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!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It Rained Today

Crap the solar pizza oven couldn't work because we didn't have the solar power... But we had rain.  But hey the hot dogs, buns, relish  and mustard  went to a family that could use them......  they would go to waste here.

Saw people I haven't seen in a while.  A couple of them I only see at Earth Day!! LOL. But one friend is in  a co-op organic network. Treehouse Organics I got some Honey and Maple Syrup, yumm. Plus he made soup for the feast afterward but we ate it for lunch seeing how it rain off and on all day.  Being under a pavillion we did get kinda cold.  So vegetable soup was a nice touch!

The terrariums where a big hit.  The boys loved playing in the dirt......

My green cleaning work shop went nicely, plus I learn that salt with help with controlling fleas on the carpet........ salt and baking soda.... My new carpet freshener.  Open time after the talk with everyone sharing their cleaning short cuts, very cool.

The rain-sticks kinda where a kinda of the wine, wine what we don't want to make one.  But when we told them that they can color a picture to make it, they decided they might like it.  I think they where thinking what make more rain??? But when we started to show them the kids got excited....

So I have a ton of stuff sitting in boxes and bags all over the house from today. After loading up the car with craft supplies and food then having to unload at the site. Now unloading at home.  We really don't feel like dealing with it now... LOL But some of the stuff for crafts I have to deal with tomorrow after work because my trash and recycling goes out to the curb on Sunday nights.

But I am dry and warm now.......... 

ivy

My Green Cleaning outline

Acetone stuff we use to remove finger nail polish.

Formaldehyde used on dead people.

Parabens it some times has the prefixes methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, or propyl. They are know to mess with hormones causing miscarriages, trouble getting pregnant, babies development or other hormonal problems.

Turpentine  strong smelling stuff that removes paint.

Paradichlorobenzene a strong pesticide

Phosphoricacid that is used in fertilizers.

Fragrance 1 product can have up too 800 fragrance
additives. -most people get contact dermatitis nasal allergies.
synthetic fragrance - numb your sense of smell.
suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors linked reproductive disorders

Triclosan – anti-bacterial chemical antibacterial and antibiotic resistance,
kills good, super bug

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate ( SLES)

#1 reported to the Food and Drug Administration for association with
scalp irritation, stinging eyes, and tangled, split, and fuzzy hair
Skin irritation and rashes

Debate with effects on human exposure -
cancer, hormone displacer, damaging to the immune system,


The Basics
Baking Soda- deodorizes, mild abrasive
Vinegar- deodorizes, removes soap film,
Kills mold and mildew
Lemon juice- bleaches and lightens
Borax- kills germs
Salt- antibacterial and cuts grease
soap- veggie based or castile based

Kitchen:
Eco-friendly dish-soap
Baking soda
Salt greasy mess- pans
Scrub pans and dried on mess add baking soda
(careful too much- white film)

Window cleaner
2 tsp of lemon
16 oz water
add a teaspoon of soap and you have a kitchen cleaner...
Halved Potato dipped in salt- remove rust stains from pans.
Oven cleaner- baking soda paste – leave over night

Bathroom

Cleaning the Toilet
Vinegar or Borax
Add to water and scrub with toilet brush
salt on rust stains - squeeze a lime or lemon over them, let sit for several
hours and wipe off.
Baking Soda paste for the tub
Tea tree oil: for mold and mildew add to vinegar/water solutions
White vinegar : removes soap scum + kill mold and mildew.
Household Cleaner 1 6 oz.
2 tbsp vinegar
3 tsp borax
Fill bottle almost to top with hot water add the borax and vinegar.
OR
1 cup of water
1 cup of vinegar
Pour into spray bottle. Good for lightly soiled counters and surfaces
lavender, clove, and tea tree oil (an excellent natural fungicide) — that are
very antiseptic,

Spot cleaner
Hydrogen Peroxide
Apply to spot let dry repeat if needed. Great for blood stains on clothes.
Club Soda with a little soap let sit for a while then rinse threw.


Drain Cleaner :
baking soda followed by vinegar or lemon juice
Boiling water
Clogged stand water
washing soda – follow with baking soda cleaner
Good for Fighting hair clogs
A snake!


