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!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hypermilling AKA become a Safe driver!

I am not sure how to pronounce hypermilling, either it is \hyper\mill\ing\ or \hyper\mile\ing...It is a concept to help you save gas.  It is a way of driving for better MPG.  But the truth is it really should be called  courtesy driving or common sense driving.

Gee my dad taught me how to drive after giving me this deep lecture about the privilege of driving is  Not  a right... and it  can be taken away in a heartbeat.  Of course my teenage self rolling eyes told him yea I know... But he continued ..... That goes for adults as well as teens. That a license can be taken away if you get to many tickets and if you get into too many accidents. Then he told me something that has stuck with me for like forever! That a car is a great invention but it can easily become a 2 ton killing machine. It was MY Choice... MINE? But yea I get behind the wheel and well as is good for months. Then winter came to the suburb I grew up in and I killed a tree and a mailbox one morning. I was in tears I will never drive again........ I cried when I told the gentleman that answered the door when I was so sorry I killed his tree and mailbox.  he called my dad and told him I was so upset. Nut he made me get behind the wheel again and help me learn how to control the car in the snow.

I think most people need to remember that driving is privilege .... Not  a right... and it  can be taken away in a heartbeat.  That a 2 ton machine should be respected and not abused.

The things I learn to save gas from my researching hypermiling:

Keep the junk out of your trunk. Added weight will add aerodynamic drag to the  your car.
Same goes for the luggage and bike racks.  If you need to carry something outside the car use the back-end.

Drive slowly.  take the lane of least resistance to keep moving. Use smooth roads over the bumpy back roads if possible.

Stop and crawl at stop signs. Really you don't need to gun it when clear......

Slow up instead of hitting the brakes at the red light or stop sign. Just Taking your foot off the gas saves gas. Slowly putting on the brakes.

Idling is getting  0 MPG Don't idle for long.

Try to avoid rush hour.

Don't tailgate.

Or ride the brakes.


Drive at a constant speed

Use lights for safety but off to save gas

Clear off all snow and ice

Park in the shade

Use the air conditioner in your car as little as possible

Use your cruise control - staying at a constant speed will save gas



Then again it is common sense to keep your car running smoothly 

Air filters clean heep your car run better

Keep tires properly inflated. Underinflation of your tires can cost you as much as 1 mpg

oil changes according to the car manufacturer’s recommended schedule.
same with tune ups  worn spark plugs can cost you as much as 2 mpg.


I think the best thing I read as far as advise was to drive like you have a cup of hot coffee on your dashboard.

ivy

Spring Hoilday crafts........

I found a cloth basket directions at Family Fun. Going to get a couple old tee shirts  out of the good will box and make one.  Ok maybe more than one. Maybe get the girls in on the fun to make one for Crawling Machine. I will ad a picture if it turns out......

A basket made from a milk carton.My girls are way to old for that.... but I thought some of my followers have little ones, why not add that link.

A vine to decorate the house.  at Enchanted Learning which is a great site for home-schooled projects and teachers.

ivy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour

Yep I was at work but my supervisor is very supportive of the earth momma as my co-workers call me. "Huh never heard of Earth Hour. WTH is a earth hour. " some asked. I told them it was a grassroots organization to bring attention to the climate change. To help end our dependence on fossil fuels. With the news that the price of gas will be around 3 dollars a gallon by summer!" Jeff my supervisor is a light shade of green, he recycles and tries to save on his utilities bills seeing how he is a new home owner. But listens to my rants about the environment by adding his agreement.So when I said I was turning off half the light to show my support for climate change; he was all for it.

When the manager announced the store was closed I switched one light switch. Ok so the first one is the one for the front of the bakery. Yea poor Jeff was there.  I said ok that wasn't the one to turn off, Sorry, as i turned off the other switch.  He laughed and said Yea.... That's better as I turned it back on for him.......... But he laughed!

Then a co-worker that used to work in the same department with me clocked out right after me.  She teased me she thought I be gone by now.  She saw the lights off and thought I went home. I told about earth hour and teased that the pizza she was taking home can easily be eaten in the dark. And it could turn into a som'thing som'thing type of evening.... But her boyfriends kids will be there this week-end, laughed she just be hearing them snore.  I laughed that she could use it as a settle down the kids.  History lesson on how this is how kids many years ago had to live.....

