Washing cloth diapers: a learning adventure

I have been meaning to post about washing cloth diapers for a while but never really know where to start. Everyone I know washes diapers a little differently, but there is the basic outline that everyone sticks to. The reason in the different ways we all wash diapers is that we all have different washing machines, water quality (soft/hard), and diapers.

Here is the basic “How to wash cloth diapers” that everyone starts with

1. Put the diapers in the wash and run a cold cycle with an extra rinse without detergent. Make sure your water settings are set to “large load”. The more water you use, the better. This just rinses the diapers and any extra big “deposits” left on them. If you have pockets be sure to un-stuff them before putting them into the wash. I unstuff them before putting them into the laundry bag so I don’t have to deal with smelly 4 day old urine/poop when I am doing laundry.

2. Change the cycle setting to Hot/Cold with the extra rinse and add detergent. What detergent you use will depend on what you like, what works with your diapers and what you can afford. More on detergent below.

3. Run another laundry cycle on cold with no detergent as an extra rinse for your diapers. Some people just run an extra cold rinse, some people run the whole cycle. This will depend on your washer and how well your diapers rinse. I have to do two wash/rinse cycles after the original wash because my washer sucks so badly. If I do not do the extra cycles then my diapers get build up and smelly. I believe this step is why so many people have build up/smell issues in their diapers, they just do not get all the detergent out at every wash. I know all the extra cycles are not as “green” as we want BUT it is better than having smelly build up diapers that give our babies rashes. E hardly ever gets diaper rash.

I have an old crappy washer that needs some love. It was making some very bad noises today doing a not so large load of clothes. I think it might be nearing its retirement age. Having an old crappy washer means I do need those extra rinses.

A friend of mine has an HE washer and this is her regimine for washing her diapers:

We do one rinse/spin cycle (no detergent),then I add a couple soaking wet towels to the load (otherwise the machine doesn’t use enough water) and do a heavy-duty cycle, hot water, extra rinse. That usually does the trick, but sometimes if it’s a bigger load I do another rinse/spin at the end. It took some experimenting to figure out what worked for our machine, but with this routine we haven’t had build up issues in forever, so I’m pretty happy about that! – Alison P.

About Detergent:

The kind of detergent you use will depend on the type of washer you have (HE washers need to have very low suds detergents), what type of water you have (hard/soft), and how your diapers handle detergent. We have very sensitive skin in this house, and hard water so I prefer to use the un-scented Hard Rock laundry detergent. It works great for us. I know people who hate that brand. You can always make your own detergent, or get one of the many cloth diaper safe detergents. There are great lists out there that tell you the best cloth diaper detergents so you don’t have to feel so lost in the woods.

A fair warning, if the detergent you are using has artificial colors/scents/fabric softeners they are not good for your diapers. You at best will have build up and diaper rash issues, and worst might ruin your diapers and have to throw them out because they wont absorb anything! Be fore warned.

Also, if you use those detergents on your regular clothes, and use the same washer to wash your diapers, even with the cloth diaper safe detergent, you still might have build up issues. I suggest stripping your washer before starting to cloth diaper, and sticking to natural laundry detergents for all of your laundry needs so you do not have to worry about build up issues and cross contamination.

As I said earlier, everyone washes their diapers a little bit differently. Do what works best for you, but remember, it never hurts to run that extra rinse cycle if your diapers are getting a little extra build up/smell.

How do you wash your diapers?

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The wonders of Chamomile

As a mother, and a woman who has been pregnant or breast feeding for almost 2 1/2 years straight, and counting, Chamomile is my go to herb for just about everything. It is gentle and great to use for so many different problems and, as long as you are not allergic to it (it is in the ragweed family), has no real side effects. Even the main stream medical sites I have checked have no side effects listed for Chamomile! It is safe to use with children, during pregnancy and breast feeding.

We give chamomile tea to our daughter when she has an upset stomach, teething, emotionally upset, sleepless, has a fever, cold, flu, and pretty much any other problems that might come up. I drink Chamomile tea to calm down and relax after a stressful day, induce sleep, ease “the crazy“, reduce inflammation, and help ease my nasty stomach. I also use chamomile oil in my salves and baths as it is wonderful on the skin. Chamomile is also used to treat skin conditions  like psoriasis and eczema, helps heal wounds and abscesses, reduces inflammation, and can be used as a tea in a bath to help treat and sooth chicken pox, diaper rash, and colic. It is a wonderful nervous system tonic as well.