Air Fresheners

cause- Asthma allergies

Instead use:
Fresh flowers or plants
Lavender sachets
diffusers -pure essential oil
herbs
Baking soda
Clean!
.
Air breeze
1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice), and 2 cups hot
water in a spray bottle - spray air to remove odors

Laundry:
Lemon juice: whitening of clothes +sun
brighten white: ½ cup borax or washing soda
½ cup of vinegar to your rinse water. Removes soap residue

Odors and Stains
Spray full-strength distilled white vinegar on underarms and collars
oily spot mix Borax and warm water and let it sit—20 minutes for a light,
fresh stain, and two hours for a heavy, set stain—

Vodka
treat poison ivy
vodka and a teaspoon of sugar to the water - flower vase
insect repellent straight up!
A shot to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo - shinny hair
Mold - let sit for 15 minutes
tooth ache

The companies On top:

Method
Seventh Generation
ECOS (earth friendly products)
Dr. Bronners  

ivy

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Thoughts.

Hope you are having a good Earth Day I realy know I should be doing something crunchy today but I am just so tired! After working too many days in a row to get some time off for the week-end Earth Day celebration, I am just doing the same old thing. Housework.. Guess that is crunchy for I don't use chemicals.

But the fact is I think people don't get it, Earth Day Was first started on April 22 1970. It was a grass-roots movement to raise awareness of environmental issues. Then something wonderful happened... Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Without  formal organization Thousands of colleges and universities held protests. ... Protesting that lead to changes that we now have a EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Not bad for a bunch of hippies right? Things like raw sewage, toxic dumps and pesticides that damaged the environment and companies  were freely doing their thing, without anything repercussions........... Raising awareness. Just think what would happen if we didn't regulate what chemicals that are being dumped into landfills and our water ways.  Think of some of the pictures of the poorest areas of the world  where there is trash in the streets and it smells of sewage due to poor water controls. 

But yet I see on Earth Day celebrations, things that make you go What the heck? What are they thinking? People with bottled water... the number one thing that is damaging our Oceans and killing sea life. People throwing their trash on the ground... wow and you are at a Earth Day celebration, to honor the Earth that way..........

But I guess I should understand that many people  don't want to change. They want the biggest car,  the latest widget, and more stuff that they really don't need.  They don't want to try to save the environment for the generations to come for they don't see it getting "that bad"......

SO I will work on my workshops.  Maybe I will get some to use environmentally friendly products if they don't want to make their own.

Keep trying to cut down on plastics. Packaging and waste.  Keep using my re-usable bags at the store.  My reusable cups. Yea Tec  realy likes his coffee mug.... Share my journey here ...


ivy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting Ready for the Earth day celebration

Miss Animal Rights and her cohort have started to get the stuff together for the kid craft projects at the earth day celebration this week-end.. We have toilet paper rolls that are cut into 2... . paper Towel rolls that are having one end with paper glued on. For the rain sticks. She needs to get together some more stuff. Eating Pringles for the hot dog cooker.

I have worked the last 5 days and have tomorrow to go and then ..... a day off. I am going to make a solar oven from a pizza box for a demo. Fine tune by outline on composting and eco-friendly cleaning...... I have a visual aide for the cleaning workshop, a small box of baking soda, a small lemon, a salt shaker and dish-soap. I also have a shaker top reused jar that once had Parmesan cheese that now has baking soda and some herbs in it for a carpet fresher. All inside a opened empty box of borax. 20 Mule Team® Borax sent me 25 copies of the free guild for uses of borax to hand out. I asked for more but they couldn't send me out more than that. Ok I understand they have rules that have to follow. So I will have hand outs too... I put some of my recipes and my outline on a flash disk for anyone that wants to grab the files. We have had people show up to meetings with lap tops so you never know......... It's on my key chain so it isn't like it takes up a ton of room.

Oh did I forget to tell you that the weather man predicts RAIN! Yuk.. However we are going to be in a pavilion so if it rains;  we won't get drenched. But we will have some kids bored.... we know of 6 from the people that are helping with the planing of the day....... Pre-school to school aged. I guess the crayons are going to a big hit. But maybe the rain will hold out one more day or move the right way -away from us... LOL

ivy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It is that time a year again!

Spring! Spring brings warm days and cool evenings.  And things start to grow like the weeds in your yard.  But did you know that the dandelion once was a wanted "weed" or should I say herb that people would trade for? They would be a prized item.

