Tag Archives: sustainable living

DIY Laminate Floor Cleaner

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I finally got my living room completely cleaned and arranged to where I want it. With that, I also did a quick vacuum and mop with some homemade mopping solution. For my house, it’s going to take a few good moppings (why YES, I DID make that word up!) to really get the floor good and clean because of all the dust and dirt that settled on it from the construction. But so far it’s working really well!

Homemade Mopping Solution:

One part vinegar

One part water.

Yup, that’s it. I use a Swiffer-like mop from the Cedar brand. I like this mop a lot because you can wash the pads up to three times (yay for less waste!) and you can make your own solution, instead of having to buy refills all the time. Again, YAY FOR LESS WASTE! lol

Here is what my living room looks like so far using the vinegar/water solution (I know, I missed some spots. I had sweat dripping down into my eyes and couldn’t really see well. lol):

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Let me know if you try it and what you think of it!

Words Can Not Even Express How Angry This Makes Me!

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http://www.naturalnews.com/036234_edible_landscaping_medicinal_plants_Tulsa.html

This article is about a woman whose garden was taken away from her on false allegations of it being not up to city code. This woman was not only growing the food for sustenance, but also to naturally treat her diabetes and arthritis, along with other various health conditions. She is unemployed, so this garden was also her livelihood. So they took away her life AND her livelihood. It just sickens me that someone can’t even grow a garden without the city coming in. The city code officials violated a court order and came and ripped up her entire garden. Ugh, I could just SPIT NAILS!!!

The url above is to the article, which contains a link to sign a petition on change.org. Please read the article and sign the petition to stand up for your rights as a civilian to grow your own food and medicinal herbs!

The Day Is Finally Here!

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The day is finally here! My husband and I can finally start buying essential things (like a mop, broom, etc) for our house! I am SO STOKED! I’m gonna be DIY’ing like a son of a gun tomorrow. hehe 😀 There will be so much Johnny Cash on the record player that my husband will never want to hear it again!

Also, this winter my very good friend Brian might be moving in with us… super-stoked for that too!

I will be posting all sorts of pictures tomorrow of my DIY’ing flurry… be prepared for awesomeness!

DIY Liquid Castile Soap From Castile Bar Soap

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I recently searched for ways to make liquid Castile soap to save money since the stuff on Amazon is a little out of my price range. I found this super easy recipe from a blogger on another site. Here is the url for her recipe if you want to look at hers: http://meetalabama.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-make-liquid-castile-soap-from.html

You can easily just copy and paste the url to view her recipe but I will also post it here. I just wanted to give credit where credit was due. 😉 I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I intend to once my batch of body wash is out. Anyway, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 4 oz bar of Castile Soap (some Wal-Marts don’t carry Castile soap, but you can find it at places like Hobby Lobby or a whole foods store)

6 cups water (right from the tap!)

1 TBS glycerine (I found mine at Wal-Mart, but you might be able to find this at whole foods stores or Hobby Lobby as well)

Directions:

1. Grate the soap with a cheese grater. Note: as with any soap, the smaller you grate the soap, the quicker it will dissolve. Remember to wear a face mask of some sort because the soap particles may float in the air, and it kind of sucks to inhale them. I learned that the hard way. LOL!

2. Pour the water into a sauce pan and put on low heat. Make sure the soap is completely dissolved, otherwise it may look somewhat chunky and will clog the container you use. Always remember to watch the mix so it doesn’t boil over!

3. Add the glycerine. Once dissolved, you can either transfer it to a jar, or a pump soap dispenser. I would think the latter would be easier, even though the original poster of this recipe suggested a jar. I think it would just be a lot less mess.You can also use essential oils in this recipe.

And you’re done! Enjoy! 🙂

Note: There are recipes to make Castile soap from scratch as well. I will have more on that at a later date maybe. No promises, but I’ll try!

A bonus to this is that Castile soap does not use animal fats as an emollient. 😀

 

Always Wear A Mask!

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I decided to make my first batch of powder laundry detergent today. It was pretty easy but, if you do this, remember to WEAR A MASK while making it! The soap particles will float up into the air and it really sucks to inhale them. lol

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Me wearing my mask! 🙂

The soap I used (the green bar of Ivory) smells REALLY good too… can’t wait to use it on my laundry! I made this batch for both me and my mother-in-law to use. With how much she does the laundry, it should go rather quickly. 🙂

And I just realized how much I like to use smileys… hmmm.

