Tag Archives: eco-friendly

From Garden to Plate: Growing Sustainable Vegan Food

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From garden to plate, or straight to mouth, here is a quick look at some of the food we have been growing in our garden. With lots of learning along the way, we are enjoying the experience in learning to live a more sustainable life through this process as well as eating delicious healthy vegan meals made with lots of aroha (love).

Vegan

Growing Garden in December

Vegan

Zaedyn picks kale & nasturtium to share with Lamby (who will NEVER end up on a plate)

zucchini

courgettes/zucchini

Garden

green garden

Raw Vegan

vegan chocolate

Vegan

Raw Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut Taco Wraps

Raw Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut Taco Wraps with fresh salsa, avocado, cashew “sour cream”, & coriander (cilantro)

What are you growing in your garden, or what do you hope to plant? How do you live a more sustainable life?

Check out my growing Sustainability board on Pinterest for a few ideas!

Charlie Banana Swimmer Giveaway *CLOSED*

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Giveaway

Charlie Banana Swim Nappy Size Small, 5-7kg, colour of your choice

If you win, which colour would you choose?

Check out the Giveaways tab on Facebook for more information on how to enter, & make sure to comment below with your favourite colour. It would be awesome if you could also share with others that might be interested.

Why do we love Charlie Banana Swimmers?

They are so absorbent unlike most swim nappies because they are a 2-in-1 swim diaper and training paints. The lining is 100% organically grown cotton with a waterproof outer layer. Besides wasting money on disposable swim nappies that will end up in landfill, Zaedyn gets to wear a stylish swim nappy that is eco-friendly, does not contain chemicals, and it is absorbent without becoming bulky.

We want to share some cloth love with you so please enter for your chance to win one of these super cute reusable swim nappies.

This is an amazing product that I do not know what we would do without. We love the beach, and we are so excited for summer! See Zaedyn’s one in use below…

Swimmers

If you own Charlie Banana swimmers, let us know what you think of them.

*Terms & Conditions ~ This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. This giveaway is not sponsored by Charlie Banana. Only open to New Zealand. The winner will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us a message!

Fluffy Mail! +Giveaway

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fluffy mail

Zaedyn opens his fluffy mail & checks out his new bitti tutto!

itti bitti
itti bitti

How exciting! We received fluffy mail today from The Nappy Lady. Such an awesome print to add to Zaedyn’s nappy stash. I just love it. It is a super soft minky fabric, and of course we love giraffes. We received our first bitti d’lish from the Nappy Lady, and now we get to try our first bitti tutto. You can definitely expect a review on both for how they work for us. The nappy has been through the wash already. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on. I used to think that they were overwhelming with all of the snaps and inserts, but they are actually pretty easy. The snaps are even colour coordinated!

So, another huge thank you and shout out to The Nappy Lady. Make sure to follow her page as well as Cloth Nappy Week because there are lots of exciting events that you will not want to miss for those in New Zealand.

Now for an exciting announcement. We would love to share some cloth love with you since we appreciate everyone following us and liking our Facebook page. With summer coming and since we love the beach, we would love to give someone a Charlie Banana Swim Diaper (Swim Nappy) size Small 11-18lbs, 5-7kg, colour of your choice, in an upcoming giveaway.

Is anyone else excited about this? The lining is 100% organically grown cotton with a waterproof outer layer. These are actually absorbent compared to most swim nappies. Plus, this is heaps better than using a disposable swim nappy to go to landfill, and I think that they are super cute. I know that this giveaway might not apply to all of our followers, but hopefully there will be something of interest to you in the future. We also welcome new likes that will continue to follow us so feel free to share our page on yours or with others that you think might be interested. Make sure to click on Add to Interests and watch out for our upcoming giveaway.

If you win, which colour would you choose?

