Hubby and I’ve have always tried to live as green as possible. Since moving back in with my parents in 2008, our shade of green has darkened a bit (it would be a lot greener if LED light bulbs were brighter and cheaper than they actually are). Every year it has been the same, all kinds of ideas on how we could live a bit greener. Our ideas have come to light slowly, after all our household is a mix. And anything that we want to do, we need to run it by the parental units to get their thoughts, and in the case of living green, their contribution and willingness to stick with changes.
Since moving back, every year hubby and I have talked about having a veggie garden or using more eco friendly products, etc. And every year the actual follow through gets put on the back burner for one reason or another.
I’m still not positive what sparked it. But I’ve become fed up with all the ideas just floating about. I feel this change in myself was sparked by a mixed media art piece I did last weekend that was inspired by a meditation (more on that later)
But whatever the cause, I’m thrilled with the changes that are happening. Last year we grew our own tomatoes and sweet peppers This year we’re going all out and having a raised veggie garden thanks to my kiddo who’s sandbox had become weed heaven. We repurposed his sandbox frame, moved it away from the kid’s swing set to keep the dogs out of it.
See how guilty Sandy looks already? We’ve dug out the sod from inside the frame, layered the bottom with some super wet newspaper (printed with soy ink), top soil, compost and some peat moss. Over the next week or so, we’ll add our veggie plants (we’ll be getting them from a local nursery since we didn’t have a place to start seeds..we will next year though if I have anything to do with it!!)
I am also in the process of cutting down on our paper consumption as well. We’ve gone to using reusable towels for cleaning spills and the like (with 4 cats, 2 dogs and a kid there is always some sort of mess to clean up). We are also now using cloth napkins, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. But again it comes with mixed feelings from the rest of the household (This is where I pull the “because I’m going to do it whether you like it or not” card, but so far people seem to be on board) I can proudly say that we no longer are cleaning with chemicals. In fact I’ve found a recipe for an all purpose cleaner that I’ve made up that works lovely on stainless steal and I just happen to love using it! The best part? It costs about .65 cents for 24 ounces of cleaning solution and takes no time at all to whip up.
All purpose cleaner:
- 1 teaspoon Borax
- 1 teaspoon Washing soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Castile Soap (I’m using peppermint because I love the added scent)
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 2 cups hot water
- 25-30 drops essential oil
- 24 ounce sprayer bottle
- large bowl or measuring cup
Mix the castile soap, Borax, washing soda, and vinegar in a large bowl or measuring cup. Slowly add the hot water and stir (I heat mine on the stove just before it boils). Allow it to cool and then add some essential oils. You can use any essential oils you want. I’m using Tea Tree and Eucalyptus. For the bottle of cleaner that I made for my bathroom downstairs, I added some drops of Lavender. Using a funnel, pour your cleaning solution into your spray bottle. Add a label and you’re ready to go! Just spray and wipe.
It works awesome on greasy finger prints and water spots on stainless steel as well (which can be annoying because stainless steel shows everything!)
Fridge Before (about a weeks worth of grime)
Fridge After (love that shine!)
So here’s to living a little bit greener and making our lives a bit healthier.