i’ve never been super concerned about the size of my carbon footprint.
i don’t even recycle (gasp!)unless the bins are there in front of me.
sad, i know. BUT, while living aboard, our footprint is very small, much smaller than when we are living in the states.
on our old boat, it was even smaller because we kayaked or rowed to shore. our new boat came with a deflatable (inflatable little raft) with a little kicker. which is really nice to carry around all of rudder’s baby crap.
we are always on the hook (anchored) so we have never used shore power. our old boat had solar, our new boat has a really loud wind powered generator which has been named the banshee.
we haul out all of our drinking and fresh water so we conserve like crazy. we have a foot pump sink for our fresh water so the sink is never left on. we also catch water for showering (or if it’s a raging squall we just step outside) and other fresh water tasks. all deck washing is done with salt water.
rudder does his part too. he is a cloth diapered baby (mostly). and it’s been easier than i expected.
i was against it initially because i knew we were going to be living on the boat and i didn’t like the idea of stanky diapers on the boat until it was laundry day – there is no diaper service in st. croix, and they definitely wouldn’t be picking up/dropping off to the boat.
but then i thought about our trash being full of stanky diapers out in the hot, humid sun until we hauled it off. and we already haul off lots of trash so i didn’t want even more.
$$ and then i learned how much disposable diapers cost. $$
and then i realized how fast you go through them.
so, i got on craigslist last summer and wow, anchorage was amazing for cloth diapers! i bought some from three different mothers for a total of $250. and they were all in great condition, none of the liners were stained and all of the velcro was in great condition, which if you have ever used cloth diapers, is very important! we ended up getting over 20 (they are around $16 or more each brand new) pocket style, mostly the brand BumGenius. click on the link to check them out. we have this style, but not the 4.0 version,.and he can wear them until he’s over 30 lbs! they came with liners that snap down to different sizes too.
we also have some medium sized fuzzibunz, but haven’t tried them yet because they are still a little large for rudder’s tiny butt.
we love our BumGenius diapers. LOVE them.
and they are really cute too.
we had a couple gdiapers when rudder was really small and i’m sorry to say, they sucked. they were super cute, but that little plastic liner didn’t do anything for a wet diaper and they velcroed in the back which i thought was clever at first, but it just turned out to be really annoying.
in between laundry mat (laundromat, laundermat, laundramat?) visits we spray them with a water, vinegar (according to the book “where there is no doctor” it prevents/treats diaper rash), and tea tree oil (see melaleuca.com for tea tree everything) mixture and hand wash them in fresh water. then they get clothespinned to our life lines to dry/bleach by the sun.
i can’t believe the power of the sun. it gets rid of the urine smell and bleaches the liners pretty white. it will even get out slight poo stains.
with the poo diapers, we shake out the poo, and do the same as the pee diapers, though we send them straight to the laundry bag once they are dry.
on laundry day, the majority of our diapers come with us to get a real washing.
i also want to mention that rudder has NOT had a diaper rash when using cloth diapers.
he has had only one small rash caused by our long drive from north carolina to arizona while he was in disposables and not being changed as often as he needed to be.
and this is what saved his ass: arbonne baby care herbal diaper rash cream. my aunt sells it (i think) and gave it to me as a baby shower gift. the stuff is awesome. if i see any little tinge of redness on his lower regions, i slather a tiny bit of this yummy smelling cream and it’s gone by his next diaper change.
despite the ease of cloth diapers, we always have disposables on hand for when we are on the go and don’t want to carry around wet cloth diapers.
so there is my shpiel in support of cloth diapers. use them. they are easier than you think and better for your childs buns. and i recently heard it takes like 250 years for the plastic in disposable diapers to completely break down in a landfill. don’t quote me on that as i’m sure it’s somewhat exaggerated. but think of how many diapers you go through in a week, and then picture that pile sitting somewhere for hundreds of years. yuck.
sorry for the tangent. we also use the boat for fun and travelling around the virgin islands and puerto rico. and it’s a sailboat. so the diesel in our tank lasts forever. we only fire up our engine when we are leaving or entering an anchorage.
a 35 or so mile journey takes a good 8 hours, but it’s all free since it’s powered by the wind! and depending on the wind strength and the amount of swell, it can be really enjoyable. and we travel in our home. no TSA, no airports, no packing, no hotels etc…
living on a boat is not always easy. trucking water, hauling trash, groceries, a baby, can get kind of hectic sometimes. but it has caused us to live much more simply. there is just no room for things that you have in a house.
we have to work a little harder for internet (we have internet on our phone, but the cell phone signal is total crap on the north shore of st. croix and pretty much on the island of st. croix in general), showers, water – things that are super easy as a landlubber.
oh, and rent is free.
i enjoy this life much more than my life as a landlubber.