I return home to many lights on remind them IT'S EARTH Hour... Dang you guys told me you turn off all non-essential lighting for earth hour. But the TV is off, the computer is off so what is left? I wasn't going to far, they did that. So I guess they where thinking less electricity.....and the lights where on in the kitchen and living room as always at night. They were eating....plus getting the kitchen cleaned up for me cause they love to dirty every dish when I work all week-end and I don't have anything clean to use.    
Yahoo has over 135 pictures of Earth Hour pictures of the landmarks that went dark for climate change.   
I went to the Earth hour page to see what they had and saw scrolling across the bottom:    A record breaking 126 countries and territories now taking part!  

Wow....Screaming their support towards a sustainable future. 

ivy

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Earth hour

World Wildlife Fund's global initiative where individuals, schools, organizations, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour to make a stand  on climate change.
Last year over 80 million people (just in the US) 4000 cities, 87 countries turned off their lights for a hour.  Earth hour.

This year Earth Hour  is March 27 at 8:30 PM local time for a hour people will turn off their lights for a hour.  Places like The city of Cleveland,  Goddard School, government buildings, and Cleveland State University in my area. Places like Mount Rushmore, The space Needle, and even the Empire State Building! Musicians Linkin Park, Alanis Morissette, Coldplay, Wynonna Judd, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Lady Antebellum, Finger Eleven, Simple Plan, The Veronicas and Rise Against also turned off their lights.



 I have to work........... We close at 8:30, so we do turn off the non-essential lights for the most part.  But I work be at work for the hour.  The girls forgot last year so we did it when I got home a  half a hour late, but did it for a full hour. Candles and no TV.  The sky was cloudy but we still just went in the mud room and looked at the sky.  Not to many people on our block turned off the lights..... sad.

Join me by signing up for Earth Hour
Join me in sending a message to the world that the time for action. It doesn't cost you anything. In fact it may save you money. 

Are you turning off our lights for Earth Hour? Are you planing anything special?
It's my dad's birthday his cake candles will light up the room..... giggles....


ivy

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunshine Award

Thank-you Krazy Monkey Tale
"The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world." The rules once this award is received are as follows:

1. Post the logo on blog.
2. Pass the award on to fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.

8 Muddy Boots

The Crunchy Wife
Northern Momma 
Homemade Mamas
Joy Made Full
Just a Army Wife and Just a Mommy
Living Just Like Grandma

ivy

Happier Period..........??

Oh yes it's that time of the month again. Moon time. Ragging. A visit from Aunt Flo. The curse. Whatever you call it; it is something that us women deal with.

Many are made with synthetic fibers. Leading to a higher chance  for Toxic shock syndrome. Plus they are made from rayon, which is  a wood-pulp derivative,... Then there is dioxin, which many sites (company sites and those site that are teaching our young girls about their periods) will tell you that you are expose to a small amount, one even stated that it was as much as you have normally in your system... But company site also swears that  they use non-chlorine bleach. Dioxin is a by-product from chlorine-bleaching process of paper products........ So which is true low levels or non-chlorine bleaching of products....... dioxin may be linked to lower sperm counts in men,  endometriosis in women, and a depressed immune system in both according to the University of South Florida study.  Other studies show that dioxin may be linked to cervical cancer and breast cancer.

Each year women in the U.S. throw over 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons into landfills and sewage systems. If we used  five tampons a day, five days a month for 38 menstruating years. That's 11,400 tampons in a lifetime just for one woman. Thousands of tampon applicators are washing  up on coastal beaches every day.  tampons and their applicators do not decompose in sewage treatment systems they just get released into the water systems....... 

A little know secret about menstrual care is yes there are greener ways!
Lunapads
Gladrags
The Diva Cup
Goddess Moons - woman owned and operated home business in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (for my Canadian followers)

Plus many moms are on Etsy that make them!
If you sew you can make your own with a pattern from Lunapads

If you're leaving your moonpads to soak, change the water daily.  You can pour the soaking  water into houseplants, it's great fertilizer.

My own personal story is I was diagnosed with Endometriosis I had 2 surgeries to burn off the "growth". I had vomiting, dizziness, heavy bleeding and painful cramping. I found the Lunapads and tried them. I then found the Diva cup and use that. After using for I would say over 6 months I did still have pain and migraines but they were not the type I have to stay in bed my first and sometimes seconds days! They are great!
ivy

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Every Parent needs to know

I found a blog with over 3188 followers..... She needs 4000 more. This site is a teacher that is getting the school lunch for a year. Her blog  Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project shows what her schools serve everyday. It is a real eye opener. Many of the things that would be a special dinner at my house when I was growing up is on the school menu more  and more.

