An eco-friendly lifestyle made easy

Originally published on worldtravelable.com  on March 24, 2018 By Ella

An eco-friendly lifestyle made easy

Reduce, reuse, recycle… Rings a bell? Why is it so important? With events like the Earth Hour being celebrated worldwide, have you thought of the importance of your own impact on the environment? And if there is anything you can do at your level?

In this article, I want to discuss all this from my own perspective. I live in Spain but those tips can apply to you no matter where you live!

I am nobody to say what should be done, I am still learning and nobody’s perfect! But if you love travelling like I do, you will realise that caring is the only way to preserve the beauty of our planet! And even small and easy steps can actually make a huge difference!

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The importance of education in sustainability

Before I wrote this article, I wondered when I started to actually care about the environment.

I would say that it goes back to my childhood.

When I lived in Germany, you could get a fine just by throwing a paper on the ground. And I never did. I do not know if it’s effective, but it worked for me and all the kids I knew. It just became a habit to simply keep my stuff in my pockets until I found a bin. It would never occur to me to throw trash on the ground! And when I went to live in France and I saw children of my age doing that, it bothered me deeply!

I also have clear memories of learning how our democratic system works. I think I was about 9 years old, and I was living in France at that time. I remember thinking that when I grow up I would vote for the Green Party. So in my case, it started very early.

Perhaps that is the key: education.

Caring for our planet: more than recycling

When I was a kid, protecting our planet seemed very simple to me. I thought it was enough to place the garbage in the bin and not on the ground, as it was already an effort that many people around me were not doing.

I also knew that I should return glass bottles in the store, and would even get rewarded a few cents. I actually never understood why this method was abandoned. I hope it will be implemented again soon in France and extended to other materials, like plastics! It is indeed already happening in other countries like the Netherlands.

But I was far from imagining that my daily actions could have such an impact on our environment.

It took me over 30 years to realize that the problem was much more complex and that I could do many more things to help our ecosystem.

Step 1: Recycling

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Recycling is a first step very easy to implement.

In Germany, I learned that recycling was not only about sorting glass and plastic bottles, I found out that we could actually recycle a lot more!

Compost is a good example and it’s great for the garden! Something totally unknown to me until then.

Initially, I felt that recycling so many things was complicated, but now I realise it’s just a matter of habit and organization.

Most importantly, I realized that I spent a lot less time bringing the garbage out of the house. Why? Because if we recycle well, paper and plastic can be kept a long time since they are generally clean materials. And the compost is in a mini trash which is great since it is actually what usually annoys the most due to its bad smell. So in the end, it’s a win-win situation! In Barcelona, the recycling containers are very easy to reach, just opposite my house! And it was the same in Germany, so no excuse at this level either! In Ireland, they came to pick it up at your house once a week. Each country or city has its own way, so just get informed!

Recycling is good, but I quickly realized that it’s not because I recycle that I am eco-friendly. Remember the RRR logo? Well, it actually starts with reduce. How? It starts with reviewing the way we consume. That’s the most powerful tool to reduce our impact.

Step 2: Our consumption

This is where everything shifts. Yes, money always has the last word!

So think before spending! Your dollars are powerful: the companies who own products that are unsustainable would be obligated to react and take care of their impact if you ban them!

Tip nº1: Think local

Whether buying clothes, food or furniture, there are often local solutions to avoid the “Made in China”.

I know, even with the best intentions, it’s not easy to escape that trend!

Ready-to-wear fashion brands are often much more accessible, in terms of price or location. But alternatives not only exist: they are growing!

For example, I remember buying a jumper made in Italy from one of the major brands! I found it incredible because I usually see Bangladesh or China on the labels.

There are also big brands that sell products made of organic cotton or even of recycled products! I worked at one of those brands for a while and that’s the only thing I would buy from them.

A company like Inditex may be considered local for a Spanish people because it is the nationality of its founder, Ortega. However, it is far from a local business as you know! Globalization has made it a monster, and we could debate for hours to discuss pros and cons.

But it’s not the point I wanted to make. All I am saying is that if I have the choice, I would rather buy local and avoid all these big brands. And if I buy from a big brand, I would only buy the clothes made close by, and from recycled or organic materials.

