Archive for environment

could it be?

Posted in Life in general with tags , , on Monday 23 February 2009 by amanda

Could it be that our country’s biggest problem with this financial crisis is that we’re holding on far too tightly to all of the entrenched interests and powers?  We seem unable to accept that sometimes, things need to change.  We think we’re too invested in coal, in oil, in GM, in Chrysler, in the banking and financial system “the way it is” to have the guts to change it.  And there’s tons of people across the country with GREAT ideas how to change things…and they are not getting funding or help to start up these new ideas.  They didn’t before the crisis, they aren’t now, and there’s no plan I know of to help them in the near future (with the exception of a few green job development plans in the stimulus package).  

I think that in some ways, the US has just become too laden down, too stodgy, too unwilling to change, too much acquiescing to entrenched and powerful interests, and therefore stuck.


my favorite cloth diapers – a review!

Posted in Life in general with tags , , , on Monday 19 January 2009 by amanda

I know that when I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers, I had a really hard time figuring out what kind I wanted to use, what kind of covers to get, etc. New York City is amazingly low on shops that carry cloth diapers (there are a few, but none anywhere near me at the time), so most of my research was done online. I thought I would share a few websites that I found super-useful and review the cloth diapers that we have ended up using for our son.

Websites: – awesome reviews of all things cloth diaperish – good selection of cloth diapers/natural parenting stuff – has a lot of the products that cottonbabies doesn’t – i usually order from one or the other.

Kissaluvs cloth diapers (

Kissaluvs are a fabulous cloth diaper that I’m so glad we’re using! They are a nice thick cotton with snaps, and come in 3 sizes. Actually, see their website for the details.

However, I absolutely love them. They need a diaper cover, and work really well with the cheapo plastic pull-ons that you can get for free with a 1/2 dozen order at cottonbabies. if you want something more sparkly, the bummis covers also work really well with them.

We didn’t start using the diapers for several weeks after Kieran was born, partially I think because we were both a little nervous, plus it was a little hard to make sure that they weren’t irritating his healing umbilical cord. So after several weeks we switched over. It took a little bit to get used to, and they were a little big on him at first (he was about 7 1/2 lbs at the time), but we soon got the hang of it 🙂
One fantastic thing about them is they are GREAT for holding poopy. We’ve NEVER had an accident/spill with the kissaluvs but we’ve had explosions with disposables. For wet diapers, they do need to be changed a little more often than disposables, and cloth diapers in general just don’t wick away moisture like disposables can, but I think it’s okay, because the kiddos get changed more often, which is good for their skin.
For absorbency, Kissaluvs have been great – they also have doublers for extra absorbency that we use most of the time.
For overnight, however, we still use disposables – we never figured out a good way to make the cloth diapers work overnight that we were comfortable with.  I do know parents that use cloth overnight and it works for them, but for us, we just don’t.  Also, when we’re traveling we use disposable – the cloth gets to be a bit much to haul around and have to wash.  

Finally, for poopy, especially once he started solid foods and it got GROSS, we use flushable liners.  They are GREAT!  They hold the “substance”, which you can then just peel out of the diaper and flush down the toilet.  I think it beats rinsing/dunking in the toilet BIG TIME.  They are little like toilet tissue but more durable so they don’t come apart when you pull them out of the diaper.

In essence, I love our Kissaluvs, and if you’re thinking about cloth diapers, go for it!  They are wonderful, and the brand we use or another kind…there’s types for all kinds of budgets and lifestyles.  Hope this helps any parents out there looking for help in deciding whether to cloth diaper 🙂

Gorillas in Congo

Posted in Life in general with tags , , , on Sunday 7 December 2008 by amanda

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to NPR on my way home from school (as usual) and The World was on.  I enjoy that show because it’s an hour of non-US news, which is nice.  This particular show highlighted the recent uptick in violence in some areas of Congo, particularly in the areas where the extremely endangered and (ideally) protected mountain gorilla lives.  

Before I go forward, a note.  I love animals.  I respect them.  I think they are amazing.  gorillas and chimps in particular I find fascinating.  I am a firm believer that animals need to be respected and (when necessary) protected. 

However, as well-meaning as I know this article on NPR was about the plight of the gorillas, they chose to use that time to talk about the gorillas and not about the families, children, mothers, fathers, grandparents that are also being deprived of basic things like their rights, their homes, and even their lives.  I couldn’t (and still can’t) feel comfortable with the choice to highlight these lovable animals over human life.  

I spoke to Ola about it, and he rightly pointed out to me that it’s because the people being slaughtered in Congo are black.  He compared this to Bosnia.  He asked if I could even IMAGINE a news report coming out of Bosnia during the war about some endangered and wonderful creature being threatened there while white children and families were being sniped, blown up by mines, and attacked?  And I can’t imagine a news report like that.  Yet nobody thinks twice about focusing on the gorillas.

I write about this because the NPR story played several weeks ago and it’s still on my mind.

so then…what’s the point of conservation and reusing?

Posted in Life in general with tags , , on Tuesday 28 October 2008 by amanda

…if when i bring my attractive re-usable travel mug to starbucks and they can’t figure out how to note my order (like by using a sticky or something) so they take a small (i ordered a medium) paper cup, write the order on that, stick it inside my mug, and then throw it away after making me my small latte in my re-usable mug.  seriously?  argh.  foiled again.  they did give me a medium after i pointed out the mistake, so at least i didn’t get bilked on how much caffeine i’m taking in.  that would just have been one more tragedy.

as a side note, the coffee in our cafeteria is just awful.  it really sucks to not have very good options other than starbucks nearby.  i think i shall have to venture further afield…i hear there is a new bakery opening up across the street from WCL, so perhaps they will have decent coffee and not negate the point of using re-usable cups…