After reading her blog I was shocked to see the same thing over and over.  Ok not to shocked, seeing how the school I worked at was kinda like this... Day 29, 34, 38, and  41  was cheese pizza.  The other one like that was chili, followed by hot dog however  one day it was shaken up by the offer of a bagel dog...

I used to work at my girls school.  I know that most of the students got free or reduced lunches.  The school board would release reports to tell you the stats of each school in the distinct. The school my girls went to had 90% of the student body getting free or reduced lunches.  AND yes they got the reduced lunch price.  My girls are very picky eaters and hated the lunches.  So it was a special occasion or oh crap we slept in kinda of occasion that they use their tickets.  They liked the cheese  crescents the most.  But as I said many of the children there got free lunches, plus many more where waiting on  working single moms to come home before eating lunch.  So this lunch should be nutritious, filling and had to hold them til after 5. 

Plus one of her guess blogger an American teacher in Japan.   Mr. Ferguson (which is a statement right there - he can post his name and not fear losing his job...) who is sharing the wonderful meals that his students get.  Just the fact that they use table cloths, real plates, cups and utensils.  But the fresh foods and the way food is treated with a learning attitude, it is refreshing. Something the homeschooling moms can use to  get a bonus help in the kitchen!  I would love to become a cook teacher.  Teaching the students about food and preparing the food. I used cooking to teach the girls fractions. Halving a recipe was dividing fractions........... showing how 1/4 of a cup was smaller than 1/2 a cup.

Show the teachers  some love ................

Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project ; MRS. Q
Mr. Ferguson Classroom Mr. Ferguson

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Would you live in a Church?

The many green idea for the housing market are as simple as reusing old buildings and other things.  I saw this converted Anglican church in East Cambridgeshire England. and thought how beautiful. I love churches beautiful windows, high arches and open floor plan.  I really wouldn't mind it at all........

Other eco-friendly ideas for homes I have stumbled across:

There is a boat on land that a couple made into a house on the island of Put-In-Bay on Lake Eire. This boat was build by Henry Ford!

Specking of local area reusing  urban ideas for housing: The areas Quaker Square Inn is made from  converted silo complex that once held more than 1.5 million grain bushels! It is listed as a historical landmark.  It is however been sold to the University of Akron  for a dormitory for 382 students.

A family made a house and play house out of plastic soda bottles in Argentina . EVEN the furniture was made with empty plastic bottles.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Making your own Shaving Cream

I found this recipe for making shaving cream.  From Planet Green

Shaving Cream

1 teaspoon of sunflower oil
1/4 cup of unscented glycerin soap
Double boiler
A cup or mug for the cream

Here's what you'll do:
  1. In your double boiler, melt chunks of the glycerin soap.
  2. Stir in the sunflower oil.
  3. Move the mixture into a mug as soon as all of the glycerin chunks are melted.
This formula will set quickly. When you need to shave, simply work water against the soap until a lather builds and use it the same way you would regular shaving cream.

I really don't like the feeling of glycerin soap  so I  tried a  Ivory bar soap.
Plus I used the  microwave with  the soap in the mug to melt it rather than use the double boiler.
It worked ok my underarms feel soft, but I forgot that in my shower the mugs gets full off water when the girls shower.  But I am going to use a old small container that I can put a lid on it......

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today special blog is by Miss Cuddly feline

She is not happy I am online and posted that picture of the canine -OMG what was I thinking, she has repeatedly stepped on keys to stop this horror........... I have had programs open the page go in different directions and I started to get a little dizzy........


. So I give you my long hair cuddly fixed  female tabby........... The One I refer to as the Ambassador

Ok honey now here you go type away.  I'm going to get a snack and something to drink... this blog post is all yours.......

This what I return too:

  Guess she told me......... animals they are as bad as children............. Or is that the other way around......... Ok they are as sweet as children can't hate her;  she looks so sweet there with her tongue out........... 

ivy

Doggy dry skin helper......

Well now I find this....... after the winter months are almost gone.  But hey I can always use this next year....... poor canine friend he has his issues with dry skin.  We use oatmeal shampoo to help but I found a better way today. 