And yes, it exists, small neighborhood shops that make quality products and made in the country.

In my neighborhood, Poblenou, I found 2 clothes stores that make quality products and remain very affordable, which also helps run the local economy.

For furniture, it also seems very complicated. We immediately think of Ikea or any other big brand when we have to buy a table. You might say it’s still European if you are living in Europe! But maybe there are other solutions. Ask around, there are lots of people with recycling projects, to give a second life to objects. I have heard of this type of shops in France for example.

I even have family members who love wood and create furniture.

Another thing you can do is to simply try to repair before replacing. Make your shoemaker work for example! In my case, he did a great job with an old suitcase I was about to throw away! Be creative and observe your environment! There are other ways to consume!

Tip nº2 : Think Quality

If you think of food, quality is going to make a huge difference for your health.

There are so many options available: local markets, cooperatives, farmers who sell their products on the road, those who open their farms to pick up their products directly from the field! Yes, I assure you, it exists!

Tip nº 3: Remember to focus on seasonal products

I know… I get lost too! We are so used to seeing the products available all year long that we do not know anymore what is in season.

If you have a doubt, ask! And if you do not like to ask, go pay a visit to Sir Google, as my aunt would say! In fact, I prefer the search engine Ecosia for the initiative to plant trees!

Tip nº 4: Follow the proverb: seek and ye shall find!

I know what you are thinking: organic food is way more expensive…

Well, I must admit that when I went shopping in Paris, I got a slap in the face! But it’s just a matter of time. You have to keep looking, and you will end up finding something more affordable, believe me! In Barcelona, it’s the same, I had to search and compare shops.

Another point I wanted to make: going to an organic store like Veritas or Whole Foods Market may be more expensive than going to a traditional supermarket like Mercadona or Walmart… But as I often say, I prefer to eat less and eat better. Focus on quality rather than on quantity. My taste buds are so much happier than with processed food! So at the end of the day, I do not spend much more. It often happens to some of my relatives to tell me that when they eat at a fast food restaurant, they are hungry again after an hour… There seems to be a reason for that… And not a healthy one according to a study presented here…

Try to think of small convenience stores. They are not necessarily expensive.

Zero waste shops start to appear everywhere and it’s good news! Here we do not care so much about the brand. We care about the quality of the products. You come with your jars and you fill them in. In Barcelona, we have a small chain like Goccia Verde where we can buy all household products that way. We also have grocery stores where cereals, herbs, starchy foods, dried fruits, legumes etc can be bought in bulk. A real pleasure not to have piles of plastic around my products! If you do not have jars, they give you some! And at worst, there are paper bags available! See if this kind of shops exists in your city!

And that’s a lot cheaper since we do not pay for packaging or marketing the brand anymore!

Same thing for our cosmetics. I thought I was making the right choice by buying from Yves Rocher, because I thought their products were more natural, until I read an article from a study of a famous French association doing a customer review…

My husband and I joined a German company to become a distributor of their health products. I try to make him work as much as possible when it comes to the health products. It’s local in a sense as we do not go through intermediaries. And they have certified quality products, especially the Aloe Vera line.

I also like to check the products of my neighborhood herbalist’s shop that are often organic and work better than what I find in the supermarket! It is amazing to see the natural power of apples, aloe vera or bamboo!

Step 3: Transportation

That’s a chapter that could take pages. But to summarize, you should avoid the car as much as possible. Take public transportation i.e. metro, bus, tramway. Or carpool if you have no other option. There are also ecological taxis in Barcelona, I’m a fan! It does not cost much more, they have an app, it’s very responsive and you can pay by credit card and ask a charger and the Internet! And they only drive hybrid or electric vehicles!

Personally, I cannot live without my Bicing subscription to move around the neighborhood by bike or to make short trips. My back does not allow me to do a lot of cycling but I do what I can, and at my own pace! We must also be aware of our impact during our travels.

As for vacation, I’ve already talked about it in the article to travel responsibly. It’s not a simple matter when you want to discover the Globe. In an ideal world, and if my boss allowed me to take 3 weeks in a row, I would travel far away only when I have enough time to be able to truly appreciate a country.

