Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Color your easter eggs (or fabric or yard for you vegans) naturally!

Rhiannon Hull, editor of ecomama.squarespace.com and greenhelps.org has a great little guide on www.mothering.com for how to naturally dye easter eggs. Vegans can always dye something else, like cotton rag balls, fabric or yarn with this same technique:

Check out the full article on www.mothering.com:

"Here is a list of natural dyes organized by color:

Green: boiled spinach leaves
Blue: boiled frozen blueberries or purple cabbage leaves
Purple: grape juice and skins from red onions
Red: boiled fresh beets or cranberry juice
Yellow: boiled cumin or turmeric powder, boiled orange or lemon peels
Orange: boiled orange juice or paprika
Brown: black tea or coffee

Boil each ingredient separately with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Reduce heat and simmer until the desired color is reached. Strain the liquid into a bowl and 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of liquid.
Dye your eggs/fabric/yarn just was you would with conventional dyes."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Forget dry cleaning your fancy sweaters - Even wool and cashmere can be laundered at home!

Try a non-toxic, delicate wash instead of dry cleaning to avoid use of the toxic chemicals like perc.
Line dry or lay flat to dry - it works!

Save money! Dry cleaning is an expensive habit and we can all cut down on non-essentials.

Save the planet! The EPA classifies PERC, the dry cleaning agent, as a groundwater contaminant - and 70% of it ends up in nature!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Make your own non-toxic hand sanitizer!

This article from Mothering.com provides several ideas on how to make your own hand sanitizer - you can simply fill up a little spray bottle with water and combinations of essential oils to carry around.
The article lists combinations for anti-bacterial, and even oils that are effective against staph!

This is a great idea for moms and kids who don't always have access to sinks and soap.



This is a brilliant idea - need moving boxes? Need to get rid of moving boxes? Are you a retailer with lots of shipping boxes that you don't need?
Don't send them to the recycling plant - give them to someone who needs them!
Check out http://www.boxcycle.com/!
This genius website connects people with boxes to people who need boxes. Couldn't be easier!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Get your money's worth! Coupons you can actually use!

Growing up my parents spent every weekend pouring over the coupon inserts found in our local paper, cutting out discounts and filing them in our little acordian organizer. I gave up using coupons when I changed my diet several years ago because I couldn't find any of the foods I buy in those same circulars!
Enter: The Internet.
There are loads of ways to save online, and you can drastically cut down on your grocery bill if you do a little planning before you leave for the store.
Try going to the website of the brands you buy - you can often download and print a coupon on your home computer and take it right to the store.
Try www.seventhgeneration.com, as well as other brands like www.organicvalley.com

This month, try: http://www.eatingwell.com/coupons/index.php?ViewAll=1


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Don't wankie my Hankies!

Anyone who knows me knows about my little habit...my small predilection...my love of cotton hankies. I own over 20 of them. Mostly flowery, some old school bandanas, but all cotton. And all washable. And all so eco!

Several people I know think that using a hankie and then folding it up and putting it back in your pocket or purse for future use is gross....not so, I say! You can fold that little soft square up in several different ways so you don't touch a soiled portion more than once before washing. And you create much less waste!

It's just like cloth diapers - just for your nose.
(I find mine at flea markets, stoop sales, etc.)

xo Alex

Monday, February 2, 2009

Salt in my wounds - using salt as a budget guide

Hey Budget-eers!

The New Home Eco-Nomics Expert-ess (me) has been obsessed with salt lately - not just using it to liven up my air-popped popcorn, but using it around the house, on my skin and on all kinds of problems!

Here are a few ways to use salt cheaply and non-toxically:

- A mix of salt, vinegar, and water should remove mildew stains on most fabrics. Use up to full-strength vinegar if the mildew is extensive.

- Prevent mildew growth on shower curtains by soaking them in a bathtub full of salt water - about 1/2 cup salt to the tub. Soak for several hours then hang to dry.

- Remove wine spills from cotton fabrics by immediately sprinkling the stained area with enough salt to soak up the liquid. Soak the fabric for 1 hour in cold, water then launder as usual.

- Soak in a tub of salt water to relieve itchy skin. Just add 1 cup of table, Epsom or sea salt to the bath water. This will also soften your skin.

- Remove onion odor from your hands by sprinkling them with a little salt, then moisten with some vinegar. Rub hands together then rinse.