A Simpler Life

10May16

Have you ever thought about going green? I’ve been pondering it for awhile now and I think it’s time. I’m just sorry I haven’t done it sooner.

I’ve never really been a fan of powerful cleaners or anti-bacterial soaps anyway. I really can’t stand the smell of them. Instead of Windex, I use a reusable cloth meant for windows with water and it does a good job with no streaks. (It almost looks like a chamois cloth.) Vinegar is a great degreaser that I use around my stove. I’ve still got to convert to a product for wood and tile floors, but I’m almost there. When I find the right solution I will convert.

Making natural biodegradable soaps really interested me so today I made a liquid Castile soap. It’s a base for making other cleaners. Here’s the instructions I used.

If you haven’t seen Wellness Mama’s site, she has some wonderful recipes for cleaners, makeup and skincare. Mommy Potamus is another great resource. Natural ingredients to keep on hand are: Castile soap, baking soda, your favorite essential oils, vinegar and lemon. I’m looking into alternatives for borax. Though I’ve seen it recommended on several sites, I am not convinced it is safe.

I’m revamping my makeup, shampoo and moisturizers too. There are some awful toxic, endocrine disrupters in makeup and skin care products as well as cleaning products. Since I’ve had thyroid issues, I really want to make sure I’m not making matters worse. Look up your products on EWG’s (the Environmental Working Group) Skindeep database and you’ll see how toxic some of those products you’re using are. It will show you ratings based on their toxicity.

I’m finally getting back to composting my kitchen scraps. What stopped me before is that the compost pile was near the barn which is about 500 yards from the house. Thankfully, our composter is now in close proximity. When you’re on a 32 acre farm, it makes a big difference! I want to be successful, so it’s got to be easy.

Giving up plastic is another thing I’m working on. Some people think they’ve got to get rid of all their plastic and start from scratch. That would be a waste and it just adds to the problem. If you’ve got it, use it. Just don’t buy any more of it. This subject is one that will really make you think. When you buy, avoid processed foods (all food that are not made from scratch)…That’s where all the packaging is. Consider buying bulk from bulk bins. Bring your own natural bags or reusable containers. There are plenty of bulk stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods and Earth Fare. It’s a hike for me, but if it’s just once a month, so it’s worth it. Check out the Plastic Pollution Coalition for some great info. on getting plastic out of your life. Jeff Bridges speaks on plastic.

I bought some canvas bags for groceries and netted bags for produce. I can’t believe Tennessee hasn’t gone plastic bag free at their grocery stores but I’m going to do it anyway. I bought 10 canvas grocery bags, 2 large canvas shopping bag and 20 netted bags.

I invested in a stainless steel safety shaver and did away with buying disposable plastic shavers.

I used to thaw my meat out in plastic bags in hot water in my sink. Here is my new solution. 1 stainless steel bowl, 1 stock pot filled with hot water and 1 lid.

My goal is to take advantage of reusable things like glass jars and containers. I already have lots of them. In my pantry I save glass and plastic jars for reuse.

I’ve found a really nice instruction for making food wrap or sandwich bags out of cotton fabric and bee’s wax or wax. It’s really easy. Here are mine. They smell so good.

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What really bothers me is there are so many products now for going green. I am choosing not to go this route because I think the whole point of going green is becoming more self-sufficient, getting creative and using what you have. This way, I feel like I’m part of the solution.

It’s always bothered me how we pillage our land and don’t give back. In fact, we live more complicated lives than our great grandparents. I want to get back to a time when we didn’t require so much. This also makes sense when you’re retired. Having a set income makes you think about those kinds of things.

Being a good steward to the earth also means impressing upon others to think about their impact on it. If we don’t influence our kids or grand kids, who will? I think in terms of making sure there’s a world for everyone.

We all have to do our part. I am not perfect. I know I have a long way to go, but it’s too important to wait. We all need to act now. “Living sustainably is not a hippie thing. Killing the world = killing ourselves.” Spirit Science

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