Our hectic pace and work do not always allow it, but let’s think about it. I try to take the train rather than the plane when I go to Madrid or France for example. It’s more expensive but if you think you should also go to the city centre then, there is some time saving and in terms of my business trips it can save me a hotel night! Plus travelling to airports is usually very expensive. When I take the train I spend less money to reach the city centre.

I also really liked this article about slow travel.

In short, all these small actions, if added by millions of people, can have a very positive impact on our environment! Try to think of it with creativity and openness! I know I do not always make the right choices, but at least I’m trying. This is a first step towards the right direction.

And you? What other habits do you feel are helpful for our environment? Maybe it’s as easy as switching off the lights in the office when everybody’s at lunch! Or sharing my article to raise awareness within your community! Feel free to do so! And do not hesitate to share your comments below, and add any other tips you feel are simple to implement in your day to day life!

15 + Eco-Friendly Household Products to Reduce Your Waste

Originally Published on FaithFulFarmWife.com  By Jess

15 Eco-Friendly Household Products to Reduce Your Waste

It seems like the cool thing to do these days is to go eco-friendly in all aspects of our lives. While some pass this off as a fad, I see it as a much-to-long overlooked necessity. As mothers, we are called to be good stewards of the homes & families that we have been blessed with. As homesteaders & farmers, we are called to be good stewards of the land and resources that we are given. Making some simple Earth friendly changes in your home is a big step in the direction to stewardship and care. I started making changes last year by purchasing eco-friendly household products instead of my usual purchases. There are several products that stuck and I want to share those with you.
Eco-Friendly Household Products for Your Home

1. Tube-Free Toilet Paper

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I didn’t even know this stuff existed until a few months ago, but it is brilliant! There really is no need for the cardboard tube so why buy toilet paper that has extra trash attached? We have been buying Scott Tube-Free Toilet Paper on Amazon and I don’t plan to switch to anything else anytime soon.

3. Stainless Steel Cups

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We use stainless steel cups with silicone lids and steel straws (in addition to our mason jars) in our house. The cups are color coded (colored silicone) so each family member knows which cup belongs to him or her. We use these cups at home and when we are on the go. When we visit restaurants that will allow us to bring our own cups, we use these instead of disposable ones. After we are finished with these cups, they will go to a recycling center where they will be reused in a new steel product.

You can also use a double walled stainless steel thermos for coffee, hot tea, or for carrying take out or leftover food.

4. Reusable Straws

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Plastic straws are the absolute simplest item to ditch when you are trying to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Buy a few reusable straws- you can find them in glass, bamboo, and stainless steel– to use at home and to take with you on the road. This one simple step will keep a significant amount of plastic out of the landfill (or ocean) and if you use a reusable straw in public, you might cause other people to think a little harder about their own product choices.

5. Reusable Ear Cleaner

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This is one of the eco-friendly household products that I laughed at the first time I saw it. I never thought that I would purchase it for myself, but guess what you can find in my bathroom drawer right now? Yep, this reusable ear cleaner.

My family was using so many q-tips and that resulted in quite a bit of extra trash. The kids would also get into these and scatter them around the house. This little tool has taken care of both of those issues so our ears are clean & we have less trash to throw into a landfill!

I don’t like to bring much plastic into my home, but this purchase seems like a good option compared to throwing q-tips out every day. The plastic in this product also won’t be leaving my home for a long time.

6. Ear Candle

 

An even better option for ear cleaning is the candling method. All you need is an ear candle (hollow), a paper plate, a pair of scissors to make a hole in the plate, and a match or a lighter. You can watch this video to see how it is done. The video shows an aluminum pie pan, but I recommend a paper plate because it can be composted when you are finished.

7. Natural Baby Care Diapers & Wipes

Cloth diapers were my go-to with my third child, but the extra laundry became too much for me to handle. I didn’t want to go back to disposables because those bad boys take 450 years to decompose! That is not even close to being conducive to an eco-friendly household.

I searched for a couple of weeks to find a solution to my baby bottom dilemma and I finally found exactly what I was looking for… Eco by Naty has #1 Eco-Certified, plant-based, chemical-free, biodegradable (not 100%, but the closest I have found) diapers & wipes. The diapers seem a little odd at first because they are made from completely different materials than most of us are used to, but they are wonderful! We have had no leaks or rashes since making the switch.

