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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!

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Our Mission On A Post It….

 

The Grow For You lab/workshop/studio is in our home.  The back door doubles as our vision planning board. On the board you will find dozens of sticky notes with one and two word reminders.  Every time one of us gets an idea we jot it down and ”stick it”. From time to time we review together, organizing and prioritizing, using these little papers to build toward our big goal.  The top sticky….”Feed the world”.  

We have been advised not to show our ”hippy side” too much in the world of business.  We understand that we can’t just give everything away for free and expect to feed the world. We also know that we both work best when we are motivated by something external – something “beyond our own belly bottom” as my husband would say.  So that sticky note serves an important purpose. It keeps us pushing. Keeps us coming back everyday to improve what we have built, fine tune the details and ensure that every person who makes a purchase will feel good about what they have brought into their home.  We know that if we want to feed the world, we need to build a successful business.  One with integrity and humility.  Customers should not feel that they have bought a product, they should feel they have joined in something really exciting (because it is) and important – because it IS!  Be it because you and your loved ones will benefit from the fresh living food growing in your home, or because you care for the environment OR because you want to help make these systems available to other struggling communities,  it all matters!

We know we have a lot of work to do, helping people who are curious to gain confidence and start growing, and helping people who are uncertain feel confident that they can DO  this! In truth we can not feed the world – the only thing we can do is help empower people to  grow their own food and feed themselves. But feed the world is a romantic notion – and besides – it fits on the post it 😉

Aeroponics is not a new concept.  It is a time tested, reliable and sustainable way of growing.  The first aeroponic gardens that we know of were the walls of Babylon!  As we all take measure of how we can lessen our carbon footprint and improve the quality of food we consume it makes sense to look back and adopt agricultural methods that rely less on hard labour and heavy resources.  In fact, even just in our busy time pressured lives this makes sense! We need to produce more with less, continuously, using clean practices,in controlled environments, close to home. Soilless gardening allows all of this and more.   At first glance it seems complicated and too good to be true, but it is a simple process of meeting the essential needs of plants in a thoughtful way.  Nothing magical or complicated about it.

As we move forward into the open sales phase of our journey we are hopeful and excited to bring the vocabulary of aeroponics into common language and understanding.  We feel it is a tremendous privilege and responsibility to share and build knowledge together. First our community – and then the world!!

 

Warmly

Kate