Friday, April 8, 2011

The icky sticky facts about paper.

The people asked and now they shall receive! Here is a snippet from my workshop on paper diapers and their harmful affects.

Let’s look at some facts and figures about the paper alternative.
-In 1988 nearly $300 million dollars was spent annually just to DISCARD disposable diapers. Cloth diapers can be used 50-200 times before being turned into rags!

-Disposable diapers generate 60x more solid waste and use 20x more raw materials such as crude oil and wood pulp.

-The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3x more water use than cloth.

-Over 300 lbs. of wood, 50 lbs. of petroleum feed stocks and 20 lbs of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR!

-Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up around 50% of the houses waste.

-In May 2000 archives of childhood disease published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers. Prolonged exposure will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal sperm generation.

-Disposable diapers take around 500 yrs to decompose. All the while leaching harmful chemicals back into our planet!

-These are the same chemicals that are so harmful to our little ones!

Such As:

Dioxin- this is used in the paper bleaching process. This is a KNOWN carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer linked chemicals, banned in most countries!
Most feminine products also contain this chemical.
If you are interested in an alternative please contact me for more info!

Tributyl-tin(TBT)- a toxic pollutant KNOWN to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals!

Sodium polyacrylate- is a type of SAP or super absorbent polymer, a similar substance was taken out of tampons in 1980 when it was linked to TSS.

Now Let’s take a look at Economics:
*These figures are based on averages out of San Francisco California a few years back.

-Each baby will use around 6,000 diapers in the first two years.

-This is around 60 diapers a week @ 23 cents per store brand diaper, 28 cents for name brand. This brings us to a 25.5 cent average.

-Based on these numbers we are looking at about $1600 to diaper for two years, or about $66 a month.

-Each family will more than likely need around 6 dozen diapers.

- This is 3 dozen each in two different sizes. This should last two children up to two years!

-This set up can be as low as $300 to as much as $1000 depending on what type of system you purchase, if you make your own, and what materials you use.

-The cheapest diaper I have made cost us about .10 cents. We upcycled some old T-shirts!

-So, you can save as much as 1/10 of the cost of disposables, even more if you use found objects like t-shirts or towels!

We take cloth campin! Are cloth diapers more of an inconvience than paper?

Well, the Tribe is off to festival and I thought I would share with you the rigors of cloth diapering in the wood.

To me, it is worth any slight inconvenience of travel when I out weigh the pros vs cons of cloth diapering. But that's just me, some moms may cloth diaper at home and be afraid to take it a step further, and for other moms who are new to the concept of cloth, maybe this can be a great educational tool for you too, either way, I wanted to share another leg on our journey with you!

So far it has been a blast picking out what part of my fluff stash goes along! AND as an added bonus, we get to show off all those adorable prints (made by none other than muah!)because we won't be needing a cover most of the time!
After packing the bag, I picked it up, tossed it around and sat it on the ground next to the rest of the gear to go in the truck and my bag is no more inconvenient or heavy than a plastic package of diapers large enough for the weekend. This bag contained all of his wipes, diapers, covers, longies and bibs and burp rags!
*Plus it's a pretty rad bag!

The only thing so far that I could see being an "extra" was the small Rubbermaid kitchen trash can with a latching lid we use as the diaper pail. No biggie.

SO, we are off to see the Wizard and I will keep you posted from the wood, and if I'm too busy having fun, well then I will just have to update you when we return to home sweet home!

For now,
Merry Part!


Well, that was easy. We spent the weekend primitive camping and there were only two major differences in the whole diapering routine:

1. We didn't wash the diapers. We were only there for two days, so we just threw them in the diaper pail.
2. I ASSUMED that we would be able to scrape any solid waste into the porta potty. We all know what happens when one assumes anything! I'll spare you the gory details and just say that the portable shower will definitely come in handy next time!

This is what we brought along as far as supplies:

Diaper bag. (duh)
Baby wash cloths for wipes.
Jelly jar with homemade wipes solution.
Diaper pail.

All in all a total thumbs up for cloth and camping!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quinoa- The Super Easy Super Food!

My journey to a greener healthier lifestyle has taken me down many avenues, sometimes it's a tofu super highway where I'm not really sure exactly what to think,sometimes it's a bottomless free fall down the rabbit hole and others it takes me down Easy Street, that's where I met Quinoa (keen-wa).

This ancient grain (which is actually a seed)originated in the Andes and has been around for centuries. It's nutty flavor and rice like texture make it a shoe in for endless possibilities!
Why is it Super you ask? Well, it is "unusually" high in protein, low in carbs and packed full of all 8 amino acids!
Complete nutrition in a tiny, easy to store, easy to use package!

This was the first recipe we used for Quinoa and LOVED it!


* 1/2 cup quinoa
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
(if your are strictly veggie water will work here. we use chicken stock to add flavor!)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
* 1/2 medium onion , chopped
* 1 cup chopped zucchini
* 1 tablespoon chopped basil
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 6 medium tomatoes
* 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Throw Quinoa in your sauce pan, toss in 1T olive oil to coat. Then add in salt,pepper,Italian seasonings,garlic and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 m ins.

2. Sautee onion and zucchini with the other 1T olive oil, paprika and cumin, throw in the fresh basil at the last minute just to wilt.
Tip: I hulled out my tomatoes while all of this was cooking.

3. Once Quinoa is done, combine the two mixtures.

4. Stuff the tomatoes generously, top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs and Parm cheese.

5. Cover and bake @ 350 for about 20 mins. Tomatoes should be warm not squishy.
Tip: After the tomatoes are cooked, I uncovered them and turned the broiler on for a few minutes to brown the top!

Nutritional Info:
164.1 calories
3.4g fat
0.7g saturated fat
5.9g protein
30.6g carbohydrate
1 mg cholesterol
4.2g fiber

After trying this, we decided that we wanted more crunch and less tomato so I made this alteration and THIS is my favorite so far!!

1. Prepare Quinoa just as above.
2. Prepare onion and zucchini just as above.
(yes, same spices)
3. After you have mixed the two together, tear up some raw baby spinach and stir into the mixture.
4. Spray a bread loaf pan with some non stick spray and transfer the Quinoa, onion, zucchini and spinach mixture to your bread pan.
5. Sprinkle Parmesan bread crumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top, this is going to brown up into yummy, crunchy deliciousness!
6. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 mins, keeping an eye on the top. Once its all nice and warm, if the top is not as brown as you want it, then just turn on the broiler for a few minutes, but watch it carefully!

The possibilities are endless with this stuff!
Have fun and let us know what you think!