Of all the herbs in all the land, this is one that is easy to get ahold of, even in tea bags. It is cheap and very available. It is easy to grow (since it is a weed and will take over any dirt it gets its little seedlings into) and wild craft.  This is a MUST HAVE in any pantry or herbal medicine cabinet.

How do you use chamomile in your family medicine cabinet?

The end of the SNAP challange

In week three I stayed within the remainder of our budget, but barely. This left us with no money left for week four.

I am going to be honest, when I committed to this challange I was feeling good and productive and not at all like I was nearing the end of a pregnancy. I planned on cooking all our meals and making my gluten free flour mixes from scratch and all that fun stuff but quite honestly, this pregnancy is taking its toll.

I know this is possible. People eat on a lot less all the time. I personally have friends maintaining a fairly balanced, healthy diet (not gluten free but fresh whole foods at least).

If I had not spend so much money on boxed bread mixes, pre-made gluten free bread, and if my husband did not eat 2 loaves of sprouted wheat bread a week we would have saved a lot of money and probably been able to better meet our goal. I would like to try this challenge again in the spring when the CSA is in full swing. The CSA we joined costs an average of $22 a week for fresh picked seasonal, organic fruits and veggies right off the farm. Those baskets usually last us a good week and only need minimal supplementation from the farmers market.

I can not wait for the summer and farmers markets!

So please, keep on me and make sure I follow through and try this again. My lazy ways and big pregnant self just could not find the motivation to stick with it for the full month and I think that doing the challenge for a full month is the only way to go, this way you have the ability to buy items on sale when you see them and let the items last longer than the week, like the big pack of organic chicken I found at whole foods in week 1 for under $5.

Thanks so much for reading and please let me know if you accepted the challenge and how you did! Feel free to link your blogs!

How to topically relieve gout pain with Essential Oils

Just a quick post about my husband’s gout. He is currently having a gout attack in his knee. He gets gout often due to an old kidney problem he had when he was younger. If you have suffered gout you know it is extremely painful, especially when it attacks a new joint, which it is in his case.

We are doing our best to avoid unnecessary medications (like hydrocodone) and were looking for a good way to treat the gout pain while his body fights the gout.

So, to treat gout pain we used essential oils of Frankincense, Basil, Geranium, and Peppermint. 2 drops each on the effected area about every 4 hours. After applying we put a hot pack (rice pack) on his knee. He says it helps his pain a lot and is helping him avoid needing the heavy duty pain killers.

I did want to mention we use doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. They are intensely tested for purity in each batch of oils to be sure they are clean, pesticide free, chemical free, and additive free. Be sure any oils you are using are Pure Therapeutic Grade oils for Therapeutic Use! You will not see good results with oils that are not pure, and not approved for topical therapeutic use. There is a HUGE difference between the quality and effectiveness of Aromatherapy oils and Therapeutic oils. Please be safe when buying and using oils.

He is also taking an epsom salt bath with baking soda to help leech some of the uric acid out of his leg. Lets hope he is mobile by tomorrow!

UPDATE:

After 24 hours of the gout attack start up, with the use of essential oils and the baking soda/Epsom salt bath, the attack has stopped. His knee is still sore from the damage from the gout crystals but the attack, which usually lasts about three days, has let up! He is amazed that it worked and I am glad to have had my husband back to help clean the house today. YAY!

What is your natural remedy for a gout attack?

What is in my “medicine” cabinet

It is cold and flu season. If you have children, are around children, work outside the home, or have any contact with society whatsoever I am sure you are aware of this. I am in a wonderful group of natural living mamma’s who all have kiddos the same age as my little one. We are all different levels of “Green and Crunchy” and have discussions almost daily about the green stuff we are doing in our lives. I love that we all have special things in our life that we focus on, I am big on herbs and healing.

Almost every day someone’s little one is sick and I (or one of the other more herbally inclined mamma’s) have recommendations about herbs that might help the kiddo/husband/mamma feel better, and the moms who do not use herbs on a regular basis never have the herbs I suggest on hand! I decided to make a list of my “natural” medicine cabinet. It seems like a lot but using just these herbs and oils we have drastically reduced our use of Tylenol/Ibuprofen and we don’t even keep stomach medicine, cold and flu medicine, teething gel, sleeping pills, store-bought lotions, diaper creams, shampoo, conditioner, you get the idea.

