Choose Your Experiment in Natural Family Living

December 2nd, 2011 by Dionna | 3 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Compassionate Advocacy, Environmentalism, natural parenting

Think of this as an advance call for the January Carnival of Natural Parenting. We’re taking December off so I can babymoon, but the January carnival requires a little advance preparation:

Experiments in Natural Family Living:

Have you ever been curious about trying a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, going no ‘poo, or doing something else to make your life (or your family’s life) more natural or green? Try something for at least a week sometime before January’s carnival and then share your experiences in your post.

Submission deadline: January 3, 2012.

green experiments lab flask for CarNatPar post

To give you some ideas of what to try, we’ve1 come up with this list. You can choose something that’s not on here as well, of course, and you can experiment for longer than a week if you’re so motivated. Our apologies in advance that some of these do not lend themselves well to trying out in the winter or over holidays, so choose what works for you and your family — for a week, at least.

    Personal Care:

    • Only natural products
    • Only homemade products
    • No ‘poo (shampoo) for hair
    • No soap for body
    • Take 5-minute showers
    • Take fewer showers
    • Take family baths or reuse the water

    Ditch the Disposables:

    • Cloth wipes for paper towels
    • Cloth napkins
    • Family cloth for toilet paper
    • Handkerchiefs for tissues
    • Reusable containers for takeout or leftovers
    • Reusable bags for groceries and toting things
    • Reusable wetbags for the diaper bag
    • Reusable water bottle instead of purchasing water
    • Bring your own travel mug when buying coffee or tea
    • Reuse, recycle, or compost everything

    Menstrual Care:

    • Cloth pads
    • Reusable menstrual cups
    • Reusable sea sponge in place of tampons


    • Turn down the thermostat
    • Use only the most energy-efficient way to heat/cool your house (wood stove, opening windows?)
    • Shut doors and turn off heat for rooms you’re not using
    • Turn off all unneeded appliances
    • Make do without lights; go to bed during the dark hours
    • Allow a certain number of appliances on or electricity hours used per day
    • Turn off oven halfway through cooking and cook with residual heat
    • Eat fewer hot meals

    Green Transportation:

    • Walk
    • Bike
    • Carpool
    • Bus
    • Scooter


    • Put away a certain percentage of everything you own to see how it is to live without
    • Put away most of a certain segment (such as, all your clothes except for 10 items)
    • Live within a certain number of rooms in your home


    • Don’t spend any money for a week
    • Buy only used
    • Buy only from local businesses
    • Stick to a specific budget


    • No TV
    • No computer
    • No cellphone
    • No email


    • Go outside daily for at least an hour
    • Live outside


    • Only natural cleaners
    • Only homemade cleaners and soaps
    • Wash everything in cold water
    • Hang everything to dry
    • Hand wash clothes or dishes and reuse the water
    • Limit how much water you can use for a week and reuse, say, cooking water to water plants


    • Try the family bed

    Cloth Diapering:

    • Try cloth diapers for a week
    • Try only natural materials or flats (or some other diapering challenge)
    • Try elimination communication or nakey-butt


    • Tie on a sling instead of using the stroller

    Infant Feeding:

    • Try baby-led solids
    • Breastfeed or pump (if possible/desirable)

    Food & Cooking:

    • Vegetarian
    • Vegan
    • Raw
    • Gluten-free
    • Sugar-free
    • Traditional foods
    • Weston A. Price
    • Paleo
    • Corn-free
    • Soy-free
    • Dairy-free
    • Raw dairy
    • No artificial ingredients
    • No food from cans or boxes / cooking from scratch
    • Local foods (say, 100 mile radius)
    • Homegrown foods (own garden or homestead)
    • Eat only from your pantry, fridge, freezer, and deep freeze without buying new food
    • No microwaving or nonstick cookware
    • Do a detox


    • Use only natural remedies (only if this would be prudent for you)
    • Use basal body temping or natural family planning for a month (don’t blame us for any surprise results!)
    • Try chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, reiki, or other alternative therapy


    • Start a garden
    • Grow indoor food plants
    • Start composting
    • Start a vermiculture bin
    • Collect rain in barrels

    Toys & Clothes:

    • Put away all plastic toys
    • Put away all battery-operated or electric toys
    • Wear only natural fibers


    • Unschool
    • Homeschool

    Our thanks in particular to Thomasin & Heather for helping us brainstorm.

    Feel free to add your ideas in the comments. And if you want to “claim” one (no exclusivity promised, however), let other participants know what you’re doing!

    1. And by “we’ve,” we really mean Lauren and a few friends mentioned at the bottom of this post. I think this brainstorm happened right around the time of Ailia’s arrival, hence my non-participation. Thanks, ladies!

3 Responses to:
"Choose Your Experiment in Natural Family Living"

  1. All great ideas! I am leaning towards something with minimalism, or finances (or perhaps minimalism with the finances!). Not sure how well that would mesh with the holidays, but we’ll see. I have waaaay too much stuff around here so simplifying/minimizing would solve a host of problems, I’d imagine.

  2. I’m in! I’m doing a month of no eating out (although I CAN do coffee or drinks) for December, but that’s for other reasons.
    I think I’ll try my hand at not spending any money for a week and also putting away a certain segment of my clothes. I’m a clothes hoarder. I LOVE clothes. I don’t actually spend a lot of money on them, I buy used and people give me lots…but I keep way more than I wear. Did I mention I hoard? :)

  3. I do most of those all the time, but a few I find next to impossible. Um, got an online biz. Not gonna nix the computer/e-mail. DS has a lot of plastic toys – most of which were free/given, and he will not give them up.

    But this is a great list – I’m not sure I would have come up with all those alternatives.

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