Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly living’

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Anyone doing anything special today for Earth Day? I do know many of us here at Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper try to honor and respect planet Earth everyday in our daily choices and lifestyle…hooray for eco-friendly living! However, I also like having a special day set aside as a reminder of how important caring for Mother Earth truly is! Plus it helps get the message out to the general public and those who might not be as aware of the role they have and the things they can do to protect our Earth.

Yesterday I took my boys for a bike ride along the canal near our house with the intention of cleaning up garbage. The canal is one of my favorite places to run and sadly there is a great deal of garbage that collects there. The kids and I brought a garbage bag with us which we were able to fill rather quickly while only cleaning a very short section of the trail. One full garbage bag was really all I could manage hauling in the bike trailer but we could have easily filled a ton more bags. I guess we’ll just have to make a regular family activity of it? I don’t think the kids will mind; they had a blast playing in the canal while looking for garbage!

On our way. We rode about 3 miles to a lower section of the canal that collects a lot of trash due to its location.

Izzy’s sweet ride.

Sunshine + canal + bike ride = happy smiles!

Part of the canal…isn’t it pretty? Also this is actually a decent amount of water for this time of year in Phoenix. Some times it is bone dry!  

Izzy was the trash master…he really liked this game of garbage hide and seek!

While resting in one of the few shady spots I made some new friends. I even met a fellow dreadhead. Check out the length on his! And I thought mine were heavy!

All ready for the 3 mile ride back home…these boys were hungry!

Izzy fell asleep and Abraham was dragging a bit, but we made it!

My lunch. Yum!

You would have thought I was eating a big bowl of ice cream in front of the kids the way they were stealing bites from my plate…despite the fact that they had just had spaghetti, hummus and crackers, applesauce, and strawberries with cashew nut cream. I guess they worked up an extra big appetite that morning on our bike ride!

Then we were off to the library to find some books about Mother Nature.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Would love to hear from readers! 🙂

Not sure what to do? Check out this site for some fun, kid-friendly, Earth Day inspiration!

And you’ll definitely want to check out the awesome Earth Day SALES at Mom’s Milk Boutique today. Lots of eco-friendly products to choose from… plus all orders that are placed today (Monday, April 22, 2013) will be entered into a drawing to win ONE of TWO Sakura Bloom Pure Ring Slings!! (Mom’s Milk Boutique will select the color).




Top 6 Reasons I Love Small Houses

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

I met a woman today who told me that her and her hubby recently downsized from a 3500 square foot home to a 900 square foot home. She was very happy with their decision and felt excited about what was in store for them now that they were free from a large home to maintain and the large mortgage payment that went with it. I was excited for her and felt inspired by her story! I do believe down-sizing is becoming more and more common as the shift in the economy has forced us to realize “bigger is not always better” and to focus on more sustainable lifestyle choices.

My hubby and I have always enjoyed living in smaller than average spaces. The smallest house we have ever lived in so far was a 100 year old, 400 square foot cabin in a quaint little Colorado mountain town. It was one square room containing a kitchen area (kitchen is a generous word to describe that area), sleeping area, and lounging area with a teeny tiny bathroom in a room no bigger than a coat closet. We furnished it with a $3 couch and $2 desk from a thrift store. We slept on an air mattress on the floor. Believe it or not we even hosted an overnight guest a few times. For example while living there one winter it snowed 83 inches in 4 days closing all local roads and businesses. A young city man passing through was stranded there and it was way too cold to sleep in his car.  We invited him to stay with us until the roads opened back up. For two nights he slept on the floor of our tiny cabin wrapped snug in a sleeping bag. We fed him warm chilly prepared in our little kitchen area and played scrabble together in our little lounging area. It was a lovely two days spent with a new friend! 🙂

I have many fond memories of our time together in that small cabin. We moved from that cabin to a 1 bedroom, 800 square feet home. While many people would consider an 800 square foot home for a family of 3 “small” to us it felt HUGE! We even had 4 guests stay with us for a week one time. There were sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, luggage, snowboard clothes and bodies all over the house, but it was a GOOD time with GOOD friends!

Then we moved to Arizona and lived in a 2 bedroom, 1000 square foot home. Again this felt HUGE to us and we lived in it comfortably as a family of 5 with a constant stream of out of town guests. In the past year we were in a position to move again. Not because we felt we needed a bigger space but because financially it made sense to do so.  We ended up in a 3 bedroom, 1600 square foot home. Now I know that how small or large you perceive 1600 square feet to be is relative to the geographic region you reside in, although here in AZ it’s definitely on the smaller side (especially for a family of 5, hoping to be 6 :)). However to us it feels ginormous!

I definitely like living in small spaces as the advantages are plentiful…such as:

1. Small Space = Less Stuff: Having limited space to store stuff means I am far less likely to collect stuff. When shopping (a rarity since I don’t enjoy shopping) I make purchasing decisions carefully because space in our home is coveted. Collecting less stuff fits well with my budget 😉 and my desire to be conscientious of the earth’s resources.

2. De-clutter Frequently: In a small space, clutter can erupt rapidly. On a fairly regular basis we go through and de-clutter; especially in the Fall right before Birthday season in our family and the holidays. It seems that is the time of year when several new things come into our home. The past few years I have talked with my kids about the process of exchanging something old for something new (to us). If there are things that we have outgrown use for, then we can recycle them by passing on to someone else, selling on Craigslist,or donating to a thrift store.

3. Less to Clean/Maintain: Less to clean and maintain means more time for leisure and recreation! It also equates to sinking less money into a home when something needs repair or replacement….fewer walls to paint, less carpet to lay, less cabinets to install, less windows to replace. All in all it saves money and time living in a smaller space!

4. Lower Utility Bills – I certainly appreciate getting my lower than average utility bills in the mail each month! Of course the ideal home for us would be completely off the grid all together but we’re not quite there…yet!

5. Lower Monthly Payments – While a smaller home doesn’t always mean a smaller monthly payment, for the most part this is the trend in real estate. I fully appreciate my small house and the small monthly payment that it comes with! 🙂

6. Overall Uses Less Resources – From the initial construction phase to day to day living, a smaller house means fewer resources consumed.

Conclusion? Less truly is MORE! So for all of you living in “small spaces” embrace and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of your space! 🙂

Do you live in a small space? Would love to hear details (# of bedrooms, square footage, number of people living in the home) and what you enjoy about your space.