Friday, December 2, 2011

Choose your experiment in natural family living

Think of this as an advance call for the January Carnival of Natural Parenting. We're taking December off so Dionna can babymoon, but the January carnival requires a little advance preparation:

green experiments lab flask for CarNatPar post
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.

Submission deadline: January 3, 2012.

To give you some ideas of what to try, we've come up with this list. You can choose something that's not on here as well, of course, and you can experiment for longer than a week if you're so motivated. Our apologies in advance that some of these do not lend themselves well to trying out in the winter or over holidays, so choose what works for you and your family — for a week, at least.

  • Personal Care:
    • Only natural products
    • Only homemade products
    • No 'poo (shampoo) for hair
    • No soap for body
    • Take 5-minute showers
    • Take fewer showers
    • Take family baths or reuse the water
  • Ditch the Disposables:
    • Cloth wipes for paper towels
    • Cloth napkins
    • Family cloth for toilet paper
    • Handkerchiefs for tissues
    • Reusable containers for takeout or leftovers
    • Reusable bags for groceries and toting things
    • Reusable wetbags for the diaper bag
    • Reusable water bottle instead of purchasing water
    • Bring your own travel mug when buying coffee or tea
    • Reuse, recycle, or compost everything
  • Menstrual Care:
    • Cloth pads
    • Reusable menstrual cups
    • Reusable sea sponge in place of tampons
  • Electricity/Gas/Fuel:
    • Turn down the thermostat
    • Use only the most energy-efficient way to heat/cool your house (wood stove, opening windows?)
    • Shut doors and turn off heat for rooms you're not using
    • Turn off all unneeded appliances
    • Make do without lights; go to bed during the dark hours
    • Allow a certain number of appliances on or electricity hours used per day
    • Turn off oven halfway through cooking and cook with residual heat
    • Eat fewer hot meals
  • Green Transportation:
    • Walk
    • Bike
    • Carpool
    • Bus
    • Scooter
  • Minimalism:
    • Put away a certain percentage of everything you own to see how it is to live without
    • Put away most of a certain segment (such as, all your clothes except for 10 items)
    • Live within a certain number of rooms in your home
  • Finances:
    • Don't spend any money for a week
    • Buy only used
    • Buy only from local businesses
    • Stick to a specific budget
  • Technology:
    • No TV
    • No computer
    • No cellphone
    • No email
  • Outdoors:
    • Go outside daily for at least an hour
    • Live outside
  • Housekeeping:
    • Only natural cleaners
    • Only homemade cleaners and soaps
    • Wash everything in cold water
    • Hang everything to dry
    • Hand wash clothes or dishes and reuse the water
    • Limit how much water you can use for a week and reuse, say, cooking water to water plants
  • Cosleeping:
    • Try the family bed
  • Cloth Diapering:
    • Try cloth diapers for a week
    • Try only natural materials or flats (or some other diapering challenge)
    • Try elimination communication or nakey-butt
  • Babywearing:
    • Tie on a sling instead of using the stroller
  • Infant Feeding:
    • Try baby-led solids
    • Breastfeed or pump (if possible/desirable)
  • Food & Cooking:
    • Vegetarian
    • Vegan
    • Raw
    • Gluten-free
    • Sugar-free
    • Traditional foods
    • Weston A. Price
    • Paleo
    • Corn-free
    • Soy-free
    • Dairy-free
    • Raw dairy
    • No artificial ingredients
    • No food from cans or boxes / cooking from scratch
    • Local foods (say, 100 mile radius)
    • Homegrown foods (own garden or homestead)
    • Eat only from your pantry, fridge, freezer, and deep freeze without buying new food
    • No microwaving or nonstick cookware
    • Do a detox
  • Health:
    • Use only natural remedies (only if this would be prudent for you)
    • Use basal body temping or natural family planning for a month (don't blame us for any surprise results!)
    • Try chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, reiki, or other alternative therapy
  • Gardening:
    • Start a garden
    • Grow indoor food plants
    • Start composting
    • Start a vermiculture bin
    • Collect rain in barrels
  • Toys & Clothes:
    • Put away all plastic toys
    • Put away all battery-operated or electric toys
    • Wear only natural fibers
  • Education:
    • Unschool
    • Homeschool

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaOur thanks in particular to Thomasin & Heather for helping us brainstorm.

Feel free to add your ideas in the comments. And if you want to "claim" one (no exclusivity promised, however), let other participants know what you're doing!


Crunchy Con Mommy said...

Sounds fun! Maybe I'll try to bake my own bread and not buy any from the store from now until the Carnival. Would that count?

Lauren Wayne said...

@Crunchy Con Mommy: Absolutely! That sounds like a great one. Are you doing the bread challenge with Adventures in Mommyhood?

Anonymous said...

What a great idea. I've tried a few of these already. Some stuck, some... not-so-much. I've recently been trying to kick the tin can habit by going glass. I'm learning to make and can my own preserves and sauces. It's actually been pretty fun and I've found a few recipes that are beyond anything I've ever gotten from a store.

Miriam said...

We just recently went dairy-free in my house and my daughter's behavior has never been better! We think she had a hidden dairy allergy. I haven't ever participated in the carnival before, but I think I will this time!

Lindsay said...

I hadn't heard about that challenge-I'll have to check it out! I made french bread last night and it was so yummy and ridiculously easy :)

Erin OK said...

I've been thinking of the family cloth idea since your last post. I just need to repair my extra wetbag to keep in the bathroom. . . said...

This is so great! I've been struggling to decide which one I'm going to do, but I decided on not spending. It will be an interesting experiment, but I have already found out where to score some free burlap bags for my Christmas tree skirt!

Unknown said...

I'm going for it, ladies. . . we're going to try family cloth for #1 (we'll see how that experiment goes first before we move on to cloth wiping family poos ;P) I have been mulling over it for a while since we already are a cloth diapering, no-paper-towel and limited paper napkin household . . . but now I'm really going for it! Wish us luck!

Unknown said...

What a fun Carnival! I think I'll tackle making my own lotions and lip balm. My skin is starting to dry out in this winter weather, and I've been wanting to, so this is just the push I need.

Momma Jorje said...

I'd like to "claim" family cloth, but I know I'm not the only one writing on the topic. I wrote my post a month ago, though! :-P

I just fine tuned it and will submit the form... it is scheduled and ready to go already (once we get the top and bottom code, of course)!

Great theme, btw! I'm even stretching mine into WW the following day with a tutorial! (also already written and will be scheduled shortly)

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