Dandelion is rich in many nutrients calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, and zinc. It is a good herb to use as a diuretic. Dandelion has been found to stimulate mucus membranes, sooth the digestive tract, stimulates digestion, absorb toxins from the bowel, and cleaning the kidneys and liver. Careful it also acts as mild laxative.

I have not seen studies to back this up most sites just stating that it is being tested and the results are indicating to have a possible effect ..... To help lower the bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Helps strengthen the heart and prevent strokes. Help with diabetes. Protection from cancer, including breast and prostate cancers. I don't know if all that is true but it can't hurt if you have these issues to deal with. AS always CHECK with your DOCTOR before using a herb if you have any these conditions or any health conditions. If you have hay fever you maybe not want to try dandelion leaves for the possible allergic reaction.

Eating the Dandelion Leaves: 

Young leaves of the Dandelion are the tastiest. Dandelion is only pleasantly bitter if you eat the early spring tender leaves. When the leaf get older the center rib gets tough and very bitter. You can try to blanch the leaves but I found them still to bitter. It is best to tear into pieces, rather than cut, to keep the flavor. Like lettuce
Mix into spring mix salads. Hey even the bagged lettuce mix has the dandelion leaf. I have a friend that is allergic to the leaf and we went out to a nice restaurant and they had dandelion leaves in the salad.
Dandelion can be steamed, added to stir-fries and many other dishes which call for greens or spinach. Can add to spinach dishes with the spinach.

Something else I found was that you could even make a delicious sandwich. I haven't done this but I thought I pass it along..... To make a dandelion leaf sandwich just lay the leaves between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. Add a little lemon-juice and pepper for flavor.

Dandelion leaves can be used in facial steam, as well as face packs. It is good for skins issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis.

Other parts are used also:

The root is also used as a coffee substitute. Sometime mixed with coffee to help give it a better taste. Of course it is roasted just like coffee beans.

The flowers are used to make dandelion Wine.  I never tried or tasted dandelion wine but my parents said it was good, but a pain ti make.


… A man can let his wife know he loves her by giving her a dozen large roses,
while his small grandson can do the same with a fistful of dandelion flowers!


ivy

Friday, April 16, 2010

Do we really need all this Stuff?

One of the best green ideas is too not have to buy the last widget that comes out because you want to keep up with the Jones. That fixing your stuff is better than tossing your stuff. This video explains so well.  I had to share.




ivy

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pizza box solar oven

Miss Animal Rights is helping make plans for the Earth Day Celebration we are part of on April 24th this year. She is planning to make a few pizza box solar ovens. We found the plans at Solar Now Inc.

I was one of the few people picked on Houseparty DIGIORNO Champions House Party Event. We shipped the party items in a take out pizza box! But then I will get some from work. I was asked to donate some cash to the Children Miracle Network for the "privilege". No problem there!


SO I think I might make a solar box oven like this so I can cook my lunch for we are going to be there all day... Plus it would be a interesting thing to share with.  I have always wanted to make a solar box oven but having to find a box that has a lid that isn't to small because another box needs to fit inside the box with the lid.  But I do have the Plexiglas  for the top!! I guess I will have to go with what I find first.......


ivy

Monday, April 12, 2010

Carbon Neutral Blogs!!

Reading the new blogs posted today I see that 3 Little Ones post My Blog is Carbon Neutral is Yours? Oh I had to check this out!!!

co2 neutral shopping and coupons with kaufDA.deMach Green is a German movement to help cut the CO2 emissions. Raising awareness of ecological aspects of the production of flyers and found that it was more eco-friendly to advertise online. Blogs are become the new way that companies are using the advertising power of the online community. That why the mom blogs are the biggest target.

So go to Machs Grun and find out how make your blog carbon neutral!!!


Just a few easy steps to make it green:
  1. Write a blog post about the initiative + insert your favorite button
  2. E-mail the link to your post to CO2-neutral@kaufda.de
  3. We plant a tree for your blog in Plumas’!

Let make our blogs carbon neutral!!


ivy

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A better Cup

So Starbucks is sponsoring a contest the Betacup Challenge to make a better cup to keep their promise of serving 100 percent of its drinks in reusable or recyclable cups by 2015.
Well we did get them to stop using hormones, rBGH” and Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) milk in there stores.

If you have a idea on how to help Starbucks do this, please feel free to visit this site.

But looking around this site I found it sad that they posted a page on why people do not use  reusable cups.

