Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuck & Go Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

Posted by Green Team at 8:43 PM 89 comments Links to this post
Okay - here is my far past due review on the Monkey Doodlez NEW Tuck & Go Diaper! I first began using it in July, so I did want to give some fair time before reviewing it... and then I may have forgotten a bit (sorry Cheryl!!!)

Monkey Doodlez NEW Tuck and Go(TAG) Cloth Diaper has several rave reviews! I've had several customers come in and try one set... and come back for more! This is one of the most versatile diapering system ever - The system as a unit offers unsurpassed performance and leak protection without compromising fit or adding unnecessary bulk! Who could ask for a better diaper???

So here is the description:

The TAG System is getting rave reviews by new and experienced Moms alike!

Easy to Use. Revolutionary. Functional.

How does this sytem work? The TAG is comprised of two pieces - a waterproof outer shell and a luxiously soft inner pad. The Tuck and Go™ cover is uniquely designed to allow the pad to be easily yet securely tucked in at the front and back edge, making it extremely simple and efficient. Siimply tuck the pad into the cover and fasten the diaper onto your baby. There are no extra steps and the velcro closures make it both infinitely adjustable and intuitive to use.

When it's time to change the diaper, remove the shell from the baby, hang on to the outside cover, hold it over your pail, turn it over and the pad falls right out. This eliminates the possibility or necessity of touching wet or dirty inserts.

The front and back of the cover as well as the elastic at the leg casings are lined with soft microfleece to ensure optimum comfort and the edges of the tuck zones are gently gathered to keep everything in place.The Unique design creates a natural barrier to moisture for unsurpassed leak protection.

The waterproof cover adjusts to accommodate a larger size range while using the same pad and without compromising fit or adding unnecessary bulk. This makes this a highly functional yet trim diapering solution.

The Tuck and Go™ cover can be used with the TAG pads or over prefolds or fitted diapers.

The pad is made from a blend of 70% Bamboo Rayon, 28% Organic Cotton and 2% Polyester for optimum absorbency, breathability and comfort, with silky soft velour next to baby's skin.

The pad is gently gathered at the legs for the best fit, allowing the diaper to better cradle baby's bottom and adds a gentle barrier to help prevent leaks. The elastic is neatly stitched inside the pad so it will never touch baby's delicate skin.

Sizing for Covers and Pads:

  • Small fits babies 6-18lbs
  • Medium fits babies 12-28lbs
  • Medium Long fits babies 18-35 lbs
  • Large fits babies 30-45 lbs

So, Noah started using the Medium Long when he was around 22lbs. I could put it on the snap down, however, the rise was pretty short, so we have it on the full setting. One thing I will say is I'm not sure if it will fit him til he is 35lbs, he is around 26lbs now... however I do also think it would have fit him when he was around 16lbs, maybe even 15. I think that overall for any diaper, the size is going to be different on any baby based on their build.

Pros - The Bamboo Blend Insert is SUPER absorbent! WOW - I can't believe how heavy it has been after use and not a single leak. I have been tempted to do a before and after weight.... however I have not gotten around to it. I think it would work well for night time - or if you have a really heave wetter, you could probably use 2 of the inserts for that extra protection. I have used it for night time - in which it was super soaked and HEAVY, however, my son always has a tendency to wake up sometime between 4-6 for a diaper change no matter how dry or wet his diaper is. I think it's our pattern we developed somehow.

I love the fleece around the covers, it adds a nice touch. And the inserts tuck nicely inside. You can even use these covers with prefolds or fitteds if you like! We have personally used it with prefolds and it works great - however... we do prefer using the TAG inserts since it isn't as bulky. Now, for those of you that like using the disposable inserts, I am positive those would also fit nicely inside of that to use! I have no experience with the disposable inserts because if I can, I will stick to the cloth, but I knew some might wonder about that!

I have also been using the TAG Inserts in my pocket diapers and it works fabulously! I'm sure I could even place them directly on another cover in a pinch, but I know they stay a lot more secure in place in the TAG Diaper Cover!

The only downfall I find of the diaper is that I'm a Pocket and All In one gal! I definitely prefer this diaper over prefolds and covers, but in all reality, I like to use my diaper once and put the whole thing in the pail liner. But this is definitely a simple and economic solution for cloth diapering!

Now... (drum roll please)... for the giveaway... I have 1 ML Butter Cover and 1 ML TAG insert to giveaway - and I'm throwing in a credit for a Free cover with a purchase of a set of inserts for the winner when you want to come back and buy more :)

1st and must do entry - Please comment below and tell me what sounds interesting about the TAG diaper

Extra entries
*Like Monkey Doodlez on Facebook and comment here
*Like RG Natural Babies on Facebook and comment here
*Post on Facebook about the giveaway (with a link to the blog) and link the comment here (you should be able to change the settings on that post so others can see it, or make sure it links with @RG Natural Babies and/or @Monkey Doodlez
*Tweet the Giveaway (with a link to the blog) @RGNaturalBabies and link your tweet here on a separate comment - may do so once daily for an entry! (but feel free to tweet it more often :) )
*Purchase any Monkey Doodlez Item at RG Natural Babies and comment with your order number here!