You can order a free trial box on their website. I have the diapers & flushable wipes in my Amazon Subscribe & Save cart so they are sent to me each month.

*Cloth diapers are a better option if you can swing it, but I am loving these!

8. Compostable Trash Bags

This product came into our household as a result of our diaper switch. We did not want to put our biodegradable diapers into a non-biodegradable garbage bag because that would defeat the purpose altogether.

I found these Compostable Trash Bags on Amazon and they are working well for us. There is a little learning curve with the bags so let me give you a couple of tips… Don’t put food or wet items directly into the bag because the moisture will cause the bags to begin to break down AND don’t overfill the bags because there is no drawstring and they are not the strongest trash bags in the world. The biodegradability factor of these Trash Bags outweighs the slight inconveniences for me.

9. Compost Bin

I hate to throw food away. Most of our scraps go to our animals, but when we have things that the animals aren’t crazy about we just toss it into our Kitchen Compost Bin. This bin serves as a ‘holding cell’ for this food until we can take it out to the heap.

Also, we are a coffee-loving family so we have many coffee grounds that would be thrown out each day if we didn’t compost. This compost bin gives allows me to reuse the grounds without having to run to the compost pile every morning.

10. Shampoo Bars

This is the newest addition to the eco-friendly household products in my home. Think of all of the plastic that would not be entering your home if you stopped using your liquid shampoo & conditioner. That is exactly what I did! I now make my own shampoo bars (recipe in The Homemade Household) that I can use for my hair and my body. No more shampoo, conditioner, or body wash bottles for us! If you don’t want to make your own bars, you can purchase them as well.

11. Reusable Grocery Bags

I have started shopping at Ruler Foods (a discount Kroger store) where shoppers bag their own groceries to cut down on costs. You can purchase plastic bags at the checkout, but I bring reusable grocery bags because I have seen the effects of plastic bags and it ain’t pretty. I have even made some of my own grocery bags out of old feed sacks.

You can use reusable bags no matter where you shop. If you buy groceries somewhere that has an employee to bag the items for you, just hand them your bags before they start putting them into plastic. This is a super simple step that can make a huge positive impact on the environment.

12. DIY Cleaning Supplies

Another excellent way to create an eco-friendly household is to replace your cleaning supplies with homemade products. Almost all of the cleaning products in my home have been replaced with DIY recipes. My favorites are the All-Purpose Antibacterial Spray, Dish Detergent Cubes, Scouring Powder, and Carpet Freshener. You can find all of my cleaning supply recipes in The Homemade Household.

13. Bamboo Toothbrushes

We started buying Bamboo Toothbrushes for the kids to help reduce the amount of plastic that we go through in our household. The ones that we use are numbered so each child knows which one belongs to him or her.

14. Dental Lace

Most dental floss is made of and packaged in plastic. There are a couple of good alternative options for the standard, but many people aren’t aware of them. Dental Lace is one of these options. This floss is made of silk and it is packaged in refillable & recyclable glass.

15 + Eco-Friendly Household Products to Reduce Your Waste

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A Water Pik is another good alternative to standard floss. It is made of plastic, but it is far from single use. This tool shoots water between your teeth and under your gums to clear out bacteria and debris. The Water Pik comes highly recommended by dentists as well.

16. Reusable Coffee Filter

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Opt out of paper coffee filters and use a reusable filter instead. I use a GoldTone filter that came with my Ninja Coffee Bar that works really well. I dump the coffee grounds into my compost pail each morning, rinse the filter, and reuse the next morning. Zero waste win 🙂

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I’m Jess, a Christian wife, a mama of 3 sweet kiddos, an aspiring zero waster, a homesteader, a homemaker, and a homeschooler living the simple life in the great state of Tennessee. I love to share my experiences, tips, advice, and encouragement with mamas just like you!

Lavender Eau de Toilette

photo lavender flower field under pink sky

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

I was glancing over this book that I’ve had for a while called Bath Scents by Alan Hayes. I found this cool recipe for Lavender Toilet Water.  I made it and I am quite pleased with the results.  What made it even more awesome is that I have lavender plants around my home and I already had lavender oil so the only thing I really needed to buy was some vodka.

Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Spray Bottles (Save empty hair spray bottles and rinse out well and you can repurpose them)
  • 16 ounces distilled water (500 ml)
  • 2 ounces (50 g) lavender buds (about 4 teaspoons dried)
  • 10 ounces vodka (310 ml)
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil

Directions:  Place 2 ounces of lavender buds in a large ceramic bowl and pour boiling 16 ounces of distilled water.  (Personally I used tap water because it’s for my own use.)  Allow it to steep for 12 hours or overnight for a strong infusion.  Oh wow your home will smell absolutely divine!!  Use muslin, cheese cloth or a strainer to separate the lavender buds from the lavender infusion.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Add the vodka and lavender oil, seal in a bottle and leave to stand for two weeks.  Drip through a coffee filter after 2 weeks and then rebottle.

Honestly it smells really nice and not over bearing.  I use it as an air freshener, spray it on my hair and body.  It smells really clean and not over powerful.  I really like it and I hope you do too.

I think this would make a lovely gift for someone.  The greatest thing is that there’s no junk in this spray.  Making your own stuff can be really fun and can save you $$ as well.  Feel free to share this with your friends and comment about your thoughts.

Ciao Bella

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It kind of looks like lavender tea.  It’s not all Martha Stewarty but then again, I’m not Martha Stewart.

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Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California.  She lives with her daughter in Puppy.  She is a Plogger and to find our how you can learn about our future click here.

Save the Planet with these Products

Plaine Products

I am really happy to say that I’ve become a Plaine Promoter. They have really wonderful products that are ethically sourced and sustainable. They are also vegan and don’t have any of the nasties. Check out the wonderful ingredients here.

I’ve tried making my own shampoo and let’s just say it was a big stinky mess.  Although it did smell wonderful with RoseMary Essential Oil,I had tea stains in my tub and then I found Plaine Products and was more than enamored. Not only is it healthy but it’s shipped to you in aluminum bottles and then when you run out and order more, they ship it to you in an Eco Friendly box and you can return the aluminum bottles to them.  It’s an awesome way to live a   Zero Waste lifestyle.

Plaine Product's Fresh Shampoo
So far I’ve tried the Hand Soap and the Shampoo and Conditioner.  They smell divine.  Vanilla/lavender is the scent I chose.  So I do feel it’s important to support businesses that are doing things the right way.  Remember Do No Harm.  So if a business is hurting their employees, the planet or their customers, it’s time to cut them off and only do business with ethical people and businesses.

If you order from my website I get a small commission.   I love these products and if they weren’t super eco friendly and just amazing for your skin, I wouldn’t support them.  Here’s the link to check out their awesome products.

I will appreciate your purchase for Mother Earth.  As you take a shower you don’t have to feel like you’re contributing a bunch of junk to the water supply.  Mother Earth  is what really counts.  But I have faith and know that things are turning around for us and remember The Children Will Inherit the Earth.  So let’s leave them a good place, starting now.

Bye for now,

Valerie

For more information on Tea Tree Oil to care for your hair in a luxurious manner, click here.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach she lives in Northern California with her puppy Amber.

Multi Purpose Hand Sanitizer

pexels-photo-207518.jpegLast year I had a party and made these favors that were hand sanitizers.  I must have made 150 of them as favors.  You know I didn’t want to run out.  Needless to say, I had many left overs.  I gave many away to friends and family as there is a shelf life to these babies.

These are the  uses I’ve found for them:

  1. Hand Sanitizer: Duh
  2. Hand Moisturizer:  They have fractionated cocoanut oil in them.  A little goes a long way and they do moisturize your hands quite nicely.
  3. Make Up Remover:  Since I was giving them away because I had so many, had been using cocoanut oil to take off my make up.  So I thought, I wonder if this will work.  Well it worked quite nicely.  I was really happy to make this discovery because I feel the ingredients are very good for my skin as well.

neutrogena ingredients

These ingredients don’t look very enticing plus they also come in a big Fat Plastic Bag.  Just say no and make your own or just use cocoanut oil to remove make up.

I did have friends asking me for more of this stuff.  Making it and delivering it does take quite a bit of effort when you consider all that I am doing.  I am just not set up to be a manufacturer too.  So I will make another small batch to give to my peeps.  But in the meantime, here is the recipe that I’m sure you will love.

