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Posts Tagged ‘green living’

What is compost & recycling procrastination?  Well, it’s what I call it when you’re rushing around chasing kids, doing laundry and trying to prepare a meal (all at once, of course) and you recognize items that could go into your compost or recycle bin but you just don’t feel like running outside 20 times a day or just plain can’t, so you tell yourself you’ll do it next time and these valuable compostables and recyclables end up in your trash.

Things like coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and eggshells are some examples of things you might toss into the trash on a daily basis.  I have found that if I have a single container (a plastic tupperware container, a glass bowl, etc) on the counter and toss things into it all day long to be taken out to the compost bin at the end of the day, I am much more likely to do it.  It also makes you feel good as the day progresses and you see your container filling up!  Well, either that or it will gross you out.   In that case, put a lid on it.  🙂

Started out with a few shavings of lettuce and carrot...

Later added coffee grounds and chopped banana peel. It adds up!

The same principle works for recycling.  I am not one of those lucky folks who has built-in recycling bins in their kitchen that slide out of the wall or counter, so I have a small plastic bin in my kitchen for recyclables and as the day progresses, things get tossed in there constantly.  I am much more likely to get others in the house to toss items into the readily-accessible bin than asking them each and every time they have something recyclable, to run outside and place it in the appropriate bin.  Good night, the way kids leave doors open every critter in the house would be running the neighborhood if I asked them to do that!

The same thing can be done in the bathroom.  Ever notice empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, contact lens cleaner bottles, hairspray bottles and those little plastic packages your contact lenses come in piling up in the trash in the corner of your bathroom?  Put a recycling bin of some sort in the bathroom, too.  You’d be surprised how much gets tossed into the trash from bathrooms simply because someone doesn’t feel like taking that walk to the outside recycling bins.

Make it a teaching point.  Show your family members how much collects in the bins after just one day.  Tell them how much composting enriches the soil and helps the things in your garden grow and how much they are helping the environment by not throwing these things into the trash where they accumulate in landfills.   You’ll feel good, they’ll feel good, the earth will be a better place.  Yay you!  🙂

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So maybe you don’t think of yourself as being particularly entrenched in “going green.”  That’s ok, you can start small.  There are many things you can do every day to help, that over time will make a huge impact.

*Use re-usable kitchen towels instead of paper towels or napkins. You’ll save a crapload of trees.

*Recycle. We have a small plastic trash bin in the kitchen and it is filled nearly every day with recyclables.  It adds up quick, folks.  Most cities and towns have a regular recycling day and will provide you with bins for each type of recyclable, along with a list of what they accept and don’t accept.

*Carpool. It saves gas, money and cuts down on those nasty emissions.

*Use cloth shopping bags. Saves trees, is a better choice for the environment than the plastic alternative and some stores even give you money to use them!  Target gives you $.05 off of your total for each one that you use, regardless if it is one of theirs.

*Use non-chlorine bleach. Still cleans and disinfects, without the harm to the environment or your family.

*Use unbleached coffee filters. These are the brown ones, folks.  They are made without the use of the chemical dioxin .  They’re going to turn brown anyway, right?

*Use rechargeable batteries. Not only saves you money but helps keep heavy metals from building up in landfills.

For more ways you can help, there is a great website here.

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The toxicity of household products has gotten a lot of attention in the past several years.   Many people–along with trying to remove as many chemicals from their diets as they possibly can– are also trying to eliminate potentially hazardous chemicals from their homes, too.   I remember my grandmother talking of using vinegar to clean the windows in her home.   How wonderful, I remembered thinking, to be able to get rid of the chemicals I used to clean my home!  My mother used bleach and a certain blue/green cleanser to clean everything. Oh how I remember the plethora of smells–one cleaner for the toilet, another for the countertops, yet another for the floors and canned air freshener to cover (or rather add to) it.  Bleh.

Vinegar is incredibly versatile.  Not only can you eat it, you can clean and disinfect darn near everything in your house with it and it’s incredibly inexpensive.  Bonus!  I use a mixture of white vinegar and warm water to mop the tile floors in my house, disinfect the garbage disposal, clean the windows, countertops and bathrooms.  Ever hear of using it to clean the stains from your coffee maker?  Or clean and deodorize your refrigerator?  The stuff is like magic, folks.  And best of all, it’s non-toxic. Thumbs up!

Here are a few links on vinegar and its many and varied uses:

http://www.versatilevinegar.org/usesandtips.html#1d

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar

http://www.ehow.com/how_4765388_use-vinegar-clean-home.html

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Welcome to my blog! You’ll find a little bit of everything here, but I figured I would start with an explanation of the name I chose for the blog. There will be a good deal of talk about green things, i.e. gardening, eco-friendly tips, organics (that’s where the “peas” comes in) and our family’s continuing efforts on becoming as self-sustaining as possible.

My husband and I met during a production of the play Camelot and it has been a recurring theme throughout our relationship. I am the Queen of this manor, there are little Princes and Princesses, and while I would love to say my husband plays the role of dear King Arthur or the brave Sir Lancelot, he played the role of King Arthur’s bastard son Mordred (until he was unceremoniously tossed from the cast for mooning the director :-/) and I think I am right in assuming that he would describe himself as such. I would say he is more Mr. Corporate Turned More Laid Back Mr. Corporate With Way Cooler Hair.

Love of course is what everyone strives to have in their life, and our home is no exception. Love of life, family, adventure and nature. Oh, and dogs. I love them, too, even though most days I claim to want to kill them.

Peas, love and Camelot. Everybody needs a little. I’m just sayin’. 😉

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