What about why they should????
Saving energy in the making the paper cups, the trash they produce and the waste of one time use....

Reading the comments on this page of  wanting  a cup that fits the  car cup holder spot and a lid..
Well sweetie there is a web site with a cup called I am not a paper cup you can order at Amazon! It is a porcelain cup with a lid. However I found one at Bed, Bath and Beyond for cheaper (plus you don't have to pay for shipping and handling.) 
For me it wasn't  any gas wasted, it is located right next to work.  Picked it up one day before work and used it....... I do use it at work for coffee.......  Going to get Miss Animal Rights the pink one, I think she would  love it if it had  a pink ribbon.  For the new followers she loves anything with the pink ribbon on it, partly because both both her grandmothers had breast cancer...... that and that is her favorite color.  guess you could say that it is double duty.  Doing something for the cure and something she likes.....   

   Many places will give you a discount to get a coffee or drink with a reusable cup.  Brueggers Bagel Shop charges a refill charge for a travel mug. Even Starbucks; gives you a discount on reusable cups.......

Being green and saving money!

ivy

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ideas in Action

I saw this cute bag (well kinda cute bag) at Wally world the other day and thought I could make one like that. Then I remembered I had a string bag with a rip. I thought I saved it for the handles to make another grocery bag but I couldn't find it.  So I found this under my car seat. It shrank in the washer.  The pink ripped one got that way from the washer.  SO I thought why not fix this one too.   I can't stand the small handles and they don't fit over my arm when I have my winter coat on so that's why it found its way to under my car seat.  I didn't like to use it.


  
The bag I saw had a string bag outside and a lining inside. I almost used that material that is under the bag. Then I slept on it. I got the idea this morning to use a old t-shirt. The t-shirt will stretch just like the string bag does. So I went looking for a t-shirt. Nope, none in the goodwill box. But I found a ripped sweater. Yes that will work too.

I cut the top of the sweater right below the arm holes.  I sewed that  shut and used a french seam to make it stronger.  I pined the bottom (now the top of the bag lining) to the opening of the string bag.  I sewed around the bag. Giving the handles a X reinforcement  so they will be stronger and not rip with too much weight.

It doesn't look very big does it?   Doesn't look like much but I like it... I had to sew  on long handles and like the long handled string bags. 

Here it is in use with ketch-up, 2 boxes, 2 litter of pop. jar of peanuts and a can of chips with more room!! .


ivy

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's getting hot in here......

Warning A rant... I work at a grocery store and the weather is very nice the last couple of days. In the 70s so nice but people seems to forget that the temp realy can climb in a parked car in a parking lot. There is no shade in this grocery store parking lot.  But still people bring their dogs along for ride...  And leave them while they shop. Oh they are only running in for a minute or two the dog will be fine.

Wait a minute really? ON the day before Easter people think that they can run in to the store and be out in a minute or two?????? OMG!!!  My store was so busy that the lines where long starting at 8 AM... Ok that when I went in........ and it was hard to walk threw the store.  It was like Christmas Eve.... No way you are getting out in a couple of minutes............. Gesh!!   every time I went outside for breaks or lunch I heard a dog barking...

Studies have shown that even at 70 degrees F  the insides of a car can get at hot as 112 degrees F....
Let alone the summer time brings news stories of animals dying while humans go shopping, swimming or what ever. Plus the stories of babies and children dying in parked cars while the adults go drinking (the most I have heard was that reason or they where drunk and forgot where they parked), shopping or what ever.......  AND YES they get charged with the deaths. Sorry the only thing you can say to keep you from being charged is I never watched a TV and didn't know that could happen because I have can't feel heat.....   I don't get it.  I don't usually watch the news but have seen and heard stories about this.
.

Plus what about the stress of having to bark the entire  time the "human" is gone. You are getting drink or stopping by the drive threw but what about your fur baby with a coat on in your HOT CAR??   . Sorry this is so irritating to me that it still happens year after year, poor little animals and children dying because someone forgets this can happen!!!!!!!!!

 But then I went a did search for cool pictures of dogs and found My Dog is Cool where you can download flyers and posters to raise awareness about the dangers of hot cars and dogs. Guess I will leave some fliers on cars (but not at work I could get into trouble because we do have a camera system..)
Think they will get the picture then??? I wonder......

ivy

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