Friday, March 23, 2012

{recipes} Green Living


I was talking to a friend of mine earlier in the week about building a green household. I was sharing some of my favorite recipes that I've collected, tested, adapted, etc...over the past 10 years or so. I have personally passed on recipes and helped turn well over a dozen households towards green living. Every time I help someone new I realize how many recipes I really have. So, today I am going to unload a few of my favorite recipes for products that I consider to be high offenders and a great starting point -plus- a few tips for stress free weaning towards green.

My Most Important Tip
Taking it slow!! If you take on too much, start reading all of your labels and throwing everything you use out of the household at once, you are really going to stress yourself out. I've actually witnessed people having complete meltdowns and reverting back to old living habits.

Take things one at a time. Choose an actual category. There are so many. You have bath products, beauty products, food -then- you get into cleaners. Even those big groups fall into subcategories like lotions, makeup, food can break down into the highest offenders, fruits and vegetables, then into meat products, maybe even going vegetarian - I won't go on, but you can see where it would make even the sanest person a little nutty. You don't want to turn your entire household over at once.

  • Pick a category/subcategory
  • Choose no more than 5 items from the category to throw out
  • Do your research
  • Keep it simple, simple recipes are always best
  • Buy what you need
  • Take your time and create
  • Give it at least 4-8 weeks
  • Then move on in that category, or choose another category
  • Repeat from the top

Feel good every day that you are contributing just by starting with a few things. By the time you know it, over a year or so, you will be living a mostly green, if not all green lifestyle. Don't judge yourself, don't get obsessed, feel good. Going green should feel good.

Recipes
I'm going to eventually share lots of recipes. Today I'm going to start with 5. Three are variations of clothing wash. I consider detergents stuck on clothes and being in contact with skin daily, a pretty high offender. You sleep on your detergent, dress in your detergent, dress your kids in your detergent - it's a really good one to knock out. The forth recipe is an all-purpose cleaner. It's a great Lysol replacement. You'll use it instead of your typical counter top cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, etc..the cleaner you use most. Then the fifth recipe is a bonus streak free glass cleaner. For some people, these recipes may completely knock out all of your chemical cleaners. It's pretty much all we need in our home unless we have a special job like a carpet stain.

Clothing Wash Recipe #1 - Liquid Wash, Regular Washing Machine
  • 1 quart water (boiling)
  • 2 cups natural bar soap (grated)
  • 2 cups borax
  • 2 cups washing soda

Add your favorite all natural grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until the soap is melted. Pour the soap water into a large, clean container {whatever container you're planning to store your liquid detergent}. Add the borax and washing soda. Stir really well until everything is dissolved. Add 2 gallons of water and stir again until everything is really well mixed. When everything cools, cover your container and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. You'll have to give the detergent a stir, or a shake, each time before you use it because it will start to solidify. That's normal.

Clothing Wash Recipe #2 - Powder Wash, Regular Washing Machine
  • 2 cups of grated natural soap
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax

Mix all the ingredients together and store. Use 2 tablespoons for every full load.

Clothing Wash Recipe #3 - Powder Wash, HE {high efficiency} Washing Machine
  • 1 cup shredded soap
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda

Mix all the ingredients together and store. Use 1 tablespoon for every full load.

All Purpose Cleaner
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 20 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix ingredients together and store in a spray bottle. Give the bottle a little shake each time you use it. This recipe is naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, fungicide, insecticide and antiviral.

Streak Free Glass Cleaner
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups warm water

Mix ingredients together and store in a spray bottle. Give a little shake each time you use it.