Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eco Home: dryer balls and cloth diapers

I've mentioned several times before in this space that it's important to me and my spiritual practice to attempt to do my part in reducing my (and my family's) carbon footprint.

My latest foray into sustainability is linked to energy consumption and cloth diapering.

Knowing my husband, I opted to buy BumGenius FreeStyle all in one diapers (there are several types of diapers, pockets being the most common and popular). The biggest drawback to the all in ones (AIO) is that they take longer to dry because of the thick pads. That said, they're the closest to regular disposable diapers because you don't need to do much in the way of prep work for them. This was the biggest sell for my husband who thought the idea of reaching in and pulling out inserts would be nasty. (To be fair, we have a few pocket diapers and it's not that bad. The prep work though would be another thing, particularly in the earlier stages when you just feel overwhelmed by all things baby).

Ok, right... back to the dryer balls.

Dryer balls are made from felted wool. The idea is that you throw them in with your drying and it helps reduce the drying time, thus reducing your energy consumption.

I read about them on the David Suzuki site and decided to try my hand at making them with my Mom when she came into town before baby Faye's birth. Knowing my Mom has quite the yarn stash, I pilfered her old wool. Yup, she flew it across the country just to help me reduce my carbon footprint. That seems ironic but honestly if you saw the minimalism that is my Mom's suitcase you wouldn't worry about it!

Anyways, we wound, felted, wound, and felted the balls:

They're not as fluffy as the ones you see in the Suzuki link because the wool is twined in such a way that it doesn't break apart to felt easily. But that's ok, they still work. In fact, the more I use them, the better I find them. I'm starting to use them for everything now and highly recommend them. We've been using ours for about a month and I'm really starting to notice a difference now in drying times with the cloth diapers.

Yay, eco sustainability win!


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