Green stuff.

Sometimes I find stuff too good to keep to myself. So here I am sharing the love.

I do want to point out that not _everything_ I do is "green". I love travelling, for example. I have been on those planes A LOT. But I do believe making conscious decisions is the best way forward. And I do love making pro/con lists ;-)

This is how I think:
1. Do a really need this thing that I want?
2. If so, can I find it second hand? 
3. If not, what product is the best choice? Organic? Low carbon footprint? Lasting quality?

Usually I get a "no" on the first question and then I don't buy it. Which also saves me time. Time means more sewing ;-P


Stuff I recommend:

-> For the kitchen

  • Cooking tools. We have replaced all our plastic ones with utensils out of wood and steel. Plastic in combination with heat (especially the black plastic apparently) is not a good idea. And if you have plastic tools and are preparing food high in fat, you risk getting some pretty wicked ingredients in you food! Also beware of the melamine tools. I know they are colorful and pretty but they are also very poisonous if they leak. If you wanna keep them - use them out of the heat, like for baking and stuff. Or use them to dig in the garden!
  • Dish cloths. We mainly use cotton ones that I have knitted myself. The perfect beginner's project! And a cool way to use up any leftover cotton yarn. You need about 3 of them to go around (if you change 'em rather frequently, like I like to do). They last forever though. And since it is cotton you can wash them very hot or even boil them if you need to.
  • Kitchen paper towels. 
  •  We use cloth instead, so called unpaper towels. I blogged about them here.
  • Pots and pans. We use stainless steal and iron. Nothing beats it. You should steer clear of aluminium pots since aluminium is transferred to the food and goes to your brain. You should also avoid enamel pots, especially old ones (i know they often are very pretty). Why? The tiniest crack or scratch and they risk leaking lead!!! Use them as flower pots instead. Don't get me started on the non-stick pans… Ever noticed that they "wear out" after a while? Think for a minute about where that coating has disappeared…. yep, you ate it. My favourite brand of frying pans is de Buyer.  
  • Water bottles. To hydrate I use the "Retap" glass bottles with silicone cap. We have perfect drinking water out of the tap so there is absolutely no point in buying bottled water. These are sturdy and durable, yet light to carry and completely leek proof. I always have one of these in my purse when out and about. I also use it for home made baby drinks (such as "välling") in the fridge. I bought mine here.

  • Take away mugs. As the coffee junky I am, I need my coffee available at all times. On my way to work, for example. We have a couple of porcelain takeaway mugs with silicon lids that are insulated (thus not hot for the hands) and that fit perfectly into the mug holder of the car. I refill this mug during the work day and avoid using paper cups. 
  • Coffee. Talking about coffee, I go through about  a gallon a day :-), I used to make a full pot and then have it sitting on the heat until empty. Then make a new and so on. That meant coffee machine was always on, which consumes unnecessary energy and makes the coffee taste bad (oh, the horror!). So simple that I am almost embarrassed to say it… but now I use a thermos flask for the coffee until I drink it. Genius.
  • Placemats. We like placemats because it looks tidy and it makes dinner less noisy. We used to have plastic ones because they were easy to clean, but with a baby in the house who loves chewing on stuff we switched to placemats made of seaweed - just to find that they were just as easy to clean :-) A two second rinse under the tap and voila. 
  • Table throw. Almost every house with children has at some point owned a waxed/plastic table throw because they are easy to wipe and "look good". Well, they don't look good - they look awful, in my opinion. We have tons of beautiful inherited old cotton and linen table throws and so what if you get a stain? Or if you have to change it once per week?
  • Food shopping. This is the most important part. Never shop without a list! We only buy food we have a plan for, which means we VERY rarely throw away food. We don't have "nice to have" stuff sitting in the fridge. And we buy as much organic, fair-trade and local stuff we can find. We have chosen to make this a priority and rather cut back on other stuff when money is short.

