pieces flats – 15.99€ x 2 = 31.98€

5 diaper covers    ——– = 92.35€ (2 covers for 16.20€/each, 2 covers for 22€/each and 1 cover for 15.95€)

2 snappis – 2.60€ x 2 —- = 5.20€

3 sets of absorbents —– = 25.50€ (sold for 3 sets)

5 pocket diapers – 6.70€x5= 33.50€ (it was 6 pounds each and I converted it using the moneyconverter at www.xe.com)


total cost of our cloth diaper stash = 188.53€

Woww the total is way cheaper than the estimated cost of diapering one child from birth to potty training which is around $1500-2000 depending on the disposable diaper brand that you’re going to use.

But take it easy, the expenses for our complete cloth diaper stash didn’t stop at 188.53€ at all because I bought some cloth diaper accessories, too. One can actually cloth diaper without the accessories, but it’s way better and convenient if you actually have them. So, I took the convenient way, 🙂 which means increasing the total cost of our stash to about 300€.

I’m going to talk about our cloth diaper stash accessories on another post because this one is already very long. I don’t want to bore you, that is if you’re not yet on that state. 🙂

How about you, how much did you spend in completing your cloth diaper stash? If you’re not yet into cloth diapers, how much are you going to spend?

*All images posted on this site are mine unless otherwise noted.


*** We had another check-up in the doctor yesterday (October 19) on my 41st week of pregnancy. The baby is doing well, but my cervical opening is still close. 🙁 We are going to have another check-up tomorrow at 10am. Please continue praying for us. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Top 4 Reasons Why We Will Cloth Diaper

I already heard about cloth diaper/cloth diapers before I got married. I was set to make a vacation in the Philippines for Christmas 2016 and was also planning a reunion with my college boardmates in Iligan (most are already married). So, we made a special thread for it and in one of the conversations two of the girls were talking about the cloth diapers they’re using for their babies. I got curious and started googling “cloth diapers”.

What Are Cloth Diapers?

Cloth diapers are reusable diapers ( also called washable diapers and in the UK they are called cloth nappies) made from natural fibers, man-made materials, or a combination of both. These are the traditional way of containing pee and poo used by mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers all over the world before disposable diapers came into the market. These are the traditional, famous “lampin” that my Mama, Lolas, and Tiyas in the Philippines used during my childhood and that of my cousins. There are still a lot of mothers in my country who are using cloth diapers up to these days. Kudos to them!

Top 4 Reasons Why We Will Cloth Diaper

After so much “googling” and reading a lot of articles about cloth diapers, I was already convinced and decided that I’m going to give it a try on my own babies (the bana wants more, too). Five months or so into my pregnancy, I told the bana (my husband) about my plan and he initially finds it gross. But I explained to him my reasons and told him as well that there are already a lot of mothers all over the globe who are switching to cloth diapers because of so many benefits. He finally agreed and said that I’m always the boss when it comes to child and house care.:) Here are the top reasons that finally convinced the bana to cloth diaper with me:

1. Cloth Diapers are baby-friendly.

Cloth diapers are gentle on baby’s skin, unlike disposable diapers that contain harmful chemicals (according to realdiapers.org) like Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process and is listed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)as a carcinogenic chemical, the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals; Tributyl-tin (TBT), a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals; and Sodium Polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet and is said to increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.

I have a mommy friend in the Philippines whose main reason for cloth diapering is to protect her baby girl from urinary tract infection. Protecting my baby’s skin is my priority, too.

2. Cloth Diapers are environment-friendly.

Independent.co.uk released an article in May 2006 stating that nearly 8 million nappies are thrown away every day in the UK, which amounts to 3 billion a year and that more disposable nappies are found in UK household waste than anything else. While the Real Diaper Association estimated that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S. and that the estimated decomposition time for each disposable diaper is about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone. What a scary and horrible fact!

Meanwhile, cloth diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags and most parts are biodegradable.

Independent.co.uk also stated that The Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) said that by using cloth nappies and laundering them in an energy-efficient washing machine at 60C, parents can reduce global warming by 24 percent.

I want to help take care of the environment in my own little way, that’s why I’m so convinced to give cloth diapers a try.

3. Cloth Diapers are budget-friendly.

It is estimated by realdiapers.org that each baby will need about 6,000 diapers during the first two years of life. It means that disposable diapers cost about $62.50 (53€) per month, $750 (634€) per year, or $1,500 (1,268€) over the full time a child is in diapers. And the figure increases if one opts for the more expensive or biodegradable brands.

But cloth diapers for one child can be bought for as low as $300 (254€). Even adding $150 (127€) yearly for the energy and detergent costs of washing cloth diapers will still give families a huge saving and the cloth diapers can still be used for the next baby/babies.

There are also others who are skeptical about the savings part of cloth diapers since they think that the cost of washing and drying cloth diapers will be more or less the same as the savings. But most modern cloth diapers are very quick-drying and can be line-dried outside or inside the house. And this is more convenient here in Spain since the sun is out almost all year round. We don’t have a dryer in our household, so, we always rely on the sun and we don’t have a problem with it at all. Even now that it’s starting to get cold, most of our clothes get dry in just one day when hanged outside and one day and a half to two days when hanged inside.

There are also some mothers who scared to try cloth diapers because they find it as extra work and it’s true. But I’m ok with it since I’ll be a full-time SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) once the baby arrives. So, I’ll have all the time I need to make it work. For now, I’m a full-time SAHW (stay-at-home-wife). 🙂

4. Cloth Diapers are way cuter than disposables.

I didn’t tell the bana about this anymore. The top 3 reasons were already enough for him. This last one is for me.:) During my early pregnancy, there were days when all I did the whole day was reading cloth diaper articles and looking at all the cute prints on different online stores. I was addicted for awhile. Fortunately, I got back to my senses and was able to resist the urge to splurge. I was able to complete my cloth diaper stash the practical way and still able to buy some cute prints. Yehey!

A cover all and 3 capri cloth diaper covers from Blueberry.
A coverall and 3 capri diaper covers from Blueberry. Aren’t they way cuter than disposables?

I’m already very excited to start using my cloth diapers that I kept on dreaming about them almost every night for almost a week now. 🙂

How about you, have you tried cloth diapers already? Would you give it a try on your baby or next baby? Let’s talk about it in the comment section.:)

*All images posted on this site are mine unless otherwise noted.

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*** I have already reached my 40 weeks of pregnancy yesterday, October 12 (the official due date), but there’s still no signs of contractions and my cervical opening is still close based on the medical test done yesterday. This coming Thursday (on my 41st week), the test will be repeated and if there will be no sign of contractions yet, they have to repeat the test every 2 days until I reach my 42nd week. If no contractions yet, then they will induce the birth on October 26. Please pray for me and our baby, we don’t want an induced birth. We want to go natural, as much as possible.