Our Charlie Banana Giveaway

cloth swimmers

Charlie Banana Swim Diaper (Swim Nappy) size Small 11-18lbs, 5-7kg, colour of your choice

Wooden Toys

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sustainability

Since the beginning of October, I have been slowly adding photos to a Wooden Toys album. Yes, it is still a work in progress. Just to be a bit confusing, the point of this album is not to sell these items. It is just a way for you to see some of the wooden toys that we own & ask questions if you are interested in the product. Fortunately most people that know us are aware that we prefer wooden toys, and many of these have been given to Zaedyn as prezzies. If you have them as well, we would love for you to comment and leave any feedback to support other who may be interested. I know that there are plenty more wooden toys available, but I hope that what you see will be of interest or provide you with links where you can find other sustainable toys.

We believe that nature is the best playground and that there are lots of natural resources and environments that can provide open ended play experiences. However, wooden toys can also provide learning and interactive play experiences. Although I have provided some information and ways that each can promote learning, they are not limited to this. Each child is unique, and many dispositions can be learned depending on each child. The way they use them to learn will also vary through time depending on their current interests and development. Click on the photos below to find more details about each toy.

Why do we love wooden toys vs. plastic?

Most companies that sell wooden toys are green companies that play a part in environmental impact and awareness. If you are looking for toys that are more natural and sustainable, look for wooden toys. Yes, they can be expensive, but they are worth it. Wooden toys are also very durable making them last and not ending up quickly broken in landfill. We also do not have to worry as much about safety from broken parts or toxicity. We are not against all plastic toys, but with the huge rise of cheap, plastic toys, we like to make a conscious effort to support eco-friendly companies. There are some companies using recyclable materials/packaging, one of which we think is pretty awesome. Make sure you follow us to hear about it in a future post.

So, how many toys do you need? I do not believe in buying all of the newest toys that come out, and I can definitely say that we still have more than our fair share of toys. We have some amazing toys that simply do not get used because we are always outside, or there are just too many to choose from. This can seem a bit overwhelming for you and your child as all of the toys are pulled out and not used for any purpose. Recently we have moved some toys and books into Zaedyn’s room as everything was out in the lounge. We have a pretty big lounge so I made a few areas in the room where there were certain types of toys. He is now aware of what is in his room and will walk down the hall and bring out toys or books that he wants to read. This has made it a bit easier for him to find toys and spend time playing, but this will always be a work in progress as we shift toys around to create an exciting environment.

Some people might think that wooden toys are too plain and simple, though I would argue the opposite. Yes, plastic toys can be very colourful and there is a huge variety, but this does not make them more interactive. Zaedyn is always far more interested in the packaging and boxes anyways! Wooden toys provide open ended experiences. Some might think they are boring, but I think that they allow for more creativity. There is also a growing number of companies providing wooden toys, and there is a range of different types and availability.

Natural Learning

The other option is to make your own. We found this awesome abacus idea from Natural Learning. Zaedyn even helped us look for the resources to use. Check out their site for some amazing creative and natural resources you can purchase. These educational resources will definitely support your children to learn about nature and Papatuanuku.

If you are a company that stocks these products, please leave a link to your website or details on how to order.

Many people debate this topic, but in our opinion we prefer wooden toys in our home. What do you want your baby chewing/playing with?

ClatterWork Bench 'N' BoxShape SorterPlaying MantisWollemi Wilderness Cash RegisterTea Set
tree toys

CLOTH vs. Disposables

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On Friday, my friend Ieva and I attended one of The Nappy Lady Workshops held in Hamilton. It was like the excitement of cloth nappy week all over again. I left the workshop feeling so inspired and loving cloth nappies even more which I didn’t think was possible.

As part of the Council Nappy Scheme, The Nappy Lady first discussed the environmental impact of disposables. It was really fascinating to hear figures about the average nappies used a year ending up in landfill. The numbers are unbelievable. As a family, we are very conscious of the products we buy, but there are still definitely things that we can continue to be mindful of so that we are not producing a lot of waste to go to landfill. As a society, we are taking up the limited space we have by filling it with unnecessary products and packaging. I am going to challenge myself even more to make a conscious effort of what I buy. Yes, eco-friendly products are often more expensive, but you also end up paying more to get rid of all of your rubbish that cannot be recycled or composted. When I go shopping, I automatically look for eco-friendly and vegan products, not at the price. The more people begin using products, the cheaper they will become. It is amazing how many eco-friendly products are available now, and there are always better choices to make, or even reusing and composting everything yourself when possible.