These are specific to my family. As you get used to using more herbs in your every day life, and find a good herbalist, you will find the perfect combination to have on hand in your home.

Here is my list of things I try not to go without in my home. This includes Herbs, Essential oils, and the extra stuff you need to turn these into medicine. I know the list seems daunting BUT with these few herbs you can take control of your family’s health and be your own family physician.

I will go more into detail with one herb or oil every week for “Wellness Wednesday” so keep an eye out every Wednesday for an update on the benefits of each of these herbs and oils for your family in detail!

Herbs:

Chamomile, CalendulaCatnipDandelion rootElder Berry, FennelLavender, Licorice, Marshmallow root, NettleOat straw, Peppermint, Red Clover, Red Raspberry Leaf, Rose Hips, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Yarrow

Essential oils:

Basil, Breathe oil, Digestzen, Frankincense, GeraniumGinger, Lavender,  Lemon, Melaleuca,  OnGuard oil, Peppermint.

Things that help make medicine:

Honey, Vegetable Glycerin, Vodka, Bees Wax, Olive oil, Almond oil, Baking Soda (aluminum free), Epsom Salt, Sea Salt, Vinegar (white and apple cider vinegar), Tea pot, Tea strainer/ball/french press

What is on your families “Must Have” natural wellness list? I would love to hear what is in your natural medicine cabinet and why! 

This blog is featured on A Delightful Home‘s Your Green Resource, and Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, and Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Tummy Tamer Tea

As I have mentioned before I have been struggling with a gluten intolerance and have cut out gluten from my food, unless something slips in there I don’t know about. I have been gluten-free for almost 2 months and my stomach still HURTS! Even with the medication I am taking I am having issues and can not figure out what the problem is. I understand I have a food slip (where there is gluten in something I was not aware of) probably once a week but the stomach pain is daily. I called the pharmacy where I get my stomach medicine to find out what else is in the pill other than the drug its self and the pill is not gluten-free… Damn it!

So I talked to my midwife and she recommended papaya enzymes. I am going to go get some tomorrow. I guess most of the people in her family have celiac and that is what they take when they have gluten issues.

I went to the herbalist and told them my problem, and that I needed a tea to help assist with my digestion problems and healing and this is what they suggested, I thought I would share.

Equal parts of:

Calendula: Soothes and heals intestinal lining and reduces inflammation.
Fennel: Helps treat indigestion, calming to the intestines and stomach.
Marshmallow root: Soothes irritation of the mucous membranes, coats the stomach and other digestive regions, protecting their soft walls from acid and other irritants.
Chamomile: Anti inflammatory, calming.

She mentioned the tea mix they usually recommend has other herbs in it that are not safe for pregnancy/lactation so we stuck with this simple tea. Lets hope it helps. I have had a nice big 24 oz of it so far today and my stomach does feel better. Lets hope it lasts!

How do you soothe an angry stomach? Any natural celiac tips?

Geranium Essential Oil

I ordered some essential oils to help ease labor and delivery when the time comes and one of the recomended oils was Geranium. I have never worked with geranium before and was not sure of its effects on me so I figured I would give it a go.

I decided to make an anti dandruff hair oil tonight and used the geranium as one of the ingredients and I LOVE the smell! Floral, but not too strong, it is relaxing and calming but less strongly scented/potent smelling than lavender.

I think I will add this to my scented set of wool dryer balls once the current oil wears off. I would love to smell this all day.

From the doTERRA website:
Geranium Essential Oil
Pelargonium graveolens

Geranium offers outstanding benefits for soothing skin and is a common ingredient in many skin care products. Also useful for joint support and tempering minor aches and pains, geranium’s calming effects make it a popular choice for many essential oil users*. For aromatic or topical use.

Properties: Antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, insect repellent, refreshing, relaxing, sedative, tonic

There are numerous uses for geranium but I will just list a few here relating to pregnancy and labor, seeing as that is why I got it, although I want you to know it is good for so much more! If you have any questions ask me I have some very good books that might have the answers.

