* How to make your own eco-friendly laundry detergent (this will save you MONEY too!):
- 1 cup shredded bar soap
Fells Naptha works well (Zote is also recommended). Leave the soap out for a week or so to dry out, then shred it with the smallest holes on a cheese grater.
- 1/2 cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer makes it). This is sometimes hard to find, but call and ask around, or order a bunch online.
- 1/2 cup borax (you can find this with the cleaning supplies or with the laundry supplies)
(There are eco-friendly detergents available at most grocery stores now, but they're very expensive. The homemade is cheap to make; the supplies will last you forever! AND store bought detergents still come in a plastic bottle. Making your own means no bottles, just the paper from the soap and the recyclable boxes from the powders!)
Green Landscaping & Planty Tips:
* Plant some herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes!
You can start from seeds, or buy baby plants and bring them home.
You can put them in your garden outside (make sure they aren't in a spot where wild animals will decide to mark them, though! Eewwwww!), or plant them in pots and place them in a bright and sunny window!
You'll save money from buying herbs at the grocery store, and save on packaging, too!
Plus, fresh herbs taste better than dried ones AND they're better for you- all the nutrients are still in tact!
Keep your herb garden organic. If you find that some of your yummies are being destroyed by bugs (caterpillars love parsley and dill!), perhaps you could plant extra for them, since pollinators need all the help they can get! Or, clean them off and move your herbs indoors away from those who partake in them.
* Create a compost pile!
Turn your food scraps, coffee grounds, lawn clippings, and raked leaves into gardening GOLD! All you need for the most basic one is some wire (chicken wire or most gardening wire works well) and a tool to mix your compost with (I use a tool that resembles a small pitchfork). I created a 3' circle with my gardening wire (twist the wire together to keep the circle closed) and then started throwing in my compostables! I layered the pile with dead leaves, then food scraps/lawn clippings, repeat. Mix it up every couple of weeks with your gardening tool. It takes a while to establish a good compost heap, but once it's started and the wormies make their way into your pile, you'll find the best gift that you can give to your garden!
* Take advantage of rain water and gray water!Your plants will enjoy it!
Set a bucket outside to collect rain when it's raining outside. It's best not to leave the open bucket of rainwater just sitting out there all summer, as mosquitoes will quickly thank you for it and become your worst enemy. You can put the rain water into tubs with lids- save the tubs from your margarine containers or glass/plastic bottles that you use.
You can also water your plants with gray water, but you have to use this the day that you collect it- a friend of mine recently found this out!
You can put a bucket into the shower with you to catch excess water. Or you can just plug up the tub and dip a small watering can in there to get water out for your houseplants.
Or even better, just bring your plants into the shower with you! (Note: This may not work well if you take extremely hot showers!) Be sure to give them a good rinse afterward to clean off any excess soap, etc.
We have to run a dehumidifier in our house and I've used the water it collects on plants as well.
Green and Squeaky Clean!
Here's a list of some of my favorite eco-friendly people-cleaning products :)
Burt's Bees Garden Tomato soap- yes, it smells like a big wonderful tomato garden!If you keep it out of the direct water from the shower, this soap will last you for months and months-http://www.burtsbees.com/natural-products/face-cleansers/garden-tomato-complexion-soap.html
Nature's Gate Shampoos & Conditioners (and they won't make you go broke!)
* Why bottled water is one of the biggest scams ever:http://samanthasartstudio.blogspot.com/2009/04/where-does-your-water-come-from.html
* Store I created to help raise money for honeybee research: