The Europeans seem to set the pace in so many aspects of being green, I suspect that living in an area of high population density where you have many neighbours — literally and on your national borders — makes you more conscious of the outward effects of your personal decisions.
Though I’m not a girly girl I do use skincare products as well as some makeup, I like to know what I’m using, what’s in it and where it came from. My serendipitous stumble onto Nath’s blog last year has been a total win.
Rhonda’s May chapter of The Simple Home has all sorts of tips for making your laundry a more pleasant to be in, to make your work in there more streamlined and effective and of course, more frugal ideas. One of the great benefits of the latter is not only do these reduce the number of items needed from the supermarket thereby saving you money, the products are greener so kinder to your family’s skin as well as the environment.
The laundry liquid alone has multiple uses. It is an ideal stain remover, you need simply cover the stain with a little of the liquid, rub it in, then wait 15 minutes before popping the item in the wash. I learned early on how effective it is, I was using a small tea-stained cup to measure the liquid, after two uses it was so sparkling clean I returned it to the kitchen cupboard!
You can create a cleaning paste from the laundry liquid too. To half a cup of the laundry liquid add half a cup of bicarb soda, mix it all to a thick paste-like consistency to use on baths, sinks, taps, benchtops and other harder to clean areas. I have had great success with it removing the grot that accumulates behind the kitchen sink which is on the southern side of the house. When you make up the paste store it in a lidded container as it will dry out over time.
An economical green rinse aid is plain old generic white vinegar. If you are worried that your wash will smell of vinegar — which it won’t — try it for one wash and, unnecessary as it is, consider dispensing a couple of drops of essential oil into your newly opened vinegar bottle to make the wash smell extra good. Lemon, lavender and rose are all lovely.
One tip on buying your vinegar: in my supermarket the “cleaning vinegar” which is exactly the same product as the no-name white vinegar is more expensive. Check the price before you choose.
It is really quite surprising how quick it is to make your own green, economical cleaners for the home. Your basic supplies will last for months, cost way less, be kinder to your skin and far better for the environment.
With Anna inspiring me domestically and creatively, Brydie getting me baking and planting, it’s surely time to kick back with a book so that means dropping in on Lyn. I first stumbled across Lyn’s blog several years ago, it was a serendipitous discovery as Lyn is both widely read and in-depth read in so many areas.
In her blog header she quotes Logan Pearsall Smith aphorism“Some people say life is the thing, but I prefer reading” which made me laugh out loud when I first caught sight of it and isn’t it true in so many ways?
Creating one’s virtual tribe is one of the joys of the Internet. Through social media, blogs and forums we can get to know people who share our values, seek similar sorts of information or share skills we wish to learn. Finding my tribe is a delicious and continuing adventure, the fact that you are here reading indicates you’re one of my tribe.
I don’t recall how I first linked to Anna’s blog but I do remember the first post I read Clothesline Raptures. It seemed to me that anyone who could talk about pegging out clothes with such transparent joy had to be a kindred spirit.
Anna’s straightforward articulate writing, centering on home and family along with the simple joys of daily living, spoke to me immediately and continues to do so years later.
I am inspired by what Anna achieves within her home, in her personal creative pursuits, in homeschooling her children, in hosting people in her home, all while living simply and thriftily.
What I particularly like about Anna is that while she aims high, she neither holds herself to perfection nor pretends to achieve perfection. Prolific she may be in creative output, hosting celebrations, learning new skills but scattered throughout her blog you’ll find posts on how she achieves these through thinking, planning and — I would be remiss if I did not say — her abiding faith.
I applaud Anna’s philosophy that the house or garden needn’t be perfect before she sits down, that there is no rule that everyone in the house gets to play “except Mother” and I love how she actively engages in the small pleasures of the everyday.
Having homeschooled her four (now) adult children and still homeschooling her fifth (youngest), she has much experience to share. In her popular Homeschool Heresies post she urges parents to:
5. Live an interested life. I cannot put this in bold enough face. You are interpreting the world to your child. Is it fascinating for you? Are you engaged in creating, in thinking, in knowing people? Do you make music, take pictures, cook, teach yourself to sew, hike someplace new, learn to fish, eat at a new restaurant, take the back way into town? Are you reading about the history of mental illness, repairing furniture, learning to oil paint? *Show* your child how interesting the world is, and they will love to learn.
Would that we all did that, homeschoolers, parents or otherwise.
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