Showing posts from January, 2019

What You Need to Know About My Switch to Shampoo & Conditioner Bars!

For 3 years I exclusively used baking soda and vinegar to wash my hair, but this no poo method left my hair damaged and hard to manage.  I finally resigned myself to buying all natural shampoos and conditioners package in 'sustainable' plastic bottles again but it was soul crushing and I felt guilty about the associated waste.  Despite washing my hair just twice a week, keeping my showers short, and making better choices in other areas to help offset my shortcomings, I knew I could do better. 

For months I have been thinking about making the switch to shampoo & conditioner bars for, but hadn't pulled the trigger.  I'd heard terrible reviews by some people who had tried them, they can be expensive and I couldn't find a local seller. 

My life changed when I discovered that a friend from high school, Lauren, is now living in Kentucky as a homesteader.  She lives and teaches sustainability & self reliance while caring for all sorts of animals on her ranch.  Natur…

Preserving Our Air, Conserving Energy and Saving Money

Since you are reading this blog I am going to assume that your have at least some sort of interest in living a greener lifestyle (forgive me if this is not the case).  It's important to understand that green living is a lot EASIER than most people think.  Especially since all aspects of our lives, including driving to work and mowing our lawns, can be incorporated into to living green.  You can check out these 5 Myths About Going Green for more on this.

A sudden change to green living is likely too much for most people, and might discourage you from putting into practice some important eco-friendly moves.  The good news is that there are a lot of small ways you can go green and do your part for the environment.  Doing something small is ALWAYS better than doing nothing at all.  

Preserving Our AirSome cities have a big problem with smog and air pollution, and much of it can be traced to manufacturing plants.  However, that's not the only contributor to the problem. Cars and truc…

5 Myths About Going Green

Protecting the environment, or going green, is something more and more people are doing these days. You may be wondering if the things you do will make an impact. 

Here are five myths about going green:

1. One of the misconceptions about going green is that it uses more energy to recycle than it saves. However, part of the reason recycling is used by many manufacturers is that it does actually save energy.  For instance, it takes 95% more energy to make a new aluminum can than it does to recycle one.  Another benefit of recycling is that most items can be recycled over and over again.

2. Another myth about going green is that it is better to keep an old appliance and get it fixed rather than buying a new one.  Appliances can be expensive so no one would blame you for trying to save money by repairing an old appliance instead of getting something new.  However, if you are looking from an eco friendly perspective, buying new is definitely ‘greener.’  This is because newer appliances are ma…

Establishing Courage is Courageous

What is bravery?
Bravery is the process of admitting that you have dreads, yet you're willing to determine a way to defeat those fears and not let these fears take charge of you.  It's okay to experience your fears at suitable times.

Brave individuals will step to the front, instead of stepping back when opportunities come their way.  Additionally, a brave individual will step back and take a view at his or her errors gracefully.

Benefits of establishing courage
When you establish courage, you begin to better all aspects of your life.  Constructing courage will help you take risks to a brighter future that you usually wouldn't take.  When you establish courage, you put fear behind you.  

When you establish courage, you'll learn to self-direct you in life. You'll learn to accept punishment and rewards graciously.  A courageous individual will frequently feel motivated to accept blame and responsibility while critiquing their actions and utilizing what they learn to move …

Green Living Goal #5: Sustainable Feminine Care

Feminine care products might not be the most popular topic of conversation, but it is an important conversation for everyone to be having.  This is because the waste associated with periods ends up affecting everyone and the environment as a whole. 
As a 32 year old woman, I am intimately familiar with some feminine care products.  Confession – I have never used tampons due to personal preference and health concerns. I am blessed with a super light and short cycle so for the past few years I have been using organic cotton panty liners when it's that time of month.  After learning a bit more about the enormous amount of waste created by feminine care products each year I decided I wanted to take things a bit further than just protecting my health.  I want to protect the planet, too.
Here are some facts that really surprised (and scared me):

- The average women uses 17,000 pads & tampons throughout her life which equates to about 62,415 pounds of garbage.

- The average woman throws …

Green Living Goal #4: Reusable Beverage Containers

Saying goodbye to single use beverage bottles is a green goal that I think will be making a huge difference in my waste creation and disposal.  Check out this link for some facts & stats about plastic water bottles:
After many years of living on my own I moved back in with my parents (that’s a story for another time).  I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments as I’ve gone from running a minimal waste household to blending into their more conventional lifestyle.  At first, I tried to make accommodations and found myself falling into old habits out of convenience.  My parents ALWAYS have cases of single use disposable plastic bottles available and it ended up taking a little bit of effort to avoid grabbing one while on the go.  I’ve been recycling all the bottles, which makes me a little money when I get the deposit back but I still feel awful for even living under the same roof with this source of waste.  This year, I have decided that …

Green Living Goal #3: Reusable Bags (for all occasions)

Plastic bags have been something I have struggled to be consistent with in the past.  Like everyone else, my intentions have been good, but my execution has lacked - but not this year!   While at retail stores, eating establishments, and card stores I have gotten into the habit of saying no thank you to excess bagging and choose to carry my items bag-free when I don’t have a reusable on hand.  I recently invested in a set of 6 reusable grocery bags (the kinds that fold into themselves and fit in my tiny purse) for $18, a set of 5 produce bags for $5, and a set of 8 food storage bags for $30 with the goal of completely eliminating my plastic bag consumption. This is a small price to pay upfront  for something that has such a significant impact on our health, the environment, and our various ecosystems and will end up saving me money long term.

They no longer sell the bags I had originally purchased, but you might like these reusable grocery bags these produce b…

Green Living Goal #2: Cerumen! Cerumen!

Before I even begin this post let's talk about the title.   Do you even know what I'm talking about?  Can you even pronounce that word?  