The drawing ends Friday October 8th - Please be sure to check back so that I can send your diaper out - I will be able to ship it out the 9th if the winner responds quickly, otherwise, I won't be able to ship it out until the 18th!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Winner - Bug Spray

Posted by Green Team at 12:00 PM 1 comments Links to this post
We have a winner on the bug spray!

#22 was drawn - Karen P! Congratulations!

Now, next go around, we will soon be doing a review and giveaway on Monkey Doodlez Tuck and Go Diaper - I hope more of you will participate!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So it's that time... what time? Oh yeah, Giveaway time!

Posted by Green Team at 9:25 PM 32 comments Links to this post
Well, since no one other than my dear twitter friend Nikki responded to my last post (hmmm, anyone out there?), I will heed her advice for this next giveaway.

This is an awesome item as it's great for kids and adults! How many of you hate to spray commercial bug spray on your kids and even yourselves? I know I struggled with that for years. Before I was even "crunchy," as some would know call me (which I still never will understand that term along with "granola"... I just say natural or green (which green still doesn't make complete sense, but now your really seeing my over analytical personality come through)) there were certain things I never cared for. I didn't like taking a lot of medicines in general and I was not a fan of spraying deet and chemical filled bug spray on me. However, I did it as I also could not stand mosquito bites - and maybe it's my blood type or something, but they flock to me. Even still if we were to go outside unsprayed in a mosquito filled night for say 5 minutes, my husband might get 2-3 bites, I'd come in with 10-12.

Now, I haven't tried that experiment, but I know it's true. And they itch and get big and it's just no fun. A few years ago we started making our own bug spray with some Purification Essential Oil and water and to my husbands surprise, it worked great! Now some of the same ingredients along with others to stabilize it a little more, we carry the Beat It! Bug Spray. We have been using it this year and love it! I'm not going to list the ingredients here because I want you to go look at the product for yourself, I'm sneaky like that, but will be for a good reason.

Great thing about this item, is it is safe for kids and babies! Of course be sure to not get it in their eyes. It will sting. Had an unfortunate incident where hubby was holding Noah and I asked him to blow on his eyes so he'll close them (though I was just spraying the back of his head/neck area) and well, I sprayed, but didn't think to tell hubby to close his eyes and poor thing, his eyes were burning for a couple minutes. They are just fine now, but that was not fun for him.

OH and I don't know how many customers I have had come into the store and ask about a natural bug spray that is safe for kids, I tell them about this and they say "and does it actually work? Because we've tried "x, y, or z" and it didn't actually work" - well I guarantee, this one DOES!

And on that note, we're gonna give one bottle of the 4 oz bug spray away for a lucky winner to try. Mosquito season is not over yet unfortunately so if you don't win this one, pick one up for yourself too! AND if you are in store, I can do refills for less than what the original bottle costs! How great is that!? Then the bottle can be reused and less waste for all!

Anyhow, how do you win?

First Entry and must do before others:
Go to the Beat it Bug Spray page and comment here with an ingredient that is in the Bug Spray

Other possible entries after 1st is done:
~Tweet the Giveaway @RGNaturalBabies and comment here - allowed once daily for entry, but may tweet several times daily
~Fan RG Natural Babies on Facebook and comment here
~Put a post on your facebook page about the giveaway, make it @RG Natural Babies so it links to the fan page and comment here that you did that! By having it link with the @RG... I will be able to confirm it when it shows up on the fan page- one entry only
~Blog about the giveaway, comment here and put the link to the blog so I can confirm!

Giveaway ends... July 27! Please make sure I have a way to contact you in case you win!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sorry it's been so long

Posted by Green Team at 1:13 PM 2 comments Links to this post
To all of our readers - we are sorry for not keeping up with our blog. We still have a lot of vision, goals and plans for this blog, just life has limited time a lot.

I, Michelle have been busy opening up our new store front, RG Natural Babies, in Racine, Wisconsin. We had our Grand Opening event on May 28th and have been blessed with the opportunity to share cloth diapers with more people. And while many still don't want to go that route, we have had numerous sales of the reusable swim diapers, which I still count as a success as they keep several swim disposables out of the land fills!

We feel like we are still trying to get settled in - it has been a lot of work and many hours of sacrifice. But we are blessed by the support we have received. It will take a lot of time to grow our business, but there is so much encouragement and a lot of people who have expressed how glad they are that we have opened this store here. We pray that it continues to grow.

Besides the swim diapers, a couple more popular items have been the Natural Sun Screen and Bug Spray that we carry - I must say, these work awesome!