  • Oatmeal, colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno) will also work. The amount of oatmeal depends on the affected area.
  • Old clean  sock
  • Wash cloth
Pour lukewarm water into a bowl of oatmeal. The ratio of water to oatmeal  50:50. Stir well to form starchy texture.
 You can pour the oatmeal mush into a old sock and rub on in circles for 10 minutes Use a wet wash cloth to clean up the area.

OR
You can plaster the oatmeal mush over the infected area.  Cover with foil. Let dog rest on the other side for 10 minutes and rinse off........ Humm the Boxer, Shepard, Lab mix lay down or rest for 10 minutes with foil on his body? Nope isn't going to happen....  I can see him trying to bite the foil off and I am pretty sure foil isn't good for dog to digest.  Well the cats will leave him alone for a while if he was wearing foil...

ivy

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dryer lint

Ok a confusion I use my dryer. Yes here in northeaster Ohio I use my dryer to dry my clothes.  I do however remove many things that are still a little damp when the rest is dry and hang on my bulky hanger to finish drying.   So seeing how the backyard has a ton of snow in it I really haven't taken my dryer lint to the compost pile.  My food scraps are feeding the strays in the neighborhood, I swear after putting them in the flower garden area in front of the house.

I found some ideas to use my dryer lint that I thought I should share here.  Use for a cheap mulch, but don't place near the base of the plant.  Ok I still have some mulch from last year..... use as a cheap fiber fill for stuffed projects.  I might do that if I decide to make something.  Of course to place outside for the birds to make a nice warm nest.  But most of the time they by pass that for the dogs hair... Really I have seen them check it out the lint  then find my dogs hair and grab it like it was gold!  I like to brush him outside - cut down on the hair in my house.... then began doing it more after seeing the birds taking it so fast.
Fire starter... been there did that! It does catch very quickly. 

My favorite idea was Dryer Lint Clay!  From Thrifty Fun 

Dryer Lint Clay

Ingredients

Here's recipes for making clay out of dryer lint.
  • 1 1/2 cups lint from the dryer
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 drops wintergreen mint flavoring
  • Old newspaper
  • Paint

Directions

Place the lint in a saucepan and cover it with the water. When the lint is saturated, add the flour and stir until it is smooth. Add the drops of wintergreen oil flavoring. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it forms peaks and holds together. Pour it onto newspaper to cool. Shape and model figures, or cover a form with it, such as a balloon. Allow to dry for 3 to 5 days, then paint and decorate as required.

ivy

Friday, March 12, 2010

Reuse Groups or Cleaning up the Clutter!

Have something around the house you need to take to Goodwill? Forgot it last time? Something that you want to give to someone that really needs it? Join a reuse group.
Freecycle
ReUseIt Network

I have gotten a new kitchen facet threw freecycle. I also help some people out with freecycling the crawling machines old clothes (you know babies cost money!!), my don't need 2 Thermos lunch boxes, clothes from all us girls in the house and shelves that where just to big for the house. I didn't have to take a trip to goodwill or worse then that put them on the curb. Smiley got some dishes for her new place; and the nice ladies asked is it ok they don't match? Nope they where nice pieces like salt pepper shakers, serving dish and more.... it help out Smiley that has not a lot of anything...... I really like giving something that I can't use any more to someone that needs it. Just like the church pulling together after a young family lost thier house to a fire I get things that I haven't used in years box it up and give to someone that really needs it........ It feels better than donating.... but I still donate! Goodwill and Salvation Army stores around here do more then sell clothes, they help those you need help. Jobs, clothes and etc.

Even a website from Nike: Nike Grind where you can find places to take your old beat up to nasty to give away, donate and should be thrown away athletic shoes. They turn them into sports flooring for in your area. Check out the find the stores map. I do have to drive to get to a store but that might change.....

ivy

The 100 th post!

Wow I can't believe it this my 100 th post..........

I started this blog just a record of my finding the answers to my questions on how to go green. At first I worried about the followers the magic numbers at the top of the little box to the right.... how many people are following me. Then I began to follow others and other followed me. I found some blogs that I said, no: sorry not my cup of tea. Not the blog was bad or something like that just a blog that wasn't something I was interested in. I am not going to follow a sports blog when I don't really watch sports type of thinking. Then I thought that that's ok... that my followers will follow because they are interested. I stopped stressing and just started to really understand the reasons for my blog. My ideas and my journey into turning green. If someone likes that all the better......... Or gets some ideas from it... even better!!

