There are many steps we can each take to reduce our impact on the environment, saving money & our health at the same time. Here are 60 tips: most are free and easy, and they’ll all make you feel good about doing your bit!
Since opening my shop on Etsy, I’ve made many ‘Etsian’ friends and found many people who are contributing to the environmental ethic by making new things from recycled materials, or selling vintage items that were made to last! “Green Gifting” is a natural for those who care about sustainability (which is presumably everybody who would like life on Earth to carry on). Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling for 2013!
The first step is to mix the water and lye. I use pure rain water because it’s soft, which contributes to the soap’s sudsing ability. Many people are afraid of lye, but you can’t make soap without using lye. (See my post about “saponification” and how it relates to lye.)
The Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna is Canada’s easternmost pocket of surviving prairie. It’s a beautiful and wondrous place that I discovered shortly after moving here 15 years ago. It inspired me to learn more and begin my own tiny prairie pocket…I’m now looking forward to an autumn visit to capture in my memory (and maybe in photos) the beautiful waving prairie of the russet Indian Grass and the magnificent Bluestem, along with all the native Asters. Then in the Spring…
One of the things I most love is gardens – all kinds of gardens! I’ve made another vegetable garden where the old drive shed had to come down and plan to steal another bit of ground for a third vegetable garden for next year. I want to be as sustainable as possible with my own organic food. Now, on to spring in the garden!
The new venture was precipitated by many cartons needing to find a place to land in this small house. The cartons were filled with dozens and dozens of beautiful antique linens and laces, a few other antique items, and some things more correctly called “vintage” these days. (That last category translates to “my lifetime”, a strange realization for me.) The 1920s & 30s for my mother were a tad different than now – the laundry woman visited once a week & a seamstress outfitted young ladies.
Do you use lye-based products to clear clogged drains? Would you put it on your skin? Of course not! You probably remember references from days gone by that lye soap is scary stuff. This is the reason soap-makers use the term “saponification” for our natural, hand-made soaps. Most people think of lye as only a strong caustic chemical that can burn your skin, or worse. Actually, through the process of saponification and curing, the lye becomes inert and you’re left with a beautiful bar of soap. You can’t make soap without using lye!
First I planted a very small and simple trellis along a part of the front verandah. Then I planted a woven willow ‘tree’, which I think is just the neatest thing! I have plans for creating lots of other living willow structures to make the gardens places of fun and adventure.
Have you noticed the commercials that crow over “less salt” in the soup? They’ve been listening to all the clamour about people consuming too much salt, leading to health problems. And there’s less sugar in some food products, too! Isn’t that great? Well…unfortunately, not really.
MOTHER NATURE: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
FRANK: Apparently so. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
MOTHER NATURE: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
FRANK: Apparently not. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.