Friday, November 18, 2011

Choose my hobo experiment

The January Carnival of Natural Parenting1 is going to be a fun one:

Experiments in Natural Family Living: Have you ever been curious about trying a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, going no 'poo, or doing something else to make your life (or your family's life) more natural or green? Try something for at least a week sometime before January's carnival and then share your experiences in your post.

I have two ideas for tormenting myself trying a greener lifestyle, but I can't choose what would be the most horrifying interesting.

Let the popular vote decide!

green living experiment — family cloth or sugar free


Here are my two options:

        1. FAMILY CLOTH: This is the gentle euphemism crunchy folk use for a reusable alternative to toilet paper. The idea of wiping with cloths at once appeals to me and repels me. What will I use? How will I store it? How will the laundering go? Will I use it for #2 or chicken out? So many questions!

        2. SUGAR-FREE: I love me the sweet stuff, but sugar gets a bad rap among natural folk. It will be so, so very sad, but I could try giving up my fix for a time and see if it affects my mood, energy, and health for better or worse.

It's your turn: Vote!

Tell me what you want to see me blog about (dookies or mood swings?). You can write in a third option, if there's a different trial you'd rather put me through (maybe I'll revise the poll if a good write-in comes along!), and you can comment if you want to explain your answer or suggest a tweak to my plans.




I'm anxiously2 looking forward to seeing what you'll decide!




1 We're skipping the December carnival for Dionna's babymoon! Catch up on the November posts you might have missed, and enjoy your month off.
2 And I do mean anxiously.

39 comments:

Amy said...

Family cloth is not hard! I keep a small wet bag hanging in the bathroom and a jar with wipes on top of the toilet tank, ostensibly for when we need to clean Mr Baby, but in reality mostly for my use (hubby can't wrap his head around it). I don't think I could go back to paper! You feel so much cleaner when you are cleaned with a wet cloth! I just launder with the regular diaper laundry.

Shannon Hillinger said...

I agree with Amy. Family cloth is much easier then giving up sugar!
We have wet bags in the upstairs bathrooms, and drawers full of wipes. I used to launder with the diapers, but now that we aren't diapering anymore, I just run a tiny load of laundry once a week or so, depending on how enthusiastic the kid gets about wiping. My husband was unsure about if he would like it, but he came around, and I'm happy that I can now buy the recycled toilet paper for guest use instead of the "good stuff" he insisted on.

Raina @ Mamacita Spins The Globe said...

I would be intimidated by the cloth idea, laundry is my most loathed household chore. I do buy recycled toilet paper though (that has to help a little, right???)

Giving up sugar would be insanely hard for me as well.

I have contemplated going vegan. I think it would be harder to get my family on board than it would be for me to do it. I would miss cheese though.

ArchetypalTheatre said...

I do hope the family cloth wins 'cause I want to try this, too, but I am confused about the details. For example, are the wipes supposed to be dry when you use them or wet like packaged ones, and if they are wet, how best to keep them that way. Such a simple idea, I am surely over-complicating it!

Kalista said...

I said family cloth because I'm too chicken to try it...I'd love to see someone else's experiences! We use cloth everything else...but I don't know...

Sheila said...

Sugar. It's tough, believe me, but once you start to feel the results, you're motivated to continue. The amazing thing is watching yourself get mellower and more patient ... couldn't we all use more of that?

I'm excited about this carnival ... we just started a gluten-free thing over here (for some of my son's issues) and the results are fascinating. I LOVE experimenting with my diet. The hard part is sticking with any changes once the experiment is over.

Jenny said...

I can't imagine giving up sugar right now. For me, at least, this is a very stressful time of year. But I know family cloth is pretty cool and it would be easier than giving up sugar! Plus it saves money and I am all over that. The tricky part is making sure little kids don't flush cloth.

SarahK said...

family cloth...interesting idea. I like it, I just SUCK at (don't do often enough) laundry...I feel like this might force my hand...

lisa c. baker said...

Family cloth--I'll do it if you do it! I've been wanting to switch forever; just haven't gotten around to buying the wipes. I made my own cloth wipes when I was pregnant with my daughter, but my brief sewing stint went away and may never come back, so I don't think that's ever going to happen again. :)

Alicia C. said...

I'd like to hear your perspective on family cloth. I'd never, in a million years, be tempted to think of life without sugar. But, I have considered family cloth. I just don't know how it would go and would be interested to hear some of the problems you run into and the solutions you come up with. It would make me feel more prepared!

Kel said...

I think for a week-long experiment, sugar-free would be the way to go. It wouldn't be an added cost, just different costs. With family cloth, you might want to buy flannel to cut into wipes, or something, which would be an addition. Plus, with kids, it would be really interesting-- how does the big kid deal with having no sugared treats? Does the little kid notice any change of taste in his milk?

Mrs. Stone said...