Kristin hasn't had as much time to post either. You can however find her occasionally at the Brookfield Farmers Market on Saturday Mornings. She was off for a few weeks as the volleyball team she coaches made it to Nationals and she had the opportunity to take them down to Florida. They placed 33 out of 127! Way to go Kristin!

She is also working on a new cart for her online store, My Baby Pumpkin, which is going to have a new awesome design, she is enjoying more outside time with her kids this summer, and has a new project she's working on that she'll be sure to announce soon :)

We are excited to say we should be updating more frequently than we have even if life doesn't slow down. AND of course ahead this week will be a giveaway... of what is still being decided as there are so many great options to choose from! I'm thinking either a diaper or possibly one of the summer necessities like bug spray or sun screen - any thoughts and I'd be happy to listen :)

Have a blessed day and I'm happy to be posting again and getting back to making Wisconsin a greener place!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bringing Chickens to the City

Posted by Green Team at 11:51 PM 0 comments Links to this post
In Racine, WI - families are trying to make it legal to have chickens in their back yard. Families want to teach their kids where there food comes from, be able to provide food that they know is safe, and what a better way than starting with eggs from a chicken!

Here is the website link with more accurate information than what I can provide:

People of course have concerns, but there are guidelines set forth and regulations to having the chickens. I am curious what you think on the matter? But before commenting, please be sure to read through the website so there are no assumptions. And please be respectful.

Thank you!

Friday, April 30, 2010


Posted by Green Team at 4:11 PM 0 comments Links to this post
We have reached 100 followers! And we are giving away a $10 gift certificate to My Baby Pumpkin, LLC! Using Random Integer we selected number 68 and the winner is Amanda Prim. You have 48 hours to contact my at Thank you everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monkey Doodlez Swim Diaper Giveaway

Posted by Green Team at 2:49 PM 77 comments Links to this post
Summer's coming!!! (well for those of us in the Northern States... we hope) So what better time than now to get ready with a Swim Diaper for your little one!

Cheryl, the owner of Monkey Doodlez Diapers in Canada is generously giving one away through RG Natural Babies - your choice of size and print (pending what's in stock)! And this is open to ship in the US or Canada!!!

And get ready... here is a link to a picture of their newest print! Now who wouldn't love that?

Now - if you don't use Cloth Diapers - don't let this stop you from entering this giveaway. Just because you don't use Cloth Diapers, doesn't mean you can't use Swim Diapers. I know many people who will just use the swim diapers! Why? Because Swim disposable diapers are made to hold in the poop, not necessarily the pee - as soon as baby/toddler goes into the water with one - it fills up with water. But both will equally hold in the poop and then you don't have to pull off a soggy wet disposable diaper off your baby when they come out.

You may ask, what do I do with a swim diaper before we go in the pool if it has no absorbency? Put a towel underneath if you'll be sitting for a little bit - or we've put a couple of cloth wipes in the swim diaper before going into the water and just take it out before (and we've never actually had it be wet).

More about Monkey Doodlez? I love Monkey Doodlez Products, their All in Ones are one of my favorites! And their new Tuck & Go diaper will be in stock at RG Natural Babies soon! If you haven't tried any Monkey Doodlez Products, here's your chance to at least try a swim diaper!

Here's how to enter:

First, you must Follow this blog and comment telling us your favorite Monkey Doodlez Swimmer Print!

For extra entries:

*Follow @RGNaturalBabies on twitter and tweet the giveaway @RGNaturalBabies - then let us know here with another comment
*Become a fan of Monkey Doodlez on Facebook - and comment here.
*Become a fan of RG Natural Babies on Facebook - HERE and comment here that you did.
* You may Retweet this giveaway @RGNaturalBabies and comment that you did - limit of once per day!

This giveaway goes from April 26 through May 2! Then 1 winners will randomly be selected! Thanks for participating!

Winner of Rockin Green Giveaway!

Posted by Green Team at 6:27 AM 0 comments Links to this post
1st Winner of the Rockin Green Detergent Giveaway is #12 - Candice Bishop - congratulations!!!

2nd Winner is #96 - HosieWosie

I have tweeted @both of you so you can redeem your prize!!!

Congratulations to you both!

Friday, April 23, 2010

WINNER of Motherlove Congratulations pack!

Posted by Green Team at 11:37 PM 0 comments Links to this post
We have a winner - we selected it with - and it picked number 26! So Melanie - you won! I need you to contact RG Natural Babies via email - by Monday April 26!

Thanks everyone for entering - and don't worry - there will be another giveaway soon! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day = GIVEAWAY!

Posted by Green Team at 7:09 PM 36 comments Links to this post
Okay, so we are a little late on posting this giveaway. Sorry about that - we'll extend it through tomorrow :)

Simple way to enter. RG Natural Babies is giving away a package of the Motherlove Congratulations Pack! This is a great set perfect for a newborn baby!