Something that I already knew, but not everyone realises is that even the poos in disposables are supposed to be discarded. How many people take the nappy off and quickly discard it in the rubbish still with poos? Everyone that I know! So if you were to actually follow the directions on the packaging of disposable nappies, you might as well be using cloth. What I hadn’t completely realised was the fact that biodegradable nappies are not necessarily any better for the environment as they cannot break down in an airtight landfill. So as far as the environment is concerned, cloth nappies definitely win over disposables.

Look at the two new awesome modern cloth nappies we received in our pack from attending the workshop.
Nappy Lady

We mostly use pocket nappies so I am really excited to try out our new itti bitti all in one. I love the colour! Cloth nappies are definitely more stylish than disposables. BeBops are made with love in New Zealand. I think it is important to support local companies, and it looks like a great nappy. I also love the combination fabric insert.

Have you ever wondered about what fabric insert is best? Cotton, bamboo, hemp, or microfiber? Kate Meads, The Nappy Lady, explained the properties of fabrics in a way that made a lot of sense and why I am pretty sure a combination of inserts such as microfibre to retain a higher quantity of wees along with a natural fiber such as bamboo for its anti-bacterial and soft properties as well as keeping the wees in would be very effective.

Another interesting idea was the fact that often people have problems with pocket nappies leaking around the leg and that we sometimes think adding more inserts will solve this when in fact it makes it worse. With a pocket nappy, the more inserts you add, the bigger gap you create making the ability to leak increase. I remember when we went through a period of time where Zaedyn’s nappies leaked, and we did not really know how to solve the problem. Especially since we were only using two inserts. Another option could have been to try 1 insert, use smaller nappies, try a different style, or just pop on a waterproof outer. The main type of nappies are fitted, pocket, all in one, birth to potty, and pre-fold. Do you notice the difference between the two types of nappies in the photo below?

cloth nappies

The itti bitti is an all in one because the insert is still attached. The snaps underneath allow you to easily add more inserts when needed. The BeBops nappy is a pocket nappy because the inserts go inside and can be pulled completely apart. It also has lots of snaps on the front to adjust sizing and get a perfect fit.

It is often easy to not know who to ask or how to solve problems such as these when they come up, but there are actually a lot of simple solutions. If you haven’t already, I suggest that you visit The Nappy Lady website as pretty much everything you need to know is explained. If you have the chance to attend a workshop, I highly recommend going. You will gain so much information and walk away with cloth nappies to try. Feel free to ask me anything as well as I will do my best to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Our pack also included other samples and lots of deals to use on products. One sample that I was really excited to find was a small bag of SoapNuts. A few years ago, I bought SoapNuts from Huckleberry Farms to use with our regular washing. I had even looked up their website and found out that you could plant your own tree. We had considered this, but at the time we were uncertain of where we were going to be and whether it would be worth planting as we would not benefit until almost 10 years later. As some of you may have seen on our Facebook page earlier, SoapNuts are fruit that grow on trees and are environmentally friendly and effective as a sustainable cleaning product. They can be used in the washing machine, dishwasher, or even as a liquid soap for a lot of household purposes. As they are not sold where we live, I had forgotten how useful these little nuts are, and I am really excited to try them again. These few SoapNuts will wash up to 4 loads of laundry! Isn’t that amazing?

sustainable

This has ended up a very long post, and I could really go on and on about cloth nappies for a very long time so I think I will leave it at that for now. There are heaps of brands of cloth nappies as well as styles and choices to make, but every nappy will be a favourite to someone. We all have different preferences for why we like certain nappies or what might suit our babies the best.

