Friday, May 2, 2008

Going Green

As I learn about more and more shortages and ever raising gas prices, I decided to try a few things to stretch our income and become a bit more Earth Conscious while I was at it.

The first change that I made was with my washing of clothes. I bought some Borax and some Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) to stretch my laundry detergent, using 1/4 cup of of the Borax and Washing Soda (yes, I have them mixed together) and 1/2 (or less) of the recommended amount of detergent. Then I learned that I could stretch my Downy as well, (I would not use it except, I want to keep my 1st husband happy) by diluting it - 1/3 Downy, 1/3 White Vinegar, 1/3 Water. You might say why not use less with each load - well, I am not the only one who does laundry, DH and DD do laundry too and they probably would not use less - the machine has a Max fill line and that is what they will use.

While I am on the subject of cleaning, I have just read that you can make your own liquid hand soap by grating a bar of hand soap - all natural, please, into 2 cups of water and bringing it to the boil on the stove, let cool and thicken either all day or over night and voila, you have liquid hand soap. I hope to do this today or tomorrow, as we have a bunch of people coming over on May 6 for a picnic and want to have some on hand - get it :o} (on hand).

For cleaning jobs around the house, I use Borax & Washing Soda, dissolved in water and that cleans whatever needs cleaning. For my windows and mirrors, I use a combo of 1/2 Water and 1/2 White Vinegar and just a splash of Mint Rubbing Alcohol (I read that this helps the solution to evaporate). I guess you could use regular Rubbing Alcohol, but I do not like the smell. I use any lint free cloth I have on hand, an old flannel night gown or tee-shirt (my hubby has a HUGE collection of these, tee-shirts not flannel gowns).

My children are getting ready to start making cloth napkins for me, because we have got to break the paper towel and paper napkin cycle. But this journey is going to take one day at a time and my hubby is not as green as I am and he takes a little time to adjust to the changes. So, I go slowly and change as much as I can for myself and the kids and bring him slowly into the fold. Just a side note - He thinks I am a NUT, well, he is right, I come from a long line of nuts and will leave a long line of and nuts in my wake.

Changes for myself - well, I have stopped using deodorant - EWWWWWW!!! - No, really I have, BUT (behold the underlying truth) I just swab a bit of Hydro-Peroxide under each arm and dust with a little Baking Soda - I've been doing this for 3 weeks now and I have not been wreaking up to high heaven. I suggested it to my DD and she was like "NO WAY Mom!!!!!!!" Yet, two days ago I noticed that she got herself a container of Hydro-Peroxide and some Baking Soda and took it up to her room. YEA!!! She is so much like her Dad. For shampoo - I have been using Castille Soap. At first, I was not happy at all with the results. I have VERY thick and just a little curl to my hair and I just looked frizzy and my hair felt greasy - yet full- did some more research and found out that I must rinse with something - 1/2 & 1/2 solution of Apple Cider Vinegar and Water. This worked GREAT. I am hooked and no I do not smell like a salad - but that would not be a bad thing. With just the right dressing - my hubby might just take a nibble just behind the ears ;o} Another change I have made is that I make my own "Happy Pads". What???? You might ask is a "Happy Pad", well, it is a homemade feminine hygiene pad. Yes, you can make them and they work just as well as the store boughten ones and you do not get yeast infections or other irritations from using them (like I did with the disposables), I will never go back to store boughten again. Now, I will post on the ins and outs of this later - Just be forewarned, there are a lot of what I would classify as really weird sites out there about menstrual cycles, so I will caution you, when you research it be aware of what is out there. Now, I know everyone is different and different is not always wrong, BUT, it was really strange to me. I am glad I did this research on my own and not with my DD - That is all I will say of that.

For the garden - we are going green - well, my mother and I are - why are these men we are married to so hard to convince?????? We are using our coffee grounds, egg shells and Epsoms Salt in our gardens. We are beginning to compost - AGAIN. We were very faithful to composting before we got the chickens then all of our kitchen scraps went to them - now my DH has got a new grass catcher for the push mower and my Dad has as well and now we are back in the composting business.

We just take each day as we are blessed with them. Do our best in all that we do. When we mess up or make mistakes, we clean up and try to do better the next time. What would life be if we stopped learning - It is not that we will ever arrive to that state of perfection , but the journey we take on the way is what is important. Continually, we must glorify the God who made us and who gave His only Son to die on the cross so that we, those who believe in Him will be able to be with Him for eternity. Oh, happy day!!!!!

Well, I must be off - Jessa