EcoRenovator  

Go Back   EcoRenovator > Off Topic > The Billiards Room
Advanced Search


Blog Register 60+ Home Energy Saving Tips Recent Posts Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-11-12, 12:58 AM   #1
Super Moderator
 
Piwoslaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 838
Thanks: 128
Thanked 72 Times in 61 Posts
Default "Efficient" parenting

Is it possible to have a small baby and stay eco and efficient? Our son will be born 1-1.5 months from now, but as we prepare our water and electrical usage is already increasing, mainly because the washing machine is being used more often, and at a higher temperature. I wince at the thought of how much more it will increase once there is a newborn in the house.

So, any ideas on how to keep that impact at a minimum?

Here are a few things we are planning to do:
  • Use reuseable cloth diapers to minimize waste. This will increase water and energy usage since they have to be washed very often, so...
  • Replace old washing machine with newer, more efficient model. The new one we're looking for takes a slightly smaller load (4.5kg instead of 5kg), weighs the load to know how much water is needed, and spins at 1200rpm to squeeze out more moisture. The new machine also has an Eco program which saves even more if the load isn't too dirty.
  • Wash the baby in a small tub, then use the water for other things - washing ourselves and/or flushing the toilet.
Any comments/suggestions?

Oh, and I'd like this thread to cover only the 'technical' side of efficient parenting, but if you can recommend any more general ecoparenting forums then please do

__________________
Ecorenovation - the bottomless piggy bank that tries to tame the energy hog.
Piwoslaw is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-12, 08:06 AM   #2
S-F
You Ain't Me
 
S-F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Northampton MA
Posts: 660
Thanks: 6
Thanked 66 Times in 56 Posts
Default

Well as a parent of three children I certainly have a lot of input here. If water usage is such a concern for you I suggest you get into rain water harvesting. Where I live there is basically too much water so that's not an issue. I have found that the biggest issue the average person encounters when having children is the amount of garbage which enters the house. Many of the "toys" people give to your new child are aesthetically unpleasing, obnoxious and disposable. Try to keep that to a minimum. Having an influx of crappy toys and other baby related junk will increase the amount of trash you have by a minimum of 10x in my experience. Cloth diapers are no doubt the way to go. And if you have another child you can use them again and even lend them to a friend with a small child after yours has outgrown them. My cloth diapers have gone through multiple children. After the child begins to eat solid food you don't need to buy baby food. Just take some of your food out and put in a different pot to finish cooking before you fully season it. And add more water. Then get a baby food mill. One like this: http://www.diapers.com/p/babysteps-food-mill-16298?site=CI&utm_source=cse&utm_medium=cpc_D&utm_ campaign=Google&utm_content=pla&ci_sku=KO-067&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw={keyword}. I've had mine for about 6 years. It's not the same one as mine came here with some friends from Belgium. Don't worry about getting anything for the baby. People will give you much more than you could possibly need. Make as many trips to the salvation army (or the Polish equivalent) to immediately get rid of any items which aren't perfect. Don't worry about the baby being cold in the winter if you like to keep your house cooler than other people do. Just stock up on blankets. They will be healthier for it. All of my children are strong and healthy and I have always kept the house cool. Children were raised in the cold for thousands of years and we're still here. Honestly love and being held gives them more warmth than any boiler. It's also the same for adults.

This is a great thread and I'll keep chiming in as more thoughts come to me.
S-F is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to S-F For This Useful Post:
Exalta-STA (05-15-12), Piwoslaw (02-11-12)
Old 02-11-12, 09:26 AM   #3
Supreme EcoRenovator
 
AC_Hacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,929
Thanks: 127
Thanked 314 Times in 236 Posts
Default

I raised two kids, now they're on their own.

My daughter is about to have a baby, in a few weeks.

It may not seem so Eco, but someone gave us Diaper Service for the duration required for each child.

There were many well-wishers, and many thoughtful gifts, but none came close to the gift of the Diaper Service. In the midst of the intense new demands, just having one big thing that we didn't have to do, made a huge difference.

I have already volunteered to be the person to give my daughter the diaper service for her new baby.

She'll thank me later.

And if you consider the economic and ecological aspects on a larger scale, it may be Eco after all...

-AC_Hacker
__________________
I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...
AC_Hacker is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-12, 01:35 PM   #4
Super Moderator
 
Piwoslaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 838
Thanks: 128
Thanked 72 Times in 61 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by S-F View Post
Many of the "toys" people give to your new child are aesthetically unpleasing, obnoxious and disposable. Try to keep that to a minimum.
Tell that to our family

Half of the clothes we got are from our friends and family, as is the bed, crib, car seat, and a few others. The other half we bought, but the next batches will mostly be used.
Unfortunately, all of our friends used disposeable diapers, so no help from them, but at least our parents still remember what cloth diapers were all about. There is no such thing as Diaper Service here, or at I've never came across it, but when I mentioned it to the Wife she said: "No way! Our diapers, our bacteria, we wash them!"