Anyway, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 bar Ivory Soap

1/2 cup Borax (20 Mule Team is the best, you can find it at your local grocery store in the laundry aisle)

1/2 cup Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer, not to be confused with Baking Soda, you can also find this in the laundry aisle)

Equipment:

a cheese grater or a knife to grate the soap

a container to put your detergent in

Directions:

1. Grate the Ivory into the container you’ll use for the detergent. If you want a finer powder you can put your soap in a food processor AFTER grating it. Blend for a few seconds and it should be finely ground. 🙂

2. Pour your detergent back into the container you’ll be using. MAKE SURE YOU’RE STILL WEARING YOUR MASK! Put a 1/2 cup of Borax and a 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (again, NOT baking Soda!) into the container and SHAKE WELL!

Note:

You only need to use 1/8 of a cup of this per load. This recipe will make 16 loads, but you can tweak it to make more loads. Just double the ingredients (for example instead of using 1/2 cup of Borax and a 1/2 cup of Washing Soda, use 1 cup of Borax, and 1 cup of Washing Soda. Use 2 bars of soap).

THIS RECIPE IS A SUDS-FREE RECIPE, SO IT’S SAFE FOR HE WASHERS, AND YOU CAN USE IT AT ANY TEMPERATURE. 🙂

Easy, yes? I thought so too!

I Might Be Going Crazy…

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For some reason in the past few days I have developed an obsession with food documentaries. I don’t know why. But I’ve gotten a lot of really good information from them! These are the documentaries I’ve seen since yesterday: Food Matters, What’s On Your Plate? (a super cute documentary done by two 12 yr olds), Food Fight, Ingredients, among a couple of others that I can’t remember the name of at this moment. Another good one that I watched a long time ago is Food, Inc. Basically these documentaries talk about the politics of food, and how growing organically and buying from your local farmer’s markets will not only improve your own health, but help keep money in your own community.

What’s On Your Plate? is really impressive, and not just because it was done by a couple of 12 yr olds. It talks about where a lot of our food in the grocery stores come from. I had no idea that our corn has traveled as far as from the Middle East and Africa! What’s worse is that these countries are considered Third World countries, and they’re shipping their food to us. Not only that but the longer food stays on the truck/ferries/etc. and on the supermarket shelves, the more the food loses its nutrients .A lot of people today (myself included) don’t know what a piece of fresh produce is actually supposed to taste like because of how far the food has traveled and how many nutrients it has lost (which greatly affects the taste), and also because of all the nasty chemicals and genetic engineering.

I think I will definitely be making trips to the local farmer’s markets from now on instead of going to the supermarket to buy my produce.

DIY Laundry Detergent

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I’ve been getting recipes from far and wide for DIY laundry detergent lately, but I’ve been really hesitant about trying it at this moment. Mostly because my husband and I are living with his folks until our house is finished, and I didn’t know if she wanted me to use one of her pots for mixing soap, borax, and washing soda. But she recently started expressing interest in it when she found out just how much money we would save by making our own. So I found a recipe that doesn’t require you to put the borax and washing soda in the pot, you just mix it in a 5 gallon bucket. If any of you have tried this recipe and have hard water, please let me know how it worked for you! 🙂

DIY Laundry Detergent

from http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/15/how-to-make-your-own-laundry-detergent-and-save-big-money/

Ingredients:

1 bar of soap… the recipe on the website says you can use any kind you like, but most people use Fels Naptha.

1 box of washing soda, found in your grocer’s laundry aisle

1 box of borax… optional, but it’s a great laundry booster. Be careful of you use this.

a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters

3 gallons tap water

A big spoon to stir the mix

A measuring cup

A knife… be careful, don’t cut yourself!!

Directions:

1. Put 4 cups of water into a pot on your stove and turn the heat up to high until it’s ALMOST boiling. You don’t want to let it boil, otherwise everything will foam up really fast and make a huge mess. 🙂 As the water heats up, get your knife out and start whittling away at your bar of soap. Make sure you keep the water below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Do this until the whole bar is shaved up, then stir the soapy water until all the soap is dissolved.

2. Put 3 gallons of hot water (about 11 liters) into the bucket. I would think it’s easier to use some milk jugs, as the website also suggests. Mix in the hot soapy water from step 1, then stir for a bit, then add a cup of washing soda. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add a half cup of borax should you decide to use it. Stir for another couple of minutes, put the lid on the bucket, then let sit overnight to cool.

And that’s it! It seems easy enough, right? 🙂 Like I said earlier, if any of you with hard water have tried this, let me know how it worked for you. Of course, any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated! 😀

EDIT 6/2/2012: You probably could use some essential oils to make your detergent smell pretty. Just be aware that there are some essential oils that are skin irritants so, if you add essential oils, I would suggest putting a drop on your skin first and wait to see if it irritates your skin. Put however many drops you want in the mix after you’ve already mixed in the borax. Stir for another couple of minutes to make sure that it gets mixed in well. 🙂