Geranium is safe for use int he second and third trimesters of pregnancy and is used to treat exhaustion, varicose veins, and edema. It is a known hormonal stimulant so listen to your body and how it reacts to this oil, especially when pregnant. (Essential Oils For Maternity published by Abundant Health, LLC)
It can be used in a massage oil for back pain/sciatica/leg cramps/perineal preparation (I am making an oil for sciatica soon); a foot rub for edema mixed with lemon, wild orange, or lavender; Hemorrhoids (you know the ones you get after pushing a melon out your lady bits); sore breasts, and stretch marks.

It is calming, reduces agitation, bleeding, dysmenorrhea, environmental stress, gall stones, insomnia, pelvic pain syndrome, physical stress, PMS, post labor, varicose veins, vertigo, and has numerous skin benefits. (Modern Essentials, A Contemporary Guide to the Theraputic Use of Essential Oils)

As you can see it is a great feminine ally, and one all woman should have on hand.

One of the things I love about doTERRA oils is their purity, being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils are tested bottle by bottle for purity, to be sure they are 100% pure essential oils without pesticides or chemical residue. It insures the plants used on the oils were harvested at the right time, and very high quality. This makes it the only brand I trust to use while pregnant, breast feeding, and on my child. For more information on doTERRAs quality control compared to other manufacturers you can read here.

How do you use Geranium Essential Oil? I would love some recipes/protocols on how you have used it and how it has benefited you.

Give away! Fuzzy Woolly Balls!

In Caitlin’s post about DIY Laundry Detergent  she mentioned that she uses Wool Dryer Balls as a fabric softener/static reducer with her laundry. We also use wool dryer balls, in fact we have two sets of four! One, unscented, for the diapers, and one that I have scented with lavender essential oil for our every day laundry.

I love wool dryer balls as a natural alternative for our laundry drying needs and LOVE Woolly Balls made by Mindy Hughes, who has been so generous as to send us a set of her very own Woolly Balls to give away!

Introducing the Amazing, Versatile, Hand-made Woolly Ball

Woolly Balls are made from wool yarn and roving, that have been felted in layers to maximize durability. They are super eco-friendly (not just regular eco-friendly), and come from a totally renewable resource (ba aa aa).

In Your dryer they absorb moisture from your washed clothes, cut drying time, and they bounce around with your clothes and beat them into softness. They DO NOT emit chemicals when heated, (like the plastic balls), last for years, and you can use them in every load of laundry. They allow you to stop buying that expensive fabric softener (which actually makes your towels and other cloth LESS absorbent), are naturally antibacterial, resist mildew, and help reduce static cling (separating the synthetic fibers from your cottons helps even more to avoid static).

Why wool? Wool is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. It can absorb up to ONE THIRD of its weight in water before feeling wet. It has natural anti-static properties. Gently bouncing dryer balls will soften your laundry without dryer sheets or chemical fabric softeners. Wool is mostly non-allergenic. For those with chemical sensitive skin, wool is a great choice. Wool is an easily renewable natural resource and is biodegradable. Woolly Balls should last several years, saving you money with each load!  We recommend three to five balls in your dryer, depending on the size of the load.

Woolly Balls are also wonderful natural alternatives to children’s plastic balls for indoor play, are easy to juggle (if you are into that) and perfect for fetch with your favorite pet!

www.mintheweaver.etsy.com

Bio

Mindy Hughes is an intentionally unemployed former corporate flunky who decided she was not happy completing other people’s to do lists.  She officially opened her home-based business, Anachronology, in 2011 and sells quality hand-dyed, hand-knit and hand sculpted items made primarily of wool at craft fairs, Renaissance Festivals and through her web-store at www.mintheweaver.etsy.com. She takes pride in the things she creates, and does nothing on a mass-produced level, preferring to create something unique of which she can be proud.  Along with playing with wool and yarn, Mindy is enjoying raising two gifted tweenagers and making a home for her family in Arizona.

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So how do you get this AMAZING matching set of Woolly Balls?

You will get an entry for each of these:

Leave a comment telling me how you would use these beautiful Woolly Balls. 
“Like” Anachronology by Mintheweaver on Facebook and let us know about it!
“Like” Natural Living Mamma on Facebook and tell us about it! 
Share this give away on Facebook and Twitter! 
 

We will be accepting entries until Sunday February 19th at 9pm, so enter to win! Tell your friends! Let us know how you would use these amazing fuzzy balls to their full advantage.