We're also planning on not getting a stroller, but using a shawl instead. A bike trailer which doubles as a stroller (Croozer, for example) will take care of the rest, and reduce our car use.
__________________
Ecorenovation - the bottomless piggy bank that tries to tame the energy hog.
Piwoslaw is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-12, 02:20 PM   #5
S-F
You Ain't Me
 
S-F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Northampton MA
Posts: 660
Thanks: 6
Thanked 66 Times in 56 Posts
Default

Yeah I have a pretty intense bike trailer, the Burley Cub. It was a great investment. I highly recommend it as opposed to any other trailer I have seen on the market. I use it all winter long. When the kids were young their mother just carried them in a sling. I have had one of the frame baby backpacks for about 11 years now too. All gifts. Very good gifts.

About the diapers, I have a bunch that I'm not using any more. How much would it be to ship them to Poland? You can have them. I'm not having any more children.
S-F is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-12, 07:29 AM   #6
Apprentice EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 108
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default

I wonder if it would be better to get a bigger washer instead of smaller. As long as you use it for full loads. Fewer but larger loads should be more efficient. With a baby you will certainly have lots more to wash.
Also remember you will be able to divide all the utilities by an extra WHOLE person.
hamsterpower is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-12, 10:49 AM   #7
Super Moderator
 
Piwoslaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 838
Thanks: 128
Thanked 72 Times in 61 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by S-F View Post
About the diapers, I have a bunch that I'm not using any more. How much would it be to ship them to Poland? You can have them. I'm not having any more children.
Well thank you, but we've already got the diapers (they came a few days ago). I wish I'd started this thread earlier...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamsterpower View Post
I wonder if it would be better to get a bigger washer instead of smaller. As long as you use it for full loads. Fewer but larger loads should be more efficient. With a baby you will certainly have lots more to wash.
Globally, it would be more efficient. But we more or less know that we'll have to do the laundry every 1-2 days, whether the load is full or not. So having a slightly smaller washing machine will allow the loads to be "fuller" more often. Also, my Dad-in-law sometimes likes to throw only a handful of stuff in without asking us if we have anything to add. Plus, a smaller machine is slightly cheaper.
__________________
Ecorenovation - the bottomless piggy bank that tries to tame the energy hog.
Piwoslaw is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-12, 06:47 PM   #8
Apprentice EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 108
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Globally, it would be more efficient. But we more or less know that we'll have to do the laundry every 1-2 days, whether the load is full or not.
So this is your first kid.... You will be doing a full load or two everyday most likely. If you are washing cloth diapers expect 2 loads most days.

By the way. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
hamsterpower is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 09:41 AM   #9
The Gardener
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba - Canada
Posts: 452
Thanks: 12
Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Default

We always give a lot of stuff away. A lot of toys we got were hand me downs, but we have so much family that our kids get way too many toys for both birthday and Christmas, which I find unfortunate. We never buy toys for our kids throughout the year, those are the only 2 times a year they get new toys. One thing we will do is take some of them and put them in the basement, then switch them out throughout the year. Keeps the kids from whining for new toys when you go to the store and gives them something "new" to play with from time to time. We just keep constantly switching them out. We'll also get the family to buy something bigger sometimes. Like we got everyone to pitch in to buy a play structure one year rather then toys. Another year it year it was bicycles or sleds...something to get them outside.

We did not use reusable diapers...at the time my wife would never have gone for it...but I've switched her over to healthier habits now and so she'd probably do it more now if we had another.

It's hard to keep the usage down though especially now with the kids being 3 and 5. You tell them to turn the tap off when finished washing hands. You have to teach the young ones to stop flushing the toilet just because. We had just moved into our new house in November and we have well water with iron in it. Well the iron stains the toilet bowl and the youngest one thought there was always pee in it so he kept flushing...yeah...that was fun. We got him to stop now but for a while it was flush flush flush...and this is the old toilets too. Not the new eco ones I'll be buying.

But yeah, at this point, I'm very strict with them about turning off lights and not using too much water. Other then that...not sure if you have McDonald's in your area, but if you do, stay away from the happy meals with those stupid cheap toys...I hate those. Use a rain barrel. If you have a sump pump use it to water your grass.
Higgy is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 10:37 AM   #10
Super Moderator
 
Piwoslaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 838
Thanks: 128
Thanked 72 Times in 61 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgy View Post
It's hard to keep the usage down though especially now with the kids being 3 and 5. You tell them to turn the tap off when finished washing hands. You have to teach the young ones to stop flushing the toilet just because. We had just moved into our new house in November and we have well water with iron in it. Well the iron stains the toilet bowl and the youngest one thought there was always pee in it so he kept flushing...yeah...that was fun. We got him to stop now but for a while it was flush flush flush...and this is the old toilets too. Not the new eco ones I'll be buying.
That made me LOL when I imagined how I'd be crawling the walls The Wife and I are set on giving a good example - turn the lights off when the room is empty, don't flush after every single pee, etc. - and if the kid will be anything like us, then he will be eco-terrorizing us before we know it!

__________________
Ecorenovation - the bottomless piggy bank that tries to tame the energy hog.
Piwoslaw is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO
Ad Management by RedTyger
Inactive Reminders By Icora Web Design