Hi Everyone! Just thought I’d share how I try to do my part (though there’s MUCH more I need to be doing!) to help our Earth Mother.
First of all, we use only [B]recycled toilet paper and paper towels[/B]. We buy them from our local Publix grocery store. Eventually, I would like to stop using paper towels altogether, but my husband likes to have them on hand.
We use [B]Ecover Dish Soap[/B] to wash our dishes, which we buy at our local health food store (support small businesses!!). We also use [B]Ecover Bleach[/B] instead of regular chlorine bleach. Ecover Bleach is just expensive peroxide, but shhh…don’t tell my husband. :teehee:
To wash our laundry, we use [B]Seventh Generation Laundry Soap[/B], but honestly, this is (also) just to satisfy my husband! All you really need is some [B]baking soda and vinegar[/B]! When I wash clothes, this is all I use, but the hubby thinks clothes need soap to get truly clean. A friend is sending me some [B]soapnuts[/B] to try in the washing machine, and I’ve heard good things about them!
Speaking of laundry, we do not own a clothes dryer! We [B]hang all our clothes on a clothes line[/B]. “But Missy,” you say, “you’re in Florida! You can hang your clothes all year round! We can’t do that up North!” Ah ha, but you can. When I lived in Ireland with my husband and his mom, they did not own a clothes dryer either. They [B]hung their clothes on heaters or on a Clothes Horse [/B](you can get clothes horses at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, or really crappy ones at Wal-Mart).
To do our grocery shopping, I use the [B]cloth Greenbags[/B] that my local Publix sells, and they are BIG and absolutely wonderful. However…I forget them all the time! This works in my husband’s favor, though, because he is obsessive compulsive, and won’t put food in the regular trash bag. He doesn’t want it to get smelly…so he uses the grocery store plastic bags to put food in, ties them up, and THEN puts them in the regular kitchen trash. I don’t like doing this, though, and when we move, I’m hoping to compost almost all leftover food and never use plastic bags from the grocery store again. :mrgreen:
Speaking of food…we try to buy mostly [B]organic dairy and produce, free-range eggs, and natural meat grown without hormones and antibiotics[/B] (for my husband–I am a vegetarian). This not only helps our health, but helps our Earth Mother, as well.
I do not use shampoo! I use what I like to call [B]Hair Soap bars[/B] from Chagrin Valley Soap, and I “condition” my hair with 1 tblsp. [B]apple cider vinegar[/B] in 1 cup of water. Detergent is very harmful to hair (and to the environment!), and I cannot tell you all how much better my hair looks since switching to soap. I used to have frizzy hair and lots of split ends…my hair would be greasy a couple hours after I washed it!! Now, I haven’t seen a split end in over a year, my hair is soft and shiny, and I can go two days without washing it before it gets greasy!
For the kitties, we use a [B]biodegradable, scoopable, flushable cat litter called Swheat Scoop[/B]. It is awesome stuff made completely out of wheat, very low on dust, doesn’t have that awful clay cat litter smell, and is very environmentally friendly! We buy it either at Publix, or Target, but I’m pretty sure you can also buy it online. We used to use [B]Feline Pine[/B] (natural pine litter), and really liked it, but one of our cats wouldn’t use it, so we had to switch to the wheat litter.
Someone mentioned [B]Diatomaceous Earth[/B], and I have to agree! We use it for fire ants outside, and also sprinkle it around the outside of our house to deter fleas and other bugs. It’s good stuff, but it’s getting harder and harder for us to find in the stores. :pout:
Oh, we do not use any spray air fresheners in the house. I [B]burn essential oils in an Oil Burner[/B], or put a few drops of my favorite essential oil in a bottle of distilled water, shake it up good, and spray it around the house. When we want to burn candles, we use only beeswax with 100% cotton wicks (no lead!). I buy all my essential oils and supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs.
And finally, I use [B]Cloth Menstrual Pads[/B] and my [B]Diva Cup[/B] for my monthly bleeding. Cloth pads are wonderfully comfortable, easy to wash (I just soak mine in the bathroom sink and then throw them in the washer with the rest of the dirty clothes!), and last for a really long time. I make my own (lots of free patterns online!), and buy from Mimi’s Dreams. No yucky disposables taking up space in landfills! The Diva Cup is wonderful for those who don’t want to be bothered washing pads, and who prefer internal protection. It’s comfortable and convenient, though I prefer external protection most of the time. Another option is Sea Pearls (or click here for a UK site), which are [B]natural sea sponges[/B]. They offer another type of internal protection, but I have never tried them.
When I look over this list, it looks like we do a lot…but honestly, we are so wasteful in other areas of our lives. :pout: We use lots of plastic zip lock baggies for storing food in the freezer, and regular plastic trash bags. We own two cars, as my husband and I work in different directions, and we use them a lot. They are little cars…used, and good on gas, but they are still polluting the environment. We spend WAY too much money on things we don’t really need (namely, going out to dinner or sweets from the grocery store), and both my husband and I are in a REALLY bad habit of running the water while washing dishes! I also spend too much time on the computer while I could really be knitting or reading a book by candlelight!
My goal is to one day be completely self-sufficient…growing our own food and producing our own power (solar and windmills). I really wish I could completely get rid of both cars, but hubby won’t have that. Maybe one day we can go electric. :mrgreen: