Looking for Sustainability ideas

I thought I find a way to keep costs down while still trying to stay eco-friendly. Trying to keep striving for sustainability. This a record of that journey.

Sometimes blunt and straight forward then sometimes sarcastic

This frugal crunchy hipster single momma is doing what she can to save Mother Earth while not breaking the bank!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Weather outside is frightful

  We got it! We got snow. I had the last 2 days off so I got to hibernate.......

With the rock salt in hand; the sidewalks are salted and clear.

I thought what a great time to blog about the great things one can use regular table salt for!

Because you can truly in a pinch use it on your sidewalks outside to clear the ice.
Helps remove greasy film from pans.  Sprinkle with salt  let sit. Use your dish washcloth with warm soapy water  to clean.  The salt acts like an abrasive plus soaks up the grease.
Clean greasy spills. Sprinkle on salt and let sit.  Wipe up.  Sometimes it takes more than one time to get a bigger spill cleaned up.  Grease is a pain to clean.
Clean drains.  Remove odors with 1/2 cup salt to a quart of hot water.  Pour down the drain.
Clean your discolored coffee pot.  Add salt and  ice then swirl.
Clean your iron by ironing a damp cloth that you rub salt on.
For sore throats.  Add salt to warm water and gargle
Add to the water of your greens (like spinach) to help remove the dirt.
Remove a wine stain. Pour salt on to the stain and let sit. Rinse with cool water.
Salt and lemon juice removes mildew.

I have heard but never tried: that adding a sprinkle of salt  to your hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate or cocoa makes it taste better but really don't think the drinks need any help. I like the taste they have!!  But if you want you can try it!

I am not sure about this tip.  I just heard it and need to give it a try!  :
Keep the inside of your windshield clear of frost .   2 teaspoons of salt to every  gallon of hot water.  Rub on windshield,  wipe dry.... I need that help!

ivy

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thinking of a green Yule tree idea for next year

With all the articles and even some blog posts about the eco-friendly holiday tree; I am thinking of trying something different next year. I have been told that next year I will have a empty nest. Well I have been told that for years now, but Miss Animal Rights is in her twenty's and is talking marriage to the  The Tech... Who is talking moving in together.
Many green sites have had the debate of a real tree VS a fake tree.  Real trees are a pain with all the needles falling off and this year because of the crawling little one, no way.  Many of the fake trees or artificial trees are made from PVC. PVC (polyvinyl chloride)—know as vinyl, as well as “a poison plastic" can cause problems with breathing and may even cause cancer. Because they break down and are know to release  mercury, dioxins, and phthalates.  This can cause many problems with our bodies. One thing being infertility problems and Miss Animal Rights wants babies.  Smiley has one but might want more; too soon to tell he is only 8 months old.    I do have a artificial tree and have to tell you that I find that very scary. 

So few of the green sites; would direct you to trees that are not made with PVC. They cost more money then I can spare.  Which isn't much. Many half of what  I make in a week. DO they sell them at Goodwill? That is where I got many of my gifts this year, partly because it is green but mostly because I was short on income. There was fake trees that where more eco-friendly made with safe plastics.   The ornament tree was almost like a mug tree and you would hang your ornaments on the end of the sticks.  Ok.  Then I saw the beer bottle tree, ladder (ok, maybe do-able...)  and the neon tree.  These are the trees that are usually sent in a email, sorry I can't find the sites,but this is Curbly with just a few.
Oh I can't forget the blow up tree........... ok yea I can. Too many animals and I couldn't look at it with a straight face. A blow up tree.
   Suggestions to real trees that you rent or replant outside after the season. Of course they caution you that this isn't in all areas that the colder regions might not be able to do this for the tree will die. I live in Ohio... Can't plant a tree in January with snow on the ground most of the time.  Rosemary bushes look like mini holiday trees. Ok if I could find one I might do that....... but with all the animals in the house the Rosemary will become a chew toy.; Psycho cat has destroyed more than a couple plants...She loves to chew on them... . where the others have used them for the little box and dumped it over to kill the roots.... Snapped roots don't make it back to live.

    I can't find it now; maybe it was a crazy dream after surfing the web late the other night, I find a kinda cool easy to do and very green idea for a holiday tree.  I swear it was from one of the blogs here that I follow but I can't find it again. The blogger borrowed the tree from a neighbor that made a sculpture from fallen branches and wood. Just add your ornaments and tinsel. But I like the pearls from the ladder, I do have a string kinda like what that I use on my death tree now. So I have 50 some weeks to fiqure it out............ I have looked for that site for 2 days now but I think I will just go with my own memory.

ivy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Hands are bleeding


I not sure if it is the weather or that I might have gotten something harsh on my hands at work.  The gloves we use at work to handle food where wet, not thinking  I put a pair on, it wasn't easy but I did it.  Now I do have sensitivities to many cleaning products, bleach being the worse.  So when my hands looked like I had sunburned them and they started to burn and HURT...... I knew I had to do something.

I made some

Non-Petroleum Jelly 

4 tablespoons of Almond oil
2 tablespoons of Vitamin E Oil
2 teaspoons of bees wax
2 teaspoons of Shea butter

Warm up the oils in a glass container (I used a baby food jar)  in the microwave for about a minute.
Add the bees wax and shea butter.  Stir until melted.  Some recipes will tell you to mix with hand mixer' this will make it creamer.  But I just stir with a wooden Popsicle stick till melted.  It will harden when cooling, I also stir more then.  If it is too hard you can ad more warmed oil.

Some hand creams - most hand creams - have fragrance and  really hurt them more.  I won't use petroleum products.so petroleum jelly is out.  It really is made from petroleum by-products.
But I have had this fun when I was little, my knuckles would bleed from the cold.  My grandmother would put straight vitamin E oil on my hands. yea she would take a pin and poke a hole in the vitamin and squeeze it on to my hands.  It smelled  horrible.....  So now I get it once in a while.
 
So when looking for a picture of a red hand I find a health site and it had a picture that could be a picture of my hands. The second picture.  They are talking about  Raynaud's disease.  That my hands blood vessels are more sensitive to the cold and my hands don't have to get cold to turn red.  Just a change in temperature.
Great one more sensitivity to ad to my list..........
So I am rubbing the  Non-Petroleum Jelly  on my hands whenever I can.  I will sleep with cotton gloves (the type you wear in the Spring) with a thick coating on my hands.  Truth is I am typing right now with gloves on!!! My hands really hurt..........

ivy

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The EPA, My City and My Water Bill

So the EPA has sued Akron and now everyone in the Akron area will be paying 35% more on their water bill next year. The city council meeting was met with angry customers.  With the unemployment rate in this city higher than the national average most middle class households will be hurting next year. WE will have trouble paying  the water bill.  Land lords will be the hardest hit, for the city ordinance that the owner is regulated the bill is paid by owner of building.  But that will of course mean that many peoples rent will go up........  

So how can I save water........ without going broke.
Low flow Shower head ..... Check
Duel flush toilet ...........       Check  (had to replace toilet  last year went with duel flush)
Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily............ Check
Run full loads  only............
           Landry.................. Check
           Dish washer............ I WISH, hand wash only here.....    Get dishwasher...
       that would make my daughter happy but no where to put it, BUT  don't have the money 
Repair dripping faucets..........Check
Shower rather than take a bath....... half a check......
cure daughter's cramps for 2 baths per month......... add to the To DO list. (sarcasm is fun!) 
Insulate your water pipes....Check
Insulate your hot water heater....Check.
Don't let water run   when brushing teeth, washing face or to let it warm up .......... Half a check we are getting better at this. BUT dang the water can be VERY cold int he morning.....
Installing an instant water heater... Plus pay to have it installed... extra electric work especially in the bathroom...   runs anywhere from a  hundred to couple thousand... Whole house (more expensive)   or 2 point of use.. one for the bathroom, one for the kitchen......... Don't have the money.....
 A greywater system...... I WISH!  we are talking thousands and then added to have them installed.
Place aerators with flow restriction to faucets.   Ok I have seen them for as low as $16...  Add to my TO DO list.........  wait the bathroom can't have one added not threads for the aertor to be placed on the faucet,  need new faucet........... Ok one for kitchen...

Great I am going to have to play the lottery and hope for the best........


ivy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Animal fat in Fabric Softner........... Eeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww

So reading tonight I find out that Dryer sheets have toxic chemicals including Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, camphor, Chloroform and Linalool. Plus they are made with tallow. Miss Animal Right Girl will flip when she finds out that her dryer sheets are made with tallow! Animal fat all over her clothes. I know dryers are not the greenest thing to use for your clothes but I do live in Northeastern Ohio. Hanging clothes in the snow may not work to well and the basement is cold. I do however have a economy sitting and we finish drying our clothes on hangers.