-> For small kids

  • Cloth diapers (real nappies)! It really is both simple and eco friendly and CUTE!!! Our favourite brands are: Bum Genius, Tots Bots, Poops! and Sloomb. Google your a** off and come to me if you have questions. Just do it. You won't be sorry. 
  • Once you're hooked on cloth diapers, I totally recommend making your own too! My fave pattern is Fattycakes, purchased from etsy. They make great diaps with perfect fit for most babies. Look at these and say you prefer disposables!

  • Glass baby bottles! All new plastic bottles states they are BPA free. But all the other 30-something chemicals leaking to the milk, that we know little about??? When it comes to babies - choose glass and be on the safe side.  We use bottles from LifeFactory. They are great. Love them. The silicone sleeve on the outside makes them really durable. We have dropped them several times from the kitchen countertop onto the stone floor - not even a scratch. 

  • Cloth baby wipes. I bought most of the ones we are using on etsy, but that was just me being a lazy fart. I have made my own too, although not as pretty. We have washed them a billion times and NO STAINS. There you go - they don't look gross so no excuse. We use them with water only. If you want something to help you remove really sticky stuff. Just put some oil on it. Like olive oil or coconut oil.

  • Diaper rash cream or body lotion. The only thing we ever use is organic raw coconut oil. It really cures most problems and contains no weird ingredients. We buy it in our grocery store so it is easy to find anywhere. A jar lasts a loooong time too, so very cost efficient. 

-> For the bathroom
  • Facial cleanser. I use the OCM (oil cleansing method) by massaging olive oil onto my face for 10 minutes and steaming it off with a towel soaked in hot water. Easy peasy. I do it twice per week and my sensitive skin loves it.
  • Makeup remover. Again, some olive oil on a pad and wipe that junk right off.
  • Facial pads. Reusable ones made from bamboo and cotton stretch terry/velour. These ones are made by my friend Malin
  • Facial cream. Coconut oil!! I can't stop singing its praises!! Since the oil doesn't contain any water, you can use it in the morning in the midst of winter without risking freezing your face off. When I need extra TLC for my skin, usually when the seasons shift (before it's adjusted), I sometimes use olive oil and/or jojoba oil.
  • Shampoo. I don't use it actually. I suffered from hair that got greasy within 3h and really itchy scalp. Since I have baby fine hair, greasy, dandruffy hair just looked horrid. I stopped using shampoo and instead I wash my hair with conditioner only. Now I wash my hair (with conditioner) approx once a week. In between I only use water and massage and it is fresh looking again. If I get itchy I put some honey on the scalp for a couple of minutes and rinse. It really works!! Google "no poo" if you want to know more. My favourite conditioner is Faith In Nature. It smells so good you want to eat it, especially the Chocolate one. 
  • Deodorant. I don't use it. My husband said once "I bet you don't need deodorant - you never smell anything" so I tried. And he was right! Besides, I don't sweat a lot through my armpits. I sweat through my palms and feet (yikes!) but that's just me. Maybe it's worth a try? Maybe you don't need it either? Deodorant REALLY contains some bad shit (especially all the "long lasting" ones), even though there are less bad options out there if you know what to look for.
  • Body shower cream. I use Aleppo soap. I have very dry and sensitive skin, but this is totally non drying. It is good for shaving too. One soap cube will last you forever, so buy the best one you can find regardless of the cost - it's worth it and still cheap. I use it to wash my face too. Good stuff.

  • Toothbrush. We use toothbrushes made of bamboo and ones made of corn starch in our household. Okay, is that really necessary you think? Well, you are not allowed to recycle the plastic ones (at least not in Sweden) so the environment will definitely applaud it, but maybe equally important - no dodgy plastic in your mouth. Even if you only brush for 2x2 minutes a day - the gums and mouth are very receptive tissues (which is why snuff works) and whatever weird stuff you put in there is quickly absorbed. Just seems a little unnecessary when there is such a fine option available, don't you think? We also use organic toothpaste.
  • Hairbrushes. We have different hair quality in the family. I have baby fine hair and my oldest daughter has really thick hair (I am so jealous!) but we can still use wooden hairbrushes :-) Just different types.

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