The one catch is this has a sticker "best if used by April 2010" - so we are looking for someone with a new baby to give this to - or for you to give it to a friend with a baby. And can only be shipped in the US (so if you are in Canada or another country, you can enter, just have a friend in mind in the US to have it sent to!)

Here's how to enter:

~First you must Follow this blog and Comment telling us the youngest baby that you know right now, whether it be a friends or your own!

For extra entries:
~Tweet this giveaway @RGNaturalBabies ~you may tweet it as often as you like, however since this is a day long giveaway, it will only count for 1 entry - and comment here
~Become a fan of RG Natural Babies on facebook and comment here
~Post this giveaway on YOUR facebook page and comment here
~Enter in the Rockin' Green Giveaway!
and comment here

So that is 5 entries possible. This will end Friday night, so please get tweeting!!!

THIS HAS ENDED- WINNER is the 26th comment - MELANIE!!! Congratulations!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Baby Pumpkin Giveaway

Posted by Green Team at 7:00 PM 1 comments Links to this post
Remember when we get to 100 followers we will give away a $10 gift certificate to My Baby Pumpkin, LLC. We are only 28 away!

Also see our current promotion!

We also will be blogging soon about how to make a rain barrel and how to do a square foot garden! Pictures will be included!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rockin Green Giveaway

Posted by Green Team at 2:11 PM 169 comments Links to this post
Have you heard of Rockin' Green Soap? If not you need to try it! This detergent will rock the stink out of your socks out or your dirty diapers! Rockin' Green Detergent is not a product made in Wisconsin - it's made in Texas. But since we're giving one away through RG Natural Babies, I thought you would be okay with that ;)

Even better, I have 2 to give away! A Hard Rock forumla- for if you have really hard water (this is a brand new formula) in Fresh Linen scent. And the other came to RG Natural Babies with no label. It has the texture of the Classic Rock Formula. We were not able to identify the scent or if it even has one at all (when they come in a package mixed with scented and unscented, the bag will still smell).

So here are the details on how to enter!

First and must do before any extra entries: Follow this blog and comment telling us if you have tried Rockin' Green Detergent and if so what kind. If not, tell us which scent would you choose selected from these.

For extra entries:
*Follow @Rockingreensoap and @RGNaturalBabies on twitter - then let us know here with another comment
*Become a fan of Rockin' Green Soap on Facebook - HERE and comment here that you did.
*Become a fan of RG Natural Babies on Facebook - HERE and comment here that you did.
*Repost this link on your facebook page with a comment here.
*Retweet this giveaway @RGNaturalBabies and comment that you did - limit of once per day!
*Make a purchase at RG Natural Babies and comment here with order number to confirm. Don't forget to pick up a sample of Rockin Green while you are there!

This giveaway goes from April 12 through April 25! Then 2 winners will randomly be selected! Thanks for participating!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Customer Review by Jamie, Knickernappies OS Diaper

Posted by Green Team at 8:12 AM 0 comments Links to this post

Jamie's review of the Knickernappies Onesize Diaper
Purchased at My Baby Pumpkin

How was the overall review of product, fit, features, ease of use, how you like this product compared to other brands- I love the fit of this product! This diaper fits my baby (almost 9 months) and toddler (2 1/2 years) both wonderfully! I have tried many other versions of one-sized pockets and these are, without a doubt, my favorite one-size pockets.
The Knickernappies one-size is a generously cut diaper overall compared to many other one-size diapers. It has a nice high rise which is good for belly sleepers in the front, and super-duper poopers in the back. The snaps are good quality and the rise stays snapped unlike some other brands of snap diapers I have tried. There are two sets of snaps for the waist which will accommodate small bellied babies with chunky thighs or big bellied babies with less chunky thighs. The five snap setting around the waist is wonderful and makes for a very versatile "room to grow" fit. The scoop under the belly for the babies with big milk bellies is genius.

I have washed our Knickernappies OS many times and the lining remains super soft. The cover and LoopyDos also dry very quickly (much faster than the thicker inserts with most other diapers) which is very good for the electric bill if you dry in the dryer and the drying time if you hang dry. The inserts, whether microfiber or LoopyDos are very trim. This is one of the trimmest but most absorbent diapers we have.

I also really like the color choices available, especially the rich chocolate brown!

What's your favorite feature? I have two favorite features: The fit and the LoopyDos! I really appreciate getting two of the LoopyDos. I use the large one overnight for my baby and both the large and small one for our toddler. I do not need to spend additional money on inserts, doublers, whatever to prevent leaks during the night....and I really appreciate that! It's definitely more cost effective than buying a cheaper diaper but having to buy more inserts or doublers.

Would you recommend this product to others? YES, and I have!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

RG Natural Babies To Open Store In Racine!