OMG Ty and I have been bickering about what to do for the January carnival LOL. We are already vegan, we will be cloth-diapering baby#2, etc etc. I can't think of anything else!!!

I would do the sugar thing for real...it's actually AMAZING after about a month or so. When we went vegan we also went WHOLE foods, which cut out sugar. After a miserable month we felt like gods. Then I got pregnant. Now we eat sugar again LMAO. The cloth toilet paper thing sounds scary-as-hell to me but that's prob. cuz we do laundry once or twice a week in a community facility...

So I vote sugar for you. God, would it be totally lame of me to steal your idea and have people vote on my topic too??? LOL. I'll just have to do a little more research is all.....

xo, mrs. stone

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@Shannon Hillinger: Thanks to you & Amy! We also have to get the "good stuff," so it would be nice to cut down… I do have to say, the thought of my guys wiping their butts on my wipes makes me…erm…yeah. It's even worse than imagining wiping my own. But I do have a hanging wet bag!

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@ArchetypalTheatre: I guess I assumed they'd be dry! If I do it, I will research for you. :)

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@Sheila: Well, I could use mellower & more patient. I never stick with diets, either, by the way. Oh, well!

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@Jenny: Not just stressful, but holy cow, there are so many yummy things to eat over the holidays! Maybe we should have saved this topic for February so we could feel all austere during the first of the New Year.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@SarahK: Yeah, I currently have five piles waiting to be washed. Hmm…

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@lisa c. baker: Can you use the same wipes? I'm wondering about cross-contamination, though I suppose they should get pretty clean or I'm doing it wrong, right?

P.S. I didn't even think I'd inspire someone to come alongside me — the more the merrier!

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@Kel: Strangely enough, we just had a flannel sheet rip, so I was going to sacrifice that. The only problem, of course, is finding time to sew, same as what Lisa said up there. Eep!

I hadn't actually thought to make my family go along with my weirdness, but maybe I can at least suggest doing whatever I'm doing, and stop buying sugary stuff to have in the house if that's the one.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@Mrs. Stone: Before I had a washer/dryer, I would never have suggested family cloth, that's for sure.

You can absolutely do your own poll! I was hoping this would give people some heads-up that they should think ahead for the next carnival, so I'm glad that's working.

Ideas for you/anyone:
* I'm also trying no-poo for my hair and no soap for my body. JUST water, all the way. (NB: So far, I am smellier and greasier. Who knew!) However, Amy/Anktangle is purportedly writing about no-poo for NPN so I'm not stealing her thunder.
* I thought of a general Ditch the Disposables challenge but wasn't sure that would be too overwhelming (for me) to do at once. But if there's anything you use that's disposable still, you could give it or a bunch of stuff up: paper towels, napkins, tissues, takeout containers, grocery bags, etc.
* Cloth or reusable menstrual items. I love those! No going back.
* Turning down the thermostat (gack — I'm already freezing).
* Walking/biking/busing everywhere for a week. (Might be equally miserable in this season, depending on where you live.)
* Going minimalist somehow. Like, putting away most everything you own or a certain segment (like, all your clothes except for 10 things) and seeing how it is to live without that.
* No-spend week where you don't spend money.
* No TV or even a no-screens week (ack! Not my precious laptop!!).
* Washing everything in cold water. (Maybe except diapers…)
* Changing diet another way (not you, but someone): vegan, raw, Weston Price, vegetarian, gluten-free, traditional foods, etc.
* Try out only natural cleaners. (I love my vinegar!)

What else? I should make this a post in itself! :)

...sarah. said...

Well, I would vote family cloth, but since everyone else has, maybe I should be devil's advocate? ;) I've considered family cloth, but then realized that the idea would sink with my husband. Fast. But- I am going to get a Diva cup.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@...sarah.: The poll's neck & neck even though the comments skew toward cloth. Funny, that.

I hope you enjoy your DivaCup! It's a little bit of a learning curve, but I love mine. As sad as I am that my period's already back postpartum (sigh), I'm glad that I at least have my trusty cup. :)

Tree Peters said...

I *want* to be environmentally friendly. I do. I really do. But, I find the idea of the family cloth completely awful. Nothing but respect for those who try or do it..
I will never be there..
So, I have to say, go for the sugar. Plus it's such a big deal for our bodies. I have to do it because my 4 year old has become a sugar hound.
We still will use honey and maple syrup, molasses...
I have a recipe on my diet blog that has saved me every day.. uses only stevia. Cocoa crack. Here's the link in case you're crazy enough to go this route. http://www.gooddaytodiet.com/2011/09/07/cocoa-crack/

dionna-code-name-mama said...

I voted family cloth, and if it wins, I'll send you some I've made. They kind of rock, if I do say so myself ;)

p.s. Why is there no name/URL option when I comment? I think your blog is broken!