This makes 4- 4 oz bottles:

Hand Purifying Spray

  • 1 Cup Distilled Water
  • 1/2 cup Witch Hazel
  • 1/2 Cup Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • 20 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 20 Drops Lavender Essential OIl
  • 20 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

Directions to make

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix Well.  Using a funnel, pour it into 4 4oz spray bottles.

Spray on hands, rub thoroughly until spray has been absorbed into skin and let air dry.  I also use it to take off make up. I use it to take off my eye make up and did not have any problems but do that at your own risk.  Seriously would you rather use this or that toxic cocktail from Neutrogena?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Well that’s it.  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I did.  Stay strong and know that you can make all the difference in the world.  Just remember that you do matter.  One person at a time making positive changes can have a great influence.

Thanks Earth Angel!!  You rock!!  And after you make this, let me know how many blessings you start receiving.  You are making a conscious choice to do a good thing and you will be rewarded.  As you put out good, good thing will come to you.  Remember that.

white angel illustration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach. She’s trying to share with people other options then simply buying more stuff in plastic. Join her and start saving the planet.

 

What Is My Intention

achievement confident free freedom

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

What the heck is the purpose of this Blog anyway?  It may seem a bit scattered.  You see after working for so many years, I just had a lot of stored nervous energy that I had to get out of me.  So I was a bit wild and now I”m slowly starting to settle down.

Let’s see Singer: Check, Dancer: Check, Blogger:Check, Youtube Channel: Check… Need I go on?  I have decided that I was simply trying to do too much by myself.  I also am a Mama to a teenager and a puppy.  So I actually learned that I was over training and took some much needed time off from dancing and singing.

VAL SPINNING

I decided that I had to give something up because it was just too much work.  So now I can make a conscious effort and decide with intention how I would like my life to flow.  And where is my intention?

With this Blog my intention is to share things that are eco friendly, affordable, healing in some way, things that are positive and things that allow me to express myself in a creative way.

Obviously I feel like this information is important stuff or I wouldn’t waste my time.  I  am a Libra which means that Lady Justice is alive and well in my blood.  I’ve always looked out for those that are less fortunate.  Those that have been victimized.  I’ve put myself in dangerous positions to help victims.  I don’t want to do that anymore but I feel like the information I am sharing will save our planet and that is my intention.  Our planet is just getting a little too hot.  So we need to cool it off a little bit.

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I support Fair trade, sustainable and green living.  We can have a prosperous economy and still thrive.  There are many things we can purchase that are great for the planet and that are good for the economy as well.

 

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    Vote with your dollars and support the businesses that are doing the right thing.

So the more we can implement the things I am describing here, the more we can help Mother Earth.  So if you can start sharing this information with your friends.  Or telling people about my Website.  I just need a little help from my friends.

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Remember that the light will always overcome the darkness.  So keep that light within you and spread it everywhere.  There are many people suffering.  So let’s not add to it.  Be patient and kind with strangers.  Just smile, breathe and relax.  That’s all you have to do dear and please share this Blog.  Thank you and you are now my official favorite Earth Angel.

May only good come to you and remember as you do good, so you will receive good.  It just starts the cycle of giving and receiving.  So you would be giving me a tremendous gift along with Mother Earth and share this with your friends and family.  If I remind you of a friend, share it with them.

Thank you and Namaste,

Valerie

PS  there are lots of really good things coming very soon.  Things just take time but with consistent work towards your goal, you will hit the mark.  If it’s on your heart to donate to support my Blog, I would be forever grateful.  In case you don’t know I am donating to support The Ocean Clean Up and also Plog in the North Bay Area of California.  Also keeping this Blog going is very much appreciated. You can donate here.

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Liberation From The Kitchen

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

How would you feel with some extra free time?  It’s easier than you think.

Let’s look at the current situation.  Many men and women work full time jobs.  After they get off work, they have to get home and figure out dinner for themselves and maybe their families.  Not sure about how many people feel about cooking dinner after working at least 8 hours, but it can be exhausting and that’s not exactly the first thing you feel like doing.