Posted by Green Team at 8:32 AM 1 comments Links to this post
Taken from the Racine Journal Times! We want to wish Michelle Good Luck in this new chapter in her life and much success in bringing cloth to more people!


MICHAEL BURKE | Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 6:00 am

RACINE - A local woman who has turned cloth diapers into a viable online enterprise will bring her business to a Downtown storefront.

Michelle Schimian, 28, of Racine has leased 430 Main St., the former Monfort's art gallery which closed in December. She hopes to open a retail RG Natural Babies store, also the name of her online business, in April.

Schimian launched RG Natural Babies in April 2008. Her endeavor is a throwback to the pre-disposable diaper days when people had to deal with dirty diapers - not just toss them in the trash.

Friends had recommended cloth diapers to her, based on their desire to reduce cost, waste and their babies' possible exposure to chemicals in disposable diapers.

After trying cloth diapers and finding them both tolerable and cost-effective, Schimian decided to turn them into an online business and borrowed the RG in the company name from her daughter, Rachel Grace.

Despite a recession and plenty of online competition, her sales continued to grow last year - albeit more slowly than before, Schimian said.

"I think a lot of people are looking to save money," she said, "and even though the up-front cost is more with cloth diapers, you save a lot of money in the long run."

Using cloth diapers with more than one child increases the savings, and they can ultimately be resold to recoup part of the initial cost, Schimian says.

She has close to 30 wholesale accounts for such product lines as BumGenius and Fuzzi Bunz. She keeps inventory at home and fills orders at night but said Thursday, "It's taking over a little bit."

The store's approximately 4,000 square feet will give her plenty of display space, work space for the online business, a play area for children while parents shop, and space for her own children to be with her at the store.

Besides diapers, which come in many styles, Schimian carries such items as pail liners and wet bags, bibs, baby shoes and organic crib mattresses.

For a while, Schimian expected to go into the former Downtown Racine Corp. space in the Arcade Building. But she said the building's owner, Kimberly-Clark - maker of Huggies disposable diapers - declined to rent to her. "I was quite surprised they thought we were such a threat," she said.

A Kimberly-Clark spokeswoman said the company typically does not comment on the "nuances" of its business dealings, and was unable to comment.

For more information visit

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Update on Recycling at Volleyball Tournaments

Posted by Green Team at 7:41 PM 0 comments Links to this post
So last week, I mentioned how when I was at a volleyball tournament it bothered me at how many bottles of water and plastic were being thrown out. So I was talking to my parents about this and they agreed they didn't like it either. So we came up with a plan, we are now going to bring a tote with reusable bottles to all tournaments as well as buy the powerade drink mix so they can just add it to their water instead of buying it. One of the parents even said she will bring a bag for our girls to place recyclables in and take them with them and recycle at home.

Now our club, River City, also hosts volleyball tournaments and I have asked our director to place bins on each court so that the players maybe more inclined to recycle.

It isn't much but it is a start and maybe other clubs will see what we are doing and make changes as well!


P.S. We did win our tournament, this weekend too. They are 15's and we played in a 16's tournament. And now they may go to Nationals in Orlando! I am so proud of them. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Posted by Green Team at 8:12 PM 0 comments Links to this post
True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 52 Result: 5 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulations to Amylisse on winning our $10 gift certificate to RG Natural Babies.

We will give away another $10 gift certificate to My Baby Pumpkin, LLC when we get 100 followers!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Perch return to local waters - in an old factory

Posted by Green Team at 9:14 PM 0 comments Links to this post

This was in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today and found it rather innovative.

Josh Fraundorf (left), president and co-founder of Sweet Water Organics, holds fish food while Henry Hebert carries a net with yellow perch he scooped out of fish tanks, which are below the plant beds. The company hopes to develop a market for the once-common fish.

Sweet Water Organics has turned an industrial Bay View building into a fish farm that could bring back a Friday night staple

Perch have largely disappeared from Lake Michigan, but Milwaukee diners soon might be able to order the popular Friday night fish fry species once more from local waters.

Just in time for Lent.

A new generation of yellow perch is being netted about a mile from Lake Michigan at an urban fish and vegetable farm called Sweet Water Organics, which mimics the Earth's natural ecosystem in a cavernous industrial building. Harnischfeger Industries once used the Bay View neighborhood building to make mining cranes.

Decades ago, perch were hauled out of Lake Michigan by commercial fishermen. The fish with a sweet, mild flavor ruled fish fries until - for reasons biologists still don't completely understand - perch fisheries collapsed in the 1990s. Most Wisconsin fish fry perch now hail from Lake Erie and Lake Winnipeg, at a hefty price of $14 to $16 a pound.

Sweet Water Organics aims to make perch a local fish again, though the price won't necessarily be less, the owners said. They hope the Sweet Water experiment will spawn more fish farms in vacant industrial buildings around the city to help feed Milwaukee's collective appetite for perch and to make Milwaukee a cutting-edge center of sustainable aquaculture.