They say to ad a 1/2 a cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle. Which I do......... I also have dryer balls. I like what the dryer balls do for the towels and blankets. But Miss Animal Rights says it does NOT get her clothes soft like it does with the dryer sheets (and she likes the smell!) and get that look, and then she tells me: if you want me to use the dryer less. Give me the dryer sheets so my clothes are not stiff as boards. Ok compromising works well with my daughter..... then again she has learn to turn around on me!!!
So off to find frugal dryer sheets. For the vegan dryer sheets run $5 for 32 sheets. Then I saw 100% wool dryer balls... hummm but with both off us having allergies to wool I think we will pass......... . Ad a few drops of fragrant essential oil to small cloth, she like the smell but not sure she would be happy with how soft the clothes are........... Same with the herb dryer sachet bags. Just put some herbs in a bag. Tie closed and dry with clothes.

So then I find a recipe....
Make your own fabric softener: 6 c. water; 3 c. vinegar; 2 cups hair conditioner (eco friendly that you like smell of); Mix; put teaspoonful amount on WET washrag (or same size cloth) & put in with clothes to be dried; 1 bottle should last you a year!

Or this idea with eco- friendly liquid fabric softener: pour the softener onto a washrags/squares & let it dry. Use same as the throwaways........... yea sounds like her type of project......... easy and quick plus she gets her great smell with softening..........


Plus I found a product called the Static Eliminator that is on sale at the health food stores around here that is suppose to get rid of static and is reusable for 100's of uses.. the softness and static removal is in the weave of the cloth. No chemicals used ......... well I have to learn more about it or if it is ever on sale for a good price.....

Semi green with a happy daughter and a happy mother, not bad for a nights work.......... Thank-you Yahoo................ my search is complete!!!

ivy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh this would be nice!


Tic-Tac-Dough is having a  Price Pfister giveawayPfister is a company that has  their  faucets are WaterSense certified. By the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program*
Green Yes! Save me money Yes! It would be so nice to win this for my little green soul plus my faucets seam is kinda breaking down.  It doesn't leak when turned off but does have water on the neck part of the faucet when the water comes out.  And with little income to spare I can't afford to.  Plus if
converting any of your existing  faucets with an Eco-Pfriendly ™ Aerator, your household can save even more water -- over 2,200 gallons each year!   Hey I can handle that!


ivy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eco Friendly wrapping

Furoshiki ("f'-ROHSH-kee".) is a Japanese folding technique. Furoshiki means "bath spread". It was first used in the public bathhouses in which the bathers tied up thier clothes to keep them together, so nothing can get lost. Here is a site that shows you many different wrapping techniques.  Much like the Korean bojagi or bo for short.  How fun is that? Material for someone who enjoys making crafts. A scarf for the fasionista on your list.

Baby blankets for the babies gift.  The parents will love it.  You can never have too many blankets.

The old stand by of the Sunday Morning comics for kids. They are colorful.


ivy

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cinnamon Ornaments

1 part applesauce to 1 part cinnamon (more or less) a cup of each
Sprinkle of each:
ground cloves
ground allspice
nutmeg (one year I was out of one of these and added pumpkin spice!)
A tablespoon of school glue (I eye ball that measurement)

Mix it all together. It will from a ball. If it is too soft add more cinnamon or spices, too dry more applesauce.
Roll out on a board dusted with cinnamon to about a 1-4 inch thick. Cut with the cookie cutters of choice. Poke a hole with a pencil, straw or chop stick. Dry in warm place for 4 days or more depending on humidity and temperature. Turn then over every day. Hang with ribbon, yarn or string. I have dried them in my gas oven on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. I didn't turn on the oven just let the pilot light dry them out.

         We are going to make these for the little gifts for the people at Church.  With some sites buzzing about what is your favorite family tradition my daughter said this was her favorite one... So we decided that this would be a nice little gift! Plus cute package decorations...

ivy

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holidays Ideas

So I have been busy trying to come up with ideas for the Holidays that doesn't include a lot of money. I am not in a good spot financially right now.  One idea that really looked good is the paint and decorate dishes idea from Care2. But I can't seem to find the paints . I looked on line and many places are out of stock. ; I looked at the sites for the craft stores around here and they basically said to go to the store to buy and I didn't find anything like that in the store... Grr. But then more research online is that they are not recommended for use where food or utensils will be in direct contact with painted area; OK. So I have come up painting the bottom of glass plates. I hope I didn't just jinx myself there!! I will have to look for glass plates at Goodwill and places like those. Then again I still can't find those paints. More research..... I find that DecoArt has a paint (oh Walmart didn't... off to the craft store) DecoArt Ultra Gloss Acrylic Enamels that is the same thing. PLUS I know Pat Catans; a area discount craft store, carries  DecoArt, just hope they carry this type. Plus they can be baked and are recommended for glass painting.

So tomorrow is my day off, off to Pat Catans and Good Will.
And to think of more ideas to make presents.............

Any one making presents for someone on their list this year?
What are you planing on making?


ivy

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