Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Cleaning My Life

What I need to do to live the way I’d like:

  1. Refrain from using plastic as often as possible
    • Find something to use besides baggies for storage

· save up to buy several! (maybe about $50)

What about foods that come in plastic containers? Find a recyclers that takes all plastics? Done!!! Our current waste system has already started doing this and more!!!

  1. Make most of my own natural cleaners
    • Find found! recipes for:
    • Liquid Dish Washing Soap

1 bar of real soap, grated (Ivory makes a good bar of real soap)

2 cups boiling water

¼ cup vinegar (helps to cut grease)

5-10 drops essential oil for scent (optional) lemongrass, orange, lavender or even peppermint are nice scents for dish soaps. Try something new each time you remake a batch.

First, grate the bar of real soap. Place in a large pot or bowl. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir. Let dissolve. Stir to blend well. Add ¼ cup vinegar and essential oils when it cools down. Put liquid soap in a soap dispenser and shake well. It will continue to dissolve over time. If it is too thick, just add a little more water and shake until it is of the consistency that you desire.

Spicy Orange Liquid Dish Soap:

1 real bar soap

5 drops orange essential oil

3 drops clove essential oil

    • Laundry Detergent

1/3 bar natural soap

Large pot

6 cups water

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup washing soda

4 cups hot water

1 gallon plus 6 cups water

Grate the soap and put it in the pot. Add the 6 cups of water and heat the pot to melt the soap completely.

Add borax and washing soda and stir until they are completely dissolved. Remove mixture from stove top.

Put the 4 cups of hot water in the large bucket. Add soap mixture and stir thoroughly.

Add the 1 gallon and 6 cups of water. Stir thoroughly. Cover soap and let it sit for at least 24 hours.

    • Bubble Bath
    • Deodorant
    • Lip balm
    • Kitchen Cleaner

2 Cups Water

1/4 Cup White Vinegar

1/4 tsp. Tea Tree Oil

1/4 tsp. Lavender Oil

spray bottle

    • Dishwashing Detergent:

1 cup vinegar, 2TBSP lemon concentrate, 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda. that is all. that's for the liquid version. if you want it dry, skip the vinegar and lemon. it still works great.
2)mix them together as if you are doing a 5th grade volcano science experiment. it will not be alarmed.
3)store this mixture in some type of container. glass would be better, but i just returned the soap into my old dish soap container because it's easy to pour.

    • Bathroom Cleaner

2 Cups Water

1/4 Cup White Vinegar

1/4 tsp. Tea Tree Oil

1/4 tsp. Orange/Lemon/grapefruit or other Oil

spray bottle

    • Toilet cleaner

Vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda

    • Buy all ingredients and make!
    • Save up some $$ for ingredients (maybe $50?)

  1. Stop buying anything unless I am replacing something
  1. When I buy something, let it be from a respectable green supplier as often as possible
    • This one is hard. Shop at Whole Foods as often as possible. How? Maybe every other week
    • Rearrange Budget.
    • Find good, cheap recipes. (use Whole Living website/magazine)
    • What about clothes and shoes and other things? TBD
  1. Buy organic and as often as possible local foods that aren’t preserved or packaged
    • See above
  1. When I get rid of something, give it away rather than throw it away
  1. Give away some of my normal things rather than just my cast offs
    • aka simplify
    • Go through the house room by room and decide what is necessary and what is not
    • Kitchen___
    • Living Room___
    • Family Room___
    • Bathroom___
    • Desk Room___
    • Linen closet___
    • Bedroom/closet___
    • Guest Room___

  1. Help out struggling friends
  1. Give money to respectable charities
  • Research charities
  1. Grow my own veggies/herbs
    • Have Jeff help me start this summer:

tomatoes, ___

cilantro, ___

peas? ___



  1. Buy a smaller home-simplify (that is when the market goes back up and our house is worth what it should be!)
  1. Share meals when going out to eat
  1. Keeping snacks and socks in my car for people on corners who need help
    • Figure out what kind of snacks are good for you but don’t go bad. Buy these!




  1. Try to fix or repurpose things rather than throw them away and purchasing new things
    • Three dressers in the house___
    • Side table___
    • Make Throw pillows___
    • Get velcro for couch cushions

  1. Walk on lunch breaks to get exercise rather than driving somewhere and needlessly wasting gas
    • Pack walking things in trunk
  1. Snack on healthier things at work
    • Figure out what these are

Dried fruit?


Snap Peas


So this is my list in progress. Some of these things can't be crossed off, I just need to start changing the way I live. It will take time and $ to do some of these things. It will take perseverance and determination to do some. It will take little effort to do some. So here I go! I'll try to update the list as I go through the items. This will be my accountability of sorts. Thanks for spurring me on, readers!


mom said...

Terri Lynn,
You are amazing. I am proud of you. I will try to do better, too. :-)

Kim W. said...

Love it. Love the recipes. I'm going to use some of those - they seem like they'd also be cheaper than buying from the store, minus the essential oils. One thing to consider when using essential oils for dish soap is that some of them can slowly erode any non-stick finish on your pots and pans. I learned the hard way trying to do al natural dish soap - apparently those with citrus can erode the finish and it'll get into your food - not what you want. I have some dish soap with lavender in it and it appears that it started dulling the finish but not quite eroding it. All that to say, just be careful. My husband is so lucky to have to use two different dish soaps when doing the dishes - 1. normal dawn for the pots and pans and 2. the yummy smelling lavender soap for the rest. Poor guy.

peter said...

Great site very interesting read thank you…cheers Peter