Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day 2008!


Mmmm... My gardenia is blooming!!! :)

Hello, everyone and a Happy Earth Day to you all! What a wonderful day that everyone on the whole planet can celebrate together: no political or religious divisions involved, just our dear, dear home.

One of the things I love about this way of life (going lightly, living green, whatever you wish to call it) is the whole aspect of discovery found in its very nature. I find it quite thrilling, in a daily round of life, to be casting little experiments left and right and discovering new ways to live. So many times we do things because it is the way we have been taught to do them or because everyone else does something that way. Of course, it doesn't mean that the way we have been taught or do things is the best way or the only way, but sometimes, not knowing any differently - or simply not thinking about it at all - we don't think there is any other option. So to me, discovering new and lighter ways to walk on the earth is like a big game of Did You Know...? And some things may end up being things that don't work for me or my life, but so many more of them do... and it's always an interesting experiment in the interim.

For example, did you know...


that you can use a simple, cotton shower curtain without a plastic (non-biodegradable-lasting-forever-in-a-landfill) shower curtain and that it will work quite well? Well, it works for our family. I should say that this curtain is in the girls' bathroom and they are not up to an age where they are wanting to take showers every day. I don't know what it would be like with a larger family all using the same bathroom every day. But I experimented (and the curtain cost us less than $30 at Target) by purchasing a 100% cotton, waffle-weave (for greater absorbency) and found that it works beautifully for us. We just make sure to have the curtain out and open after a shower. It drips a little onto the bathmat and a bit onto the tile floor right next to the tub and we have, thus far (after nearly two months), had no troubles with mildew (like on a plastic curtain) at all. So, it works for us.

Here's another one: Did you know that you can easily make your own peanut butter in your food processor? Now, truthfully, I have a nice, Kitchen-Aid, food processor. So, again, you'd have to experiment like I did. I add about a tsp of sugar and 3/4 t of salt to 3 cups of roasted peanuts that I purchase in bulk at our healthy food store. I used to add a bit of oil, but I found that I really do not need it; I just needed to be patient. My processor turns it in to peanut butter in about 3 minutes. NO packaging or preservatives required...especially if you remember to take your own bags (I use other plastic bags that creep into the house via breads, etc.) to fill in the bulk sections and use a recycled glass jar.

Mayonnaise is also very easy to make - with or without eggs - and there are recipes all over the web to show you how to do this.

So those are just a very few things you can try that maybe you did not know. There are SO many more and it just may be a good series of posts to try for a while. In the meantime, there are plenty of folks who have done their own experimenting out there in blogland. I find their adventures fascinating reading and get plenty of new ideas to try.

Some experiments I am working on right now are: trying to make purchases with as little packaging as possible and using apple cider vinegar as a substitute for conditioner for my hair. I'll have to write more later - we've got to head out to our homeschool co-op in just a bit this morning.

In the meantime, do some of your own experimenting today... and this year. Make a little - or big - positive change for the planet and see how it goes! I'd love to hear what you try! Happy Earth Day!
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