Sunday, June 1, 2008

Freecycle takes the day...again

Its been a while since Earth Day and the Green chatter has quieted down a bit but that doesn't mean we aren't thinking about stuff and reducing, reusing and recycling. Thought I'd give a little report on how our family is doing:

  • Homemade Laundry Detergent -- In this house of two adults, two dogs and three kids, we've yet to use all of the first batch of detergent that I made two months ago---true, I doubled the formula but we're not yet half through. It cleans REALLY well in any temperature and the clothes smell great. I use a white vinegar rinse which really does eliminate static---couldn't believe it--- and sometimes I use some OxyClean. No harm, no foul. This one is a serious keeper delivering low cost, high efficiency, good family fun in the making and kinder for Mother Earth.
  • Homemade surface and glass cleaners --- so probably no one will be surprised to read that most household cleaners are, like, 99% water, right? So I found some good recipes for cleaners on the net: most are varying proportions of water, baking soda, an acid of some kind (lemon juice, white vinegar) and some tiny amount of food coloring if you want. I have found that you'll want a teeny bit of detergent in your glass cleaner and more than that in a non-glass surface cleaner so there are hundreds of "formulations" out there. I've added a drop or two of my favorite Aveda essential oil so they smell nice---faintly. For about three dollars worth of vinegar, baking soda and detergent that will make a zillion batches of cleaners, five dollars worth of spray bottles, here's another slam dunk of an idea: no nasty weird chemicals, fewer plastics since we'll re-use our own, and the surface cleaner I'm using? Cuts grease better than any commercial product I've used. Its very good.
  • Also began using a mix of baking soda and salt for an abrasive type cleaner---again, very very good, cheap, reuse the metal sprinkle container and the side-benefit of absorbing odors just sitting there waiting to do its job... gotta love that.

I finally finished the window treatments for my bathroom; as I posted an offer of 4 mini-blinds with dimensions x by y in rose on FreeCycle I thought "yeah, right; someone will want these and they'll be the right size..." Oh ye of little faith! Within an hour *poof* gone. I love that they're not going to a landfill.

Let there be is over, less than two weeks of school left. I think I'm every bit as excited as the girls for the long days together to begin. We've set up a weekly "learn to sew" night with favorite neighbor and her crafting genius daughter; we'll have a weekly library date and some routine keep-the-mind-nimble math and writing games and then I think its nothing but full on relaxation and fun! What about you guys?

1 comment:

Special K said...

Hey! I was wondering how people were doing with the home-made laundry soap! I'm glad it's working out for you! We also use nothing else - have saved a lot of money and feel good about what I'm putting on my clothes and back in the environment.

I also love your multi-purpose cleaner. Thanks for sharing!

Peace out!