Uncategorized

Living Green (It’s a lifestyle, not a diet)

close up of tree against sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If I am being totally honest I think my green living started by accident. I always look for ways to get as much use out of things as I can rather than spend more money. “You can clean your toilet with vinegar? Then why would I buy comet?!” As I became more and more aware I just became more committed and conscious about these decisions. I also became more curious about what other people do in their homes and slowly built a basic understanding of how to avoid extra chemicals and stuffwithout too much extra hassle or time investment.

People think it is more expensive and time consuming to live green. In fact it’s not at all. Green living is less expensive and takes the same amount of time and energy. You just have to set your mind to change. Change is hard though and I think we say a lot to ourselves when change is required and feels over whelming. We offer ourselves excuses – when what we should be doing is offering each other helpful ideas and assistance to make the change easier. SO – without further delay – here are a few of my simple favorites. FAST, CHEAP, EASY and effective.

1) Bar soap: Switch out your body wash for a lovely bar of soap. If you LOVE liquid soap you can simply grate a bar of your favorite soap into a large pot of water, melt slowly on low and allow to cool. Re-Use a leftover container, pump, or mason jar to store and you will have liquid soap for MONTHS!!

* Do this with a bar of castile soap and you can use it everywhere around the house. I use it as laundry soap and LOVE trying difference essential oils for scent.

2) Dryer balls: Did you know that most of the dryer sheets you by commercially are extremely toxic? Heart break. But fear not. You can get wool dryer balls that not only help dry your clothes faster but can help add lovely non toxic scent to your clothes. Simply add a few drops of an essential oil to the dryer ball before chucking it in the dryer. Voila!

3) Essential Oils: These are one of the best tools to go green and feel great. There are SO many oils that have antibacterial, antiviral, immune support and other beneficial qualities. You need only take a few minutes to find a few scents that you love. Swap out chemical cleaners for vinegar and water solutions with a few drops of EO’s. Don’t have time to research? I suggest Peppermint, Lemon or orange. Lemon grass is a common favorite too.

4) Coconut oil: Ohhh….this is a power house. If you have coconut oil in your home you can combat dry frizzy hair, dry skin, even head lice chemical free! Sub it into your recipes instead of butter, sub it into your skin care routine in place of moisturizer, or for after sun care. Mix a little coconut oil and sugar with EO’s for a salt scrub. Combine 50/50 with beeswax and add your favorite essential oil for THE BEST lip and body balms. No more toxic perfume, no more plastic tubes to chuck. The more you explore the more uses you will find for coconut oil.

5) Baking soda with or without vinegar: Another power house duo, alone or as a pair. Use baking soda in your wash to help brighten your whites, in your drain with vinegar to unclog or maintain clear pipes. Use baking soda to brush your teeth (make your own toothpaste by combining baking soda, coconut oil and a little mint!). A little baking soda will stop dish soap from over sudzing if you need to use it in your dishwasher. It makes a great grout and tile scrub too! I buy this stuff in the biggest boxes I can – and it comes in cardboard! YES!!
** Rub a baking soda and vinegar paste on slivers to lift the sliver out, and on bee stings to soothe the sting.

** Use vinegar to clean around the house (you can scent it with lime rinds – or essential oils if that pleases you….personally I like the smell, it makes me crave french fries Hahaha

6) Rags: Seriously, how dumb are we to keep buying paper towels? got old towels? Bed sheets? Pillow cases? Tea towels? T-Shirts? Cut with a pair of pinking shears and keep them in a wee pile under your kitchen sink. You can get fancy and sew the edges – or just use ’em as is. Dinner napkins, picnic napkins, quick grab clean up clothes…whatever you need just use the cloth version rather than throwing your money away on disposables. EASY. LIKE. THAT.

7_Home made school snacks: Every couple of weeks I take an hour or so on Sunday to make a large batch of cookie dough balls, maybe a banana bread or muffins, some granola bars, rice Krispie squares – whatever. We keep these set aside for lunch snacks. Of course we have the fruit and veggie stick options but honestly…my kids are pretty much carb-a vors and I don’t have the energy to fight. I sneak loads of healthy ingredients into my snack foods and make no apologies about all the cookies they eat.

My youngest will ONLY eat apple sauce and loved those take and toss pouches (SHOOT ME NOW!!) I got him some reusable straws and we agreed he could drink his home packed sauce out of a container. I switch it up sometimes by shaking in cinnamon, or a little pureed berry.

We opt out of milk cartons and pack stainless steal drinks of chocolate milk.

We use reusable containers and I wash milk bags to reuse as bags when I really need a “disposable” – which is rare.

GARBAGE FREE LUNCHES!

8) Simply be aware: Take an extra moment when you shop to choose items that are sold without packaging, in paper packaging rather than plastic or in a container that you could re-use or re-purpose. If you are stuck buying plastic packaging ask yourself if you can work around it. If you really can’t – buy the largest container you can afford. Finally – SHARE!! If you have things you don’t use, don’t toss them – share them, give them away, trade them. Create a community around you by leading the way. WE got this! We can do it!

Recipe, Uncategorized

Super Simple Home Made Veggie Broth

One of the things that continues to amaze me is how duped we have been into thinking we need to buy things. In my quest to reduce packaging and consumerism I have been slowly picking away at the basics in our house. We have made our way slowly through school snack and yogurt, cleaning products and soap. Now I am returning my attention to the kitchen. For the past few weeks I had been keeping my veggie scraps in the freezer collecting the volume and nerve to try my own broth. Not sure why it intimidated me – but it did. Finally a cold snowy weekend afternoon came along and I decided it was time. The effort was so minimal and the result so delicious I feel it’s a MUST SHARE.
Ingredients
Garlic
Onion
Olive oil
Whatever else ya’ got (fresh or frozen, wilted or soggy, as long as it’s not rotten)

1) Splash a decent gob of olive oil and about a table spoon of crushed garlic into the bottom of your largest soup pot.
2) Coarsely chop a couple small onions and toss them in – skins and all. Start browning over medium heat (about 5 minutes)
3) Toss in all your other veggies, skins, rinds, everything. Don’t fuss. Just dump.
4) Add enough water to the pot to cover the veggies you have added.

(Don’t you just love a recipe that involves measurements like “gob, blob, splash”!?)

If you have fresh herbs add a spring of what ever. We had oregano, cilantro and chive. Yanked off a fist full of each and through it in whole.

If you have dried herbs have some fun! Rosemary maybe? Thyme, basil…YUMMMM…

Salt and pepper a wee bit, then wait a while before you make adjustments.

5) Simmer until your veggies have all become soft and easy to smoosh with a fork. A couple hours likely.

6) Salt and pepper again now to bring to your liking. Then cool
7) Strain through your large pasta strainer
8) Strain through a sieve (only if the bits bother you)
9) If you want it very smooth strain again through cheese cloth. I liked the texture so skipped this step.
10) Freeze in cubes or keep in the fridge to make soups over the next few days.

I will never buy veggie stock again…TOOOOO easy