Thursday, January 31, 2013

What? Why? Here are our answers

“What? Why? Why in the world would you want to do this? How much money are you saving?” These are the questions I heard most frequently when telling people about our plan.  I will start off by answering them for you.

“What?” That’s right! We are not going to buy anything new for a whole year. “What about food?” Of course we are going to buy food. We have made a few exceptions such as food, toiletries, crafting goods that run out, undergarments and replacement parts.

“Why?” I had one of those nights that you stay up chatting and trying to solve the world’s problems over a glass of wine with a couple of good friends. It was 2011’s holiday season and I had been bombarded with coupon mailings of everything that I should buy. I had been rushing through crowds making sure I had the perfect gifts and I had plenty of them. I felt like every corner I turned I needed to buy more, more and more.  Knowing that the end result would be finding a place for them to settle and collect dust like all of our “stuff”. We started to talk about the waste. All of the natural resource we were using to make all these goods. Then I asked myself the questions that have changed my way of thinking, “What can I do about my over consuming?” “What kind of difference can I make for my children?”

“Why in the world would you want to do this?” I am an all or nothing type of girl. This is something I know about myself. I have only been successful about making big changes in my life if I fully commit. If I don’t, I fall right back into my same old habits.  I knew I needed to set a goal in order to be able to follow through. So my husband and I set a firm goal that we would not buy anything new other then the exceptions we made for one full year in order to change our consumption habits.

“How much money are you saving?” I am not a money motivated person. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. I knew that if money was my motivation I would fail immediately. Lessening my environmental footprint was my motivation and having some extra cash was a benefit. If you can fuel yourself with the want for money I can see this lifestyle change being great for you.
 Not only will you be helping Mother Earth you will also be helping your bank account :) 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Medicine for the people

The music from the group Medicine for the People has been my soundtrack for the past year. They inspire and encourage change. "Make the movement move"

Solar and Wind Powered Dryer

This is by no means a new idea but it deserving of rebirth. We found this clothesline on craigslist for free last spring. Every morning before I took the boys to the beach I would hang my laundry on the line. When we got home it would be fresh crisp and dry. Over the summer I grew to love this clothesline. It combined something I am not fond of (doing laundry) with something I love (being outside). It was my time of  peace and quiet and when I would put on my fresh smelling crunchy clothes it would remind me that I was saving energy.

Laundry Detergent

 I have always had very dry skin and unfortunately my boys got it from me.  A combination of my homemade skin oil and laundry detergent has made an incredible difference. I prefer the dry over the liquid.
 1 cup washing soda
 1 cup borax
 1 cup baking soda
 1 1/2 cup Fels Naptha (this comes in a bar and will need to be shredded) and mix it all together.

I do large quantities at a time because I don't like to feel like I am making it all of the time. But you may want to do a tester batch. You can add any essential oil for more smell. Sometimes I add Lavender and other times I leave it plain, I LOVE the smell of the fels naptha.

A place to share

I started this blog as a place to share ideas on how to have an environmentally friendly lifestyle. I would love to share some of the steps that we have made to lessen our footprint and here of the things that you are doing and post them for others to see. My dream is that this will become a page to inspire like minded people to want less and waste less.  My family has recently been in the Elk Rapids News here is our story.