"We're on a Great Lake and don't have access to any of that fish," said Peter Sandroni, chef-owner of La Merenda, a tapas restaurant at 125 E. National Ave., so he finds this new opportunity exciting.

"The fact it's local will make it high quality," he added, "since it goes from water to plate in a matter of hours."

Co-founded by roofing contractor James Godsil and business partner Josh Fraundorf, Sweet Water Organics is the first commercial test of Will Allen's innovative aquaculture model for perch - an eco-friendly system unveiled two years ago at internationally acclaimed Growing Power, a nonprofit urban farm at 5500 W. Silver Spring Drive.

One year into operation, Sweet Water Organics employs three full-time workers and has produced 3,000 perch (three fish to a pound), which are hitting the local market this weekend. The farm hopes to be producing 3,300 pounds of perch every two weeks within a few years. Sweet Water also has raised about 45,000 tilapia but isn't banking on that species in the future.

The fish are raised in 10,000-gallon, rectangular pools in two- to three-tier vertical systems. Designed to mimic a wetland, the systems use gravel and plants such as lettuce, basil, tomatoes, chile peppers and watercress to filter fish waste. The vegetables produced in the system are sold to restaurants and grocery stores.

The urban farm is not set up to spawn or process fish. But that, too, is part of the three- to five-year expansion plan, Fraundorf said.

Technical support comes from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Great Lakes WATER Institute, which in July delivered the 3,000 yellow perch that are now at market size.

Fred Binkowski, a senior scientist with the institute and a fisheries biologist, sees great potential for urban fish farming.

"Perch is the icon of the Friday night fish fry," he said. "We want Milwaukee to be the aquaculture center of America."

He predicts urban aquaculture will take off in cities such as Milwaukee that are flush with empty industrial manufacturing buildings.

"The technology could be used anywhere, but urban settings are the best, where the demand for the fish is, and where you could create jobs and eliminate transportation issues of food being shipped great distances," Binkowski said.

Milwaukee has about a dozen former heavy manufacturing buildings that are vacant, according to commercial real estate broker Robert Dufek, who focuses on industrial properties. Many of the city's obsolete heavy industrial buildings have been demolished so the land beneath them can be put to new use, he said.

City Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux has toured Sweet Water and endorses the new use for the building.

Sweet Water has fielded calls from people in other cities interested in setting up similar systems, Godsil said.

Godsil, 65, and Fraundorf, 35, along with four other investors, put about $500,000 into the start-up. The building at 2151 S. Robinson Ave. is leased from developer Steve Linder.

While the fish get most of the attention, the vegetables are more profitable. The basil, watercress, lettuce and other greens grown at the indoor farm have been sold to La Merenda, Café Centraal and Beans & Barley.

The aquaponics behind the system combines fish farming (aquaculture) with hydroponics. Fish are fed commercial fish meal. A beneficial form of bacteria converts the resulting fish waste into nutrients, which then are used by the plants that grow in the same water. The plants in turn purify the water as they consume the nutrients, creating a healthy environment for the fish.

The plants grow on planks above the fish tanks.

"It's kind of like 'Pirates of the Caribbean' when you walk all these planks," said Sweet Water horticulturalist Jesse Hull.

Green technology even heats the water. Warmth generated by high-intensity lighting is captured in 300-gallon water tanks, which transfer the heat through coils into the fish water.

Compost also plays a role in nurturing the plants. Grocery distributor Roundy's Inc. donates food scraps to be turned into compost.

Sweet Water hopes to gain additional income from the sale of wheat grass, worms, worm castings and compost, plus tours, training and installation of aquaculture systems for other ventures.

Developers made some pleasant discoveries in the building. An abandoned 11-foot wide, 4-foot deep railroad bed that runs through the center turned out to be the perfect size and depth for fish tanks. These tanks are the next to be stocked with fish.

Get your perch here

If you can't wait to try the city-raised perch at a restaurant, bring a cooler to Sweet Water Organics at 2151 S. Robinson Ave. in the Bay View neighborhood between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday or Sunday and take home fresh, local perch for $5 apiece (each weighs about a third of a pound).

Perch will be sold "in the round," meaning they'll be whole, on ice. You'll have to clean and fillet them yourself, as the facility is not set up for processing. Sweet Water will have a chef on hand to demonstrate how to do the filleting.

Eventually, the fish farm expects to have an on-site retail store.

Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What are you doing today to make a difference? See what Thirsties is doing!

Posted by Green Team at 10:56 AM 5 comments Links to this post
Today, I turned down our thermostat to 65 degrees when we are home. We normally leave it at 67 degrees and turn it down to 65 degrees when we leave, well that is if we remember. I know that might seem cold but our house gets really good sun so it warms up nicely and the kids and I can wear sweatshirts to stay warm right?

So what are you doing today to make a difference?