SNAP Challenge Week 2

Week two and my body gives out on me. I am super pregnant and have a 17month old daughter who keeps me on my feet constantly. My husband has been recovering from pneumonia and I now have some sort of a bug. My back is constantly out and my whole body hurts. YAY pregnancy and having bulged disks and life. So I honestly did not track our every meal, really I did not track any meals.

Mike and Ellie and I scrounged off of what we had around the  house mostly.

We ate a lot of the groceries we bout last week. The chicken and carrots from whole foods. Potatoes and cheese from costco, and odds and ends from the pantry. We spent a little less than $6 on 24 organic eggs at costco. I am not sure the exact amount because we bought my daughter some stuff while we were there.

We spent $154.62 at Sprouts. I was going to scan the receipt so you could see what we bought, but I can not find the damn thing any where! I know it has to be here somewhere and I have put off posting this for two days so when I find it I will post it. I bought meat and veggies mostly, but I did get kombucha (I need to start making my own), yogurt (also need to start making my own), pirates booty (total spur of the moment bad purchase), and lunch meat for Mike’s lunch because I have not been cooking enough for left overs.

That puts our monthly total at the end of Week 2 at $384.22 which leaves us a grand total of $116.78 for the rest of the month.

Lets all say it together *crap* Ok well good news we still have a lot of meat in the freezer, I have gluten free bread mix still un made, and if I am really good and buy only veggies on sale we might make it. We can do this. Wow I wish the CSA was producing stuff right now. It would help a lot.

Saving money, living better, being green.

Ok so I have been thinking a lot about our budget lately, and looking at the “average” budgets most others have. I am trying to figure out where people get their numbers! Comparing our budget for a 3.5 person house to the national average is eye-opening.

Where we spend:

Food

We spend 18% of our income on food. We do this because it costs more money to eat organic whole foods. There is really no getting around that. By increasing the quality of what we eat we save in other areas of our life. My husband was missing a lot of work because of health problems before switching our diet. He is out of work 3-5 days less a month than he was before the switch saving us his PTO time and the salary cut he had to take when he ran out of PTO.

We spend less on doctors visits because of our diet changes as well.

Healthcare

Our insurance is subsidized through Mikes work, so we “only” pay about $400 a month for insurance. We do get the good insurance though (an extra $60 a month) so we can take advantage of the alternative care. I get masages almost every week for prenatal/post natal care and health maintenance. Mike and I take full advantage of the Chiropractor/Acupuncture benefits as well. I wish I could say we used a Natropath instead of a MD but there are no ND’s in our area who accept insurance and we don’t have the money to pay out-of-pocket and hope for reimbursement from the insurance company. I have found a holistic MD that I think I like though. We have a FSA so our co-pays are at least paid with tax-free money. It is helping a lot too with the hospital and midwife payments for the pregnancy. Too bad they are changing the way FSAs work starting next year due to the new health care legislation. Maybe we will get lucky and our insurance rates will drop?

Where we save:

Cleaning products

We have made our last big market cleaning product purchase. From here on out we make our own house hold cleaners, bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleaners, laundry detergent AND dish washer soap! I am terrified of the dish washer soap, that is one we have not switched yet I just stocked up on my favorite out of fear, but when we run out I am making our own! Mark my words! Instead of spending an average of $30 a month on cleaning products we will be spending an average of $14 about every 3 months on vinegar, baking soda, borax, and Dr. Bonner’s soap.

By switching to home-made, natural cleaning products we not only reduce our cost of living but also reduce our families exposure to many carcinogenic, teteratogenic, and mutinogenic chemicals lurking in our home.

Personal care products

I make our personal care products. I have been using the Oil Cleansing Method on my face which has been FABULOUS and cleared my skin right up. More on that later. I make my own body lotion and oils, bath salts, diaper salve, eczema salve, deodorant, and have been “poo free” for 2 months now. Yes I still bathe daily but use baking soda and apple cider vinegar for my hair instead of shampoo and conditioner. My hair looks and feels great by the way! We buy hand-made goats milk bar soap from farmers markets and craft fairs for soap, which feels so decadent to me. I love it! I used to spend about $40 on personal care items, not including makeup, which cost me another $20-30 a month.