Susana la Banana said...

I vote sugar! Because I *know* that would benefit my family if I could get up the energy to do it...but it's a vicious cycle...so I need some good examples.

Either way, sounds fascinating!

amymccarty1985 said...

Family cloth is GREAT! We love it. Its easier than cloth diapers or cloth pads. Just toss in a wet bag after and wash like a diaper or pad. Simple. :D Plus you get WAY cleaner :D

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@dionna-code-name-mama: I will take you up on that.

I had to turn off anonymous/name & URL commenting because this one spambot decided to target me relentlessly. I was getting 25 spam comments every 10 minutes. :-/ Once I turned off anonymous, it went down to 2 an hour, which at least is more manageable (?). Plus, I've been getting some snarky anonymous comments. So, sorry, but I'm rethinking having that option open. I'll see if the spam dies down first.

Blogger's been doing lots of updates — I wonder when the comment system will be overhauled!!

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@Susana la Banana: I have to say, I'm glad that not everyone has been responding, "What is this sugar you speak of? Never had the stuff." I'm glad I'd be struggling for an inspirational purpose if I swear it off. :)

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

@amymccarty1985: This makes me wonder how dirty I've been all these years. :)

Joy said...

I vote sugar...mostly because I am toying with the idea for myself and think it would be really hard!

panda said...

I way prefer cloth wiping, especially for my incredibly regular No. 2 times. I don't like going at work because of the yucky paper. I just grab some of baby's changing wipes before I go in and the spray bottle of wiping solution, go to town, then carefully take them out and put them in the bucket where his go. I launder the bucket every two (sometimes three) days. Easy Peasy!

I could never do without sugar totally - we have, however, 100% switched from refined sugar to blackstrap molasses and sucanat. That's working out insanely well. Niko doesn't know the difference. We run into refined sugars occasionally, but the bulk of our sweetening is done with those two.

Good luck!!!!

kelly @kellynaturally said...

I vote sugar-free! I've always wanted to do this & would love to read how you go about it - if you'll use substitutions, how if effects you - will you feel better, lose weight, have cravings. It's a goal of mine to reduce or eliminate sugar... but I LOVE SUGAR. So, what to do? Oh yeah, let LAUREN do it FIRST! :-D

evahodges said...

I vote sugar. I have been thinking about giving it up lots since reading a fabulous ebook by Australian Sarah Wilson www.sarahwilson.com.au. It is a very sensible rational argument about our addiction to the white stuff.

melissa said...

You are a brave soul, Lauren Wayne! I voted sugar because I feel like if you can do it, I can do it! I'm almost ready to give it a whirl, but, well, pie. I will be eating that stuff for breakfast every day following Thanksgiving until its gone. So probably like one day, because that should be all the time I need to polish it off. But anyway, enough about me, this is about you... helping me do something I don't have the wherewithall to do myself yet ;)

Erin OK said...

I might try the family cloth myself. I considered it as I was making flannel baby wipes when I was pregnant. My husband said no way, you're going too far. But, I could do it. I do diaper laundry every two days anyway and have extra wipes.

Sugar would be hard as Christmas sneaks up. And you might need more than a week to feel the benefits of a sugar detox, it's quite a process.

I also might like to try going vegan for a week. But I'd need to have a little extra grocery money to stock up on some things. . . which I don't have at the moment. family cloth would be free!

Adrienne said...

It seems that family cloth is winning, but I'll contribute my thoughts nonetheless. :) We are part-time family clothers. We use it for #1 and by "we" I mean "I." My hubs doesn't use it...since we only use it for #1 and he doesn't have to well...wipe...anyway. And Burkley doesn't really need to wipe. Why is that? Why are his poos so clean like that? I don't get it. Anyway, I just throw mine in the diaper pail and launder them with the cloth dipes. Anyway! Good luck with whatever you decide! Cutting out sugar seems way too hard to me! :)

Momma Jorje said...

I offered up a separate suggestion. I'm planning to post on Family Cloth and it seems it is going to be a popular topic. Dionna did give me a run down of how to make my own and I've made my first batch of 16 out of Sasha's old receiving blankets. I saved all the boyish and unisex ones for use with Spencer.

I also don't like the no sugar idea... because I'm already diabetic, but have a sweet tooth larger than my head! Also, I don't do sugar substitutes and I wasn't sure of your stance there. Like seriously, if it isn't real sugar, I'm NOT interested. You didn't say whether you'd be accepting replacements.

lisa c. baker said...

@Lauren @ Hobo Mama Ha. Yes, I could if I had enough! But baby #2 is arriving any day, and my daughter still likes to use them when she pees in her little potty in the living room (they're softer than toilet paper). I definitely need some more!

Amanda said...

I really wanted to put "other- use shark jokes in every sentence," but I'm not sure how 'natural' that really is...

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