SciFi Mama

Adventures in raising a geeky child

Cloth napkins July 12, 2011

Filed under: Green,pics — scifimama @ 7:04 pm

Continuing my efforts to be more green I’ve switched us to cloth napkins. Sitting down to dinner one night I realized that the majority of our paper towel usage is each night at dinner. Then my brain wondered around to how much I spend on paper towels and how quickly we go through a roll, leading into how many paper towels go into the trash can. I spent the next 10 minutes trying to figure out how many cloth napkins I would need and how it would affect my laundry.

If I were going to cloth napkins to be more green, I wouldn’t want to add an extra load to my laundry. Our washer and dryer are old and not very energy efficient. I don’t want to add to my carbon footprint, I’m trying to reduce it. I finally decided that the amount of napkins we need would easily fit into another load of laundry I would already be washing.

Paige and I hit up the local Old Time Pottery for some fun, cheap napkins. We picked up 4 new sets. When added to the ones Ronnie had from assorted restaurants and catering we have more than enough for the week. In fact we have enough to put one in my lunchbox everyday as well.


I’ve been taking things slow on what to change.  I want to make permanent changes which means changing my habits not just making a lot of changes at one time.  A lot of changes at once won’t stick; at least not with me.  This takes me up to using my own reusable shopping bags, taking a lunch bag each day, using reusable containers & utensils in my lunch bag, taking my own cup to Starbucks and McAlisters, mixing my own laundry detergent and now using cloth napkins.  Overall, I think it’s a good start.






Green updated January 31, 2011

Filed under: Green,Mommy — scifimama @ 8:46 am

I’ve followed through on some of my green wants so far this year. I’ve been taking my own plastic ware to eat with. I’m impressed that I remember to take it. Last week I finally found a Starbucks cup that I like. And it wasn’t too outrageous a price either. I had found several that I liked but I wasn’t willing to pay $25 for a cup. Sorry but I’m just too frugal. $10.95 was my limit it’s plastic and BPA free so I’m good. Now the McAlisters cup. I’m using it most days but it never goes to McAlisters anymore. There’s one across the street from my office but unfortunately it’s awful. The food isn’t very good and the service is terrible even though the employees are nice. I don’t go there at all.

I’m still doing my usual things like recycling, using my reusable lunch bag (from 31- if you haven’t heard of the company, they’re work like Pampered Chef and have lots of cute stuff) and even using my sandwich container from Tupperware so I use less bags. Overall I think I’m doing pretty good. Once these habits sink in a bit more I’ll see what else I can add to my list.


Green January 12, 2011

Filed under: Green,Mommy — scifimama @ 5:39 am

A couple weeks ago someone said to me, “OHHHHHH, you’re one of those green people” in response to the tires I have. I could have taken offense at it, but why? It’s the truth. I’m one of those green people. That comment did get me to thinking though, and there’s more I can do to be more green.

I already do a few things to be green. I carry a cool fold up shopping bag in my purse. It’s the Timmy bag, as Paige has named it. I like to use shopping bags when I can. There are times when I forget, or I’m in a hurry, so I don’t use them. But those few bags I get are used at home in the bathroom trashcan. At least I’m still putting them to good use. When I bought my new car I read up on how it is for the environment. The score was pretty good in my opinion. The 2011 Kia Soul rates an 8 out of 10 for Global Warming Score meaning it’s emissions are lower than the average 2011 car. The smog score is a 5 out of 10. I’m sure that could be better, but at least it’s average. And I’m sure both scores are higher than the minivan I owned previously. I’m afraid of what those scores looked like. Overall, my vehicle emissions are lower than average and better for the environment. My tires on the new car are Nitro Fill tires. Honestly, I didn’t know what they were when I bought the car. They give me better gas mileage, save wear and tear on my tires, and gives better vehicle performance. Check them out and see what you think. There’s the other usual things as well. Little things like turning off lights, unplugging small appliances when not in use, recycling.

It made me wonder what I can do to be even more green. I’m going to try to do a few small things that may be a bit harder for me to do. I want to start taking my own plasticware to eat lunch with instead of using disposable every day at work and throwing it away. Last year I bought the McAlister’s insulated tea cup to use there and get refills for only 99 cents each. I want to keep using that this year at McAlister’s even if I don’t get cheap refills, at least I’ll bring my own cup. Finally, I want to get my own reusable cup for Starbucks. It has to be venti size so I can take it in with me and still get my same drink that I love. Those may not seem like big things to you. I can remember the McAlister’s cup, that shouldn’t be a problem. Taking my own reusable plasticware will be harder because I just don’t remember it. We own it, and it sits unused in the silverware drawer. And finally I have to find a cup I like and start remembering to take it with me.

Any other ideas for being more green?


Reusable grocery bags July 11, 2010

Filed under: Geeky,Green — scifimama @ 10:49 am

I’ve used reusable grocery bags off and on for years.  I just hate that collection of plastic bags I would get.  Now, I don’t claim to be completely green around here.  I do make an effort to be more green though.  I have a stack of reusable bags that I love to use.  I also have a sleeve for plastic bags.  I use them in my bathroom trash can.  Perfect size and free is the right price.

When my sleeve of plastic bags gets low, I stop using my grocery bags and get the plastic bags until I fill it back up.  Once it’s full, it’s back to my own grocery bags.  One of the biggest downsides to bringing my own bags is the cashiers.  Almost none of them know how to bag groceries.  I grew up in Granny and Paw Paw’s grocery store.  I can bag some groceries.  My eggs are never crushed, my bread isn’t smooshed, and everything fits nicely.  Most of the time when  I tell cashiers I have my own bags they roll their eyes.  The ones that do that I won’t offer to bag myself.  The ones who cheerfully say it’s great, I’ll offer.  I’m a bit sadistic that way.  Truth is, I prefer to bag my own.  I can get more groceries in a bag than they can and all without ruining anything.

I have a new favorite bag.  I got this from my favorite website, Think Geek.  By purchasing other items from them I had built up Geek Points.  I traded in my points for this super cool shopping bag.  It’s been amazing.  It clips onto my purse strap, so I always have it with me.  Yesterday after Tae Kwon Do practice we decided to stop for groceries on the spur of the moment.  Unclip my +10 Bag of Groceries, and loaded it up.  By the time we were done it held: bag of carrots, coffee, baking powder, large bag of all purpose flour, eggs, chicken nuggets and French fries.  And there was still plenty of room to spare.  The only thing I purchased not in the bag was the gallon of milk.  It already has a handle, so no need to put it in a bag.

I will admit, since I clipped this on my purse, I’ve gotten lots of compliments.  Also, it’s a very versatile bag.  We’re getting ready to head down to Gulf Shores for the Jimmy Buffett concert.  This bag packs up so small I’ve got it in my flight bag.  You never know when you’ll need an extra bag for the stuff you pick up at a beach concert.  This one is super small so it’s very easy to take with us. That left enough room in the flight bag I’ll carry for sunblock, keys, ID, and an extra sarong.


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