Friday, April 20, 2007

Taking Care of Our Precious Gift

The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. Psalm 115:16

I'm sure you've heard by now that it's Earth Day on Sunday. I used to walk my dogs on horse trails that went behind a house we lived in for about 4 years. Each year on Earth Day or there abouts I'd take a trash bag and pick up along it and off it where kids had a hang out full of litter.

I'm sure I could find something to do around here too but I'd been reminded about making cleaners and detergents lately so I wanted to give it a whirl. It also didn't hurt my grocery bill to save the 9 bucks a new jug of Bi-O-Kleen laundry liquid would cost. (This brand is very eco friendly but the price of it is causing me to balk lately.)

I made our detergent for years but when I was pregnant with my son somehow I got out of the habit. I followed Stephanie's recipe that she posted on her blog Stop the Ride!. She writes a lot about being more frugal. For me being frugal and environmentally conscious can go hand in hand. If we are cooking from scratch it takes less ingredients to make the same thing as well as less packaging. Next on my list is her recipe for dishwasher detergent when I run out.

I've used vinegar as our fabric softener for a long time and it works great. I also recently bought those dryer balls that not only soften fabrics but decrease drying time (I'd say by about 20% give or take) so that is saving energy too. During the dry winter months some articles of clothing (hubby's pants, fleece jackets) had really bad static cling so I'd put 1/2 a dryer sheet in with only those loads and sometimes even use those twice.

This week in my cleaning frenzy I used diluted vinegar for cleaning most everything - from countertops to stubborn spots on those silly baseboards! I used a small sprinkling of borax on a sponge for nearly everything else that needed more scrubbing - tubs, sinks, toilets. It worked great and so much cheaper than buying different products for everything.

If you are looking for other ways to be more green you can visit Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly. She is constantly making me think.

Also Steph from Adventures in Babywearing wrote a wonderful post about living greener too.

Yet another link to environmentally friendly cleaners.


Adventures In Babywearing said...

It's so exciting to see so many other bloggers doing their part to be as green as they can! Even I haven't made my own cleaners yet... I need to! This Earth Day will be the biggest and best one yet, I think. I really think that more & more people than ever are starting to wake up and pay attention! This is serious! And just tonight I was thinking about how God created this earth in the beginning, and it IS a gift... we need to take care of it!


Linds said...

Thanks for the links and tips, Heidi. I will check them out. Everyone here is really getting greener by the day, and we all do the switing off plugs now and not leaving them on standby any more to reduce our energy consumption. Vinegar and lemon juice are the best natural cleaners in the world!

Stephanie said...

I love that being frugal also is more eco friendly. They really do go hand in hand in most cases.

I read somewhere that tennis balls will accomplish the same thing as the dryer balls. I have yet to try either.

I've changed the way I'm making the detergent slightly. I will post an update soon!

Robin said...

I started using diluted vinegar for cleaning the floors when my oldest started crawling. Nothing like a baby to put things in perspective for you. But I really love all the tips I've been getting lately from all these posts. I've never made my own cleaners before. I think I'll have to give it a go!

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Add a little baking soda to that vinegar and you can lighten up on the elbow grease! It cleans the tub like a dream :-)

L.L. Barkat said...

I love using citrus oil. Though wood floors are best just cleaned with water, according to the guy who finished my floors (yeah!). Still, I'm looking out now for something I could maybe harvest in my back yard. So many things exist right within reach, but we don't know about them.

Glass Half Full said...

This week I am planning to buy a pack of the low wattage bulbs. Let the savings begin!! Why didn't I get on the bandwagon before???

VINEGAR -- a cleaning freaks friend!! :)