Sunday, July 13, 2008


I've had enough! I am disgusted by the amount of waste we produce. To make things worse, a couple of weeks ago we had something nibble through our rubbish bin lid outside! So, we've been keeping all rubbish in the house ever since. We do about 2 black bin bags a week, sometimes I manage to reduce it to 1 1/2.

I saw The Story of Stuff this morning, and some time ago DH commented on the amount of gas I use for cooking, as I've been baking and cooking a lot more than usual lately, so I made a search for solar cookers (heard about them long ago). I've been thinking of home-made soft soap for ages, I've only tried regular soap once in school. And cloth nappies have been on my mind with all the kids, but I've never dared to take the plunge (that's a lot of washing, no?) What has less of an impact on the environment, anyway, the nappy mountain or the increase in washing done?

Action plan:

Solar cooker, watch this video! (The Dervaes family has a website with lots of info on sustainability, etc) - plans for solar cookers (many of them are in several languages!)
Compost bin (& bokashi?) - rat resistant compost bin
Reduce waste, recycle, shop consciously, cook from scratch
Make re-usable shopping bags
Try home-made soap, fabric conditioner, etc
Grow my own: veggies, fruits, herbs (or some at least) and canary food
Cloth nappies?

See also: Selfsufficientish


Umm Hibaat said...

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Ma sha Allah and interesting post. I would certainly like to look in to a lot of those myself. The fabric conditioner on the other site sounds great. Jazakillahu khayran for sharing.

Umm Raiyaan said...

Salaam Sis! Very interesting. Has made me think about everything we waste too! You have persuaded me to do a project about recycling and teaching dd about it. Sis, can't remember if we met in person on in cyber world. But I'm sure I was speaking to a sister recently and she told me she was umm anas on a blog. Please help me with my terrible memory. Jzk, Umm Raiyaan

Humayraa said...

I don't think I've ever commented on your blog, though I read it. It's wonderful that you've become more aware of waste, masha'Allaah! Kudos to you! I don't think I have the stomach for cloth nappies though. *gulp*

Oum Anas said...

Assalamu aleikum

Umm Hibaat, I had run out of fabric conditioner, so did a google search and found that, lol. Turns out regular conditioner was cheaper than white vinegar though, but I've tried malt vinegar for coloured washes, a few times now, mashaa Allah (can't say I've seen much of a difference!)

Umm Raiyaan, that's great that my post is inspiring, alhamdu lillah. Sorry, sis, but I don't think I know you more than in blogosphere, lol. Only know one Umm Raiyaan, but she has other bigger children too. What happened to your blog, btw? Can't find any posts.

Humayraa!!! Yay, what took you so long to post!? Would love to read your blogs, but they're private? I've been aware of waste for a long time, but not everyone is as 'aware'... it's now that it's started to really TICK me though! Just think of all the kitchen waste you throw in the bin (!) everyday, when it could be used to make perfect soil fertiliser! Hubby's started to complain about us wasting water, well what about everything else we're wasting! Recycling is working great now (took some time for the authorities to get that working though!). What's left is composting. About the cloth nappies... I know! eek, but inshaa Allah, maybe... How is B, anyway?

Oum Anas said...

Umm Raiyaan, just found the wordpress blog, lol, I have it on my blogroll! Thought so, forgot you had changed from blogger.

Ummbilal said...

Asalam, sister, interesting article, masahallah. Why don't you try washable nappies? |I have been using them on my one year old since birth and it's not that bad. i wash every two-three days. it's amazing how much the waste is reduced, because I used disposables for a while and I wasn't happy, particularly the smell in the house and the waste!(Especically, disposables are so expensive, I reckon you can save yourself a couple of hundred pounds if not more in a two year period.) For washing clothes, why don't you try using ecoballs? They last for up to 750 washes!! Less waste and results! I never use fabric conditioner, i think it's a waste of money, essential oils like tea tree and lavender can be used.

Oum Anas said...

Assalamu aleikum, Umm Bilal.

Re: nappies

I was thinking this morning of getting a calculator out and count how much (if) I could save if switching to cloth. I don't have that much time left until it's time for potty-training now. How many washables do you use/have? How often do you change in a day? Do you have to change at night? How do you deal with it when going out? And what do you do with the nappies in-between washes?

I've stopped using fabric conditioner and even vinegar, the washing came out too wet! It is a waste, we never used it when I was a kid and it's doubtful if it makes stuff any softer. I've used tea tree oil to get a nice smell (will switch to lavender, which I like better inshaa Allah).

Assalamu aleikum, ila-liqaa inshaa Allah.

Anonymous said...

Assalamalaikum, hope you r well, insha allah. Just read your message now, lol, you are probably potty training now, but anyway here are my answers: I have about 20 nappies plus boosters. I change about 4-5 a day, depending on how often he soils his nappies (some days more!)When I go out, I use the very good Bamboozle nappies made from bamboo, a very absorbant material, he can usually stay with this nappy for about 5 hours, quite good I think! there are special waterproof bags where you can store your wet nappies for outings and nappy bins with lids for storing nappies at home. I don't soak nappies, it doesn't make much of a difference. Hope it's useful for you, insha allah and sorry for the late reply!
Assalamalaikum, Umm Bilal

Anonymous said...

Assallamalaikum, me again!
I don't change at night, I just put a booster with the nappy and that seems to work, well, most of the time! I hope my ds will potty train early, insha allah, as they do feel the wetness morev than in disposables!
Umm Bilal