No worries, I couldn't pronounce it until a few minutes ago when I had to have an online dictionary say it for me.  I won't make you consult Google or Bing or whatever search engine you prefer.  It's pronounced səˈro͞omən (feels good on the tongue doesn't it) and it is the scientific name for EARWAX.  
Maybe you already knew this, maybe you didn't.  In either case, I bet you can't wait to hear more about what I have to say about that yellowish, grayish, brownish waxy stuff that builds up in our ear canals.  
Stay with me for a minute and at least pretend you're kinda excited about ear wax because it's something we ALL experience.  According to Wikipedia, cerumen consists of skin cells and secretions from the ceruminous and sebaceous glands of the outside ear canal (EW?!).  It's mainly composed of long chain f…

Green Living Goal #1: Sustainable Nail Care

In December 2017  I spent a 1 hour lunch break at the nail salon.  I couldn’t help but think about all the environmental consequences of my manicure.  As I thought about this more and more I wondered why I was even there in the first place and became anxious to leave.  I was overcome with a strong urge not to return when I walked out the door that day and I am pretty sure I made a permanent life change. 
I am not the type of person who ‘needs’ to have their nails looking perfect.  I work at a former landfill and I babysit/pet sit on the side.  I am the only female working at my facility and I do not think that the heavy equipment operators notice whether or not I have manicured nails.  I’m also fairly certain that the infants and puppies I care for don’t notice the condition of my nails.  Having my nails professionally manicured does not affect my job performance or role in any way, therefore, I have concluded that they are completely unnecessary to my life.  

I considered perhaps setti…

Understanding the Value of Time Management

Time management should be one of the qualities that you should take very seriously if you are looking at your personal development. It is rightly said that a person who does not respect time does not respect his or her own self.
How would one define time management actually? Is it about making a timetable and abiding by it? Or is it about allotting a specific time to do your daily tasks? Or is it about separating time for work, play, food and everything else that a human needs to do?
If you put it simply, time management is all about scheduling your tasks in any way that ensures their accomplishment. It does not matter how much time you allot to your tasks; the main thing is that you should be able to accomplish everything that you take up. There should be no wastefulness of time. Even entertainment and recreation—two very important human necessities—should be accounted for. When a person masters the art of doing that, they can be called as good time managers.
Another important quality…

Nat'l Cut Your Energy Costs Day! (Jan 10th)

DID YOU KNOW?   A comfortable living room temperature is 68 degrees, and a bedroom is 65 degrees? 
TAKE ACTION! Get snuggled up with your favorite blanket and turn down your heat to make a difference in your energy consumption.  
WHY?   You'll save 7-11% in energy resources used which will translate into a cost savings over time.

TAKE ACTION - Turn your thermostat up one degree higher for air conditioning and one degree lower for heating.  
The difference in feel should be barely noticeable to you if it's even noticeable at all but you'll be saving a small amount of energy.  It may not seem like one degree can have such a huge impact, but consider taking this thermostat challenge a step further by asking your family, friends, and neighbors to do the same in their homes.  If every American turned the dial just one degree we could save $10 billion in one year on…

Nat'l Bubble Bath Day! (Jan 8th)

Thinking about a steamy bubbly bath evokes feelings of warmth and relaxation for me.  They’re rejuvenating and comforting in a unique way that allows us to release our stresses if only for a little bit. A cold winter day is a wonderful time to soak up some quiet time in the bath, but it’s important to be eco-conscious about our celebration.

Fun Facts:
Buying concentrated bubble bath instead of a standard 16oz plastic bottle of bubble bath every other month you can save one-quarter pound of plastic and $10-20 per year more.  If one in one hundred households decreased their bubble bath purchases in this way, the savings would total 250,000 pounds of plastic.  That amount of plastic could build a wading pool the size of Wrigley Field.

Here are some ways to enjoy National Bubble Bath day in an environmentally friendlier way:

1. Use baths as an indulgence or special treat when you need some extra TLC rather than as a regular event.

2. If you’re going to take a bath try saving water elsewhere to…

Creating a sustainable cup of tea

January is National Hot Tea Month!

Nothing warms your heart and soul like a fresh brewed cup of tea. But, did you know that a lot of waste can com from such a simple pleasure?

Let’s consider the environmental impact of a simple cup of tea and rethink how we can enjoy a global favorite in a more sustainable manner. 

Here’s how you can celebrate Hot Tea Month with zero waste:
Use locally sourced water. A cup of tea is 99% water. The closer you are to your water source, tap or spring, the less carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere in its journey to you.Only boil what you need. Avoid boiling an entire kettle of water for a single cup of tea. This will help prevent wasting water and the energy needed to bring the water to the right temperature. Use an electric kettle which is more efficient than boiling water on a stove because they heat quicker preventing major heat losses to the room. Drink your tea from a reusable mug or compostable cup rather than from disposable options. Choose teas …

Nat'l Drinking Straw Day! (Jan 3rd)

Happy National Drinking Straw Day!

It is believed that the very first drinking straws were used by the Sumerians for drinking beer. It is speculated that they used the straws to avoid the solid byproducts of fermentation that would have sank to the bottom. The oldest drinking straw known to be in existence was found in a Sumerian tomb dated 3,000 B.C.E. This found straw was a gold tube inlaid with a precious blue stone.

On January 3, 1888, Marvin C. Stone received the patent for the paper drinking straw. In acknowledgment of that invention, each year on January 3, people across the nation observe National Drinking Straw Day.

Through the years our consumer habits have changed and more and more people are using plastic straws with their beverages. As someone trying to live a healthier, greener life, I urge you to celebrate this day with alternative straws that are recyclable, compostable, or reusable…OR use the day to opt out of straws altogether.

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