I hope more businesses will stand up and take notice of what Thirsties out of Colorado is doing. They are installing solar panels to power their entire warehouse. There will be enough power produced to give back to the local energy company as well.

To see the full story go here.

And remember it is that simple if each of us do 1 thing to save energy today, can you imagine the impact we can make on the world around us.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Miracle Diapers is now - The Cloth Diaper Foundation

Posted by Green Team at 4:18 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Miracle Diapers Is Now The Cloth Diaper Foundation

empowering families, improving the environment

As Miracle Diapers has grown so has the number of families they assist. In 2009, they helped over 450 babies directly, more than 100 babies through sponsorship and local distribution, and assisted other charities with the same mission as well!

To better serve those families Miracle Diapers reaccessed it's structure and practices. They have:

New leadership with Roxanna Jolly—CEO and Lisa Johnston—Operations Manager and Board Chair

Relocated their headquarters to Katy, Texas

Restructured how they process and accept applications

Opened a retail store for fundraising

Founded a new membership program

Welcomed several new board members from the cloth diapering industry

In it's fifth year Miracle Diapers wants to continue moving forward and has decided to take on a new name that better describes the organization and it's mission.

Miracle Diapers is now The Cloth Diaper Foundation.

We felt that a more appropriate name would help the community have a better understanding of who we are, as we have often been mistaken for a diaper manufacturer. Our desire to move forward and build a legacy of support for the cloth diapering community will be reflected in our new name: The Cloth Diaper Foundation.

-Roxanna Jolly, CEO, The Cloth Diaper Foundation

Monetary donations fell last year do to the economy. Which means there are more families out there for The Cloth Diaper Foundation to help! While diaper donations are always appreciated, we must be able to financially support organizational growth. Let's make this happen together and spread the CD love. Visit today to find out how you can help!

Random Thoughts On A Monday Morning

Posted by Green Team at 7:50 AM 2 comments Links to this post
So I was coaching yesterday and got to thinking. There were 12 teams at this volleyball tournament with about 10 girls on each team, plus parents and coaches. Most players were drinking out of plastic bottles and throwing them in the garbage. Now this happens weekend after weekend and most of these facilities do not have recycling bins nearby for the girls to put their bottles in. Now this is only one sport in one part of WI, if you then think about all club sports that play on the weekend and all the plastic bottles that are going to waste it is mind blogging. So what can we do. Well I talked to the tournament director and I am also going to talk to our Region director. Maybe we can get some kind of movement going to stop all this waste!

So after I got home last night, I was watching the Pro Bowl on TV and it was raining. Then that got me to thinking, how do others wash their car. I taught my husband a unique way when we met. I wash my car in the rain, even if it is only 50 degrees out. Then I am not using extra water. Then for the crazed car enthusiasts, you can dry the car in your garage so you don't get any water spots.

And my last random thought comes from me taking the garbage out. So we have been slowly moving away from using plastic bags, we are bulk shoppers so have a lot to get rid of in the house. Well once they are gone we are going to be using a pail liner, like the one most use for cloth diapers. Then we will not get anything but paper bags if needed at the grocery store. Do you remember when you could only get paper? That has been such a long time! So check with your local garbage collection company or city and see if they require you to use bags. Most do not!

I told you I had a lot of random thoughts on a Monday Morning. :)


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Green Your Home - Laundry

Posted by Green Team at 2:02 PM 2 comments Links to this post
In Wisconsin, we have cold cold winters and the dryer gets used more often. In the warm weather, even if the clothes gets left in the dryer, it's usually okay - but in the winter, if it's the slightest bit damp when it is finished drying and you forget to get it right away, we usually have to run the dryer for a bit longer.

In summer, I like to hang the clothes outside when I can. I have heard of people hang clothes outside in winter too and kudos to them! I think that is awesome if you can do that and have the motivation for that. Unfortunately, the cold and I don't get along very well. And our basement isn't currently conducive to hanging a line down there.

I tried some of these dryer balls which we got at Bed Bath and Beyond with the coupons they mail out. At first it seemed like they may be helping, but honestly, it still seems to take forever for things to dry.

On other websites, I've heard something about Wool Dryer Balls. So I decided to google it and found this tutuorial. You can make these yourself and they have great reviews! Unfortunately I do not have the time for that at the moment, but am going to seek out some Wool Dryer Balls to purchase and try with our laundry. Anything to save some money and energy would be great. From other posts I've read, it seems like these really help.

