Archive for September, 2012

Is Your Laundry Crunchy?

Mine is… well as much as it can be for now! But there are a few things that will be changing soon enough like buying an inside wooden/metal drying rack for the winter months to cut back on dryer use as well as getting some wool dryer balls to eliminate the plastic one we have now and cut down on drying time 🙂

Have you heard of soap nuts? You haven’t?! That’s a shame 😦 Prepare to have your eco-friendly mind blown!

Soap nuts are a natural, affordable, organic and completely awesome kind of laundry detergent (and can be made into many other types of cleaner as well) that you can buy in some stores or online. Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. It’s just as awesome as it sounds. What they are in all actuality is the shell of a fruit that grows in Nepal. A friend (thanks again Carrie!) introduced them to me awhile back and I’m so so thankful to have a replacement for the huge, plastic, fragrance/poison, chemical crap that used to be our “normal” kind.

Want to hear the most bad assed thing about them yet? I am able to get them in a 100% PLASTIC FREE package! No plastic in the shipping at all makes it worth paying a lot extra, for me… but still it’s totally affordable and comparable to whatever else you’d buy in stores. I got 300 loads worth for around 40$ (shipping included!) and can feel 100% great about it since there is no waste, no chemicals going onto my clothes, on my skin or into the environment and it still gets everything clean!

Now as some of you may remember, I switched to cloth diapers quite a few months ago. These soap nuts even work great for cleaning them 😀 so that is a huge testament to how powerful they are when it comes to getting out the smells/stains! Cloth diapering is going fantastically, by the way ❤ I love how much my carbon footprint has reduced by switching over to cloth as well as how cute my baby looks with her fluffy butt! I used to worry about how much extra laundry I’d have to do and how hard it would be especially when we’re out and about… but there are really no issues at all! It’s so easy since when you have a family you are already doing laundry all the time… what’s one more load, really? And I just stick the dirty diapers in a bag if we’re out and put them in the wash when we get home. We’ve also switched to cloth wipes (well half of the time since we’re still using up the old packages) and they work fine too. Less waste and chemicals and packaging is always going to be the way to go for me 🙂

Here’s a few pics of the soap nuts & cloth diapers. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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Excited for our “Nothing New” Christmas!

So yah it’s only September but I always plan ahead. This year is going to be more special, more memorable and more important than any year before! Not only will we have 2 kids instead of one to wake up with in the morning, but we’ll be doing the planet a solid by not being crazy consumers like usual! 

The idea, for anyone who has not heard of this concept, is that you will only give/receive used or hand made items for Christmas. We are taking it to the next level and not buying any new decorations or wrapping paper either as well as incorporating the “nothing new” concept to our yearly family gift exchange game, so everyone else will have to get eco-friendly and creative as well! 

I know we have a bunch of traditional wrapping paper left in our storage from last year, as well as some tags/ribbons/bows, but once that’s gone, that’s it! We will be re-using gift bags, probably colouring some paper up to use as wrapping and possibly using some Christmas flyers from the recycling bin. I have some really crafty and fun ideas planned for how to make things look really funky/fancy and can’t wait to take pictures. 

There are lots of used stores to shop at like Value Village, Salvation Army, Goodwill and other smaller ones… as well as craigslist, kijiji, ebay and the facebook swap sites that I happen to love so much. In the past I have always tried to incorporate as many used items into Christmas and holidays as I can, but now it has a whole new meaning and I have an even bigger appreciation for it. 

Christmas has been my favorite time of year my entire life. I love the festive smells, tastes, music, movies, family time, giving, decorating and snow! I really look forward to adding new memories and traditions this year that are totally eco-friendly and won’t break the bank ❤ 

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Getting stocked up for winter, hippy style!

My deep freezer has been pretty much empty for the past 5-6 since we became vegetarians, so I thought that rather than unplug it or keep running it on empty, I’d stock up on some of the delicious, fresh, local, organic, produce that I have at my disposal here in BC, Canada 🙂 

Back in “the olden days” all you had was what you could grow or trade for locally and then can/store it for the months when there was nothing. But then came the “convenience” revolution and the “throw away” generation and everyone starts importing whatever the hell they want from across the world so that they can have their favorites all year long. 

Now, I am not saying that I am going to be cutting out EVERYTHING that is not local, but I am doing my very best to cut back as much as I possibly can from now on. I don’t understand why more people who live in my area do not take advantage of the awesome variety of local produce we have here. 

The other night I got all of my glass jars cleaned and ready to go and set to work. The glass jars have been compiled from my friends, my community recycling bins and from my own purchases of organic peanut butter/spaghetti sauce/pickles, etc. I also used some cloth bags and cardboard boxes to store things since I am still doing all I can to avoid plastic and don’t have enough glass to store everything yet. My deep freeze is almost full now and I am hoping it will be enough to at least get us to next spring. 

What I have compiled SO FAR is this:

12.5 jars of vegetarian pasta sauce, 2 jars of stewed tomatoes, 2 jars of oregon grape jam, about 23 lbs of blueberries, 2 dozen cobs of peaches/cream corn, 3 jars of shredded zucchini, 3 jars of sliced peaches, 1.5 lbs of rhubarb, 2 lbs of blackberries, 3 lbs of chopped green cabbage. 

What I still want to put in the deep freeze are some green/yellow beans, spinach, apples, more blackberries and I might think of a few more things since there is just so much available in my area! I just wish I had a bigger deep freezer now 😛 Below is a picture of the pasta sauces I made (took me a whole day!!) half are smooth and half are chunky 🙂 

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