My husband and I have decided to go napkin and paper towel free in the kitchen as one of our approaches to going green. He broke out the sewing machine to make his own backpack last week, so I finally got the motivation to go to St. Vincent DePaul’s for the items I needed. I bought a twin flat sheet that was light colored with pretty yellow and pink flowers (it matches my kitchen yellow), and that will become the napkins. I have 10 cut and pinned but I need to buy a new sewing needle before I finish.
As for the paper towel, I will be cutting up a few old shirts that we never wear anymore and putting them in a drawer. They will be our rags that will replace our paper towel. Both of these will be easy to convert to – wash them, put them away, use them, put in hamper, repeat.
I also bought a picnic table cloth (the vinyl kind), so I could make reusable sandwich bags. I got the idea from Michele, who shared this tutorial a few weeks ago. These are also cut and pinned waiting for the sewing machine to be functional.
Not only do I feel I am being frugal, but I’m also making less waste. That’s a good thing!
I ordered some Kate Quinn Organic baby clothes through a co-op (which saved me a pretty penny), and I received them today. They are too cute not to share. The yellow one is a sleep sacque, which has the cute little hand covers in case baby is a scratcher. The wrap-like onesie I really wanted in chocolate with white lining, but it was out of stock in the newborn size. I do like the combo this way though too. Now I must find some baby legs or pants to match. I don’t think Sprout will fit in that outfit long. I also got a pack of washcloths, which I figured I would put in the bathroom (since it matches our colors) and they will be Sprout’s for bathtime. They are so soft!
Six weeks ago, I made a big decision about my hair. After years of struggling with curly and frizzy long locks – fighting with it to be perfectly curled or unnaturally straight – I made a change.
I got dreadlocks! Now I am not saying everyday I love my hair now because it is still an ongoing struggle, but it’s a struggle that I needed. A struggle with patience. A struggle understanding that my hair doesn’t have to be the societal norm or perfection for me to be pretty or have confidence in myself. A struggle to leave my hair do its thing because that is what it does best.
In this effort, I have really began to save money on hair products and accessories. I used to use (pretty much daily): shampoo, conditioner, bodywash or soap, gel/mouse, comb and brush. I have cut down my washing to about every 3 days, and I now use one bar of soap for my entire body. I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Peppermint Soap Bar for shampooing my hair, washing my face, and washing my body. I believe a $2.99 bar will last my husband and I at least one month. Not only is it frugal, but it sure does smell good too.
Some of you may know a lot more than I do about natural beauty products, but I have to admit somewhere that I sell Mary Kay. I was really struggling with this a few months ago because I had heard there were parabens in their products, and I fully wanted to switch to organic. I stopped using MK, I bought organic facewash, I used organic oils for moisturizers, and I didn’t wear makeup. After a few months, I had the worst acne ever and decided to switch back to my trusted pink bottles. It quickly cleared up and I no longer felt like a 13 year old. I know it probably wasn’t the most wise thing to do, but it’s what I did.
Now I am happy to know that Mary Kay is launching a going green campaign. Thank you to all of the people who asked the company questions – questions about what MK does for the environment and what kinds of things they use in their products. I know this company is good because they are listening. Things don’t change overnight, but things are moving in the right direction now.
I know after seminar in Texas, we will be hearing more about natural products and the fight against those nasty chemicals. Thank you Mary Kay for listening and keep on changing for the better. You’ve won me back!
My DH and I have decided to really work on going green, and these are some things that we have put into action that really work for us.
When we moved into our new house we put in all CFL bulbs and kept some old bulbs that they had in for spares. I must admit that I was a little leary once I had them in and realized they had mercury in them. Be careful if they break and know how to handle them if something were to happen.
I have some canvas bags that I use for shopping that I keep in the car for unexpected trips. I also put in some plastic bags as well, so they aren’t just one use bags.
I use paper bags for cleaning the kitty litter.
I do the “if it’s yellow let it mellow” since our toilets aren’t water efficient.
I make my own cleaners with vinegar, water, and baking soda. I use rags that I make from old towels or shirts instead of paper towel for clean up.
I wash and reuse plastic baggies. Generally, I use baggies for the same thing over and over again anyway (one for the lid of the dog food, partially used onions, freezing veggies, so I thought I may as well just rinse them and use them again).
I have a compost in my back yard.
I am going to grow my own garden this year. I have watermelon, herbs, and tomatoes started so far.
We are working on eating in more and being conscious about the things we buy. We try to buy more second hand and think about if we really need the things first.
I have been trying to shower every other day and not wash my clothes after one wear (unless it is a piece of clothing I workout in).
I buy local beef and free range eggs from my brother who is a farmer (and I get a discount ). I also joined a CSA for the first time.
There are still many things I can do in order to help the Earth be a better place, so if you have any ideas to share – please feel free. I’d love to hear what others are doing in regards to going green.
Today, DH and I spent a lot of time outside working on the yard. We mulched up our leaves with the lawnmower and left them covering the lawn. Our backyard really doesn’t grow a whole lot of grass because so much of it is tree covered and shady. While standing back there, I really started to daydream about my own compost pile. I assured my DH that all we really needed to do was create walls with 3 sides, so we made our compost pile right then and there. We used all of our big limbs to create walls. Then I dug up the dirt, added a bunch of our mulch to it, and put the dirt back on top. Now I can start collecting unused or the peelings of fruits, veggies, coffee ground, tea leaves, etc. to put in there and turn into the dirt to create some highly nutrient soil for my plants.
Speaking of plants, I have had to move my tomato plants to bigger containers. I will keep them in the containers until after the last frost of the year. I can move them in and out of the house for warmth and sunlight and keep them safe at night from the cold. I have also put my parsley plants into a pretty green pot and placed them in the kitchen window. I do believe that my watermelons will have to be moved next, so I will need more soil then what I have since they will need a big pot until they can go into the garden at my parent’s house.
While I felt that I was going green today by creating a compost pile and working with my plants, I stumbled upon this video. Now these people at Urban Homestead know what they are doing when it comes to growing produce and taking good care of our planet. And might I add, they do this on 1/5th an acre of land smack dab in the middle of Pasadena, CA?!