Please add your experience and if you've had success with these or any other method.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Follow Go Green WI and Win

Posted by Green Team at 2:50 PM 0 comments Links to this post



Thursday, January 21, 2010

10 Things You Can Do In Your Home Today To Go Green

Posted by Green Team at 3:29 PM 0 comments Links to this post
  1. Decrease your shower by 2 minutes or better yet turn it off when you are washing your hair and body. Then turn it on to rinse off. Green Tip: This will save 10 gallons of water!
  2. Turn your thermostat up 2 degrees in summer with air conditioning and 2 degrees lower in winter. Green Tip: This will save you about $200 a year!
  3. Recycle and get your community to recycle all plastics not just 1 and 2. Green Tip: If everyone recycled and separated paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum products and put them in the recycling bin it would decrease the amount sent to landfills by 75%.
  4. Compost. Green Tip: Composting will save you money as you will not have to buy fertilizer for your garden.
  5. Run Full Loads in the Dishwasher and don't prerinse. Green Tip: Doing both will save 20 gallons of water per load and 7,300 gallons over a year.
  6. Get a reusable Pail liner for your garbage cans and then use only reusable bags at the grocery store. Green Tip: Doing this will save you about $30 a year in buying garbage bags and with every ton of plastic bags not used we save 17 trees and eleven barrels of oil.
  7. Flush your toilet less. Green Tip: 1 less flush a day saves 4.5 gallons of water.
  8. Stop the junk mail. Green Tip: go to It costs $1 but will limit your junk mail.
  9. Close your curtains when it's sunny in the summer and cold in the winter. Green Tip: This could reduce your energy needs by 25%.
  10. Clean your dryer. Green Tip: Empty the lint screen and don't overload and you could save 5% on your electricity bill or for even more savings use your clothesline!

Simple Recipes for Cleaning Your House

Posted by Green Team at 3:02 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Here are some quick and easy recipes to clean your house and they work great too!


*This cleaner works wonders. It cuts grease better than any other commercial product I ever used. Just be careful because the Borax is toxic. I have known people that just eliminate the Borax and use a little elbow grease to make it work.

Liquid soap or detergent (I use Dr. Bronners)
White Distilled water
Purified water (though I use tap water)
Essential Oils for Fragrance (optional)

Additional Items:
A 16oz spray bottle

  • Mix 2 tablespoons vinegar with 1 teaspoon borax.
  • Fill the bottle with hot water.
  • Add 1/4 cup liquid soap or 1/8 cup liquid detergent last
  • Scent with 10-15 drops of essential oil


*This cleaner is amazing on soap scum. I had used commercial products to try and get the soap scum off that we get because of hot water and NONE worked as well as this cleaner.

Baking Soda
Liquid Soap (I use Dr. Bronners)
White Distilled Vinegar

Additional Items:
A 16 oz squeeze bottle or I like to use a pint size wide mouth ball jar. You can use the quart size but it is difficult to get to the bottom if you have bigger hands.

  • Mix 1 2/3 cups baking soda with 1/2 cup liquid soap
  • Dilute with 1/2 cup water
  • Add 2 tablespoons Vinegar last (it will foam and is fun for kids to watch)
  • Mix until lumps are gone and if it does not run easily into your container add more water
*I generally make a double batch of this. Also if it dries out you can just add water and it works great.

What other kinds of cleaners would you like to know about and I will gladly post more?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Green Your Home - Cleaning Products

Posted by Green Team at 2:31 PM 1 comments Links to this post
Ever think about what you are using to clean your house? What do these bottles say "Keep out of reach of children" "If anything is ingested, call poison control"?

Many people like the smell of "clean" but what is it you are enjoying the smell of? Unfortunately it isn't really "clean" that you are smelling the smell of the chemicals that were used to clean.

When I was pregnant the first time, I became very aware of different items I was using to clean around the house. Even before I never really liked the fact that these chemicals seemed so hazardous, but once I was pregnant, I was very aware that everything going into my body was now affecting this little baby inside of me.

I recall a couple times I would clean and hold my breath... seriously!? There had to be a better way! I shouldn't have to hold my breath to clean unless what I'm cleaning is THAT dirty - and well, it wasn't. We finally had started using essential oils for natural health remedies and they also had a natural cleaner that was available. While that was quite pricey, only a small amount was needed because it was a concentrate. And to me, it was well worth it to know I was cleaning with something without chemicals.

Talking with others and investigating more, I learned Vinegar and Baking Soda can be used for most of your cleaning! Two simple things that everyone probably has in their home! WOW. It is so great to have those used as cleaners in our home now. I can go into a room that was cleaned and I don't feel like I'm inhaling chemicals.

Interestingly enough, now when I go to public restrooms or even other people's homes and I can smell the chemical cleaners, it immediately gives me a headache or sore throat. My body just isn't use to it.

But you know what? Even though our house may not "smell clean" after it is cleaned, it is clean! Also when I spray and wipe the counters with a mix of water and a few drops of Thieves Essential Oil in a bottle, I can feel safe having my kids or I eat off the tables and counters. It's really a great feeling!

Remember, there are a lot of cleaners out there that are truly natural and cost more, also ones that have "natural ingredients" but aren't 100% natural, or you can use good old fashion baking soda and vinegar!

How do you Green Clean your home?

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