Friday, December 4, 2009

What they're thankful for

We just got from preschool a cute project the kids did before Thanksgiving. They made handprint turkeys, and the teacher asked each of them what they're thankful for. Here's what my kiddos said:

B-man: Mommy lets me make lunch and breakfast and dinner, too!

Isn't that sweet? It sounds like I have him working as a short-order cook! Really, I think it is sweet. Frequent readers of my blog know I spend a lot of time cooking with the kids (mwah ha ha!!), so it's heartening to see that B-man is growing to love cooking just like me!

N-man: Winter! Make snowman! I can put a nose in it! Throw snowballs and sometiems I get it in my face, in my eye so I can't see!

Yes, the teacher really did transcribe it with all those exclamation points. I'm sure that's exactly how N-man said it. He loves winter, again, just like mommy. Though he really does get pissed if any snow gets in his face. Yikes! Sledding is right out with him.

On a related note, at the beginning of the school year, the teachers helped the kids make a class book about families. One of the questions was "Why do you love your family?" Here are their answers:

B-man: cuddling and TV

Hmmm, really? TV? Ah well...

N-man: because mommy is soft and daddy has lots of hair.


These kids crack me up!


Okay, another green tip. Here are some green tips about laundry, starting slow and working your way up. As always, take what works for you, make your own small steps...

1) Watch out for the packaging of the detergent. Ditch the plastic bottles, or at the very least buy the largest size you can instead of lots of little plastic bottles.

2) Choose eco-friendly, plant based detergent. Currently, I'm using the Trader Joe's powdered laundry detergent. It comes in a big box, that even with 3 kids (and diaper laundry!) seems to last forever. The smell isn't weird like some of the perfume/dye free detergents tend to have, and it adequately cleans clothes. I'm not 100% in love with it, though, and may shop around a bit more once this box runs out. Besides being environmentally-friendly, the TJ's detergent is actually LESS expensive than what I was paying for All before I made the switch. Now that's a win!

3) Set your washer to use cold water. Sure, sometimes the boys' clothes don't get perfectly stain-free, but who cares? Those become play shirts, and really, pretty much all they do is play so those clothes are just fine to jump in leaf piles and paint and run around. For the most part, our laundry comes out stain-free even using cold water. My only exception is the sanitize cycle I use for way am I washing those in cold water :)

4) Ditch the dryer sheets. Oh yeah, I'm going there even though it's coming into static-season. Besides being bad for the environment, there are some compelling claims that they're bad for your health. I know they're an asthma-trigger for me! If you must, get eco-friendly dryer sheets, or google around for other static reducing techniques. My best advice: wear a lot of cotton (doesn't get as staticky in my experience), and don't over-dry clothes.

5) Consider upgrading to a high efficiency front loader washer. It uses far less water than a top loader. If you're paying for water, it will eventually pay for itself in water savings. It also spins more of the water out of the clothes, so you're using less energy to dry them. You only need to use half as much detergent as a top loader, so that's another savings. A front loader dryer is less important, though I love the sensor-dry feature on ours that turns off the dryer as soon as it senses the clothes are dry. Sometimes it takes only 30 minutes to dry a load! But if I had to pick just one, I'd definitely go with the washer.

6) Don't use a dryer at all--hang clothes to dry. I haven't been able to commit to's really a lot more work. We don't have a good spot indoors to dry clothes, our basement is very damp, and it's too cold out now to do it outside. But I'm just throwing it out there. It sure would be more eco-friendly. Maybe I'll give it a go this coming summer. If anyone has successfully ditched the dryer, let me know how you find it!

So what other laundry tips do you have to share?

1 comment:

rich said...

Alyssa really, REALLY wants us to upgrade our washer and dryer set-up and move them upstairs. It's in our basement and if we don't get the clothes out of the washer in the winter, they freeze in there. Brutal. Oh, and our dryer door is working with a duct taped hinge. Seriously.

Murphy made one of those hand-print turkeys at art class a couple weeks ago. I don't know where he got it from, but he found one of those foam stickers - in the shape of a shotgun - and, well, it's pretty awesome. We have a ghetto turkey.