Our Family of Six: By the Numbers

We might be young and growing family of six, but I am still determined to minimize our impact on this beautiful planet of ours. I go out of my way to reduce the waste generated by this bunch – including making homemade peanut butter, using cloth diapers on the babies, ditching paper towels cold turkey – and I consider it my maternal duty to educate my kids about taking care of Mother Nature.

The other day I was brainstorming ways to further reduce our impact, so I started running the numbers. Oy! It sure does take a lot to keep this family running every week!

Here’s a typical week for our family:

10: loads of laundry (including two for cloth diapers)

9: ounces of vinegar used to clean around the house

8: miles walked bringing the kids to/from school

7: homemade matcha lattes (my new and only addiction)

6: green apples consumed – the kids sprinkle their slices with cinnamon and gobble them up!

5: rolls of toilet paper (unbleached and from recycled fibers, of course!)

4: grocery stores we visit (Trader Joe’s, Stanely’s Fruit & Vegetable Market, Whole Foods, Jewel) – traveling around saves money and enables me to feed our family a largely organic and natural diet.

3: dishwasher loads per day – this is a fairly new development and I don’t understand how it suddenly happened!

2: dozen eggs – we pick up lovely brown eggs from our co-op

1: pound of butter (I like to bake…and the kids like toast slathered with loads of butter…)

1/2: tank of gas

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2 Comments for this entry

  1. Joyce Shelley says:

    Congratulations on your blog and raising your children in a way that will benefit them and our environment. My husband and I raised 6 children; 3 boys and 3 girls born within 12 years. They are all grown now (ages 42-30), but I, too, used cloth diapers, hung out all my laundry, nursed all six for at least 18 months, made my own baby food, taught them how to conserve water, and walked, walked, walked all over our neighborhood. My husband and I now have 8 grandchildren and one on the way. We still walk, line-dry our clothes, shop for organic produce, and make all our meals from scratch. What’s better is that our children do the same thing. Keep up the great work raising your beautiful family.

  2. Missy Strobel says:

    Hi! I live in Riverside and met your sister and Val- they led me to your blog, and it’s been so great to read! You obviously have things figured out waaaaayyy beyond me, so I’m going to beg you to write your next blog on this topic: how you keep your kitchen and babies clean and sanitary WITHOUT paper towels. I also have four kids similar ages to yours (the oldest is 5), and can’t figure out the best way to clean them up after meals. And I mean, they get filthy. I’ve broken it down to needing 3 washcloths each day- 1 for their faces and hands, 1 for wiping the counters, and 1 for the floors. But, it feels like I’m just spreading their germs around to each other, plus I’ve got 3 ugly towels sitting on my sink each day. If you’ve got any suggestions, my sticky-fingered children and yogurt-stained floors would love to know!


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