So seeing that I am celebrating my 100 th post I guess I am getting the hang off this blogging stuff........ LOL I find inspirations in many areas. Tv, the web, and everyday life...... I have said many a time hey this would be a great blog...... The girls laugh and like to tease my when I sat things like that. Oh they loved the House this week about the blogger and asked if I blogged about my poop. I said no just pee........ Ah they just don't get it.... But that's ok.

Fun facts about 100:

100 degrees Celsius is the boiling temperature of pure water at sea level
A 100 year old person is known as a centenarian
The number of tiles in a standard Scrabble set
Greece, India and Israel, 100 is the police telephone number.
Belgium, 100 is the ambulance and firefighter telephone number.
United Kingdom, 100 is the operator telephone number

Well Dang I just missed publishing this at 1:00AM!!! LOL

ivy

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Borax

20 MULE TEAM® Borax Natural Laundry Booster has a booklet that you can call a 1-800 number and they will send it too you. The number is 1-800-457-8739. I am going to do a workshop on green cleaning at our area Earth Day Celebration. I am getting 30 copies from the The Dial Corporation.  Plus I can send my web people to this site..... Right? A darker shade of green........

But I use Borax for many things.........

Laundry booster to get out some odors and stains
clean my toilet
Use as a rug freshener -sprinkle borax, baking soda and essential oils
  Dial doesn't claim to help kill fleas in your rugs and carpet
So maybe it's not tested as  such  but it can't hurt!
     It does  help freshen the room I will keep using it for the carpet... 
Clean grease and grime off surfaces - Like the grill that is in the garage 

After reading the 20 MULE TEAM® Borax Natural Laundry Booster  booklet
Flower Preserving

ivy

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Need a New House?? Green Ideas!



Tito Ingenieri built his house out of non-returnable bottles and other things that were headed for the landfill in his hometown of Quilmes, Argentina. So the next time you're in Quilmes, Argentina stop by he will gladly show you how he built his house...

How about a house made out of plastic bottles?  The bed, couch, walls and tables are made with empty plastic bottles. You have to see this!! The windows are made with empty CD cases.  Hummmm I have a ton of them... I have seen and heard of greenhouse being made with plastic bottles..  A local  farm; Lavender Lane Biodynamic Farm was making a cobb oven and green house asking for glass bottles to help in making them.

SO cool........

ivy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

“Phth.”

Sounds like something that the kids might say when you announce that you are serving broccoli tonight. Phth. Phthalates are the phth we need to remove from our homes. Studies  have shown that they can cause reproductive and developmental disorders, cancer, and organ damage. Phthalates are found in soft plastic. BPA is found in hard plastics.

They many times are not listed.  So how is a green consumer going to know?  Watch the soft flexible plastic and vinyl products.  Phthalates are in children toys; shower curtains and personal care products. However the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that anything that will go into a babies or toddlers mouth is no longer made with phthalates. One sign of relieve.

The one thing that shocked me was the study from Vermont Public Interest Research Group that found phthalates in those shape and bake clay. They contain 14% phthalates by weight. Dang.



Surprising report from CBS called The Disappearing Male reports study to show that phthalates cause more problems with our boys. Lower hormone caused deformities.

ivy

Going for the Gold!

Who is watching the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver? I get to see some of the games at work. Really sorry to say but I am not really that interested in sports.

But finding out that the Olympic medals are made with recycled electronics parts that does interest me....  Teck Resources is a metal company right there in  Vancouver that is supplying the medals that the athletics have been dreaming about maybe all their lives!!   Teck's President and CEO Don Lindsay comments, "We're also excited that these medals will contain recycled metal recovered from end-of-life electronics, consistent with the sustainability philosophy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Granted it isn't 100% recycled but a small part: gold: 1.52 percent; silver: 0.122 percent; and copper: 1.11 percent. Anything recycled is better then not recycled.  Every little bit helps! Kept many items out of the land fill and poisoning our environment.  That equaled  6.8 metric tonnes of electronics circuit boards for the 1,000 medals made.  Not bad! 

Gee we need a environment group to give a gold metal to the  Teck Resources metal company for being the first for finding a way to make the 2010 Olympic games green!!

Plus it goes to show everyone that the 1.52% didn't seem like much but the amount that was saved from the landfill is a big savings.  Plus if you think about it when we do what we can it will make a big difference.

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