Wednesday, November 7, 2007

TLC for your washing machine

Just because the name is "washing" machine, it doesn't meant it can "wash" it self automatically.
We often forget, washing machine , just like any other home appliances need a good care to pro-long its life , also to avoid any damage and to be able to perform at its best.

Your washing machine needs a good clean time from time to time. Let's say once every 3 months.

The detergent build up , harden and clumped softener and bleach can lead to odor problem, or even stain your laundry.

The basic guide, that I do with my WM:
1. If you have top loader WM ( washing machine) , usually there is a small net/bag to catch any residue of fabric or dirt. You must clean this often, just by washing it under tap water.
2. Wash regularly the detergent "drawer" and wipe it with paper towel.
3. The softener and bleach container inside the WM , can't be remove. So what I do is , pour hot water into it ( while the WM is empty). This will dissolve any clump of harden softener / bleach.So the water will ended up inside the tub, then:
When I do #3 step, usually I will wash my rag, kitchen towel, carpet ( the one to dry /clean our feet in front of the door, not a "real" carpet)
4. Wipe the tub top part with rag/paper towel.
5. This step I do once every 2 months or so:
Still doing the step 1-4 above, but I will also do:
I will pour hot water ( my WM doesn't have hot water option) in to the tub.
Normally I put about one big pot of hot water. Then I run the WM in the lowest amount of cold water.
If your WM (top loader or front loader) has a hot water option , just run it with the highest temperature.
6.When the tub is almost full, add 2-3 cups of distiled vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda.
Additional : I also put baking soda in the place of detergent powder and pour vinegar in the bleach and softener container, after I pour hot water into it. Just to help it flush out any residue.
7. Run of WM in a full cycle ( until it drains)
8. I will do an extra cycle in economy or fast cycle or if you can just run in one cold cycle.

If you wash cloth diapers with your WM and you are using softener with your other laundry, it is important to clean the softener' container or cup regularly . To avoid any unwanted softener run over your diaper's stash. Or you can also add water into your softener when you pour it into the container/cup to make it thinner/diluted . Or better yet, you can consider to use distilled vinegar instead of fabric softener.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

How GREEN can you go?

The November Reader's Digest cover has caught my attention with the title of BEING GREEN, and articles likes: Solving Asia's Garbage Problem, and What YOU can do!

The feature stories is included: It's time to clean up by William Ecenbarger. This is some of the highlights:

An out-of-control garbage crisis threatens the physical and economic health of much of Asia

As we become wealthier and consume more, we are producing unprecedented quantities of rubbish. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that our largest cities produce on average 760,000 tons of solid waste per day. It predicts that there will be a two-fold increase – to 1.8 million tons – by 2025.

This is of course make me scare. The garbage issue in Asia is getting so serious. How many of us think that we can really help by doing some simple step into our daily life?
People take our life style by granted. We think it is a modern time so what we do is just normal or acceptable for our time because what we need now is something that is convenient , and easy to use to suit our busy and demanding life. So in the marketing world the wording like: disposable, use and toss, no fuss is highly sell able now a days.

I remember clearly that , my mom re-use all the margarine's containers and pack my and my sibling snacks in it. I didn't have any Barbie, or Dora lunch box that time. Of course the main reason my mom did this because she wanted to save money.

My mom also had a rattan/wooden basket that she brought everyday to the market , and put all the vegetables, fish, and meat in it. She doesn't want to deal with the dirty plastic bags . And I think this is a great way to reduce the waste of plastic bags.

My late grandma used to kept the water that she used to wash rice grains in a bucket and used it to watered her plants. She said that the water from washing the rice grains has vitamins in it and it is beneficial for the plants. I am glad she saw it that way. At least she is re-using a half bucket of water a day.

But since our quality if life in term of financial is getting better that our parent's time, we also afford many thing and consume much more than our parent's generation.

Much of the added burden is packaging from consumer products and the products themselves – all of which need years, even centuries, to decompose. Lindfield cites estimates that four of every five products we buy are discarded after a single use.It all makes the handling of solid wastes much more complicated and expensive

No-one can avoid the consequences of the uncontrolled garbage glut. ''When an environment is being polluted, everyone, regardless of his or her economic status or functions, suffers,'' says Dr Wahid Murad, a solid waste management specialist at Multimedia...

The ADB says the growing garbage crisis must be counterered by the 3 R's:

-Reducing the amount of waste,

-Reusing items that are now being discarded

-Recycling materials.

This is the thing that we should try to do. By reducing garbage everyday , reusing plastic bags, re-cycling news paper , magazines, brochures, old bills if you have baby , use cloth diapers.
I also keep all the cartoon boxes from the toilet paper , cartoon boxes of juices/milk, used envelopes , then once a month I sell it to the local recycling paper company. I do have problem with plastic bottles and container. I couldn't find any recycling company that willing to take/buy plastic botlles/container in Kota Kinabalu. If you happen to know one , please let me know.

Another great thing ,I heard from a friend that from the metal bottle taps of any bottles drinks, from beer bottles specially, can be remake into a wheelchair . This is a great news, imagine that something that you throw away can be so useful for other people.
I appologize that I can't recall the association's name now, I just want to make sure I mention the correct name .

And it is not too late to start doing the right thing.Everyone can do their part."It is not difficult to put recyclable items into plastic bags or put them into recycling bins near our homes" says Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. " What would appreat as a small inconvenience initially is nothing compared to the benefits that will accrue to pur enviroment and livelihood in the long run."

How lucky am I to be a cloth diaper's mom. I know I am doing the right thing to our environment and I enjoy every second of it! You also can do something, find something simple do, and start to reduce our waste!

During my recent trip to China, I saw there are many young ladies using a canvas tote , I think it is the new trend over there, with the green writing of : I AM NOT A PLASTIC BAG RE-USE ME! or " PROUD TO BE A RE-USABLE BAG". I think the bags are so cute and sending a great message to people.

There are so many other things we can do to be gentler to our Planet. Our children deserve to live in a better place.

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Here is a bonus for you:

Never even think of......

When the first I started this blog a few months back, I never thought that the blog can be read "worldwide." My main goal is to offer a better explanations with photos about cloth diapers to my friends and customers from mia bambina.

I am not a good writer and English is not my mother tounge. I just write this blog for friends or Local moms who wants to know more about cloth diapers, since I thought at that time, it is a bit hard to find a local informations about CD or to find a real mom who lives near by me who happen to use CD just like me. So that's how this blog was born and well as my humble Forum.

So when I received a comments from overseas readers, I was stunned. They visited my blog? OMG, did I write correctly? Did I made mistake? and all of many other worries.....
When I wrote about the book "parentpreneur" and the Author of the book It self put a comment, I feel honour of course, but also I thought " MALU -NYE" in Malaysian mean: embarrassed blog been read by a real author like her!

I just found a great new website a few days ago
from Julia and to my surprise I found an article taken from my blog about laundering tips!
and today I just an new article about Malaysian cloth diaper's mommies .
I am excited because it is just great to let other people know that cloth diapers are really making a big come back all over the world!

In year of 2006 alone , there are several new online stores selling cloth diapers started to open all over Malaysia. This is a good sign, of course, as I believe that means they are more moms hooked up with cloth and want to spread the news about cloth diapers.