Also, if you noticed a photo go up about wooden toys last night on Facebook, I am starting an album to promote natural, sustainable toys. Feel free to add or share information. I will get onto organising that album as well as a few other new exciting albums that I have been waiting to put up. Thanks for following along, and I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this site, Pinterest, and Facebook as well as like or comment on posts. Thanks heaps! x

In case you missed the poll when I first started this site, please take a second to go back to my post about The Nappy Lady and let me know how often your bub is or will be in cloth nappies. Just out of curiosity as well, please  answer below the answer that suits the best 🙂

Charlie Banana

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     “Sale items REDUCED AGAIN!!  As we are overstocked in small swimmers we need to clear I have reduced ALL prices again!” reads Tweedle Limited’s Facebook Page. Now at only $8 NZD, these Charlie Banana 2 in 1 Swimmer & Training Pants are a great deal. With summer not too far away, I couldn’t resist buying a few for Zaedyn and possibly some as prezzies. It was hard to decide on sizes, but knowing that Zaedyn has a small bum, I am glad that we bought mostly Medium. I am sure that he will grow into them a bit more before summer. Can’t wait to try them out at the beach.

     In our original hunt for nappies before Zaedyn was born, we had bought some Charlie Banana nappies from Fishpond only to be told that they were out of stock and would not be available. I am excited now to at least try some swimmers out. The lining is even 100% organically grown cotton and the outer layer is waterproof. Most swimmers are not actually absorbent, but the Charlie Banana swimmers are very well designed as well as eco-friendly. The bright colours originally attracted me to this brand. For those of you who know me will know that I love green, and Zaedyn’s new bright green Charlie Banana swimmer is by far my favourite. Look how cute he looks modeling it and pretending to surf on his Indo Board.

Don’t forget to check out Tweedle‘s website for great deals on Charlie Banana swimmers, cloth nappies, leg huggers, and more. We have always had great service from Tweedle, and the products are shipped out and arrive the following day. We are almost out of Rockin’ Green so we decided to add some to our order and try out Earth, Wind, and Orchids. Although I seem to be spending lots of money at the moment, I am impressed with all of the good deals and products that I keep finding. Continue to follow along as I will keep you posted with a few more items that will be coming our way.

Wet Bags for Sale

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Dinosaur with white zipper & two turquoise wet bags still available $10 each

     Wet bag: a waterproof bag made of PUL to store used cloth nappies, wipes, swimsuits, wet/dirty clothes, and anything else you can think of. The possibilities seem endless! They are a great eco-friendly and stylish alternative to plastic bags. Not only that, have you ever put everything in a plastic bag only to notice later that everything has leaked because there was a hole in it? Plastic bags very often have a hole or even holes in them, but you wouldn’t have to worry about that if you owned a wet bag. Or, are you one those parents who feels the need to carry your big heavy bucket around wherever you go, and even filling it with water and powder to soak? Besides not recommending soaking your nappies until they are ready for a wash, the invention of wet bags now saves you from the hassle of carrying around an unnecessary large bucket.

     Zaedyn has a variety of different wet bags in all sizes used for his cloth nappies and cloth wipes as well as for clothes or swimmers. We have found that we prefer a zipper over a drawstring as they hold in smells better :). If you have any concern, however, Rockin’ Green sells a Shake It Up! Pail Freshener that can be sprinkled in your wet bag to keep away any unwanted smells. Size preference depends on what exactly you are wanting to use the wet bag for and for how long. We have a couple very small bags that are great for shorter outings when we know that we will only need it for a few nappies. When you get home, you can toss it in your dry bucket to be washed along with your cloth nappies.

     The two monster and dinosaur with turquoise zipper bags have sold, but the other three small wet bags are still available for only $10. Shipping can be arranged. Please comment if you are interested or have any questions. I still intend to make a few more, but these are all that I have in stock at the moment and am uncertain as to when all of my new projects will begin. Will keep you posted as to when I put all of my eco-friendly ideas into creating new items.

     If these don’t suit what you are looking for, have a look around online as there are lots to choose from at a variety of prices. As with cloth nappies, feel free to start your own project and be creative in making your bub a wet bag. They are not solely for cloth nappy users. With so many practical uses, wet bags are a necessity, in my opinion, to have on hand for your little one.