By simplifying our personal care products, and knowing exactly what is going onto my family’s body we can better control the toxins we expose our selves to. I am not sure the accuracy of this statement BUT the herbalist I worked with in Spokane mentioned that 40% of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our body and blood stream.  The skin is the largest organ on the body after all. If you could reduce your risk simply enough wouldn’t you? More on the health benefits of cleaning up your personal care products here.

Housing expenses

We live in a smaller than necessary apartment and keep the heater between 62 and 65* on a day-to-day basis. We turn down the heat and turn off the lights when we leave the house. Our light bulbs are all CFL’s which save a lot of power usage and our water heater is at 120* unless I am tackling some stubborn diapers. We spend an average of 19% of our income on our housing expenses when the average family is at 34%. (Note that is not including the cost of our home in Spokane, which is a rental and netting $0 profit or loss at the moment).

Baby products

We cloth diaper almost all of the time. Ellie gets a rash at night, or wakes up wet in cloth so she sleeps in sposies almost every night. Other than that though we cloth diaper. If we were buying her disposables at the rate we change diapers and in the brand we use that does not cause her rashes, we would be spending an average of $90 a month, which would end up being about 1,080 a year. In Ellie’s first year of life we spent $320 on cloth diapers (that includes the very generous gift of my wonderful sister for Ellie’s baby shower), and I just bought some new-born diapers for when #2 comes for an additional $200. We are now over supplied with diapers and I will probably sell off some of my extras once we see how well we go through what we have. I spend $12 every 3-4 months on laundry detergent and the water/electric cost really is minimal with the washer and dryer, especially since we line dry during the summer. So we can call that a $59 a month savings on cloth diapering in the first year, and more for the second year into potty training, especially since half of year 2 will be spent diapering 2 kids! Good planning on our part.

And really what is cuter than a kiddo in a cloth diaper. Yeah she posed for this.

By cloth diapering we are reducing our child’s exposure to the toxic chemicals in children’s diapers. Ellie rarely gets diaper rash or yeast infections like a lot of babies I know who use disposables. I think once parents get over the learning curve of cloth diapering they will truly appreciate the health and financial benefits.

Breast Feeding

Ellie was exclusively breast fed for 6 months and is still breast fed to this day. She does not get cows milk when she is not nursing, she gets water. This saved us $1,733.75 in her first year of life alone (according to these calculations done with numbers from 2007). This is not including the cost of Organic Whole Milk we would have switched to afterward.

This cost is also not including the fact that miss Ellie has very rarely been sick enough to take to the doctor. Here is a good article about the benefits of BFing and some great links to scientific articles.

Clothes

We rarely buy new clothes for our selves, but when we do we buy quality. We never buy brand new clothes for our child unless they are on serious discount. It just seems like a waste of money for something she will grow out of quickly or destroy while playing. My MIL does buy her a new wardrobe at least twice a year because shopping for little girls is so fun. My savings tip: do not buy small children new clothes, they don’t need new clothes (unless it is a special occasion) nor do they care if they have new clothes. Let them be a little rough and tumble, creative and artsy, and have fun without worrying about staining or tearing. It will make your life much less stressful.

This is why we don’t need to destroy new clothes. 

How is this green? Re-use baby , re-use!

Transportation/vehicle expenses

We have 1 car. It is 10 years old and well maintained, most days. We own the car outright and have no monthly payments. Maintenance cost (including the big repairs spread out over the year) average about $80 a month. We spend about $80 a month on gas if I am driving a lot.  We live 5 miles away from Mike’s work and he bikes to work as weather permits, which is about 9 months out of the year. The rest of the time I give him a ride to and from work or he carpools. Bike maintenance is about $10 a month. Insurance cost is about $60 a month. That makes our transportation cost $230 a month, about 4.6% of our budget. The average American household spends 16% of their household income on transportation. It pays to drive an old car with decent mileage and only have 1 car if your situation allows.

By only driving one car we reduce our emissions by half, our gas usage by half, and our 10 year old car is just as fuel efficient as a car of the same size made this  year.

I could go on about how we save “being green” but I would love to know how you save? What are your tricks to benefiting your family and your environment by “being green”? I find the changes we have made help us support our expensive food habit and make our life much more enjoyable. I would love to hear your experiences.

Shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, and Our Simple Farm’s Simple Living Wednesday.