So how do you deal with this feeling of not wanting to cook?  Many people decide not to cook and instead go to their favorite take out or restaurant and buy dinner.  Not only is this pricey but most of the packaging comes in plastic.  Hopefully you grab something healthy for your body.  But if not then you bought something bad for one’s body and is bad for the planet as well.

beach beautiful bridge carribean

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

How about thinking about a new solution?  I know this is not a new idea but actually a very old idea.  So maybe you have a good friend that is in the same situation as you.  So before you cook dinner you give them a quick call and say, “Hey friend, I’m making some mushroom soup and salad.  I cannot eat it all.  Would you like to stop by on your way home from work and pick some up on your way home?  Bring your own container and we’ll save the planet.”  Your friend is not only grateful but she replies, “Thanks so much!! I made some almond meal cookies and I’ll bring you some.”

Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut_4

The next night the cookie making friend calls her making friend and says, ” I made some quinoa with pesto sauce would you like me to bring some over?”  And they were both fed happy and they had the strength to carry on another day.

Simple Vegan Pesto_2

So if everyone started to do this, it would just create a world where people are sharing, caring and being fed.  It would be really great for the planet, families wallets and it would allow people to share some time together instead of being in the kitchen.

You can also try new and different food and if you like to cook, then someone to tell you how awesome your food is.  Also there’s nothing wrong with just giving food to someone with no expectation in return.  As you give, so shall you receive.  This is how we will transform our planet.  One small gesture of sharing at a time.  Let’s start the cycle of giving and receiving.

About the Author:  Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  Her dream is to see all people healthy and happy.  She shares with you healthy recipes, Anything good for Mother Earth as Mother Earth is in need of healing. As you Heal Yourself, You heal the planet.

The Cuban Mop: The Near Perfect Cleaning Tool You’ve Never Heard of (and How to Use It)

Originally Published on Remodelista.com on May 22, 2018 on By Justine Hand

The Cuban Mop The Near Perfect Cleaning Tool You_ve Never Heard of and How to Use ItWhen it comes mops, I have a hate-hate relationship. Either I struggle to wield the heft of rope mops or find myself searching in vain for matching replacement heads for sponge mops. Plus, both models are really hard to clean. I often feel as though I’m just spreading the dirt around. Finally, for dust bunnies under the bed, I’ve long been searching for an alternative to the widely used Swiffer, with its plastic parts and expensive, not-eco-friendly disposable cloths.

Enter the Cuban mop. Its genius lies in the simplicity of its design—no bells and whistles, just two sticks that screw together into a T. It’s inexpensive, lightweight, easy to use, and a cinch to clean: just throw the soiled towel in the washing machine. Because it uses any old rag, I’ll never again have to trek from hardware store to hardware store for a matching head. And I can use it wet or dry. (Bye-bye Swiffer.) The wooden Cuban mop is also, in my opinion, the most aesthetically pleasing of mops. Since it’s made with all-natural, reusable components, it’s among the most eco-friendly mop options. In fact, it just might be the perfect tool.

Here’s how to use one.

Photography by Justine Hand for Remodelista.

What Is a Cuban Mop?

As the name suggests, the Cuban mop originated in Cuba, and it’s a simple T-shaped wooden tool with a long handle, usually wrapped with cloths or rags. In the US, the mops are widely used among the Cuban immigrant population, particularly in Miami.

What You’ll Need

The Cuban Mop The Near Perfect Cleaning Tool You_ve Never Heard of and How to Use It_2

  • Cuban Mop: I bought my IMUSA Cuban Mop from the Cuban Food Market via Amazon for $17.95. (Note: Some Amazon reviewers were unhappy with the quality and size of this mop, but I bought it because there are not a lot of options out there. Though a bit crude in terms of finishing, my mop works great and is still nicer to look at than most. The handle, though admittedly short for taller folks, is the same length as my commercial sponge mop. In my opinion, this version is worth the money, but I can see an opportunity for someone to improve on craftsmanship.) Quickloop also makes a similar mop that looks quite sturdy; $16.
  • Absorbent Cotton Rag or Towel: I bought these Cuban Style Cloths, again, on Amazon for $16, but any old rag will do. (Note: The product sample image on the Amazon page shows yellow stripes. The ones I received, shown, have blue stripes.)
  • Cleaning Product: I use Rubio Monocoat Natural Soap; it’s a ready-to-mix concentrate for cleaning oil-treated floors.

How to Use a Cuban Mop

Step 1:

Wet any absorbent, medium-size cloth—an old hand towel, dish rag, or even cloth diaper will work—with your favorite cleaning solution. Squeeze excess liquid, and lay the towel on the floor.

Note: If you want to use your Cuban mop with a dry rag, skip this step.

The Cuban Mop The Near Perfect Cleaning Tool You ve Never Heard of and How to Use It_5

Step 2:

Wrap the cloth around the Cuban mop as follows:
Above: To use, simply push the mop along, being careful not to lift it off the floor. When one side gets dirty, flip the mop and use the other side. Once both sides are soiled, remove the cloth, rinse, re-wet with cleaning solution, squeeze, and rewrap.

(Lizzie, shown using the mop, is tall, about 5’10”. You can see that she is able to effectively use the mop, though a longer handle would be more comfortable for her.)

The Cuban Mop The Near Perfect Cleaning Tool You_ve Never Heard of and How to Use It_3

How to Clean the Cuban Mop

To clean your mop between uses, simply remove the cloth and toss in the washing machine. Easy and eco-friendly.

The right tools always make housework less of a chore. Here are more of our cleaning favorites:

Swept Away: Utilitarian Household Goods from a San Francisco Designer
10 Easy Pieces: German-Made Cleaning Staples
5 Favorites: Display-Worthy, Artisan-Made Dustpan and Brush Sets

Eco Friendly Buyer’s Guide

Let me just start with saying that I am not receiving any endorsements or kick backs from any of these companies.  I like that I can just be independent and if I find something that is awesome, I can freely discuss it and not have to feel like I am bought and paid for. So just for the record, these are items that I have found at my local grocery store, Nugget Markets.  They do have quite a few Eco Friendly products and it’s worth it for our planet to support these companies and also you can go on line to purchase as well.

if you care

1)The First product is called “IF YOU CAREPaper Snack & Sandwich Bags.”  I did purchase these and they give you 48 bags that are compostable, unbleached and totally chlorine free.  They have no Paraffin Wax, Not chemically treated  and it keeps bread soft up to 6 hours.  It’s also has all of these approvals from FSC, VINCOTTE that it’s OK to compost, USDA Certified BIOBASED PRODUCT.  Usually my kid puts just snack type items in them.  Such as crackers or chips.  But I feel so good knowing that I don’t have to use those wretched plastic sandwich baggies which are killing marine line and are made from Petroleum products.  So big shout out to Nugget for carrying this product.

beverage in clear wine glass

Photo by Markus Spiske freeforcommercialuse.net on Pexels.com

2) World Centric has compostable straws.  (I couldn’t use the image due to copyright) They are made from corn not petroleum.  I think this is a great alternative for plastic straws.   It’s understandable to use them when driving or if you have small kids or if you have a disability or a medical procedure.  So if you really need them then they do have these at Nugget or you can order them from here.  

Other options include stainless steel, glass and bamboo.  Also they have them made out of cookies as well.

chico bag

3)Chico Bags are super convenient and cool.  They break down into these small little bags you can keep in your purse.  And when you need it, you can open it up and have a bag in two shakes of a lambs tail.  These are available at Nugget or you can get it here.

TP

4)  I tried to find some toilet paper that was not in plastic.  They did have toilet paper that  was from recycled paper but it was wrapped in plastic.  So that defeats the whole purpose of having sustainable toilet paper.  There is a Toilet Paper called Who Gives A Crap.  They give money to build toilets.  So you can feel good when you use toilet paper and you can buy it here.

forks

5)These Repurpose utensils are BPA Free, Plant renewable and compostable. What more do you need?  These are so awesome and anyone who buys these is a rock star and an official Earth Angel.  So all you have to do is buy this kind of stuff and you are an Official Earth Angel.  Thanks for caring and you can order these here.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and a Plogger.  (Jogging and picking up trash) She’s on a mission to spread the news about living a more sustainable life style. The more Eco Friendly items people use the less harm to the ocean and marine life. Thanks for caring.